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On Call: Potty-training Tricks

Q. My son, who's 3 1/2, will pee on the potty but refuses to do anything more. How can I get him to give up his diapers for good?

A.
This is incredibly common. For some children, seeing their poop get flushed down the toilet is scary. Others have a certain position or place that helps them poop, and they can't replicate it with the potty. Some are just taking toilet training one step at a time.It's important not to force your son to stop using his diaper. If you do, he may start holding stool in, which can eventually cause constipation and discomfort. And that will make him really not want to go. To help him:

1. Give lots of praise. Even if he tries for just a few seconds on the potty before you put him in a diaper, reward him with an extra story before bed or some special time together (I prefer these types of treats over toys or money).

2. Encourage him to practice a little every day. The best time is right after a meal, when he's most likely to need to go.

3. If he sits on the toilet, make sure he has a little bench or something else to rest his feet on. It's hard to push if your legs are dangling in the air.

Your support and patience are the best motivators for your child to become diaper-free.

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