(NOTE: How CRAZY is it that I started writing this review at 6 a.m., and by 7:45 a.m. my son was completely out of the blue telling me "no more diapers, Mama, wear big boy underwear" and I was spending the morning in the bathroom reading books with him and watching him pee on the potty and then have a few pee accidents around the house and outside... but starting his own potty thing?! CRAZY.)
I received the coolest email a few months back from the very author of this and so many other well-known No-Cry Solution books! She complimented me on my blog and other reviews I had done of her sleep books (found here themommystories-friends.blogspot.com/2012/04/hush-little-baby-part-two.html), and the next thing I knew in the mail came two awesome brand-new books of hers! I'm still excited about this! (Review of The No-Cry Picky Eater Solution book coming soon!).
I LOVE these No-Cry Solution books. Mainly because they are SO straight-forward, easy to read, and just REAL. You can tell Pantley is a mother - of four no less. She has been through all that she writes about, and it shows with her real-time tips on how to navigate some of the toughest situations.
The No-Cry Potty Training Solution - Gentle Ways to Help Your Child Say Good-Bye to Diapers by Elizabeth Pantley
This was an awesome book! Easy to follow, short and sweet, to the point, and included great potty training tips.
What is this all about? Some basic tips starting on page 2:
-It takes 3 to 12 months from the start to end of training to be dry during the day. "The more readiness skills that a child possesses, the quicker the process will be," Pantley wrote (page 2).
-Kids are physically able to independently toilet between ages 2 1/2 and 4.
-Nighttime dryness can't be rushed, it's based on physiology.
-"A parent's readiness to train is just as important as a child's readiness to learn," she wrote (page 2).
This wasn't something I had considered before. But it's true, the more frustrated parents act at a kid peeing on the floor for the 10th time, the more frustrated the kid is going to be and therefore not want to learn anymore.
-Most toddlers go pee every 2 hours or so and have about 2 bowel movements during a day.
"More than 80 percent of children experience setbacks in toilet training," she wrote (page 3).
This is comforting really!
On page 9 Pantley gives a great quick guide of "Solving Common Toilet Training Problems." You can find an issue and she gives the possible reason it is happening, as well as some solutions. A great list!
It ain't over til it's over.
I love this quote about when this process of training will be over:
"A child will complete toilet training when his biology, skills, and development have matured to a point that he is capable and willing to take over complete control of his toileting. Only then can he recognize the need to go, stop his play, go to the toilet, handle the entire process, and return to his play." (page 15)
It takes time!
Pantley mentioned in her book that it's really not potty "training," per se, but rather it's potty "learning." She uses the term training though because she polled many parents and found that most would research training instead of learning and she wanted the book to serve as a resource people can find easily. However, she agrees it's really a learning process, like teaching a child to walk or eat. It takes a while, they need to be developmentally ready for it, and you can lead the way but stick close to what the child needs and wants.
In chapter 3, Pre-Potty Training: Getting Ready!, Pantley explains how one can prepare a child to get ready to learn to use the potty. She wrote on page 39, "When children learn a new skill, they rarely learn it all at once. Typically, they learn in manageable pieces, a little at a time. Think about how your child learned to run. The process began way back when he was an infant and learned to hold up his head and shoulders to control his body. He progress to sitting, then to crawling, and on to walking while you held his hands. Soon he was cruising the furniture. After a time, he took those first shaky steps, and once those were mastered he began to run. This natural sequence of events took anywhere from ten to twenty months of time. In the same way that you patiently and methodically helped your child learn to run, you can encourage him to learn about the many details involved in toilet training."
This was the most important part of the book to me - realizing that "potty training" is not just a few days or a week-long thing and your kid gets it. That's what I honestly always imagined. I don't know where I got that idea, but before becoming a mom that's what I thought. After reading and talking to other moms the term "potty trained" is a lose term that really means a whole bunch of stages of learning to potty. Now that I see this process the same as my son learning to walk or run, it's broken it down a lot for me and actually is less daunting and less pressure.
On page 26 is a great list of things that are needed in order to successfully learn to use the potty, such as communicating the need to use the toilet, controlling the release of urine and stool, having interest in the process, etc.
On page 51, Pantley explained "The Magic Two." These are the two things that are paramount when teaching a child to use the potty - "The teacher's attitude and the teacher's level of patience." This is SO true! I had so many people ask me why we were waiting to potty train my 2-year-old, when we had a baby on the way in a few months and wouldn't it be easier to have him trained and out of diapers by the time another came along in diapers? Heck no, I said! Of course it'd be ideal, but I knew he was not ready, and frankly neither were my husband and I. We didn't have the patience or time or energy or for me even the physical stamina at 8 months pregnant to train our 2-year-old. Also, our toddler was already experiencing many changes around the house and in his life that we knew adding one more thing to his plate would not go well. Had he been shouting from the rooftop that he wanted to get out of diapers, sure, we would have listened, but he wasn't so we didn't push it. It's true though, everyone needs to be on board in this process.
Tip: Just getting your busy toddler to sit on the potty is considered success. LOVE THIS straight-forward point. I've always wondered when do we get excited for him, when he's pooped? when he's sat there long enough to read a story? I love this answer.
On page 78, Pantley offers some great ways to get your child interested by saying things like, "Do you want to use the potty upstairs or downstairs? Do you want to walk or run to the potty?" versus saying "Do you want to use the potty or have to use the potty?"
Tip: Teach boys sitting down first. I've never had a reason until now I read this book. Pantley suggests it's easier to teach a child one thing - sitting down for both pee and poop - versus having to teach him to stand for pee and sit for poop. Standing will come with time.
Overall, a great resource. I'd definitely recommend this as the go-to potty-training book because of how easy it was and how specific the tips seemed to be.