Sunday, 22 January 2012

Potty Training My Toddler!!

Last week Freddy made the decision that it was time to cast his nappies aside and take another step on his journey to becoming a big boy!  The timing wasn't great, with his daddy having had surgery the day before, leaving me a little preoccupied with nursing my poor husband in his time of need.  However, it may have been due to the fact that Nana babysat him while I was at hospital with Ian, that spurred Fred onto his decision.  I came home to find Fred walking with his legs akimbo and hoiking up his nappy through his trousers.  My investigation showed that poor old Nana had put his nappy on backwards.  The velcro straps were attached loosely behind his bum resulting in a saggy, misshapen mess between his legs!  We think perhaps this experience made Freddy decide that enough was enough and his adamance at going nappy-less next morning was a direct result of this!

I was not in any rush to begin potty training.  I was going to wait until Springtime when I could let him run around bare-arsed without catching a chill.  But Freddy really was insistent on going for it 100%, so we went along and followed his lead.  He is 2 years and 6 months old, with good language, so when he wants to go he says 'wee-wee's coming'.  This gives us enough time to whip out the Pourty which he dutifully sits on and generally performs.  We have a few false alarms and he sometimes tricks us, but mostly I have been really impressed with his understanding of the potty training game.  He has gone dry through the night on three consecutive times, but I'm not brave enough yet to let him go unprotected in bed (after all he is still in our bedroom and usually ends up co-sleeping).  We have done a few car trips with him and have so far had no car seat wetting accidents which is absolutely brilliant.  He has been taken shopping and although we constantly nag the poor child as to whether he needs to go, he seems to be handling being nappy-less in public perfectly well.

To facilitate the transition we have stocked up on plenty of pants.  I have a soft spot for baby boy trunks which are just the cutest things ever!  We also have a plentiful supply of tracksuit bottoms which are easy to pull up and down.  We have the 'potty bag' that we now carry around everywhere which holds a spare potty, spare pants, trousers and socks, (lest he wees down his leg!) a plastic bag for wet clothes and tissues for any mop ups/wipes that need to be carried out.  It is certainly going much better and is much easier than I feared.

I think letting Freddy make the decision was the factor that has made this so much easier than I anticipated.  We have always taken this approach in our parenting, believing that baby really does know best, and regardless of what it may say in parenting guides, every child is different and comes to milestones in their own time.

This potty training lark has made me reminisce about my previous four children's toileting journeys.  When Joe was a baby it was not uncommon to start them potty training at a year old.  I introduced the potty to him at about 9 months old 'catching' the occasional wee or poo more by luck than judgement, or by encouraging him to play on the potty for extended periods.  This resulted in the potty training lasting for ages with a toddler who was understandably unreliable.  That can be so frustrating and generate tonnes of wet washing!

Megan's potty training came about through her determination to wear pretty pants!  She was (and still is) a very single minded young lady who has a strong will and desire to succeed.  I remember many a time pushing her along in her push chair and being aware of a trickle of wee coming out from underneath it, because although the mind was willing, the bladder wasn't so sure.  But she persevered and achieved her pretty pants goal.  Ella and Kizzy's potty training came easier as I was more relaxed and prepared to wait, rather than rush the situation.  As they were a bit older and both very chilled little girls they made the transition very quickly.

In looking back at my previous experiences, I have realised that you very quickly adjust to any situation.  As things change, so does our perception to them.  Consequently, what felt like a stressful few weeks at the time, soon blurs in our mind and is virtually forgotten over time.  Parenting is all about phases and stages and adapting to them and working out new ways to cope with new situations.  If we relax and take it in our stride then we can coast through the upheavals with minimum disruption to our lives and stress levels!

Talking to Ian, we both have very sketchy memories of actually potty training the girls.  At the time I'm sure it was all encompassing and hugely time consuming.  So I know that this stage of Fred's life will soon be over and him wearing pants will become the norm.  So even if he relapses, has accidents or decides that he wants to delay this stage for a while even after his brilliant start, I will remain chilled out and not worry about it.

Potty Training!


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