Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Potty Training (Take 3!)

Ok, so here it goes. A story about an almost 3 year old boy and his Mum and their adventures in potty training ;-)

About 6 months ago, my oldest son Francis decided he didn't want his diaper on any more! I took this as 'the sign' that he was ready to start potty training and began to arm myself with all the necessary potty training paraphernalia.

  • Thomas the Tank Engine potty (picked out by my son) CHECK
  • Thomas the Tank Engine big boy underwear (picked out by my son) CHECK
  • Robot big boy underwear (picked out by my son) CHECK
  • Candy (for bribes) CHECK
  • Bob The Builder magazine and toy (bigger prize for doing well) CHECK
  • Potty Training Boys...the easy way by Simone Cave and Dr. Caroline Fertleman (for my sanity) CHECK
image off amazon.co.uk

Well, despite Francis not wanting his diaper on any more, he also didn't really fancy potty training either. So, after a week of not leaving the house- at all, ever and serious back ache from bending over to get him on and off the potty about every 20 minutes. I gave up. We had very little success and many many accidents. I was a wreck. It was not my son in tears but me. Have I failed him? Why are all his other friends potty trained? How come no one I know has ever complained about this difficult task? Am I forcing him to be ready before he really is? This was my first (and I'm sure not my last) all time low as a parent.

A few months later, my son said to me 'I want my big boy undies'! I was sceptical but also hopeful. OK, and on it went. For three days I struggled once again. I could tell my son was not really into it. He had more accidents than successes again and my house was now covered in wee and yes, also poo. Sorry this is the dirty truth!

Carpet cleaner out, laundry on, hands cracking from washing so much (me not my son's thankfully). Then he said he wanted his diapers back. Potty Training Take 2 - finished.

Went through loads of washing!

So, as you might have guessed by now I was pretty much over the whole potty training idea. Although most of my mummy friends had already been through it, I found little support or consolation in the fact that the whole process was going to be intense and at times disappointing. Well, I did have one friend that told it like it was and I loved her for it. Her advice- Get some wine. Oh and some chocolate too!

As Christmas approached my son suggested that if he were to get Jake the Neverland Pirate big boy undies, he would use the potty.

Jake the Neverland Pirate undies- CHECK!

Jake and Thomas big boy undies
This brings me to last Sunday night, when I heard the all too familiar plea 'Mummy can I wear my big boy undies?' 'Yes' I said and this time I was going to persevere because I was sure my son knew what big boy undies meant and since he is only a month and a half off being 3 I wanted to give it a real chance this time.

Last Monday morning was Day 1 of Potty Training Take #3. He only had two tiny accidents. He was overly rewarded for all his successes. Day 2, no accidents. Again rewards, hugs, high fives and the promise of a slightly bigger present at the end of a good week. Day 3 a couple small accidents but he was at nursery so I chalked that up to a new environment, different potty, etc.. Day 4 no accidents...We are now on day 9!!! We gave him a new jig saw puzzle (he loves these) for his big reward (getting through his first week using the potty).
Mickey Mouse brightens everyone's day!

This time we have both been confident. We have both been excited. We have not let accidents get us down. We have even ventured out of the house (with potty in tow obviously!).

I know there might still be the odd accident and I know we can both handle it. But we are on our way to being fully potty trained. Next steps- night time training and standing up to wee.

I'm not going to lie, for me (and my son) potty training was/is difficult. Some parents just get it done with no complaints. Some children are ready before others. Some get it right away. Everyone is different. To survive whatever the situation, is SUCCESS!

My advice, if anyone wants it, take it one day at a time. If you have to stop because your little one is not quite ready. Stop. There is no shame. You must do what you can, as you can. Keep sane (and yes a little wine and/or chocolate does indeed help)!

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