Every mother can tell the endless tale of how much it costs to buy diapers. The amount spent on this little but essential piece runs into thousands of Naira. It goes without saying that this creates some form of financial strain where the budget is concerned. The convenience of depending on diapers might be too important to ignore but a little cash back won’t really hurt. Here are a few ways to save that diaper money and teach your little one to embrace the potty.
Make Up Your Mind
The travails of potty training might be challenging due to the convenience and dependence you get from using diapers. But if you really think about it, the 5-6k spent on diapers can be converted to fruit money for the family. Once you think about good this can do to your pocket, the determination to make it happen will rise up in you. There will be hits and misses but the fact that the benefits outweigh all the odds will help you manage your expectations.
Get a Colourful Potty
A perfect potty will be one with a cartoon character, many colours and a support for the back. Children are fascinated by colours and patterns. This is no different as it is important to get a potty that will get your little one’s attention. If he/she is a fan of a particular cartoon character like Mickey or Winnie da pooh, you can buy a potty with that design. Also, comfort must be considered. This means that the potty should have a support for your little one’s back.
Add Fun to the Mix
Children love to laugh and play. Their innocence also means that they can get bored if they are not enjoying the experience. This is why children learn faster when they are taught with songs. Songs have a rhythm that makes it easy to remember, making kids sing aloud on their own. Therefore, making up a song for potty time will not only make them squeal with joy, it will also make them look forward to potty time while helping them condition their minds to hum the seemingly interesting song.
Work With a Structure
Children are like blank slates, they learn due to continuous exposure and repetition. The blend of these two factors creates a structure. Hence, to get the best of this adventure, you must help the baby adapt by working with a time plan e.g. taking him to the potty every 2-3 hours. After a while, the child will go to the potty on his own within the time frame based on the structure you have created.
Reduce Diaper Usage
Diapers give your little one a feeling of security and comfort. This simply means they are free to urinate (pee) or do number 2 (poop) in the diaper knowing that the adults will change the soiled one and replace it with a fresh one. However, when the time for potty training comes, you should limit the use of diapers to only outings and replace same with baby pants or pull-ups. This will not only help them to let go of the security they enjoy, it will also help them to understand the need to follow your lead to use the potty. More importantly, it will help your little one to train themselves to hold back until they get to the potty. Eventually they will appreciate the fact that they don’t have to wear wet diapers and embrace the “use as you go” approach.
Wake Your Baby at Night
It is one thing to train your baby when he or she is awake, it is another thing to help the baby understand that this training applies whether it is day or night-time. It might not be convenient for you to wake up at intervals to put your little one on the potty so you can set an alarm on your phone for potty breaks once every four hours. This will help activate your internal clock while helping your baby build a structure for waking at night even before you get up to help.
Get a Rubber Underlay
After a period of training, you will gain enough confidence to allow your child sleep without wearing a diaper. This is good progress however here is a word of caution; In order to enjoy this small victory, it is necessary to get a rubber underlay for those nights of misses. The rubber underlay is soft enough to allow your baby sleep comfortably yet strong enough to prevent the urine from wetting the bed. All you have to do is place the underlay on the bed and spread the bed sheet over it. This underlay can be gotten from baby shops and it is not expensive.
The ideal age for potty training is about 1-1.2 year. By this time, your baby is already smart and is able to walk and sit on his own. However, you can start before or after this age based on how much you know your child. You can also start wearing pants for your child based on his\her number of pee-breaks. A pee-break is that period when your child wears a diaper but does not wet it before you change it. This will give you a rough idea of the intervals and frequency with which the child will pee before getting to the potty.
This is only a guide and changes should be made based on discretion. If you try to potty train your child and there is a resistance, you can take a break for a period and go back to the plan, making changes where necessary to promote quick adaptation without tears. Now that you have the potty-training formula, go on and save that diaper money.