Potty Training – Take 3

Ironic that the day I decide to write about our potty training experience, I see a number of posts about potty training pop up in my blog reader.

Ava has shown interest in using the toilet for sometime now, it started probably at around 18 months and her self awareness has grown and grown and she’s been able to tell me for a number of months when she wants to/or is making a wee or poo.

We decided to follow the method her school uses for potty training for a few reasons but mainly because Teacher Candice has much experience in early childhood development and education and also has many years working as an au pair so I trust her experience and her judgement completely.

The Do’s included

  • taking Ava to the toilet at regular intervals
  • lots of praise or reward if she got it right

The Don’ts included

  •  no pull up nappies as they feel the same as a normal nappy and will not discourage messing oneself
  • no getting angry or upset if she has an accident

Simple right?

Well not really. We were also warned that if a child is not ready for potty training then trying to force them into it can create a negative feelings towards the use of the toilet and in the long run can be detrimental to the process. Apparently, potty training a child who is ready – physically, emotionally and mentally, should be a quick process taking only a couple of days and not weeks or months.

So we tried potty training round one in December last year. Ava was super excited to wear her big girl broeks and to sit on the toilet but nothing ever happened. She was happy to sit there for hours on end (with me sitting on the floor almost dying from boredom while waiting for the wee or poo she was always convinced she’d made). But nothing ever came. And we’d no sooner be off the toilet than she’d have an accident and be desperately upset and embarrassed for having messed herself.  After two days of more accidents than successes, we decided to stop as she was clearly not ready.

We kept allowing her to sit on the toilet whenever she asked but never pushed the issue and in February we decided to give it another bash, with the same results, only this time, after a day of more accidents than successes, she became resistant to sitting on the toilet and was devastatingly upset each time we had an accident.

I started to worry a little but I needn’t have. After a chat with Teacher Candice who reassured me that Ava was almost 6 months to a year younger than almost everyone else in her class (the downside of a December birthday) and that most of the children were only potty training successfully from 2.5 years old, we decided to leave it and try again after winter.

She knew all the signals, she knew when she wanted to use the toilet but didn’t have the physiological knowledge of how to relax and urinate once she was on the toilet.

So we waited. But in true Ava style, my determined little girl took matters into her own hands!

About two weeks ago, she started demanding to sit on the toilet at school when everyone else was using the toilet. So her nappy would come off, which was remaining dry, and she’d use the toilet when all of her friends were going. This has been going on for almost 3 weeks. So after a nice chat with Teacher Candice, we decided to send Ava to school in her big girl broeks yesterday.

Potty Training  – take 3 has so far been a huge success!

I’m so proud of my monkey. She made it through the entire day yesterday without a single accident and she even attempted to make a poo on the toilet last night! She has again today gone to school in her big girl broeks and I’m hoping today will be as successful.

I definitely feel that this time she is ready.  She is physiologically understanding the process and what she needs to do, wants to use the toilet and is even taking down and pulling up her own pants and taking herself off to the toilet when necessary.

This morning she wanted her night time nappy removed as quickly as possible and ran to her cupboard to find a pair of big girl broeks because she didn’t want to wear a nappy because, in her words:

“Want to wear big girl underpants, not nappies because my friends will laugh at me!”



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  • Reply Joyce

    This is soooo sweet. Well done Ava!

    June 12, 2012 at 10:29 am
  • Reply Candice.

    And so far, as at 10.43 am, all going well again today with potty training….I am at home (meant to be studying!!) and just followed up with Teacher Shan. Well done madam Ava-Grace.

    June 12, 2012 at 10:43 am
  • Reply Sue Stuart

    We’re also potty training, and have also had ups and downs. At first Katy would tell me if she wanted to go to the toilet, now she doesn’t and if I don’t take her at regular intervals she’ll have a little accident, then tell me, and then we’ll finish on the toilet! As long as I take her regularly, she’s ok. One big thing that she won’t do though, is poo in the toilet! She’ll either ask for a nappy, do it in her naptime nappy after she’s woken up, or on one or two horrible occassions do it in her pants! Not sure what to do about this, but it seems on google that it is quite common and she’ll grow out of it.

    June 12, 2012 at 11:00 am
    • Reply Sharon

      Sue, Teacher Candice has informed me that making a poo on the toilet does take longer because its a control issue more than anything else so we can all expect accidents.
      Ava told me last night she wanted to make a poo and she kept sitting on the toilet but not making a poo. I was worried she would poo in the bath but instead she waited till she got into bed in her nappy and then made a poo.
      That will come right with time!

      June 12, 2012 at 11:04 am
      • Reply Sue Stuart

        Thanks for the info Sharon!

        June 12, 2012 at 4:50 pm
  • Reply Laura

    YAY Ava 🙂

    That is super awesome!!!

    June 12, 2012 at 11:52 am
  • Reply St. E

    Ava is doing wonderful. Go Ava!

    June 12, 2012 at 12:43 pm
  • Reply St. E

    I wish I could say more….Potty training would be on my hands next year probably….

    June 12, 2012 at 12:44 pm
  • Reply Daryl Faure

    All the best Sharon, but sounds like she is more than ready! The pooing definitely takes a bit longer to grasp, but once she is used to it, it is plain sailing. Initially I used to give Dylan a chocolate every time he made a poo on the toilet, as he was quite reluctant at first. This worked a treat.

    June 12, 2012 at 2:31 pm
  • Reply Trish

    Yay well done Ava! Very impressed! My boys potty trained pretty quickly in a week with no drama but then I think boys are much easier as they just wee anytime anywhere from very young (especially if they have a target like a leaf, stone or heaven help me each other urgh) and now the problem is to get them to stop competitively weeing everywhere (the garden, the potplants, the verandah, the driveway, the bathroom floor……. sigh)

    June 12, 2012 at 7:31 pm
  • Reply TJ

    That is fantastic. Sounds like she’s definitely more ready now – I hope it continues. It’s strange how they grasp a concept of embarrassment so early on. Here’s to more big girl broeks.

    I have also tried with Xavier on 2 occassions – but we will now wait till September, OT said she will give us the steps we need for him.

    June 13, 2012 at 8:46 am
  • Reply Sian

    Well done Ava. You are entering a new era of pretty panties.

    June 13, 2012 at 11:27 am
  • Reply Robyn

    Well done! Hannah has been getting on the loo herself for some time now, more because she sees her brother doing it, but has only successfully wee’d twice! Hoping that she’ll soon go with “purpose” lol!

    June 13, 2012 at 12:18 pm
  • Reply cat@jugglingact

    Well done to her (and you) and Teached Candice is a wise girl – pull up nappies was one of the mistakes we made with L because he took so long. But with him it was jsut a question of not wanting to be ready, and the SID issues – so yes, my one child only potty trained at almost 4. I will alwyas be known in the blog world as the mom who had to take her child for play theraphy to poo in the toilet. My other two – girlchild at about 2 when she herself decided it was time and C at about 2 and a half.

    June 13, 2012 at 1:01 pm
  • Reply Lisa-Marie

    WHOOHOOOO!! Go Ava-Grace!! Well DONE!!!
    As much as I am hanging on to every bit of Isabella’s baby-ness, I’m REALLY looking forward to this phase!!!

    June 13, 2012 at 1:45 pm
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