It’s been a while since I last posted an article on this website. Well, the reason why I felt compelled to write today is because I want to share with you my journey with potty training as today marks exactly one week since my second daughter, N, has stopped wearing diapers during the day.
Alhamdulillah, all praises to Allah!
One thing that I notice about potty training this time round is how almost fuss-free the whole process was. It took one little pee accident, and then that’s it! She realised that it was uncomfortable and decided not to do it again. If I had to compare this to the first time I did potty training with my eldest, I would definitely say this was a breeze! The first time round, I was a Hulk, a Momster, Godzilla Mom, and all other undesirable characters… O Allah, now that I think about it, all those heartaches, backaches, neck-aches were soooo unnecessary.
Ok, so what did I do differently this time round?
Hek eleh… You are writing an article about not doing anything, I can imagine you saying.
Relax… Sure, I did nothing much, but there were many other things that I decided to do before starting this potty training.
1. I decided to be patient this time round
With my eldest, being a first-time mom, I was anxious that she became diaper-free as soon as she turned two. I was actually subjecting her to my schedule instead of waiting for her to be ready (sorry, M!)
There are many articles that show that potty training should only be carried out when the child shows signs of being ready to graduate from using diapers; it makes the whole process a lot more pain-free for the mother (from having to clean up all the ‘accidents’) and less traumatising for the child (from being scolded or the shame of ‘accidents’)
What are some of the signs that signal a child’s readiness to be potty-trained?
- Feeling the need to change her diaper once it’s full – On hindsight, with my eldest, she was still happily running away from me when it was time to change her diaper. That was one sign that she was NOT ready. With my second, N, I patiently waited for the day that she asked me to change her diaper willingly; once that happened, I put my potty training plan into motion.
- Being able to tell mommy when she poops or pees – The second time round, I waited til N was able to tell me that she had pooped or peed. That means that she is now able to feel the sensation from her bladder, which is another signal that she is ready.
- Verbally telling mommy that she wants to wear big girl panties – Again, with my second-born, I waited til she verbally let me know that she was ready to be a big girl and graduate from wearing diapers.
Basically, you have to patiently wait til your child shows signs of readiness. With my eldest, in my hastiness, I didn’t pick up on any of the signals that told me she wasn’t ready. I pushed her too early and it resulted in many days of me having to clean up her mess and getting mad at her – and it wasn’t even her fault! She simply wasn’t ready!
2. I decided to be calm whenever an ‘accident’ occurred.
I remember that the first time I did potty training with my eldest, I only managed to keep my cool during the first two accidental pee accidents on the living room floor. After that, it was a series of frowns, scoldings, and nagging every time she accidentally peed on the floor. Of course, because I didn’t wait for her to be ready (read the point above), we had A LOT of accidents. A LOT. Over two weeks. Yeah, you can widen your eyes and shake your head at me because I would have done the same too. Teehee.
If I could go back in time, I would have hugged little M and told her I am sorry for making her go through all those unnecessary stress and trauma from being confused over why mommy scolded her for something she had no control over.
So this time round, when my second-born, N, had her first accident, I simply smiled at her, brought her to the toilet, cleaned her up and told her, “Uh-oh. You accidentally peed. It’s not very comfortable to pee in your panties, is it? Next time, you tell me early so that you won’t have to feel yucky OK?”
This time round, I tried to assure her that it was alright to have the accident and at the same time, I also transferred power to her to tell me when she needed to pee so that she won’t feel uncomfortable. The focus was now on her: she needs to tell me when she wants to go to the potty so that she will not have to suffer the discomfort of accidentally peeing in her big girl panties, and not because I will feel angry. She is the one going through this journey so the attention should be on her needs and not mine.
Alhamdulillah, that was the first and last time she accidentally peed in her pants; it was pretty smooth after that and we managed to make her diaper stay off except during her nap time and at night. Three days ago, she decided that she didn’t want to wear her diaper during nap time, so we took it off and it was perfectly fine. Again, we waited for her to be ready before we embarked on a new milestone.
I realise that the key to anything in parenting is patience, patience, patience, followed by the willingness to put the needs of the child first. I also learned that introducing anything new to the child is so much easier when we wait for cues from the child.
Alright, that’s it from me this time! Hope you have benefited from this article, and let me know what else you would like to read in our next article!