I confessed awhile back how I dreaded the impending days of potty training. Over the last few weeks my daughter has been fighting putting on diapers and requesting big girl panties. Well last Monday her petitions were stronger than ever she and decided she was done with diapers. What’s a mom to do, but to throw always all the diapers follow her lead and begin the toilet learning/potty training process. Through my years of babysitting, teaching preschool, and being a nanny, I’ve really come to believe that toilet learning is the better, more accurate term for this process.
If your toddler is anything like my daughter, they are independent and determined to do things their way and in their time. As much as we may want them to do things the way that we would like and/or think they should, there will be resisting and screaming until they do it their way. It’s also not uncommon for these little
monsters people to do it just as we wanted, but they had to decide it was the right course of action. Repeatedly I’ve seen this play out with every child when it comes to using the potty. As much as we may want them to do be done with diapers, they’re not done until they decide they’re good and ready. This level of determination and independent thought doesn’t seem all that different from us as adults, but for some reason it’s more maddening with a little person.
I’m not one to be told to do things when I don’t want to, and the apple doesn’t far fall from the tree with my daughter. For the last few months my daughter has expressed an interest in using the potty and wearing big girl panties. I’ve really tried not to force the issue, but provide her the opportunity to try. Yes these opportunities have resulted in wet floors and mommy getting peed on (perhaps all over your neck while they ride on your shoulders), but we had some successful attempts too. Occasionally my daughter has spent most of the day out of diapers, but inevitably she asks for her diapers back on. This last week has been much different than the past.
VHP decided with the first diaper change of the day that she was done with diapers and has not allowed me to put them back on her since outside of times when she will be sleeping. We are still using diapers at nap time and bedtime, because I’m not a complete glutton for punishment (remarkably there hasn’t been much fighting about this). There have been accidents, there have been more than a few of messes to clean up, and we have questioned if she is ready. However, we have now survived 7 days in panties, the accidents are happening less often, and they are happening at fairly predictable times (i.e. usually when she is too engrossed in her current activity).
So how have we been going about it?
- We start the day out with a quick attempt to use the potty. If it’s not a successful trip (aka nothing happens), we try again after a half hour because we know she’ll need to go after waking up.
- We have been using Gerber training underpants because they are more absorbent than the cute Frozen panties. If we’re leaving the house we make sure to use a Bummis pull on cover over the training underpants.
- We make sure to keep at least 2-3 extra pairs of pants and underpants with us wherever we go in a ziploc bag or wet bag (to store the soiled clothes).
- At least once an hour we ask if our daughter needs to use the potty. If VHP hasn’t asked to go within 60-90 minutes of her last successful trip we take her to the potty to try.
- No matter what, we never pressured our daughter to go and wouldn’t push the issue if she refused. Too much pressure leads to outright refusal, and then potentially to full on toddler determination not to use the potty. We do ask a couple times in a row if she seems distracted/unsure/is blatantly ignoring us, which is typically met with palpable annoyance…and then a trip to the potty which is usually successful (uh, told you so kid).
I know that some folks get really nervous about leaving their house with a potty training child, but so far it’s not been the end of the world for us. On Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday we were lucky to have her at home all day due to a snow day and then being with her grandmas. Wednesday and Friday were preschool days, and I think seeing classmates using the potty were a good source of encouragement (nothing like a little peer pressure). Our first trip out Tuesday evening was to church and a casual dinner with friends. There was only one accident at church, which wasn’t a mess with the Bummis cover being used. Besides that accident, we averaged two during the day and one in the evening. The recurring timing for one daytime and evening accident was meal time, because little miss couldn’t be torn away from a good meal. Sunday was an even better day as we managed to keep the day down to one accident! Here’s hoping we’re on the right track!
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