What age should potty training begin? What's the appropriate reaction when a child throws their broccoli? These are the kinds of issues parents of toddlers have to weigh, so experts with Children's Hospital and Medical Center are weighing in on the matters, providing guidance.
A series of three summer sessions of Parenting U begin Tuesday, July 10th. They'll be held at the Omaha Children's Museum from 11 a.m. to Noon for three consecutive Tuesdays. The classes are free, and free childcare is provided so parents can focus on learning.
The first session, entitled, "Mastering Potty Training," has captured Amy and Jon Walker's attention. Their son Logan is two years and four months old and learning how to go like a big boy. That wasn't the case a few months ago when they gave it their first go.
Now, they said, Logan seems eager to try. They began by using a timer set to go off every 30-minutes. When it beeped, Logan would give it a try. "Every time he goes he gets a sticker (for his potty chart) and then at the end of the day, he gets a prize." The prizes include small things like Hot Wheels cars, a powerful motivator for Logan.
After a few days, the timer went to an hour. So far, they said, so good. "Overnights the last two nights, a dry (overnight) diaper," his father said beaming.
And overnight is the only time Logan wears a diaper. They'll put him in pull-ups if they have to run errands outside of the house. Other than that, his parents believe in toddler underwear. "That way he can really feel when he's wet," his mother said.
They're hoping the progress continues, but they continue to seek input from friends and family who have been through it. Parents attending the Parenting U sessions also have the opportunity to hear from their peers, in addition to a physician whose got the added experience of being a mother.
"She'll talk about different approaches [and] some setbacks that can happen," said spokeswoman Cherie Lytle. "She'll talk about age. It's very individualized and parents know that and they hear that from so many people, but she'll be able to talk about why."
The common view of toilet training among pediatricians these days, Lytle said, is letting the child direct the way. They're usually ready to give up diapers and pull ups between the ages of two and four.
July 17th's topic will be avoiding food fights, and the following week will focus on everyday discipline.
Fore more information, visit www.ChildrensOmaha.org.