Well after day 3 I can describe the toilet training process in three words. Tears, tantrums and torture. Funnily enough that doesn’t describe Ella’s experience, but rather my own. Albeit a little dramatic I know. After day 2, I was left wondering if Ella would ever get it, and to be honest I was clinging to the idea of being able to get it all done in three days. Like everything else to do with parenting, you cannot find pick up an experience of one Mother and expect to replicate it in the same way. Whether positive or negative, we are all different and our children react in different ways. There is so much information out there, and so much pressure to add to it. I felt pressure from many angles to start toilet training with Ella, and given the fact that she will be getting a sibling in five weeks, I figured that the time was right. She was showing the right signs and so off we went….
What I should have realised it that, like everything else, things don’t always go perfectly to plan. Ella has come through three full days at home with small steps towards being toilet trained. She is not fully there, and I expect that she won’t be for some time. I tried it all…. cool underwear, stickers, reward charts, positive reinforcement. She is able to tell me when she is going to the toilet, and I know that this is a great step. However she can’t solely use the toilet and I have had to make the decision to slow things down and just try again in a couple of weeks. She may well regress when her little brother or sister arrives, but that is fine. They say that you shouldn’t put your toddler back in nappies if you choose to take a break, but I’m going to compromise and use pull ups. You have to be able to stay sane through the whole process and I don’t want it to become negative for either Ella or myself.
I’m going to take the advice of some great friends and not be hard on myself. Sometimes you think they are ready and they are not. She has made some great gains, and I’ll just keep plugging away. She will get there in the end, and like all things parenting, we will find our own way.
So if you too are thinking about toilet training, I hope that the following lessons help give you some perspective if you need it…
- Yes, staying home for a few days is worth it, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you get to the end without having a child who is ‘perfectly’ toilet trained.
- Yes, it is worth reading the information that is out there, but in the end I talked to my friends whose advice got me through.
- Sometimes good intentions are enough
- Sometimes we need to stop and take a break
- Like all things, she will get there in the end. It’s more important that she feels good about the whole process rather than being rushed into it.
- It’s not a race, even though it feels like it.
- It feels great to be giving myself a break from all the talk about poo and wee. And lets face it, not smelling like them is a bonus too….
So with that, my three days of toilet training are over. Sort of. Good luck to anyone who is going through the process with your toddler. It’s full on, but I guess that is the true definition of being a Mum!