Whats the best way to Potty training a 4yr old
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Katherine - posted on 05/07/2012
Know the schedule. If you've been maintaining your potty log, you should have a relatively good idea of when your child goes poop. So try timing a potty session in that window.
Keep your kid regular. In order to have a regular pooping pattern, make sure your kid's diet is rich in fiber and whole-grains. (If your child isn't having regular bowel movements, or you suspect constipation, talk to your child's pediatrician).
Settle in for the long haul. Pooping takes time. So be prepared with lots of activities to keep your child entertained and otherwise occupied, such as potty books or coloring books. Or you can sing songs or play simple games like pattycake or I Spy.
Relax. This goes for both you AND your kid. Don't put any pressure. Take slow, deep breaths together, or give your child a little massage on the lower back.
Take a break. If your toddler starts to get fidgety or fussy, simply take him off the potty and try again later. If he's not relaxed and calm, he won't go!
Don't stress! If your child goes in his diaper (again), don't stress about it. That's normal! Just be sure to empty the contents into the toilet and as you flush it say calmly, "See? Poo-poo goes in the potty." Take deep breaths (but not too deep!) but don't get upset or ever shame your child. Remember, this too shall pass (like gas!)
Go gradually. If you have a reluctant pooper, try poop-potty-training in stages. Hand out rewards for your child at least being IN the bathroom when pooping (as opposed to under a coffee table!). Even if your child announces that he pooped after-the-fact is a step in the right direction! That means he's becoming aware of WHEN he has to poop; the next step is fixing there WHERE. Progress is progress!
Be ready with a BIG reward. If your child DOES go poop in the potty, reward her big time! Either have a special toy set aside for your child's Very First Poop or double up on her typical potty reward. You may even want to play up the fact that something special awaits! Talk about motivation!
Remember: Learning to poop on the potty takes two P's: practice and patience. You need a lot of both before a successful poop on the pot. Potty training is a process, and sometimes success comes in stages. So celebrate each victory as you go!
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