Q My 3½-year-old son is potty trained, but when he's at nursery he sometimes wets himself. How can I stop this?
A If he's been recently trained, there's every chance that when he's playing, he forgets he's not wearing a nappy. He may need gentle encouragement to go to the potty or toilet, especially if he's shy about saying he needs the toilet, so tell the nursery staff to prompt him. With a little persuasion, he'll soon overcome this hurdle.
Q My 2½-year-old daughter gets stressed when she has a little accident. I play it down, but it's really putting her off the potty. What can I do to keep her calm?
A You're right to ignore any mishaps - and make sure you change your daughter without making a fuss, so she doesn't have time to fret or feel disappointed. Also, whenever she produces something on the potty, give her lots of praise. It's very important to make her feel proud of every triumph because then she'll want to do it right every time.
Q My 3-year-old daughter won't poo in the potty - she'll only do it in her nappy. Please help!
A Find ways to encourage her to sit on the potty long enough to produce a poo. Try telling her a story or have fun blowing bubbles - this has the added advantage of using abdominal muscles, which help push the poo out. If all else fails, try sitting her on the potty or toilet with her nappy on, then make a hole in the back of the nappy, so the poo can drop through. It sounds daft, but it does work! Then, when she's actually done it, praise her to encourage a repeat performance.
Q I'm concerned my son will wet himself when we're in the car, so I discourage him from drinking too much beforehand and during the journey. But is that the right thing to do?
A Don't skimp on giving him liquids just because you're potty training - your son could become dehydrated, especially in the summer months. Your son should have at least six drinks, preferably water, throughout the day.
Q. My son is 4 and is still in nappies at night, even though he's been dry in the day for a while. How can I tackle the problem?
A It's quite normal for a 4 year old to wet the bed - accidents may occur for a number of years. Ask him if he'd like to come out of nappies at night. If he's interested, put him in pants, leave a night light on and put a potty beside the bed. You should invest in some bed protection to protect your mattress, too. Give plenty of praise, even if the dry nights are few. If your child's wet every night for three weeks, he may not be ready to become dry at night. Just say to him, We'll try again in a few months.'
With thanks to ERIC, a charity that offers advice to potty-training parents. For more information, call 0845 370 8008 or visit www.eric.org.uk
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