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
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!”