Let me rewind to the beginning.
Last summer, Lily ran around in her bathing suit togs a lot because she loves swimming.
At the time she started noticing and commenting when she did wees. I thought that meant she was ready to start toilet training, so bought a potty and showed her how to use it. Lily freaked out and didn't want to sit on it.
I let her be.
For the next few months I talked about "one day" when she goes wee wees on the potty. We also read a favourite story together a lot, which has a picture of a baby sitting on a potty. I would ask her what he was doing on the potty, and she would tell me "wee wees" or "poo poo".
When changing Lily's nappy/diaper, I would often show her the contents so she could become familiar with what wees and poos look like, and they wouldn't frighten her when she saw them in the potty.
I've always had an open door policy when using the toilet myself, and Lily usually comes in to hang out while I'm in there. I've tried to make it all seem as normal and natural as possible for her.
About four months ago Lily started requesting nudey rudey time after her bath. This would last up to an hour and during that time she started taking herself off to the potty to do wees. "Excellent! This is easier than I thought," I thought.
Not quite so. Lily is absolutely fine to go on the potty if she doesn't have any pants on, but if I dress her, she often has accidents. Not all the time. Sometimes she will surprise me with her control, stopping to take off her pants, knickers and socks before sitting on the potty and immediately letting go. But usually if she's dressed, she will forget she's not wearing a nappy and just let rip rip wherever she is.
I thought the solution might be to always dress her in knickers during her awake time - going with the old "practise makes perfect" scenario. But that just lead to more accidents. One time she crouched down as if she was sitting on a potty and did wees right on my bedroom floor. Luckily it's wooden and easy to clean up.
I've tried to remain positive throughout all the accidents, speaking calmly and telling her to sit on the potty and see if any more will come out. I also thank her for telling me when she's had an accident, and encourage her to try and use the potty next time.
Me asking her if she needs to use the potty doesn't help at all. I think it does the opposite. If I see Lily jiggling about and ask if she needs to use the potty, she always answers, "no". I thought a potty chart might help incentivise her to answer "yes" instead, so we made one by tracing this image and colouring it in together.
|That's the face I get when I ask Lily to smile.|
The sticker chart worked really well for a couple of days, getting her to try going on the potty when I could see she needed to, in the hopes of earning a sticker.
Unfortunately I think Lily has started to feel pressured, and that's taken the joy out of toilet training for her. She doesn't want to wear knickers any more, and asks for a nappy/diaper. Now I'm wondering how to give her the joy back while still encouraging her towards the end goal of wearing knickers all the time.
To try and keep the toilet training momentum going when we're out and about or Lily's napping, I've been using some DryNites I was sent to review. (Lily's cloth nappies no longer fit properly - they graze her hips if she wears them - and I'm reluctant to buy more when it seems like she's so close to potty training.)
The DryNites are too big for Lily to wear overnight, as they're designed for children ages 4+. However, they work well in short bursts and Lily calls them her butterfly knickers. It means I've been able to put her into her "going out knickers", or her "nap-time knickers" and still reinforce the idea that she's a big girl who wears knickers and goes wees on the potty.
It's funny because she won't wear actual knickers any more, but she's still happy to wear the DryNites. Maybe she's cottoned on to the fact they're a nappy.
The handy thing about these DryNites is that if Lily does a poo in them, I can rip the sides to take them off like a nappy, instead of pulling them down and potentially smearing poo down her legs.
If you want to try DryNites for yourself, you can go to the DryNites website to request one sample nappy/diaper.
If you would like to go in the draw to win a whole pack of DryNites, please share one of your most memorable toilet-training or bed-wetting stories in the comments below and tell me whether you would like a pack for boys or girls.
This giveaway closes 8am NZ time, Thursday 20 October 2011. A winner will be drawn at random from the comments below.
More toilet training stories
For more toilet training tips and encouragement, check out these two posts from Angela of Striking Keys:
Toilet Training: Our Strategies
Toilet Training: Mental Exhaustion