Motherhood, Food and Slow Living

Stress free potty training.

Late last spring, when a friend of mine sat me down for that friendly advice on how I should potty train Kiki, and that I should be starting it asap, I gently laughed out loud and told her I was happy for Kiki to stay in her nappy as long as she wants to.
That very summer and once again in autumn, I was gently asked/reminded by her carers at nursery I should really be thinking about it.

I told them I was in no rush.

I never wanted to train her. By that I mean, not one smarties or stars for wee and two for poos sort of way.
I was always very strong about trusting her with every developmental growth we come across and had no intention to start until she was ready. I didn't want to do a reward chart and definitely didn't want to make her feel bad for not being able to go.

Success, of course should be celebrated and it's good to learn from our mistakes but come on, we are talking about such a basic human function here. Do we really want to shout at our kids when they accidentally wet their pants or poop?

I knew she will do it when she is ready.

In many peoples eyes, she was late and/or I was too laid back but I didn't mind if she was the last one to get out of her nappy.

For me, it was more important to make sure that she was in charge and she can lead me if she needed my help with it.

Not long after turning three this January, she told me she wanted to wear pants and nappies were for babies.

The next day, we went and bought some big girl's pants together and chatted about how we can do this together. I asked her of two things. One, she can sit on the potty by herself when wee wee is coming, or tell me so I can help. Two, for poo poos we can try in the potty/toilet but if it's not coming, we can always have the nappies on for this until we get used to it.

First couple of days, there were few accidents as I tried to figure out how I could help her. The next four days, there were no accidents. And after a week, she managed to poo in the toilet with no fuss.

It's been four weeks since and so far, my experience of helping her potty/toilet train has been completely stress free.

So here's what we did in a nutshell.

Have potty/toilet available so they can familiarise themselves with it but don't make a big deal.
Kiki asked for a potty back in March 2017 so we bought her one and left it where she could easily reach it. We never made any fuss about it. We told her she can sit on it if we wants to. She occasionally sat on it and did a wee. Most of times, it was neglected or used as a seat for watching telly.

Around the same time, we started to use pull up pants style nappies to make it easy for her to experiment with her potty.

There is no rush so wait until they're ready.

So you can relax and you both can do this stress free. Kiki was able to communicate clearly with me when she needed to go and she was excited about this new chapter of her life because she wanted to do it.

Be prepared.
I hear parents literally lock themselves in the house during potty training in fear of accidents outside. Go outside and do the usual stuff you do with them. Just remember to make plenty toilet stops. Have spare clothes, wipes and bag for wet clothes handy. Portable potty can also give you incredible amount of reassurance. I don't think it is essential but for me, it worked. I felt fully armed.

I use Potette Plus for long outings, car journeys and at home. I will also be using this for our camping trips.

Do make frequent toilet stops.

Even if they say they don't need it. Kiki couple of occasions said she was okay only because she was too excited to disengage from playing. When we went, big wee wee came!

Accidents do happen. Be cool about it.
We cheer her greatly for her growth. When few accidents reoccurred, including poo in her pants in the soft play and unfortunate accident on the floor at home, I just casually told her it was okay, quickly cleaned it and reassured her she needn't worry. We tell each other we're learning and hug it out. Never a big deal.

If the soiled pants is too much to deal with and stresses you out, just bin it. I did. 

Encourage them by all means but don't make a fuss.

I try to remember for Kiki this is learning to understand the sensations of needing to go and aptly control her body. The process is entirely new for her. Few times she found hard to poo in her potty and got stressed. I told her sometimes we all find it hard so there was no need to worry. We got up and told her she can try it again anytime. I also later on told her what kind of food helps her to poo. Healthy eating and all that. Ha!

It has been amazing to see her figuring out how her mind and body works together and that she is in control, for that matter. 

I am so glad I have waited faithfully until she was ready and let her be in charge of her own body. 

I think we often forget how incredibly able our children are already.

If we were to fully trust them and let go of some of our controls, whatever that may be, I am certain we can all benefit from it and able to pursue many stress free parenting situations.

Hope it helps and good luck.

Su x

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