Scott Cohen (Pediatrician, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center) gives expert video advice on: What do I do if my child refuses to potty-train?; Do I need to teach my son to pee standing up? and more...
What is "potty-training"?
Potty training is teaching your child how to poop and pee in the potty. And I think about potty training in 3 phases. Usually around 18 to 21 months I ask parents just to get a potty and stick it in the bathroom. This is a good time that when mom or dad are sitting on the toilet they say to their son or daughter, "Do you want to sit on yours?" And they can sit on the potty fully clothed, they can sit on the potty naked. It has nothing to do with going in the potty, it's just getting used to the potty seat, having fun. You can read a story, give them books, give them games to play on it but just getting used to the potty. Then, stage 2 happens when they start showing some form of readiness to use the potty. And you'll know your child's ready to potty train because they're going to start tugging at their diaper after they go to the bathroom. Or, they even tell you that they went to the bathroom. Signs that they're aware that they went. And whenever they do that, I tell the parents to say, "Oh, you want to go sit on your potty?" And if they say no, the potty training ends right there for now. We never want to push the potty training. But if they do, great. They can sit on the potty with a full diaper on or even dump it in the potty; show them where it goes and sit there naked. Again, it has nothing to do with them actually going on the potty. It's now making the correlation, I went and this is where I sit. These two things go together in potty training. And then I think the 3rd phase, which happens anytime after 2 or hopefully sometime before college basically is that they tell you beforehand and then they go sit on the potty and actually go in it. The whole point of this potty training process is don't put a lot of strain on your child. Make potty training fun, offer it. But don't push the potty. And if they don't want to, fine. They will eventually be potty trained.
What equipment should I use to potty-train my child?
Some of the equipment you can use for potty training are the following. They make a myriad of different potties for the children. They have freestanding ones that your child can sit on, so that when you're on your toilet, they can sit on theirs. Some make noises, some play songs, some clap after you flush it; it's really having fun and a personal preference. They also make seats that go on top of an adult toilet that you can also use if your child likes the feel of being an adult like you have been, and watching you on the toilet as well. So that's really all you need, and you're going to help them with wiping and cleaning up if the pee goes everywhere.
Do I need to teach my son to pee standing up?
For cleanliness purposes I guess, teaching them to sit down may be easier on you. There'll be less accidents, pee all over the wall and floor. A lot of boys do want to do it like that and will try and so that's fine. So I really think again it's a personal preference, but it may be easier teaching them sitting down as far as a spilling stand point, but it's really up to you.