Thursday, February 21, 2013

Thoughts on Potty Training…

Potty Training can be quite frustrating. Many people feel the need to start as soon as possible and while some kids do in fact get it at an early age many others don’t. For those that don’t it often leads to frustration and many accidents. I’m a huge advocate of waiting until you child is ready. I saw an article a few months ago that really confirmed my thoughts on the whole potty training issue. You can read the article here. I highly recommend reading this…especially if you’ve been frustrated with potty training!

Here are some things that really stood out to me in the article:

“As a pediatric urologist who specializes in toileting problems, I’ll tell you this: Children under age 3 should not manage their own toileting habits any more than they should manage their college funds.”

“Babies need to experience uninhibited voiding, or elimination, without the expectation of using the toilet at such an early age.”

“To understand the risks of early training, it’s important to know that virtually all toileting problems – pee and poop accidents, bedwetting, urinary frequency, and urinary tract infections – are related to chronically holding pee or poop or both.”

With our oldest I felt the need to start trying when he was 2 years old. Because of his personality he would cooperate to the point that he would sit on his little potty for 3o minutes for me. Unfortunately, his little bum would get sore and he’d want to get up. Thinking he must not need to go I’d let him go about his normal stuff only to find him soaking wet five minutes later. *sigh*

I’d try with him for a weekend, find he wasn’t ready, wait a few weeks, then try all over again. We tried loading him up with fluid, rewarding him with sticker charts, M&Ms, standing up to pee, putting Cheerios in the potty, etc. I thought we tried it all. We resigned ourselves to hanging up the potty towel for a while. Once he was three we noticed his diaper was dry when he woke up. Hmmmmm…maybe it was time to try again. So we’d try, fail, hang it up for a couple weeks, try again. Finally, a few months after he turned three some one gave me an amazing suggestion. A prize box! I went to the dollar store and filled a basket with all sorts of items and treats that a 3 year old would love. That weekend he was SO excited to try again and guess what! He did it! I guess he just needed the right motivation! We went through the basked of toys and treats in two days! By the week we had him in pull ups (since he was in daycare) and a diaper at night just to be safe. He was always dry. Every once in a while he’d have trouble making it to the potty in time for the lovely #2 but I think that’s normal and to be expected. Regardless, we were all thrilled.

Because of this experience we waited until Zim was 3 as well to approach training. Yes, we discussed the potty and going on the potty with him but he clearly wasn’t ready so we didn’t push it. Some one once gave me the BEST advise. When the kid is ready it will just click like a switch. If you push it when they are not ready you end up with frustration and many accidents and wet beds. I don’t know about you but I’d much rather change a diaper in the morning than wet sheets in the middle of the night. We’ve been very fortunate in that with both Bub and Zim once it clicked for them that was it. They seriously had not one accident once they decided it was time. It was such a blessing!

When Monkey’s third birthday was approaching we started discussing the potty with him. Well, he wanted absolutely NOTHING to do with it. Ok, fine….the others didn’t get it until well after their 3rd birthday so we’ll wait. Fast forward a few months, still no interest. Oye. Fast forward to this past month. I noticed that he clearly knew when he had to poop. Not only would he hide but he’d go all the way upstairs to the bathroom and close the door! I tried to follow him once with his little potty promising him all his favorite things if he’d just go in his potty but that resulted in a complete meltdown. *sigh* Oh well…we’ll wait.

Then yesterday happened. We decided to try the potty prizes again. He went with me and picked out a bunch of fun stuff and treats knowing that the only way he’d get them was to go potty. He decided to try before bath and much to his surprise he peed! He was SOOOO excited! “Momma!!!! I did SUCH a good job!” Of course we made a HUGE deal out of it and he couldn’t wait to finish his bath and go pick his special prize! This morning I asked him to try before we went downstairs and while he thought he wouldn’t go he indeed did! I’m very excited that this could be the beginning of the end of diapers for us! I know that these were just two times and I know that tomorrow he may fight me again but at least he knows that he CAN do it. I do hope this is it for him…that this is his time. But I also know that this may just be the start of his potty training journey and that’s ok too. It’s a step in the right direction and for that we are all very excited!


(Please know that I do not disagree with anyone’s choice to potty train their child at an early age. For some children and parents it works great and I’m thrilled for (and a little jealous) of those that train early! I posted this info and article to help others who’ve been in the same boat as us know that it’s ok if your kiddo trains later in their young life. Each child is different and that’s what makes the world so beautiful.)