Potty-training is one of those mommy duties that I look forward to doing… and dread… all at the same time. I am now potty-training my 6th daughter; and there is no cookie-cutter way to get it right!
Oh the wonderful joys of potty-training and the things to look forward to. No more diaper changing, surprise leaks and a huge savings on the grocery bill once you no longer have to buy diapies or training pants when it is all over – Yay!
But the entire process can really take some effort on the part of everyone involved and in my large family we are all doing our part to potty-train 2 year old daughter #6, my little “Heavenly”.
Potty-training my first daughter was an absolute breeze, I sometimes feel she potty-trained herself. We went to the kiddie store one day, bought cute princess underwear and started from there. The first day, I removed her diaper and she went about her day coloring and playing as usual until nature called… I remember it all like it was not an entire 14 years ago! My now teen daughter, then only 2+ came over to me in apparent distress asking me for her diaper! I took this as the signal to take her to the bathroom but she refused to sit on the big toilet OR on her potty; she just cried and cried for her diaper! Her refusal was so strong that I strapped her up with her diaper and she quickly relieved herself and had me take it off. I was stuck – I had never heard of this happening; I didn’t read it in any books – what could I do to encourage her to use the potty?
This went on the first week of potty-training; she never made a mess even once and to this day she wet her bed once and that was the second night after I FINALLY got her to use the toilet. After that first week I decided I had to make her realize the potty was ok; she saw me use it and we talked about it, I did my best to look as thrilled and excited while I pee’d as possible… she still wanted her diaper. So when she came to me for the diaper on one occasion I decided it was time to just get this over with; she had obviously mastered bladder control because she was holding everything in until her diaper was secured. I picked her up, encouraging her gently and put her on the potty… but she refused to do anything and was eager to climb off (I was just happy she didn’t cry like the first times!).
Anyway, the grand day came when I convinced her to sit on the potty to pee, she shuffled and began to cry and I distracted her by counting in a happy tune, the let-down of urine finally happened and I praised her with clapping, hugs, kisses, calling in Grandma and a mommy happy dance too. She got so excited I never had another potty-training incident again. That night she went to bed for the first time without her pamper and wet it, but that was the first and last time she ever wet herself. Her potty-training story is just not typical, but as the first child she sure had my hopes up that any others would be the same and she made me think potty-training was quite easy.
Six children later I am potty training Heavenly… I want to cry. It doesn’t make it any easier that I have the two month old baby at home with us while going through the potty-training activities – but having a toddler that likes to jump in “muddy-puddles” of her own urine, who has no fear of touching her crap and who likes to dip toys in the toilet after each use was really not at all what I was expecting.
When we first began the potty-training I had to remind her to go to the toilet each 45 mins to an hour or 10-15 minutes after each drink. That worked wonders; guaranteed that if I could get her on the toilet at these intervals I could avoid the mop for the day. But, that was very impossible as a mommy of 7 who does the cooking, cleaning, laundry, ironing and runs small business from home and is trying to build her little blog. Finding some extra time when all the kids are at home is like pulling teeth some days, as you can imagine the house becomes active and every child needs mommy for one reason or the other. It is easy for 2 hours to go by and the resounding reminder that you are in the midst of potty-training your toddler happens when someone slips in pee or she proudly comes up to you in the kitchen holding her dripping underwear.
The realization that not every potty-training story would be the same and that they certainly would not be easy made me simply just try to find ways to make dealing with the daily mishaps and dung a little easier. I kept a mop-bucket filled with disinfectant and water so that I could quickly get pee mopped up before she decided to play in it and kept reminding her gently that peepee and poo were for the toilet. She followed her younger sisters in to the bathroom and even mommy on occasions and when she did use the toilet she got to do the honors of flushing the “nasty stuff” down the toilet.
After about 3 good weeks of consistent floor-wetting, and doo-covered bathroom mats; we are finally getting it right.
Every potty-training toddler story will be different; but it will always take patience and understanding. All too soon your adorable little toddler will have grown right out of your arms in to a teenager with their own opinions and ways of thinking – so enjoy all the little things; even your soaking wet with pee jeans.
What’s your potty-training story? When do you usually start potty-training? What advice would you give a mommy who has never potty-trained before her little one?