So this week, as we ate chocolate galore we decided that it was time to tackle toilet training. We had pondered the idea for weeks. Should we? Shouldn’t we? Could we be bothered? Is Ella ready?
The cons included: being 34 weeks pregnant (ie. does Mum have enough energy?), living at my Mother in Laws (i.e. accidents in their house) and having to tackle the challenge pretty much on my own, as Dan has to work his magic finishing our house. The pros included: the obvious, only having one child in nappies once the baby arrives which also means a hefty saving! It’s also a fairly big milestone in the life of a child, and one that would help develop independence and self confidence.
Ella has been ‘showing all the signs’ in recent weeks and has had a keen interest in the ‘weird, smelly thing’ that people seem to frequent all the time. So with the ANZAC day long weekend looming, I’ve bitten the bullet and decided to bunk in for three days and tackle the challenge of toddler toilet training.
Each day I’m going to share how we have faired…both Ella and myself. I’l be sharing our challenges and lessons I’ve learned along the way! I’m not advocating any particular approach, or claiming to be an expert in any way. It’s just one Mum’s reflection on one of the hardest parts of raising a toddler. I expect to find myself feeling and experiencing the full gamete of emotions over the next few days!!!
So far, I’ve prepared myself with the following:
- 20 + pairs of undies. I started with ten and have quickly realised that you need more. Many more pairs. I’ve got a combination of normal underwear and terry toweling pairs to soak up the mess.
- Rewards: Stickers, stickers and more stickers. I’ve made a chart for each toilet and the potty which we have kept in the living room. I’m also going to give Ella small easter eggs as a reward. Good timing hey!
- Wipes and more wipes. You can’t flush them down the toilet, but I know I will need them.
- Towelling Nappies – soaks up accidents and you can just throw them in the wash.
- I’ve also filled the basin with Napisan and bleach so I can throw soiled undies in and do a few loads throughout the day.
- Information from both the Royal Childrens’ Hospital and the ‘Three Day’ program. That said, I’m keen on taking from these what feels right, and won’t be doing ‘everything’ that they say. This might sound arrogant or foolish, but like all things parenting, I’ve learnt to go with the flow and do what feels right. Right now that means getting Ella to be toilet trained during the day. I’m leaving night time to later…
Some of the lessons I’ve learned already:
- Don’t flush wipes down the toilet unless you want to call a plumber
- When they say you need 20+ pairs of underwear, they mean it
- You need to keep repeating ‘tell me when you need to do poos or wees’ more times than you care to remember
- Roll up the rug!
- Perhaps don’t let your toddler sit on the couch…
- Invest in some disposable bed liners / puppy pads to use in the car or place on the couch. I’ve learned this one the hard way!
‘They’ say it takes three days to toilet train a toddler who is ready. Day 1 has been pretty predictable so far. More good than bad! Let’s hope I feel the same way tomorrow!