We spend time thinking and taking actions to make children independent. Some are just a big failure, and some take so long that eventually, it loses all the value before the child actually learns it.
I have a 3-year-old daughter and I feel on cloud nine when I say that at this point in time, she is growing up quite independently. Here’s where and what I did.
1-Sleep training- This indeed is the first step to make your child independent. Mother’s too becomes independent as they do come out of the vicious circle of feeding, comforting and co-sleeping and spend that time doing things other than just putting the baby to sleep. Read more about how I sleep trained my child in just one day at this link CIO Method
2-Potty training- This one calls for an early action. Start as early as possible. For me, I potty trained my child for daytime at the age of 5 months. This means using a baby potty seat for the toilet needs. No diapers during the daytime. This also means as soon as the baby is able to sit down, you can make the baby sit on the potty chair by observing the need to go. Slowly and gradually, the child will have an early bladder control and will get independent much sooner than you realize. Not using diapers during night time may take a while to adapt, but soon this will be easy as a pie too. I always used pampers diapers for her. Of course, there are expected toilet accidents but instead of shouting or being mad at the child, be patient. Bedwetting at night is very common too, so using a mattress protector under the bed sheets and avoiding too much liquid consumption before bedtime will be beneficial.
3-Dressing up – By the age 3, children can be taught to dress up and undress on their own by directing them in a step by step way. I tell my daughter to make a rocket with her hands and she has mastered the art of putting her hands successfully into the sleeves herself which is the tricky part. So, through play way instruction, dressing becomes fun learning.
4-Playing outdoors and making friends– A socially and physically active child is the one that will never bother the parents for help. Just a careful supervision, while they are out and about, is important. Stranger alert is to be taught well in advance. Encourage the child to talk to children of similar age and to share toys etc. is a good step in this regard.
5-Self-feeding- Children learn from observing. Allow them to eat independently during meal times in their own individual plates and spoons. Most of the food will end up on the floors and on the clothes, but that’s OK. Clean up later and let them enjoy their food just like grown-ups.
So, a socially and physically active kid who knows what to wear and how while they eat their own food and later use the toilet and manage to wash their hands themselves and after play can go to sleep themselves is what eventually every mother wants. Take this big leap and your small baby will have a bright, independent and confident future.
Deepa Jaisingh, an Indian Expat in Dubai, Blogger and content writer, loves to write, paint and travel. Life has become so adventurous with the little bundle of joy- a daughter.
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