When it comes to that time in a toddler’s life that potty training is necessary, I don’t know who it stresses out more… parent or child?
As it turns out, we are busy potty training our little son, Benn and boy have I learnt a couple of things over the past 3 or so months. The first thing that stands out in my mind is that I didn’t trust his abilities enough. Everywhere I went, be it the shops, a restaurant or a friend’s house for a play date, I would ask Benn 100 times, ‘Do you need to wee?’ I was always lugging along my bag packed with at least 5 changes of underpants and shorts. Eventually our little guy said… ‘Mom, my tell you when my need a wee, okay?’ That is when I realised that I was stressing myself out and making too bigger deal of it. If he made an accident, and by accident, I mean a wee in his pants, it wasn’t the end of the world we just changed him. If he needed it during a massive grocery shop, turns out if you leave your trolley and run to the nearest restroom, your trolley will be there when you get back. I had to trust that he would tell me when he needed it and not make a big deal of it when he had an accident.
The second thing I learnt is to only start potty training when our little one was ready and not to push him into it too early because peer pressure was getting to me. So many of these little toddlers develop at different times and yes, he may be potty training a little later than others but at 3 years old, Benn has an exceptionally wide vocabulary whereas some of his little friends are the same age, they are completely potty trained but have a limited vocabulary, they are all different!! Our little guy only started to show an interest when I bought him cute underpants and he wanted to wear them, please note he was a couple of months short of 3 years old. It helped that it was in summer, he could run around in his underpants without getting cold and if we were out and he had an accident it would simply be a change of shorts and not a lot of layers that we would have had to deal with in winter.
Going to the toilet for a ”number 2” on the other hand has been far trickier! I have spoken to numerous mommies about it, my little guy will NOT go on the toilet but would rather have me put a nappy on, go into the bathroom and do his business behind closed doors for ‘privacy’ and then get me to change him immediately afterwards. I have done some reading up on this and it appears boys suffer from a little separation anxiety when performing the above act. So, for now, I will be patient and wait for him to be ready rather than stress him out and make him sit on the loo. My view is that at the age of 10 he is not going to be asking me to put a nappy on. ? He is at the end of the day… only 2 weeks over 3 years old and in the grander scheme of things still so small.
As I sit here on this Sunday afternoon rereading this blog, I sit with a huge smile on my face. We have just been out for lunch as a family and when we were at the restaurant I could see by his body language change, he needed to have a poo. So immediately I went into panic mode, luckily my husband… cool, calm and collected took Benn off to the toilet and 5 mins later he came running to me with a massive smile, shouting, “Mom, I made a poo on the toilet!” Well ladies and gentleman, it may seem something so small to others but to our little family it was a moment of absolute pride and celebration, kisses and high 5’s all round. So proud of you Benn boy.
Here are my top tips:
- Wait until your child is ready.
- Buy fun underwear for your little one to wear.
- Be prepared for accidents – always have a few changes of clothes handy.
- Don’t expect it to work first time round.
- Stay clam! If you are calm and don’t make too much of a fuss, your child will remain calm through the process.
Contributed by Shelby Parnell of Clamber Club Babies – Randpark Ridge
Tel: 072 148 4391