I don’t know about you, but toilet training is one of my least favourite parts of parenting. In fact I’d go so far as to say, yes it did make me turn to drink! Are you nodding along with me and the image above if so read on?
Aria is a stubborn little character and when she doesn’t want to do something, well, there is nothing on earth that will make her. Even something she really wants, a toy, sweets, her own car even, she will NOT budge. I tried in vain several times to toilet train her. At one point I sat on the toilet floor with her for 2 hours watching Elmo potty training videos, she screamed when I put her on the toilet and go so upset she became exhausted and fell asleep on the toilet floor. Yes, pass the wine, gin, anything. I am sure I used the big parent fail of; “fine, stay in nappies until you are 30.” I was so angry at myself, for getting frustrated and annoyed.
I started potty training Aria, the same way I did with the boys, they are all different, but I thought the principle would be the same. We talked about it, we let her go and pick a potty, a toilet seat and even pants. Which I’ve found is the best way to start potty training. She was all for it. We had the reward chart, stickers and yes little jelly sweets too as a reward. However, when it came to sitting on the potty or the toilet, she wasn’t for it. She put on pants over her nappy. Over the next few months, the doll became toilet trained and she learnt to change her own nappy. She is a clever cookie this one and I’m sure she knew what to do. She just wasn’t ready.
I didn’t blog back when I potty trained my oldest son Lucas, who was easy, looking back. He was a few days and easy to incentivise with stickers and chocolate buttons. Yes, he had a few accidents, but who doesn’t? Tyler, my youngest son I blogged about his potty training, he was stubborn too, as you can read in week 1, but after a week or 2 and some again sweetie and sticker incentives, you can see a pattern forming, he was getting there.
I took to my favourite parenting advice centre, twitter, than you to all that got in touch and got a few suggestions about waiting until she was three. Not ideal when I had to have her trained before starting nursery, but I was getting no where. She started saying she would use the toilet when she was three. Everyone she told it would be her birthday. Now in hindsight she had no concept of when he birthday was and it wasn’t the best day to start it on. It did sort of dominate it, but she was set. As I said stubborn. No idea who she gets it from, daddy, I suspect.
It was Tyler’s birthday the day before hers, the family left and she knew she was going to toilet train the next day. The day of Aria’s birthday came, she opened her gifts and when it came to getting dressed she did put on pants instead of a nappy. It took several hours before she went. I was getting worried. I have a kidney disease, so I worry about my children and this was worrying. She had no accidents and finally after 6 hours she started using the toilet. After that, that was her. She went to do piddles and even poops without a problem. She filled an entire reward chart in a day. Stickers galore. By day two she was going up to the bathroom and going on her own. Huge sigh and pass the wine in a celebratory drink. She wouldn’t go outside of the house, but that would come, wouldn’t it?
Come day four I was back to work. Aria point blank refuses to go to the toilet when I am at work. She has no accidents, just doesn’t go at all. She drinks loads, plays around, goes to toddlers, but no piddles. I’ve had tears, tantrums, facetimes at work, stickers, reward charts, bribery of toys, new toilet seats, you name it, my mum, my mother in law and I tried it. There are some days, if she doesn’t go before I leave for work, it can be almost 24 hours before she goes when I get in. Now, that’s not good is it? More wine needed!
Finally after a few weeks she started going on the days she was at my mother in laws. Phew. Pass the wine!
My mum watches the kids at our house, so I’d have thought she’d be more comfortable. I was wrong. She loves spending time with her grandparents and they are great with her, but she won’t go with my mum. She goes on her own as soon as I come home, as long as I go up the stairs with her first.
We are five weeks in. She’s been dry all night, dry all day, never had any accidents. What a wee star she is. I am so proud of her. I really am.
Waiting until she was ready, really was the best advice. This I would pass on to anyone about to start on the journey of toilet training. Don’t let others say, oh you know, they really should be done by….. You know your child and they will be out of nappies by the time they 30. Let them pick their own toilet seat or potty. Let them pick their own pants with their favourite characters. Reward charts, stickers and an incentive all work well. But, mainly it takes time and patience. A good washing machine and a glass of wine at the end of the day, for you of course!
The toilet training story hasn’t ended, oh no, she still refuses to go with my mum. I go to work, make sure she goes, but I work long days. If she doesn’t go, and hasn’t been since bedtime the night before, it’s just shy of 24 hours. I get really worried and my mum doesn’t know what else to do. I am hoping it will just come. We’ve tried everything else. She really wanted a Sylvanian family caravan, which we said we’d get her once she’d filled her chart of going to the toilet with her Granny John. Yes, the kids named her that. Another story for another time. But, she doesn’t want it now. She had even started going to other toilets when we are out.
Toilet training, has been particularly stressful and to still is. Have you any tips on what I can do to help my mum and Aria use the toilet when I am at work? I am all out of ideas. And I’d love your potty training tips for others if you fancy sharing. And cheers, I will share my wine.
Joining Katie over at MummyDaddyMe for the Ordinary Moments…