My Potty Training Diary
Fresh in his memory, Zac was aware that he had just 'aged' and turned 3, a big boy ready for growing up and taking on new responsibilities. So as I got ready I emphasised to him how grown up, smart and clever he was. I was setting him up to believe in himself that he could do what we have failed to do so many times before. We had started trying to potty train ever since Zac turned two, a year of stopping and starting and I feel like now is the right time. He is such a brain box so if he was to fail as such at potty training I knew it would be out of defiance and not really wanting to use the potty. I will not let the failure take over this time, we are ready, he is ready and I've known for a while but not felt brave enough to try again. The day after his 3rd birthday, after holiday was the best time to start. I knew I had a week of minimal plans, the weather is warm so I have taken to it with a new attitude.
Day one is complete. Zac did well, we only had a couple of accidents but he knew what he had done and ran over to tell me. He did 3 wees on the potty and with each one, I praised him and emphasised how clever and grown up he was, so by the end of the day he was saying this too. He didn't do a poo at all which is a challenge I shall have to face in the morning. After each wee, he wanted some sprinkles (the colourful ones that you decorate cakes with) so I went with it as previous sticker reward charts hadn't worked, I decided to use the word treat, so that day by day he would choose what this is. It could be food, time doing something special with Mummy or time on the iPad. I think him choosing his own treat really helped.
I woke up feeling positive, pleased with the progress we had made the previous day. So, for the second day in a row, I dressed Zac in just a T-shirt and socks- not that he enjoys being 'naked' as he says.
He didn't have any accidents today- hurrah! After dinner he was really fidgety. Knowing that he hadn't done a poo since Sunday and after his earlier complaints of a stomach ache, I knew what he needed. I reassured him that its ok to sit on the potty and try and asked if he wanted me there. He said no as he likes to do a lot of these kinds of things in private so I left him to it and he managed to do one. I really praised him for this.
The only challenge I faced was when my friend came round for lunch. He is such a shy little boy so he didn't want to be naked around her so he went for a nap instead. Such a great way of dealing with problems- wish I could do it more often!
Feeling really positive.
I feel like we have hit the speed bump early this time. My Mum came round today and we spent the day in the garden- as this is the first week of potty training we didn't want to venture out at all. He was shy again so he helped himself to his pants I had reserved in his drawer. I think he felt 'covered up' then. Although I felt that wearing pants would throw his progress off.
I felt so pleased and proud when he casually strolled over to the potty, pulled his pants down and did a wee. He finished off his sprinkles. Maybe that should have been the warning sign- why would a toddler do something they don't want to do without sufficient bribery and reward?! So, I quickly told him there would still be plenty of treats. To my despair, however, the next time I asked him where should he go if he needs a wee (a question you need to ask so frequently you soon sound like a robot) he answered "the floor!". That was it, I knew I had my work cut out for the afternoon. I tried to correct him, but sure enough he wanted to go on the floor so he did. Four times. One time he did it whilst watching his wee cascade down onto the floor like a flowing waterfall, giggling while I gasped and let out a bit of a scream, "on the potty!" He said sorry, but still did it again before bath time. I was mortified, felt I'd failed and felt at a loss because whenever I had read up on potty training, I'd read not to shout at them. So just before bed, I calmly cuddled him and explained in a gentle soothing voice why he needed to wee on the potty.
Now he's in bed, I feel calmer and ready for what's ahead.
I awoke feeling positive and defiant that I wouldn't let the mistakes of yesterday get in the way, so while getting Zac ready, I reinforced how clever and grown up he was and set about telling him again to do his wees and poos on the potty.
We had success! He was just in his t-shirt again and he did all of his wees and poos on the potty- no accidents. I'm feeling very proud tonight.
I had my biggest challenge to face this week, our first trip out. In the morning, Zac did really well and he had even had pants on to practise pulling 'up and down' but I had to put trousers on him too. I tried to explain that he could tell me anytime if he needed the potty and that I'd pull over, or that while we were out we could take the potty into the public toilets. I also encouraged him to try before we left and as soon as we got there. I kept asking him throughout the afternoon but he is so shy and nervous about it he kept saying he didn't need to go. Towards the end, we called into Morrison's and he was holding his bum oddly, so, I asked again if he needed it but he said no. Between leaving the supermarket and getting home however, he had an accident which he was distraught about as it meant him getting naked.
While out, I had rewarded him his big boy behaviour by getting him some new pants, so when we got in he was so excited to try them on. He managed another wee on the potty, but he kept jumping on and off of it towards bath time. I then noticed him straining and realised that he was doing a poo in his new pants! I rushed over and pulled him down onto the potty to finish off, but it was too late. Luckily it was a firm one! I think sometimes toddlers are impatient, so don't want to sit and follow their urges. We didn't make a fuss out of it and just told him to go on the potty next time.
I feel pleased with the progress but a little gutted about the accidents.
We had a great start to the day with Zac doing a wee on the potty and before we went into town I asked him to try again. We decided we wouldn't be too long in town at the start of his potty training, so we just went where we needed to go. I noticed that Zac was clutching himself at one point and squatting. I just feared him doing a massive wee all over the floor of the Apple store. I felt him but he was dry so asked him if he needed to go, he said he didn't and that the toilets were scary- bless him. So, I knew it was best that his Dad try to take him instead- success! They came out all happy, so I said we'd call in a shop on the way home and he could pick a magazine. Alas, getting in the car again to go home he did another accident. Just as I finally felt we were getting somewhere.
There was some progress, however, as he had told me that he'd had an accident. He then did another, maybe because he was excited with his magazine. By the end of this evening, he had done well as he did the rest of his toilet needs on the potty.
This morning started off with Zac doing a poop in his nappy. Not what I wanted, but once I'd told him to finish his breakfast and I'd get him ready he quickly went. He did do some wee's on the potty though. We came to my Mum's for the day, something Zac was very excited about. I asked him to try on the potty before the journey but he didn't want to. We were literally about to leave the house when I noticed he had weed all down his trousers and all over the floor.
We got to my Mum's and I asked him if he could take off his trousers so it would make it easier to go, he really wasn't keen on this idea. So every two seconds I was asking if he needed a wee. I think its always worse when you are in someone else's house as you don't want to make a mess. Luckily, we were with family so when Zac did a big wee all over the kitchen chair whilst eating his roast, it wasn't too embarrassing. I can only put it down to him being shy. He has drank massive amounts here though and done what seems like a hundred wees on the potty so he is feeling at home and doing brilliantly now.
My first week of potty training is complete. This is the furthest I have ever gotten with it and I know there is no going back. I am so pleased and proud at how far we have come. I know that the near distant future holds plenty more accidents and outings I will feel completely nervous about through fear of him wetting or pooping his pants out and about or at a friends. Accidents and potty training are a natural progression of toddlerhood and is completely necessary for him to carry on growing into the fantastic little boy he is becoming, all ready for preschool in September.
For others out there worrying about potty training, do not be scared like I was and embrace it. Know that each day is a challenge, but if you go into it feeling positive and not feeling so disheartened like I used to when they have an accident you will only succeed. Zac is 3, which I feel is quite late to be potty training, but my health visitor said 3 and a half is the average and I have also heard many times that children progress and reach milestones at different points. I know so many other tots that have been successfully potty trained and felt so down about this. I needn't see this as a weakness of Zac's, he managed to walk and talk early but I think different progressions take different amount of time for each child and now it doesn't even matter because although its a slow start, we have started. It's onwards and upwards from here.
I hope this blog post has helped show what it is like during a potty training week and I hope that some of you have managed to take some tips out of this, even if its just a small one. I think the main thing I can put forward is to just stay calm, they will get there, it will get easier. Just keep praising and be light hearted and enthusiastic. Put yourself in your child's shoes and think of how you can help them- tip- chocolate always helps!