Really. We didn't make this up. Although we couldn't uncover exactly who is responsible, Potty Training Awareness Month is an official annual observance that appears to date back to at least the year 2000. And, yes, you can buy potty training greeting cards!
Wondering if your little one is ready to start potty training? All children are unique in this area, but here are some loose guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics:
- Physiology: Most children's digestive systems and bladders have matured to the point where they can delay a bowel movement or urination long enough to get to a potty by around 18 months of age.
- Cognitive readiness: Children usually don't associate the need to eliminate with potty use, remember to use it, and keep from being distracted long enough to complete the process until sometime after their second birthday.
- Motor skills: The child should be able to get to the bathroom, manage clothes and sit still on the potty.
- Emotional maturity: The child should show an interest in independence and self-mastery, as well as sufficient emotional maturity to relax control enough to avoid constipation.
- Social readiness: An awareness of others' toilet use and a desire to imitate that behavior is powerful motivation for toddlers and preschoolers.
- Communication: Your child should be able to understand your explanation of how to use the toilet and to verbally express any confusion or uneasiness he or she may feel.
It's not necessary to wait until your child can do all of these, but each step does increase your chances of success. There are loads of articles and books on the subject, and the staff at your local Baby Product Experts certified store can also give you sound advice and show you the latest products to help get the job done.
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New Federal Crib Guidelines Take Effect this Month
Beginning June 28, 2011, the new crib manufacturing standards are taking effect. After that date, all cribs manufactured and sold must comply with these new federal safety standards.
The new rules apply to all sizes of cribs. They prohibit the manufacture or sale of traditional drop-side rail cribs, require strengthened crib slats and mattress supports, improve the quality of hardware and require more rigorous testing.
These new regulations don't just prohibit the sale of non-compliant cribs by manufacturers and retail stores. They also prohibit their sale by consignment and resale shops, and by individuals selling second-hand cribs through other means like garage sales.
Take caution when using or accepting a hand-me-down or second-hand crib. It will likely not meet the new standards and could be on the CPSC recall list. Make sure that all the parts are meant for that particular crib, and there are no missing parts or homemade fixes. Second-hand cribs can also be risky due simply to wear and tear over time.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) offers a comprehensive Q&A page on their web site regarding the new standards. Here's the link.
If you are in the market for a new crib, this would be a good time to visit a Baby Product Experts certified retailer in your area. They tend to be more knowledgeable and carry the latest products.
Crib-related articles from the Baby Product Expert archives:
Visit the article archives at BabyProductExperts.com for more helpful information on choosing the right products for your baby and your lifestyle, latest safety information, and tips and guidelines on a variety of other topics for expectant and new parents.
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