Diapers, Toilet Training, & Parental StressMarch 31, 2021
According to a 2013 study published in Pediatrics, almost 30% of mothers report diaper need, and this contributes to parental stress, a risk factor for negative health outcomes. As a provider, there are several ways you can help to address this stress. You can connect families to resources, like diaper banks. Helping families toilet train their child may also alleviate this stress. Toilet training has its own stressors, so knowing that you are there to support them through this milestone can provide the reassurance that families need. Keep reading for tips you can offer to families around toilet training:
1) Discuss signs of readiness – You can talk to families about some signs that their child may be ready to begin toilet training. Some of the signs include knowing when they need to go, interest in the potty, knowing the difference between being wet or dry, being able to follow simple instructions, pooping every day around the same time, and knowing body parts.
2) Let parents know that accidents will happen – Let caregivers know they should just clean them up and not punish the child or yell at them for it. If they feel sad, embarrassed, or angry about the way others react to accidents, it will make toilet training much harder.
3) Encourage parents to avoid power struggles – Suggest to caregivers that if it feels like the child really doesn’t want to use the toilet to try taking a break to avoid fighting. They can try again in a few weeks when they seem ready.
The Parenting Center recently began an initiative to give out diapers to the families we serve in our clinic with tips on how to promote a strong parent-child relationship. You can let families know that diaper changes are a great time to talk to their baby. By narrating the diaper change step by step, they are promoting their child’s language development! Click here to help us address the diaper need in our community.