CHICAGO, March 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- During a month-long online contest, families around the country shared potty training successes and stumbles for a chance to be crowned the Protect-A-Bed® Potty Pro, but only one entrant reigned supreme. A variety of comments and pictures were received but Heather Baker's experience as a potty trainer of five children placed her at the top of the pack.
"What worked for us was using cloth diapers from the beginning so that the children could communicate to us when they felt wet," Baker, of Durham, Conn., said. "They learned that wet equaled uncomfortable and all but one were trained before they were two and a half years old. From the cloth diapers we moved straight into cloth underpants, first using the thicker trainers, then on to regular underwear."
The competition was stiff as a multitude of parents and grandparents submitted entries full of potty training wisdom. The recurring themes that surfaced were readiness, routine and reinforcement.
Marcella Cook, mother of two, waited until her children were ready to potty train and says she believes in letting the child take the lead. "I let my son show me when he was ready," Cook said. "I would take him to the bathroom with me until he showed interest in going by himself. He was potty trained in two weeks!"
On a primary level, entrants identified that readiness is demonstrated through physical, behavioral and cognitive signs. If the child steadily walks or runs, demonstrates a desire for independence, and follows simple instructions, he or she might be ready to potty train. However, numerous parents believe that successful potty training relies heavily on parental guidance. One mother, Jill Kathan, recognized the importance of committing to the process and sticking to a routine with her young daughter.
"It took three full days of devotion," Kathan said. "I threw all her diapers away and we went out and bought big girl underwear. The first day she was stubborn but I was patient and persistent! We had slumber parties in the living room and she slept with pads and blankets underneath her. I made the experience fun and understood the commitment it took. She was two and a half years old and potty trained in three days."
Moms and dads also agreed that the parents' attitudes toward potty training partially determined whether or not the child would succeed. Children who begin potty training are bound to have accidents, so the key is to avoid getting angry or frustrated. Instead, Andrea Sommers, mother of two, suggested offering rewards to children for making successful trips to the potty.
"Praise them continuously," Sommers said. "They love it when mommy and daddy praise them! Giving them little rewards, like stickers or candy, every time they go on the potty works wonders."
Even if the three R's, readiness, routine, and reinforcement, are in place, it may take some time until the child is completely accident-free. Nighttime wetting is especially common amongst potty trainees. As a mother of two, Jennifer Coss-Carrillo has experienced the benefits of using a good mattress protector while potty training.
"Both of my children responded well to being given candy after using the potty but occasionally would still have accidents," Coss-Carrillo said. "I love Protect-A-Bed because they help protect our mattresses when the kids have their accidents. We even have one for our bed! They're great."
The Potty Pro winner, Heather Baker, has fine-tuned her method after potty training four boys and one girl and mentioned the value of mattress protection. She ensured that every bed in the house was protected in order to preserve the integrity of the mattresses.
"We do have some children that still wet at night," Baker said. "We make sure we have washable pads and mattress protectors on every bed."
Protect-A-Bed's full line of mattress and pillow protection products provide defense against wetness and help take the headache out of nighttime accidents. The Potty Training Protection Kit is specially designed to waterproof and keep mattresses free of stains. Unlike many mattress protection products, the system reduces the amount of clean up time and embarrassment associated with bedwetting.
"We work hard to offer products that create a healthy sleep zone for children and extend the life of their mattresses," said Protect-A-Bed CEO James Bell. "Our goal is to alleviate the worries and stresses associated with nighttime wetness so that parents can concentrate on helping to achieve those potty training milestones."
To learn more about Protect-A-Bed products, visit www.protectabed.com.
Tips for Potty Training:
- Make sure the child is ready to potty train – look for physical, behavioral, and cognitive signs of readiness.
- Prepare the home by making sure the bathroom is safe by moving all medicine and cleaning supplies out of the child's reach.
- Use mattress protectors to prevent a child's nighttime accident from ruining their mattress.
- Try reinforcing the child's successful trips to the potty with stickers, candy or small gifts.
- Do not expect perfection from the child and avoid getting angry or frustrated when accidents occur.
Protect-A-Bed offers consumers a complete line of protective bedding products because every mattress needs protection. Now selling in 30 countries for over 30 years, the company is a worldwide leader in mattress protection innovation. Protect-A-Bed products help create a dry, hygienic, bed bug free and anti-allergy sleep zone while protecting the mattress warranty. The company developed the proprietary Miracle Membrane® and patented BugLock® with SecureSeal® and three-sided zipper system. Protect-A-Bed products are listed as Class 1 Medical Devices with the Food and Drug Administration and have received the Good Housekeeping Seal. For more information, visit www.protectabed.com.