It has been just over a year since I wrote the blog on my daughter’s first potty achievement. I always assumed potty training was faster. I suppose it is all about the method you choose to use. When posting on our facebook page on this topic a lot of moms said it took a week or two for their child to be fully potty trained. It has taken us over a year and she is still on nappies at night.
I chose to let my daughter take the lead and move at her own pace instead of pressuring her. It has worked well for us so far and has been relatively painless. She will be 3 years old in 2 months and has “trained” herself almost on her own. We have had a few small setbacks along the way but nothing major.
The only thing I actively did for my daughter was in the beginning to invite her with me to the toilet and then I told her what I was doing and she was very interested. I bought her a potty and suggested she sit on it and “use it” while I was on the toilet. She found this very entertaining and sat on the potty fully clothed while I went to the toilet. Click here to read the beginning of this journey.
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Over the last year she has decided when she wants to wear panties and when she wants to wear a nappy. Over time she progressed to wearing panties at home and then I would only put a nappy on her for trips out and for sleeping. The day care was really helpful and worked with me on the potty training which really helped a lot.
One of the few setbacks we had was one occasion at home which I found very upsetting. She had an accident on the floor and a family member told her she was naughty and if she does it again she must go to the naughty corner. I was NOT impressed. My daughter was obviously not very impressed either and refused to go to the toilet for about a month! When she did decide to try again it was slow going and she was not very interested for a long time. Based on this experience I would advise to always stick to the patient and caring method, even if the floor is covered in excrement! As irritated as I got at times I always put a smile on my face and said “Oopsie, we’ve had an accident. Let’s sit on the toilet and then clean up the mess”. It was most definitely not easy to keep this up at all times but it paid off.
I found the hardest part (besides staying patient) was to keep reminding her to go to the toilet. She would normally just go if she needed to. The tricky times was when she was playing and would get very focused on what she was doing. If I reminded her to go she would just say she didn’t need to and 2 minutes later have an accident! I learnt that certain things, like playing with the ipad, had to have a “toilet first” rule. At one time she got so engrossed with the ipad she had made a wee on the couch and was just sitting in it and playing on the ipad. When I told her she must go to the toilet because she has made a wee she said “No I didn’t wee”. Umm ok, you’re swimming in it! It was frustrating to make toilet trips the first and last (and middle) focus of everything we did.
Throughout the last year I have noticed that we made progress for a while, then seemed to not move forward, then moved backwards a little, then forwards then pause. It was not a steady progression from nappies to toilet.
The other setback we hit was that the day care told me she point blank refused to use their toilet, which I found very confusing. I tried to take her myself on a few occasions and she refused. The teacher suggested I bring her potty which I thought wouldn’t work because she only wanted the toilet at home at that stage. I brought the potty and she used it at day care and within a week she was using their toilet. I suppose she wanted something familiar and her own?
She was just moved to the bigger class at the beginning of August and only 2 weeks later did I realise that she wasn’t going through any nappies at school. My assumption was that she wasn’t having a nap. I spoke to the teacher and she looked at me surprised and told me he hasn’t been sleeping in a nappy for nap time. I was so surprised that I said “Ummm oh, she is coming home in the same pants?” The teacher told me that she had not been wearing for nap times for 2 weeks and that there was not one accident. Seems my daughter is surprising me constantly.
She has the odd accident (usually ipad related!) but on the whole she is managing just fine. Now we just have to decide when to take away the night time nappy!