Potty Training: My Journey
My son turned 2 years in December and according to lots of pages online, 2 years is a good time to start potty training. I however, dreaded the process and I was willing to wait till he goes to play school so that the teacher would have the ‘trouble’ of potty training. Earlier in November, I had bought a potty in readiness and he had been using it as a toy more than a potty, I did not have the heart to leave him without a diaper and the few times I removed the diaper and told him to susu in the potty, he ended up carrying the potty or using it as a stand to elevate himself so he could play with water in the sink. So I gave up the idea.
A couple of days before his birthday, we went to visit a friend who has a potty trained baby and when my son saw him use the toilet, he asked for potty, I must say I was really intrigued because in all my efforts to try get him to sit on it he had never cared. I removed his diaper; he sat on the potty and actually went. Very impressed I was I must say.
So with all the information gathered from the internet, I went home that day with a new resolve, I shall potty train my son all by myself and not wait for the playgroup teacher to do it. The following day I started the long, anticipated journey, he woke up in the morning and I removed his diaper-one.
First thing after waking up, I took him to the potty and told him “Mugi susu potty,” since there was actually something to pee, he went and everyone in the house was up dancing and praising him for going in the potty, then the reward was him being allowed to wash his hands by himself for 2 minutes (he loves water). After 20 minutes, I took him to the potty and told him the same phrase again “susu potty” and he went, the praise was no less than the first one. The whole day we tried to remember to take him after every 20 minutes.
Next day, the routine continued but then we pushed the intervals to 30 minutes, sometimes we would ask him to susu, he would sit on the potty, and say “imekataa”- It won’t come. And so we would wait another 30 minutes and repeat. We moved the time to 1 hour and we also noticed that if he felt like going before the 1-hour was over, he would tell you, ‘susu potty’. Since we knew what time he poops, we would put a diaper and he goes in the diaper, however after 2 days, he could not stand pooping in the diaper so we moved poop to the potty.
Granted we had a couple of accidents, where he would say susu but then he was too pressed and started going on himself before we go to the potty.
Key to potty training is consistency, now he goes when he needs to and he will announce before he does, because he wants you to open the taps for his 2 minute washing of hands. During the day nap, we take him potty just before he sleep and remove the diaper immediately after waking up; he has not gone in the diaper in his sleep. For the past 1 week, he has slept through the night without going though we use a diaper just in case.
To be honest, I did not do anything to help him stop peeing at night, we have gone on with our routine as usual, he drinks his water whenever even a couple of minuets before sleeping, he has refused his night milk though so we do yoghurt when he is up to it, maybe that has helped but I cannot say it with certainty.
To achieve long hours of no needing to use the potty, when you realise baby has understood that when they need to pee they should use the potty, don’t take them hourly but let them ask to use the potty. Sometimes they will go for 1 hour 30 minutes, 2 hours but they will as to go when they feel like. If you realise they are playing and pacing, ask them to go potty so that they know that they should not hold back peeing for long.
So after 2 weeks, my son was fully potty trained, though we use a diaper when traveling.
- Get a potty and let baby get used to seeing it around the house
- Take your baby to a friend who has a potty-trained child and let them learn that they can also use the potty.
- Encourage them to use the potty
- Reward them for using it
- Be consistent
- Keep increasing the time intervals until they get a good routine
- When going for no. 2 (poop), put some water in the potty, this might intrigue them enough to poop and they will look forward to when the potty will have water.
- Some parents use treats like cookies after using the potty as soon as the baby has learnt how to use the potty, stop using the treats.
- If you are a working mum you can start the process on Saturday morning so that the nanny can learn from you.
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