Yes, you read that correctly. I often encourage clients to incorporate baking muffins with their little one into their potty training plan as they begin the potty training process. How are these two things related? Let me explain.
Potty training is an important milestone in family life. It should be a time of celebration and even liberation for both child and parents. Spending that together- time, baking muffins, sends the message to the child that s/he is important and fun to do things with. It boosts confidence, increases feelings of competence and helps further cement the important closeness between parent and child. A child that feels secure is not quite as likely to be defiant. (Ok, I know many are two years old when they are ready for potty training, so take that one in context.) There is also another very important reason for baking muffins on day one.
Make those muffins full of bran. Children are more likely to eat something if they were involved in the preparation. Fiber is essential in everyone’s diet and is especially important in the early days and weeks of toilet training. As you support your little one in learning to control his/her urine and feces, you will want to make sure that when s/he does go, it is as comfortable as possible. While often the peeing is mastered before the pooping, the bran will keep the poop soft and frequent.
Not always but sometimes, as a child learns to control bladder and bowel, he or she will begin to hold stool inside. Most often, this resolves itself with repeated bathroom success. However, it can be that as the stool sits in the colon, it dries out and becomes hard. If it is difficult to pass, the child will avoid going as long as possible. In rare cases it may become chronic and the colon stretches and looses elasticity. Many cases of encopresis, sometimes called fecal incontinence or poop accidents, begin during or shortly after potty training. By encouraging lots of fiber, water and fresh fruits and vegetables before, during and after potty training, you’ll help your little one avoid constipation and, provided s/he is ready to toilet independently, shorten the duration of the whole process!
I’ve coached many families as they navigated through the potty training journey. Let me encourage you to make a plan, then relax and enjoy this time as you partner with your little one and celebrate all of the mini successes as he or she learns this new skill and grows in independence. Your baby still needs you, mama, and always will!