…Or, Easy Peasy Potty Training; How it all went wrong
Hmmm, I hear you say? Well of course it depends on the child, but it also depends on the parent. Potty training my first son took forever and he continued to wear night time pull-ons for years. With the little one it seemed much easier, but now I come to think of it so did sleep training, weaning, bedtimes etc. So while my boys are VERY different characters and both totally lovely, I just have to ask myself could it be me who was less frustrated the second time around?
Potty training the firstborn...
Where did I go wrong with Ben? Well for a start I felt so guilty about working that I totally over-compensated when I got home. I did everything he asked me. This is the child who came to work with me as a tiny baby… but then went to nursery once he started walking, spending long hours there while I tried to juggle work and a child. Once we were home after a tiring day (and very little sleep at night) I was so exhausted I found disciplining him virtually impossible. I read all the books and took advice from friends, but despite everything, Ben really just seemed to do what he liked, which was drink gallons of milk, wake up several times a night and generally continue to use diapers far longer than necessary.
I tried and failed to potty train him the first time, giving up and putting it off another 6 months. With night diapers I just continued for what seemed like forever. Obviously I succeeded in the end, but it was a long, hard slog.
Potty training Poor Little Brother...
1. I chose a nice, warm week’s vacation when we were at our cottage in France (which has no carpets on the floor so accidents are quickly wiped up).
2. I took his diapers off leaving his bottom bare the first couple of days (he always loved running around naked anyway). We mostly stayed around the house and garden.
3. I placed a couple of plastic potties strategically around the house – one in the kitchen and one in the reception room when we were downstairs and while upstairs one in his bedroom and one in the bathroom – “Yuk”you say. “Sensible” I reply.
4. I procured a good supply of candy at the ready.
5. I drank lots and lots of water myself (2 litres a day)… a good excuse for a detox and I also needed to go to the restroom a lot – this reminded me to remind Toby.
6. Each time I needed to pee, I asked Toby if he did, sat him on the potty and if he could manage to squeeze out a little drop there was candy for him. “Good Boy!” I squeal. “Mercy Ig now” he replied and was handed the candy Percy Pig prize. As for number twos, we would do this together, chatting away as we sat on the toilet. We were definitely not squeamish in my house!
7. We went shopping for big boy briefs. Such fun – a special trip and he chose them, it was Thomas the Tank Engine in his day.
8. We took photos – Toby-the-baby in DIAPERS, then Toby-the-big-boy in BRIEFS and put them up on the fridge for all to see what a clever boy he was. I guess it might be on Facebook these days – but they won’t thank you for that in years to come.
9. We gradually dropped the bedtime bottle of milk, a little less each night until it was only a drop. No liquids in = less to come out.
10. It really did take less than a week for day diapers and a little longer for night pull-ons, as opposed to months of accidents for poor old son number one!
By the way, I really do hope my teenage boys dont ever bother to read my blog… so far, so good, but I’m guessing it's a matter of time before I get it in the neck. Maybe I should invent pseudonyms for them?