Ask Rebecca: Using a pottytunity to delay bedtime

Your child is telling you she wants to be nappy free at night says Rebecca Mottram.

Dear Rebecca,

My 20-month-old is doing amazingly well with potty training. She’s had several dry days, almost a week of dry naps (2ish hours) I really shouldn’t complain, but… she asks to go several times AFTER we put her to bed. She’ll pee a decent amount before we put on PJs, and then want to go again 20 minutes later. She only ever has a few drops, but she’s so proud. And I’m SO TIRED. She’s still in a diaper for sleep, so she’s not worried about an *accident* really, I think it’s partially a stalling bedtime tactic. I don’t want to tell her to just go in her diaper, but I don’t want to get her up twelve times a night to go, either. It’s affecting her sleep but she still wakes up with the birds, so she’s grumpy. How can I encourage her to hold it without dismissing her instincts?
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Fear of the toilet & 5 ways to tackle it

Some children are terrified of using the potty or the toilet. Parents from all around the world come to me, struggling to understand what they can do to resolve what can often seem like a completely irrational fear.

Whatever has led to this situation, here are 5 gentle solutions that can get your child back on track with their potty learning journey. So take a deep breath, let go of that frustration, don’t go spending your money on sticker charts or talking potties, we’ve got you.

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Ask Rebecca: my boundary-pushing toddler keeps refusing the potty

Parenting can require more patience and empathy than we ever imagined says Rebecca Mottram.  Your daughters potty refusal means she needs your help to be in control and find the solution.

Dear Rebecca,

My daughter is 17mo and normally mastering the potty well. She has become very verbal and often tells me when she has to go or goes to the potty by herself. However, there is a part I’m not proud of. I know she has to wee when 3 hours have passed without one so I gently remind her to go. I tell her we’re going to the potty, she can choose her favorite book to read or game to play with me, we will call daddy after the wee… I let her know that it needs to be done and I give her lots of motivation. This is where procrastination normally starts. She either completely refuses the potty or sits there for 20 min. and does nothing. I then give up and go to another room to give her privacy. She will follow me a moment later and within 2 min. will do a massive pee on the floor while looking straight at me. Nobody can tell me these are accidents. She is doing it on purpose to show me she decides and I have no idea why as she knows perfectly well where pee needs to go.

Tonight I lost it and yelled at her, after many incidents. I was so angry that I had spent 30 min. on the potty with her with no success and then had lots of cleaning to do too. Not my best moment. I want to understand this kind of behaviour. Is this normal toddler stubbornness or how can I make sure she understands that peeing on the floor is totally not acceptable when done on purpose? This happened 3 hours ago and I’m still raging! Continue reading

Is buying a ‘smart nappy’ really such a clever idea?

I read Arwa Mahdawi’s recent Guardian column ‘Is buying a ‘smart nappy’ really such a clever idea?‘ with interest. It is hard to believe that the best efforts to improve disposable nappies have resulted in the direction taken by the Pampers Lumi. Here’s why baby pottying is a better idea.
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5 reasons why making poo-doh can help crack potty training

Research shows that many parents face challenges when it comes to potty training (Matson et al, 2017). Common problems include your child refusing to do what you are asking (McMahon and Forehand, 2003), fear and anxiety (Wager et al., 2017) or inability to adapt to the change from nappies to toilet or potty (Schonwalk et al, 2004). These problems can be extremely worrying and frustrating but In this blog I demonstrate how you can make and use poo-doh to get you through. Continue reading