Potty Training - Story and Tips

by Thursday, February 26, 2009 1 comments
There are times I wish that I can delegate just this portion of motherhood to somebody else – potty training my kids. It’s not an easy job & possibly the most tedious of the many other responsibilities of a parent …

Different children, different story. Some children are easier to potty-train than others. I’ve trained only 3 so far, but having to train them whilst being pregnant really takes a toll on me. A lot of washing & cleaning up, and disturbed nights … even disturbed mornings when you discover your child’s mattress needs a lift! Shopping and long-distance journeys may not be too enjoyable when you have to constantly be aware of the 'signs' and bear with the level of hygiene beyond your preferred standard.

Some children can be trained from as young as 1+ years old, some can only be successfully potty-trained by as late as 6 years old. Some kids experience some sort of trauma … especially when they feel that they have ‘behaved badly’. So you see … potty training is not as straight as you think. It involves some psychology in it, and you really have to know your child to know what strategy best suits him/her. You cannot just apply the same strategy to your next child, as it will be a new experience altogether for you.

There are kids who speak up & tell you when they want to ‘go’, while some just give you hints e.g. start running about, attempting to hide. Of course … some just pass motion and start crying like mad … hoping for some immunity!

Sure there are wonderful appealing potty-training tools to assist you like these:
  • Stand-alone mini potty chair that has a bowl that can be emptied into the toilet
  • Fix-on toddler-sized seat that can be placed on top of regular-sized toilet seats so that children can feel safer and are not afraid of falling into the bowl
  • Stepping stool for the child to reach the toilet seat
  • Disposable training pants

But again … they don’t always work … not with all kids. The disposable training pants may save you the headache of cleaning the floor, but it beats the purpose of potty training when your child gets too comfortable in it, as though they're using diapers. The mini-potty, although reachable for kids to run to in their emergencies and look pretty cute sometimes can be troublesome as it appears like a toy. I’ve read successful uses of this tool … but I haven’t been lucky with it.

#1 … generally my kids won’t ‘use’ it (just 1 successful attempt per child) … #2 … when the kids finally use it, it’s double the work – I got to clean the mess from the potty and bring my kids to the toilet. So I ended up resorting to buying fix-on seat and an anti-slip stepping stool so my kid can reach the potty. But unfortunately … the story doesn’t end there …

I have a child who WON’T pass motion unless she is in her diapers i.e. her comfort zone. No matter how seriously in emergency she may be … time will just stand still for all of us, including the kid-in-emergency … until all of us get TIRED of waiting for ‘the moment’ or until we sympathize our kid who seem to start having cramps and all that. I remembered waiting beyond half an hour by my child on the potty, endlessly giving words of encouragement, even doing cheerleading acts with Dad … going from positive mode to negative mode (started to psycho my kid … what else to do … I had to try something!). Finally at the age of 5 … she’s all potty-trained.

What a long chapter that was … but not for long … another chapter opened with my next child. This time … it was easy to get my boy to quit using diapers … but he had other problems. My boy became so disturbed everytime he fails to be ‘the good boy’ and started to ‘go backwards’ … from well-trained … to almost back to zero! I seriously am out of strategies … and I’m exhausted. I have another kid who’s now in diapers … just waiting for the moment to start potty training … and being pregnant, I know I’ll have yet another chapter awaiting. I’ve heard some mommies out there who deligate this daunting task to their maids and their moms most of the time. Don’t know If I should envy them or not. But I suppose … these are the things that you will carry with you in your memories … especially when your kids have all grown up … the satisfaction of taking care of your own child fulltime – priceless.

I’m glad to share some of my own tips and some useful potty training articles below for especially new mommies out there …


1. Don’t even bother to start potty training when (1) your child & (2) you are NOT ready for it. You don’t have to be envious of other mommies’ successful toddler-potty-training attempts, even when their kid is about your kid’s age. That’s their story … your story is an entire different one – it’s really okay. It’s alright for your kid to start potty training at 3+ y.o. while your neighbour’s kid / their cousins did it at 2+ y.o. … it’s just not worth the headache! Of course, you’ll have to weigh that against the cost of getting disposable diapers :) .

How do you know when your kid is ready?

a. Your kid tells you whenever he/she needs to ‘go’ …
b. Your kid’s diapers do not require often changing – he/she maybe urinate once in say 3, 4-5 hours.
c. Your kid shows independency in a lot of things he/she does - wants to put on his/her own pants, wants to flush, etc.

2. Whenever your child has his/her little accidents … don’t get too hard on your kid, no matter how upset you may be. It’ll only put more pressure on your kid and later on you when your kid gets all freaked out over potty-training. You’ll just have to tell your kid that it is okay, try harder the next time.

3. If your kid is a girl, especially … try getting her those cutesy-putesy panties. Now I know these are no guarantee for success, but they do get them excited in leaving the diapers.

4. Have extreme patience no matter what. After all, the kid is just a kid. We must all remember that we once troubled our potty-trainers just this way :) Also, think of how some very old and ill people who are adults, but have bladder-control problems. They sometimes need diaper changing and get messy too. This is the time when their children in turn will have to be patient and handle their moms’ little accidents. Life’s like a wheel … when you are really old, things tend to rewind and you start acting like a child again – in need of extra attention, become more sensitive, more dependant …

Here are other useful articles on potty training tips:
Okay … signing off … time to ask my boy if it’s time to pee pee in the potty :D

This is just a potty-shaped house :p



Co-founder of Carwin Solutions and My1STOP Virtual Shopping Mall @ http://www.my1stop.com.my

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous3:27 PM

    wow really good tips for the mummy wanna be...but i'm not the one yet..hehehhe