Sunday, 28 June 2009

Potty Training

Potty training seems like such a big thing when you first start. Just the anticipation of it was stressing me out and after the first week I was really wondering how anyone became toilet-trained! We started with tot in January when he wa just under 2 and a 1/2. I had originally thought we would wait until he was around 3 but he started telling us when he had done a poo and we just felt that he was probably ready. Well, we started off with pull-up nappies and I just kept putting him on the potty every hour. This did not go too well as he just thought the pull-up was a nappy so he would sit on the potty then as soon as the pull-up was back up he would have his wee/poo. So we decided to bite the bullet and had a few days at home running aound bare-bottomed! It was exhausting. I was cleaning up pools of wee and mounds of poo and none was making it to the potty.

Around this time baby who was only 4 months got pneumonia. He needed a lot of attention and so potty training for tot was put on hold and he went into pull-ups.

In March we started again and ditched the pull-ups and got proper boys cotton pants. We had a few days where the pants and trousers were having to be changed 4-5 times a day with maybe only one success in the potty. During this time I would put him in a pull-up or cotton training pants (like reusable nappies - they are padded cotton to help absorb small accidents) whenever we went out to save the stress! After a few weeks we began to have more successes so that there was more going in the potty than in the pants and when we went out we would just take the potty everywhere (even in the bottom of the push chair and would be just removed and put on a pavement if a wee was needed!). We would still use pull-ups for nap times and nappies for bedtime. The only problem was that he wasn't telling us when he needed to go so it was up to us to remember to put him on the potty every hour or so - if we didn't remember then he would have an accident. So he had started to hold onto it until we put him on - which was good that he was showing control, but not good that he wasn't getting on the potty himself. For weeks and weeks it went on like this and although the accidents were down to once or twice a day - this was all dependent on us remembering to put him on the potty. This was beggining to stress me out as I could not always remember or I would be busy doing something like feeding baby. I would keep on at tot asking him if he needed the potty and telling him to sit on it at home and asking him to tell me if he needed it when we were out. I started to worry if he would ever become independent and do it for himself. It wasn't until June time that he started going and sitting on the potty at home without me prompting him. Then when we went out he started to tell us that he needed a "wee wee". I would keep asking him every now and then but gradually he started doing it more and more for himself. Then we went on holiday second week of June and stopped taking the potty out with us. He then got used to using a proper toilet (we would just hold him over public toilets so that he wasn't sitting on dirty seats), then he started having a few wees standing up outside (i.e. in bushes when a toilet was not available) and so progressed to using a toliet in the standing up position (I just hold him up as he is too short for most toilets!).

So now, after around 4 months of potty training I finally feel we are virtually there! With number twos he will trot around and sometimes sit on potty for himself but sometimes still wait for me to put him on - and very occassionally will still have accidents. He no longer has a pull-up on for his naps and more often than not his nappies are dry in the morning and he sometimes wakes up saying he needs a wee in the night so I think that before long we will have a fully toilet-trained tot.

I am very proud of him as there were times in the first few weeks that hubbie questioned if he was ready and thought we should put him back in nappies for a bit longer - don't know if it was my determined/stubborn nature that refused to admit defeat or my faith in my clever boy but I wasn't going to give up and I'm glad we didn't because finally we have done it - great teamwork as Bob the Builder would say!!

I wonder how interesting this post actually is but I think when you are a parent in this position you are looking for as much help and advice as you can get. I also think that it will be a good record for me as I imagine you forget very quickly and I'll be having to do it all over again in a year or so with the baby! My sister-in-law is planning on using a 3-day training technique - which I have never heard of and think that quite frankly sounds ridiculous. To expect a tot to be potty trained after three days is way too ambitious: day three we were lucky if we got a wee or two in the potty! I think you are just setting yourself up for failure and adding more stress to your plate. You need to try and relax about it - having strict targets is not a good idea, I think as long as you are seeing progress from one week to the next then in time they will get to grips with it - just be prepared and organised: be patient and have the disinfectant at hand!

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