This story is sponsored by Potty Duck
There are two things that keep me from having more children: sleepless nights and potty training. After training four children, it’s a part of motherhood I would not like to repeat. As with all things parenting, the tools and aides that are available to parents now are interesting and vast. Potty Duck is one of those new tools in the parenting arsenal that would have made potty training a little more fun in our house. Invented by a local Lake County doctor, Potty Duck is a fun toy that teaches the concepts of potty training to young children. The toy demystifies the potty for children and will ease the transition out of diapers.
I asked Dr. Mann some questions about how the Potty Duck can help with potty training. First, why should a parent consider using a toy to potty train?
Potty training toys have been around for over 40 years. Using a toy to potty train is based on scientific studies showing children learn best through play, imitation, repetition, and using multiple senses. Studies also show the importance of language development in learning. Potty Duck was built around these fundamental ideals of learning through play. It is the perfect toy for potty training as parents can teach the words- pee, flush, go potty, while children love to play with the toy again and again. Many potty training and child development experts recommend the use of toys for potty training including Dr. Spock’s Baby and Child Care, What to Expect the Second Year (Murkoff), and Telephone Triage for Pediatric Practice by Dr. Barton Schmitt.
We’ve all heard to hold off on potty training until your child is “ready” but I can’t be the only parent who wonders what that actually means? I’ve had one child who just started and practically trained themselves and another who would probably still be wearing diapers if they had a choice! Dr. Mann understands and points out that while every child is “ready” at different times, using a toy, such as Potty Duck, to prepare your child for the concept of potty training can start as early as 15 months.
Readiness training increases your chance for success. Just like your child knows what a spoon is for long before he masters using one, a child should be taught words and concepts of the potty before they are ready. Readiness training can easily happen every day as part of your normal routines.
Potty Duck can also help with children who are fearful of the toilet or who are engaging in a power struggle over training. Using the toy to allow the child to play and keep training on the mind while perhaps taking a break from the actual process can be beneficial. Potty Duck can also be helpful for children with special needs to demonstrate the process and give visual clues to a non-verbal child.
Dr. Mann stresses that potty readiness doesn’t just happen, that parents need to see a child’s curiosity about the toilet and start working on preparing the concepts of the potty long before they are ready to begin training. But what does this mean in a practical sense? It means that you are teaching the concepts of potty training long before you start, which will ultimately lead to success down the line. Starting at as young as 15 months, use the Potty Duck in the bath tub while playing and introduce and use the vocabulary (pee, poop, potty, clean, messy, go pee). It doesn’t need to be a formal sit down learning time everyday, but should rather be built into your everyday routines. Think about how you prepare a child for starting preschool, you wouldn’t wake up on the first day, give them a back pack, and drop them off. We prepare them in advance letting them pick out and play with their backpack, going through the school routine, and discussing what to expect, it’s the same idea with potty training. Dr. Mann shared even more of her potty training tips at Little Lake County.
But… it’s a squirt toy? I know, mold, mildew, other unidentifiable gross stuff. We all have those baskets of toys in our tub where one day they are great and the next it’s like an apocalypse of zombie ducks. Alli tried out the Potty Duck (you can read her full review on Little Lake County) and didn’t notice any problems if she kept up with regular cleaning and emptying the duck fully. Dr. Mann says:
Mold is a natural phenomenon all around us in the environment. Anything exposed to water and humidity has the potential to grow mold and that includes your bath toys, your bath mat, your child’s humidifier in their room. Mold is found in the natural environment as well in fall leaves and grasses. The key is to keep the mold to a minimum. I’m a believer in the farm theory so small amounts of mold are not a problem for children unless they have a mold allergy or asthma.
To keep the duck mold free, we recommend rinsing the inside of the duck once a week with household vinegar. Vinegar is a mild acid and will kill off any germs. No need to rinse after the vinegar. A little vinegar in the tub is harmless.
We routinely use vinegar in our cleaning and it’s like a magic mildew remover, it just floats right off and goes down the drain.
If you are starting to think that it’s time to begin your potty training journey, we recommend you pick up a Potty Duck and support a local entrepreneur while making the task less difficult.
Disclosure Potty Duck is a paid advertising partner with Little McHenry County. All thoughts and opinions are the writers own.