have you entered the stuck on you giveaway? Today is the last day.
Last week I attempted to start toilet training Alexis. The weather was a bit warmer than it had been, I had slept fairly well for a few nights and so was feeling pretty well, and she was displaying some key signs of readiness.
I am keen to get her toilet trained for practical reasons such as not having to pay for nappies for her and because, well, to put it bluntly, nappies don’t always catch what they are supposed to catch. I’m sick of cleaning up nappy malfunctions. I could be trying to teach her how to use the toilet if I need to be cleaning up after her anyway!
Mainly I wanted to start toilet training because I feel she is ready. Physically she goes hours with a dry nappy and can tell me when she needs a nappy change. Intellectually she knows all her colours; likes to help with everything and anything; knows the difference between wet and dry; knows the difference between clean and dirty; is trying harder and harder to do things independently and follows instructions so incredibly well. She’s ready.
So on Wednesday we jumped into the deep end. I have nappy pants and pull-ups for her but after one turn in each decided to go straight to putting her straight in undies. I can’t justify spending a small fortune on pull-ups. I’ll have them for when we are in public but at home I will just clean up accidents.
My logic was that when we are at home it is a better learning experience to have her in undies and let her wet herself, to experience what it feels like, what it smells like, what it sounds like, what it looks like. Once this happened she cottoned on quickly.
There’s been some accidents and some successes. A lot of the successes have been me carrying her to the toilet or potty either once she’s started or after her frantic “my poopoo coming out” which normally only refers to wee. For most of the accidents she has known what was happening but couldn’t get there in time.
We have a big house, it’s a long way to the bathroom for a little girl. We have both a potty and a ladder with toilet seat. Initially I was carrying the potty around with us so all she had to do was sit on it where she was. (Bonus points if she actually remembered to remove her pants.) I preferred cleaning up the potty and maybe some undies to cleaning up the floor.
The potty is good because you can then show her whether she has done anything or not. So many times she has sat on the potty for an extremely long period of time but not actually “gone”. So it’s a good tool to be able to show her that. The toilet doesn’t work well for that as it has water in the bowl before you start.
Alexis much prefers to use the toilet though. There are good points to her using the toilet: push a button and it cleans itself; don’t have to then transition to the toilet later; it doesn’t tip over; it is always in a constant location (and so I can’t move it and forget to put it back) so she easily learns where to run to when she needs to go; she isn’t scared to get it dirty (unlike her pretty potty that she doesn’t want to make yucky). She will pee in the potty just fine but wants to do number twos on the toilet which is just fine with me. Although on Sunday she decided she would now use the potty for number twos because we allowed her to sit on it in front of the tv (on a towel or two) and she thought that was great.
I am glad we have a potty for one very simple and very self-centered reason: I can still use the toilet while she’s on the potty.
Every mummy who has been through toilet training knows the pain of a small child kicking her off the toilet “my turn my turn” and then taking soooo long to go. I like being able to say, “no mummy’s turn please use your potty.”
I drew up a chart which hangs on our fridge. Truthfully it’s just an A4 piece of paper with columns for days. I have been writing on it when she uses the potty, uses the toilet, has an accident or has a wet nappy. She has been making such good progress since we started her in nappies on Wednesday. I’m so proud of her. I didn’t start the chart til Friday though.
On Saturday afternoon we put her back in nappies for the rest of the day. I was worried she would regress if I did but she was just too tired to persevere with toilet training that day. Truthfully Corey and I were too tired to deal with toilet training that day. We had a lazy family day and we all benefited from it, especially young William who has felt quite left out lately.
On Sunday morning though I put her on the toilet as soon as she woke up and she did a wee and she was so proud and I decided to at least leave her in undies until church. Corey had her sit on the potty while William and I were having a nap. Alexis sat for a whole hour (wow!) but finally managed to poop in the potty. It’s something that’s really hard for toddlers because lets face it they hate sitting still that long and most parents get bored supervising potty time after two minutes. I’m quite impressed Corey stuck with it so long although I think he was off making breakfast and she was watching tv but hey whatever works.
It was so exciting for them that they woke me up to see it… And clean it up… Hehe. I carried on with the excitement theme and let Alexis choose a sticker for her chart. Later that morning at church Alexis was restless during worship so I took her into the bathroom and she did a wee on the big toilet without her ladder (this is where pull ups are very handy). We were so excited so we gave her a sticker once we got home. Thus began the sticker culture.
We put a nappy on her for her nap then went to the park. Her nappy was still dry. We were shopping for a few random bits and pieces at a big hardware store when Alexis saw a pink potty. So we put it in the trolley. She kept saying, “pink potty pink potty pink potty.” “Yes we will buy you the potty” we said. When we got home she had a wet nappy so she might have been telling us she needed to go to the potty. Whoops.
That evening there were a few more sticker opportunities. She likes stickers. She’s handling toilet training like a pro.
Fast forward to 3:30 am this morning. She’s in nappies to sleep. My darling girl is an all or nothing kind of girl. “Mummy, daddy, my poo-poo coming out, my poo-poo coming out.” argh. Wee in your nappy and go back to sleep. “MUMMMMMMMMYYYYY HEEEELLLLLPPP MEEEEEE, MY POOOOOPPPPOOOO COMING OUUUUT!!!” I’m up.
“You have a nappy on darling.” “My poo-poo coming out.” “OK quick, to the toilet, let’s go!”… “I’m sorry darling, I didn’t get here in time. You have gone in your nappy.” “OH NO!” Alexis sobs. “It’s ok darling, that’s what nappies are for.” Alexis still sobbing. “My gicker.” “Yes you can still have a sticker.” “Tank you mummy!!!” Alexis bright and cheery.
William had been crying for a few minutes by this stage so I woke Corey for help. He said she could have a sticker on her hand. I had to overrule him (bad wifey), “on your chart Lexi”. “ok mummy.” “I don’t want her waking in the middle of the night for a sticker on her hand coz she knows every other time it goes on the chart.” “Do it yourself then”. Fair call. I take the sticker off her hand and put it on the chart. “Tank you mummy!!” Good girl.
I’m going to need more stickers… And a bigger chart… I’m very proud of how well she is taking to this… Now how can I get her to say, “wee wee” or “potty time” or “need to go toilet”.. Anything other than “my poo-poo coming out”? At least she gets my attention. Crooked smile and a sigh. Whatever works yeah?