Welcome to October!
First of all, I’d like to welcome two toddlers to our community: Arlo and Reese. It has been heartwarming to watch everyone welcome them into our room. When there are tears you can hear another child say, “It’s ok,” while giving a little pat or rub on the back. When a new child can’t find where something is, another will proudly show them and offer to help. Even at this young age, children are learning how fulfilling it is to be a valued member of a community.
Another big step was taken by most of the children since our last newsletter: they began wearing underwear! Since then I’ve had many questions from you about wearing underwear at home and how you can support your child’s development in this area. I’ll try to keep it simple, since that is the best way to handle toilet learning at home and at school!
1. Any kind of underwear can be worn. We use training pants that have a little extra absorbency, but regular underwear is fine too. You can also choose to use a water-proof covers over the underwear/training pants that help contain any “misses”.
2. The body is physically ready to gain control over toileting at about 18 months.
3. Most children at this stage aren’t able to stay dry while sleeping so you may want to diaper your child for nap and especially at night.
4. Set up a routine for using the toilet/potty seat at home. For example: 1st thing after waking up, after breakfast/before leaving the house, before nap, after nap, after dinner, before bed. It should be about every 2 hours throughout the day, but you will learn when your child needs to go after a couple of days.
5. Use the routine! The only things toddlers have control over in their lives are eating, sleeping, and using the toilet. If you make toilet learning about the routine, you can avoid power struggles and take the emotion out of the process. “We just finished lunch, it’s time to use the bathroom,” or “We’re getting ready to go to the store, so we need to go to the bathroom.”
6. At first, your child may just sit and not be able to go, then will have a miss not long after. Keep your response matter-of-fact without any judgement: “Oops, you peed. Let’s clean that up and get some dry pants.”
7. When they are successful using the toilet, keep your response simple: “Oh, you peed. I bet that feels better,” or “I bet you feel good that you were able to do that.” If your emotional reaction, either positive or negative, becomes a part of toileting your child will associate it with pleasing you and not with their own accomplishment. Go ahead and react to their success and their response, but save the happy dance for when you’re alone!!
8. There should be no pressure on anyone- you or your child. Once you decide to “take the plunge”, using the toilet will be the expectation and part of your routine. It is simply a basic, human need.
We can talk more at conferences about your child’s development in toileting. I offer this information for those of you who have expressed interest in switching to underwear now and for those of you who will be making the switch later.
Dates and Details to Remember:
October 9: Picture Day
October 15 and 16: No School
October 30: No School, Conferences