The Secrets to Successful Potty Training

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Little Jeremy stood before the potty, like a king ready to approach the throne. This was his fifth time trying to pee like a big boy. After three minutes while his mom coached him, he still couldn’t go. As soon as his mother pulled his pants up, he urinated.

Potty training your toddler can be frustrating for you and your child. When’s the right age to train toddlers?  How do you get them ready for this big transition in their lives?   How long is it going to take to potty train your little one? What are the secrets to successful potty training?

How Will You Know When It’s Time to Start Potty Training Your Toddler?

You and your child have to be ready for potty training. You have to have the time to dedicate to this activity and encourage your child on a daily basis. Your child also has to show signs of readiness.

Signs Your Child Is Ready for Successful Potty Training:

Your toddler tells you when his diaper is wet or dirty. He’s uncomfortable in a messy diaper.

Your child shows interest in the potty and may even tell you he wants to go on it.

Your little one is able to understand and follow instructions.

Your child remains dry for two hours or more during the day.

Your toddler wakes from a nap in a dry diaper.

Your child is able to pull his pants down and up again.

What You Can Do to Acclimate Your Child to Using the Potty?

  1. Familiarize your child with the potty by placing one in his play areas. Your child will probably see this as another toy, but let him explore it.
  2. Let your child know that this is his chair and encourage him to sit on it fully clothed. Do not force him to stay on it.
  3. Once your child is familiar with his potty, attempt to have him sit on the toilet without his diaper and pants.
  4. After he’s mastered this, show him the purpose of the potty. Place stool from his dirty diaper into the toilet while he is observing. Let him flush the toilet and watch everything disappear.

How to Train Your Child to Use the Potty

When your child is comfortable sitting on the potty and flushing the toilet, put your child on the potty whenever he shows signs of having to go to the bathroom. Your child’s facial expressions may change or he may suddenly stop what he is doing.

Keep in mind that most children go to the bathroom one hour after having a large drink. Bowel movements occur once a day usually about one hour after eating.

“Getting my son to learn the standing-up thing was hard, so we turned it into a game. I put five Cheerios in the potty and told him to aim at them when he peed. Every time he did it right, he got to pick out a prize from a bag of goodies I picked up at the dollar store.” — Erika Cosentino; Lawrenceville, New Jersey  

Although you are putting your child on the potty when it appears he has to go, start putting him on the potty regularly, every one- and-a-half or two hours. Stay with him and talk to him or read him a story to relax him. Just as it’s important to praise your child when he goes, don’t belittle him when he doesn’t.

When your child has mastered the potty, he can graduate to an over-the-toilet seat and a step stool.

Although every child is different, most toddlers may take three to six months to be trained to use the toilet during the daytime. Nighttime may take longer because their bladder control diminishes. If after a few months, your child is not progressing, consult your family doctor. Many times when children experience difficulty with potty training, they are simply not ready for the transition.


The secrets to successful potty training your child are knowing when your child is ready, acclimating your child to the potty, recognizing when he has to go, establishing regular potty-sitting intervals, and praising your child every time he accomplishes the task.

Chappell Schools of Jacksonville, Florida has been providing child care and preschool learning programs for 50+ years. Our educational programs address the TOTAL child – cognitively, emotionally, physically, and socially. We pride ourselves on being voted one of the “Top 50 For-Profit Child Care Organizations in North America.”  Visit one of our eight centers to see how we make learning fun by contacting us at 904.739.1279.  To get  more child care tips, please “Like” our Facebook page.






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How to Soothe Your Baby’s Teething Pains

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soothe-your-baby's-teething-painsHas your baby been drooling, chewing on solid objects, and acting very irritable?  He’s probably started teething.  According to the Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (APD), babies can start teething as early as three months old, although most begin at six months old.

As the teething process progresses, you will notice two bottom center teeth appear first followed by the two top center teeth. Believe it or not, by the age of three, your child will have a full set of 20 baby teeth. These teeth are important because they serve as placeholders for your child’s permanent teeth. In addition, they help your child chew food and speak clearly.

Listening to your child crying while getting his baby teeth is painful. You feel helpless. Should you put whiskey on his gums like your mother did to you? For the safety of your baby, don’t do this.  Follow these tips to soothe your baby’s teething pains, instead.

Best Ways to Soothe Your Baby’s Teething Pains

  • Use a soft moistened washcloth or your clean finger to gently rub your baby’s gums at least twice a day preferably after feedings and before bedtime. This will remove any bacteria that might cling to his gums.
  • Give your child something cold to chew on such as a chilled teething ring, cold washcloth, or spoon. Don’t ever give him something frozen to chew on because extreme cold can hurt rather than soothe your baby’s gums.  A cold, peeled carrot, celery stalk, plum, or mini bagel will also provide relief from the teething pain.
  • Wipe any drool from your baby’s face so a rash doesn’t develop. You may want to apply a water-based cream or lotion, also.
  • Some children go through worse teething episodes than others. If your baby is very irritable, talk to your pediatrician to see what over- the-counter pain killer you can administer to him. Never rub a topical pain reliever on your child’s gums because his saliva will wash it away and it may be harmful to him.
  • If your baby is using a pacifier, don’t take it away during his teething period. You may be sorry if you do!

Don’t you wish there were a tooth fairy to come and ease your little-one’s teething pains? Unfortunately, she only comes around when the baby teeth fall out. In the meantime, just follow our tips to soothe your baby’s teething pains and, hopefully, you will both get a good night’s sleep.


Chappell Schools of Jacksonville, Florida has been providing child care and preschool learning programs for 50+ years. Our educational programs address the TOTAL child – cognitively, emotionally, physically, and socially. We pride ourselves on being voted one of the “Top 50 For-Profit Child Care Organizations in North America.”  Visit one of our eight centers to see how we make learning fun by contacting us at 904.739.1279.  To get  more child care tips, please “Like” our Facebook page.

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Promoting Consistent Sleep Habits for Your Baby

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promoting-consistent-sleep-habits-for-your-babyIt’s 6 am and you feel exhausted. You were up all night for the past week with your two-month-old baby. How will you get everything you planned to do today completed? What’s a sleepy parent to do? Here are a few ideas to help you and your baby sleep through the night.

Suggestions for Promoting Consistent Sleep Habits for Your Baby

Your baby can develop good night-time sleep habits from as early as six weeks. You’ll need to work on his daytime sleeping patterns as well. Sleep is good for your child’s growth and development. During your baby’s first six to eight weeks, he most likely won’t be able to stay up for more than two hours at a time. Waiting too much longer to put him to bed will cause him to be overtired and fussy.

Generally, babies aged four months old to one year take a nap in the morning and afternoon for a total of three or four hours during the day. One-year-old babies and toddlers usually transition to one nap in the afternoon. Make this nap an early afternoon one so your baby will be tired by bedtime.

Notice signs that indicate your baby is sleepy during his first three months:

 Yawning and stretching

Rubbing his eyes

Crying easily

Playing with his ears


Laying his head down

Becoming quiet and still

Not interested in his toys

Turning his face away from people

If you observe any of these signs during the day, put your baby into his crib for a nap.

Teach your baby the difference between day and night

Start promoting consistent sleeping habits for your baby when he’s as young as two weeks old by doing the following:

When your child first awakens, change him into the clothes he’ll be wearing that day.

Interact with him in play as much as you can.

Make sure your house is light and bright

Get him accustomed to background noises. The sound of the washer, television or vacuum cleaner will keep him awake.
When feeding him during the day, try to keep him awake talking or singing to him. If he does start to nod off, gently wake him.

Before putting him to sleep at night, stay as quiet as possible when you feed him.  Set a relaxing mood by keeping the lights in his room dim. Change him into his pajamas so he understands it’s the end of the day and time for sleep.

Let your baby fall asleep by himself

When your infant is between six and weight weeks old, start encouraging him to fall asleep on his own. Place him into his crib on his back while he is awake, but drowsy. Leave the room and see what happens. He may cry for a while and then fall soundly asleep. If you consistently follow this procedure, you ‘ll be setting his sleep schedule.

If he continues to cry, you’ll need to rock him for a while to settle him. Although some baby experts are against rocking infants to sleep, you’ll need to establish your own routine by rocking him the first few nights. Remember that you don’t want him to expect you to rock him every evening.

Following these suggestions for promoting consistent sleep habits for your baby are key to getting a good night’s rest for your baby and you. Do you have any tips that you used to develop consistent sleep habits?  Leave a comment and let us know.

Chappell Schools provides a superior curriculum that addresses the Total Child – cognitively, socially, emotionally, physically, and creatively. With eight campus centers throughout Jacksonville, Florida, and over 55 years of experience in childcare, Chappell Schools has the safest, most nurturing environment for your infant, toddler,or preschooler.  To visit one of our eight childcare centers and see how “We Make Learning Fun”, please contact us at 904-739-1279. Like our Facebook page for more informative childcare articles.

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Chappell has been providing high-quality preschool education to children for more than 57 years. Our history is rich with a curriculum that has grown with us through time. We remain focused on the TOTAL child. Our ultimate goal is to not only teach children to read and write, but to develop confident young people. Our intent is to help them know and respect the roles they have in this world as well as those of others.

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To support our partnership and share our success, we invite you to share your insights on parenting! What finally clicked for your two-year-old becoming potty-trained? Did you have a wobbler that was a biter and how did you handle that? How did you get your little one to fall in love with healthy snacks and exercise?

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