(Image borrowed from my dear friend Angela from Striking Keys, who has some great advice on toilet training dos and don’ts)
We’ve been so relaxed about toilet training Pickle; I shudder when I think of how much pressure I put Tiny (and ourselves) under a few years ago. When all the other babies I knew were suddenly coming out of nappies, I thought it must be time for Tiny to do the same. Now, I cringe at how I pushed and pushed for him to use the potty, and at the battle of wills we had each day because he just wasn’t ready. Once we were out of that foggy phase, I swore I would let number two do it in his own time.
Just over a week ago, Pickle decided he wanted to wear undies. I’d been testing the waters for a few months, asking every so often, “Do you want to try using the potty and wearing undies?”, but he hadn’t been keen. I was prepared for accidents galore (cue stack of old cloth nappies at the ready – perfect for moping up spills, FYI), and watched him surreptitiously like a hawk. He didn’t pee for two hours, and I was getting ready to get mopping, when he said, “I feel wees coming.”
Pants down, potty ready, library book to hand if required (these things can take time)…and he went. I cheered. We high-fived and danced around the lounge. He wanted to keep it to show his daddy, but I took a photo instead. I was so proud of him, and he was immensely proud of himself.
He hasn’t looked back. I’m astonished at how quickly he has grasped peeing in the toilet, but I’m sure it’s because he was ready. He’s now reliably asking for a nappy for number twos (at home, anyway…I’m hoping this morning at kindy sees him remember to do the same!), which I’m more than okay with, and he’s waking with a dry nappy too. If he hasn’t been for a while, we do ask if he needs to go, but otherwise, we’re letting him say when he needs to. And it’s working, and I’m so relieved (ha – unintentional pun).
It’s all happening, and the lack of tension about it (so far – I know all about regression!) has made it a much more pleasant experience than I could ever have imagined!
For anyone planning on toilet training any time soon, I can highly recommend waiting until your child is ready. Don’t be embarrassed into it like I was first time around; it really is true that each child is different and will learn to use the toilet in their own sweet (so sweet) time. The time comparison between forcing Tiny into reliably using the toilet (months. At least four of them.) and letting Pickle come to it when he was ready (less than one week) is proof enough for me that this was definitely the way to go.