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Moms Council: Potty Training

Local moms share tips, mistakes involved in potty training.

Moms Talk is part of a North Andover Patch initiative to reach out to moms and families.

North Andover Patch invites you and your circle of friends to help build a community of support for mothers and their families right here in North Andover.

Each week in Moms Talk, our Moms Council of experts and smart moms take your questions, give advice and share solutions. And this is conversational, so you are encouraged to join in the discussion.

This week's question: The topic is potty training. What are your tips for potty training? What worked for you? What didn't?

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Michele Gorham: Okay, best story ever. When my youngest was about 6 months, my mom came over and started telling me a story about this woman who had a baby about the same age. It's been a few years and I don't remember the exact details, but the jyst of it is, the woman would sit her kid next to the bathroom (and some times right on the potty) the whole day. Why would she do this you ask? To say her kid was potty trained of course! Now, I don't normally judge, but come on!

The funny thing is, I don't really remember much about potty training either of my kids.  What I do remember is that they both were potty trained, then had lapses where they wanted nothing to do with the potty for six or so months, then hopped right back up there like it was nothing.

I did always keep coloring books and picture books in a basket so they could hang out (no pun intended). We also traveled with these great portable seats that folded up to a quarter of the size (great for cleanliness). I'm pretty sure they still sell them at Target and from what I can remember are really inexpensive at about $10 to $15 apiece.

We do have a family friend, and don't ask how I remember this, whose mother potty trained them by keeping a big fish bowl of small prizes in the bathroom. Every time one of them used the potty they got a prize.  Apparently it worked really well.

My biggest suggestion would be don't push to hard (again no pun intended... haha). Sitting on a big, cold toilet with a gaping hole in the middle can be scary and having an equally large adult, whether they're a parent or not, can make any anxiety they have even worse.

If you're getting to the point where you child is really too old to be in diapers and are genuinely concerned, talk to your pediatrician. They'll be able to give you some really great suggestions you may have never considered.

OUR MOMS COUNCIL

Wendy Bulawa Agudelo -- Wendy is the mother to three young children (5 and under) — including a set of twin boys. In her spare time, she is an avid features writer covering a broad array of parenting topics from special needs to travel with infants. During the day, she earns her stripes as an entrepreneur, operating both a public relations consultancy as well as a targeted theme gift basket business, Period Packs, which celebrates a young girl's foray into womanhood.

Michele Gorham -- Michele is the wife of a Methuen firefighter and mother of two little girls. As the owner of Cookie Central, she is an avid supporter of Share Our Strength and a community leader for MerchantCircle.

Jacquie Raposo -- Jacquie is a stay-at-home mom with three kids, a 7-year-old who attends the and 3-year-old twins. She is a former high school teacher and SAT prep instructor for a testing preparation company.

Diane Kiladis -- Diane is a local mom of two kids and runs the newspaper at Franklin Elementary School, the Franklin Flyer.

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