The Potty Training Saga

The Elephant in the room, that I didn’t want to confront. When people inquired about getting my daughter potty trained, I took comfort and relief in laying down the facts, that she is not ready yet. She is too young, she is not showing signs, she does not have the core strength yet, blah, blah, blah..

Well, nothing lasts forever. The good and the bad times. However, this past week, I gathered all my ammunition (books, stickers, songs, potty charts, rewards) and military personnel (expert advisers) to commence my mission.

Who knew this would be my spiritual journey to patience and I would rejoice in seeing a child take a dump! Motherhood glories. I need a vacation after the amount of presence and patience, I have shown for this.

Therefore, my post for today is about how potty training worked for our family. Each child is different and the way they achieve results, will also be different. I mention all the resources and steps that were useful during this time. I am grateful to every friend and colleague of mine, who I pestered over the week to help me find the silver lining. Potty training has made me philosophical as well.

Most of all to my daughter. I was only a facilitator, she is the achiever! We are in a good place of 90% fully trained during morning times and since two days, she has been dry at night as well. We took her outdoors four times this week, and she only had two accidents. Yippee!

Resources and Links;

Books- On my Potty and Skip to the Loo

Books save the day!

Songs- It’s Potty Time and the Toilet Song

It’s Potty time

The Toilet song

Charts- Potty chart with Stickers and Happy Face

Tips:

  1. Prep Early– We got these potty books, when my daughter was 1 year old. She is 2 years and 5 months now. We read them at least once a week, so that she was familiar with the whole concept. On My Potty is a great book, because the language used is simple, with two to three sentences and the pictures in the book are simple, with less distraction. We even purchased a potty and tried to persuade her to sit, but she refused. We didn’t force her, but she started to take notice of what it was meant to do.
  2. The Obvious signs– My daughter used to hide behind my back/behind the door when she did her poo (they realize that it’s a private thing)/ she started to tell me when she wants to do a poo ( I want to poop!)
  3. Expert Advice– A Pilates instructor that I met, told me that, if your child can climb a single stair or step without any additional support of her hands or without holding onto the railings, then she has achieved enough core strength. This was interesting, because I came home and checked if my daughter could do it and she couldn’t. Now she can.
  4. Go shopping– This was the best thing we did. We got some cute and motivating under wears. We got Disney princesses under wears from H&M. The day before potty training, my daughter was super excited to start. She kept telling, “Tomorrow, no more diapers, only princess under wear!”.
  5. Patience- This would be an understatement. With all the accidents, false alarms, crying and screaming to poo, it is only natural to feel overwhelmed, exhausted and wanting to give up. It’s all about long term benefits for your child. I kept telling myself, with every hardship comes ease. Our efforts will come to fruition. Trust the process.

A walk through my experiences:

Day 1- We survived 5-6 accidents and 3 proper usage of the potty. I started the day, by reading the book, then gave her a lot of water. I decided to take her to the potty every 20 minutes. She did not pee after 20 minutes. However, by 35 minutes we had an accident and it occurred to me that, I need to wait for for 35 minutes before taking her next. Meantime, I kept reminding her “Pee goes in the potty”.

We went through more accidents and eventually reached a time limit of 45 minutes gap in between bathroom visits. Towards the end of the day, she started to feel and when I asked her, “Do you want to pee?”, She neither said a yes or no. But, I sensed and immediately took her. We had three successes that day. It was euphoric! Both of us were happy and cheering. We put stickers in her potty chart and a happy face.

However, Poo was a totally different story. My experts advised that, pee is easier to train than poop. So, eventually she pooped in the diapers because she refused to use the potty.

We use diapers at night time. Children take another three to six months to stay fully dry at night.

EXPERT ADVICE- If children refuse to use potty for poop, then let them use a diaper as usual and sit in the potty. However, a little sabotage. Cut a hole in the diaper.

Day 2- We survived 3 accidents and used the potty 5 times correctly. This time, we started the day the same way as earlier. However, we kept going by reminding her that ‘Pee goes in the potty’.

Day 3- We survived 2 accidents and used the potty 6 times correctly. And Yay!! We did Poo in the potty as well. I took her to the bathroom 15- 20 times, because she wanted to poo and then cries. Lots of patience, acknowledging her fear, comforting her, doing back rubs and follow through. I did not ignore any of her requests to use the potty even if it was false alarms.

This was a big deal and we had stickers, happy face, dark chocolates and special gifts.

Day 4- No accidents. 🙂

Day 5-A day outside to generalize her potty training. I took her to a nearby play area for an hour and half. I made sure she peed before she left home. I carried the potty with me. However, just before reaching the park, she had an accident. We again gave her reminders. No negative feedback.

Day 6 –Outing again. No accidents at home and outside. Happy and proud!

Day 7- Outing again. No accidents at home and outside.

Day 8-Outing again. We had one accident, just before sitting in the toilet seat. Reminders again.

So, that’s my journey. When you think, you have achieved it, you will encounter accidents in between. It will take weeks or months before they are fully trained. So, don’t fret and trust the process.

They are learning a new skill to listen to their bodies and as learning any new skill, it will take time, effort and most of all patience. We will all have different experiences with potty training. It’s about readiness of the child and family. We also decided that, if potty training did not improve in a week’s time, then we would let it be and reconsider after a while.

Hope my journey resonates to all the mothers out there. Feel free to share your tips in comments.

Until next time,

Thasbih

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