The Importance of Nakedtime During Potty Training
Why going clothes-free can be a successful toileting tool
Nakedtime is one of our favorite methods to begin potty training. Basically, the idea is that you allow your child to simply be naked, but in fairly close proximity to a bathroom or potty chair, for periods of time during which (we hope) they will need to go.
To your child, it’s tons of fun, and perhaps something she/he hasn’t been able to do before. To you, it’s a fantastic teaching tool with the following benefits:
- Nakedtime is nonthreatening and passive; when you start, you don’t even have to mention that it has anything to do with going potty.
- It’s a natural introduction to toileting.
- With no clothes on, kids have, for the first time, a clear view of the physical mechanics of urination and defecation.
- You can provide immediate explanations of what’s happening, demystifying the process and breaking it down into simple, specific behaviors your child can learn one at a time.
- You, too, will have a clear view of your child’s body language, and can more closely read the signs of impending elimination.
- Without the barrier of a diaper between your child and the toilet, results can come quickly.
Nakedtime is a very useful and simple tool for parents to use to potty train. It is nonthreatening to the child, and involves no cajoling or power struggles. Because you are simply removing the barriers between your child and his or her physical elimination process, nakedtime brings out the instinctive and intuitive reactions we want our children to learn.
Nakedtime for toddlers or preschoolers demonstrates the cause and effect of the biology of the body—drinking and eating leads to digestion which triggers elimination in the form of pee and poop—and physically trains them to recognize the signs of having to go and eventually hold it until they can get to the potty.
Because they don’t have any clothes on, their attention will be focused on the mechanics of elimination and they will actually see and feel the results immediately. Getting the diaper out of the picture will help them make the connection between the urge to go, the actual act, and, at first, the cleanup. Training your child naked, as opposed to simply dressing her in clothes with underwear, also means the lesson doesn’t get entangled in clothes that are hard to pull down; you both can focus on the primary goal of getting the pee-pee into the potty.
Once your son or daughter is successful in that, you can move on to teaching everything else that goes along with it. Wet or dirty clothes are powerful motivators for your child to regularly go on the toilet, but they have to know how to do that first.
Excerpted from Stress-Free Potty Training: A Commonsense Guide to Finding the Right Approach for Your Child by Sara Au and Peter L. Stavinoha, Ph.D. Copyright © 2008 Sara Au and Peter L. Stavinoha, Ph.D. Published by AMACOM Books, a division of American Management Association, New York, NY. Used with permission. All rights reserved. www.amacombooks.org.
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