I am so happy that Olivia is finally using her own potty! Her transition was pretty smooth and easy, many thanks to her very patient yaya. It’s indeed a great milestone!
I bought her potty last year, because I was expecting she could start early. Likewise, I was influenced by other mothers whose child is already potty trained as young as one year old (some even before they reach their first birthday).
However, it turned out the opposite in our case. The potty collected dust and was neglected for a year. Olive was just merely opening and closing its lid out of curiosity. In that regard, we just decided to take our time, and convince ourselves that she will be ready when she’s ready.
Signs That Your Child Is Ready To Meet The Potty
I’ve read this from “What to Expect The Toddler Years”. The author mentioned that we should “let the child take the lead by waiting for signs of readiness and willingness.”
Here are the signs:
- They no longer pee as much as when they were still a baby.
Olive no longer changes her diaper very often. Sometimes after waking up from her night’s sleep, her diaper is not as heavy as before.
- Their bowel movements are starting to become predictable each day.
Our daughter regularly does her business after eating breakfast.
- They become more aware of their bodily functions.
When Olive feels like a bowel movement is coming, she usually stops what she’s doing and stands very still. Some kids grunt or give you a certain look, while others go in a quiet corner.
- They start to dislike the sensation of wet or soiled diapers or pants.
During the earlier months, before she started using the potty, she would approach and inform us that she has pooped in her diaper.
- They now know about the “toilet terminology”.
In her case, “wee-wee” is her term for urinating, while “poo-poo” is for defecating.
- They become more curious about other people’s bathroom habits.
Olive sometimes follows me inside the bathroom and I just let her see how big people use the toilet. I make her see it like it’s as natural as eating, drinking or sleeping.
So How Did We Do It ?
Every parent have his or her own way of introducing their kids to the potty. I think one common denominator that we should do is to let them be the one to tell you when they are ready. Never use force to potty train because it might be harder to train them that way.
These are what we did until she successfully transitioned to her potty:
- We re-introduced her to her potty.
We cleaned up the potty again and showed her that she can use this anytime she likes. She just opened and closed the lid, and sometimes just laugh at it. Sometimes, we just let her sit on it, even if she was not really about to pee. At least, she would have a feel on how it’s like to sit on it.
- We have supplemented potty use with visual illustrations.
I bought a book written by Karen Katz entitled “A Potty For Me”. It’s a story from a child’s point of view on how he eventually succeeded in using the potty. When we started to read this to Olive last year, she did not actually use the potty right away, but she became more aware by pointing at her own potty and saying “Wee-wee potty!”
- We let her watch Disney Junior channel’s “Nina Needs to Go”.
This program shows the adventures of Nina who constantly finds the “need to go” in any situations like while in a traffic, at a wedding, in a museum. Her very cool grandma will always be there to the rescue so that they could reach the bathroom on time. At the end of each adventure, she will always leave a message, “Cause now I know, don’t wait to go!”
- We casually ask her if she wanted to go to her potty.
During the earlier months, we always asked her if she wanted to go to her potty. She usually refused, so we didn’t force her to do it. We have done this every day and have encouraged her to communicate with us if she felt the need to go. Until one day, when we asked again, she willingly sat down and went away!
- We let her practice and practice.
Her yaya was the one who did most of the work since we are working in the day. Since Olive now knows how to communicate if she wants to poo, her yaya will immediately take her to her potty and let her do her thing. They did this every morning until Olive became comfortable doing it.
For the pee part, our yaya did not make Olive wear her diaper one day. She told Olive to let her know if she wanted to to pee. Our daughter was obedient enough to do this until they also became successful in this deed.
- We don’t scold if there were “accidents”.
Since she has just started being potty trained at home, there are still instances that she was not able to make it on time. We’d tell her it’s okay, and we just wash her up and change her pants and not make the mess a big deal.
- We cheer her success in the potty!
We praise her for a job well done! The first time she successfully pooped and peed on her potty, we applauded her as if it was meant to be a celebration!
Bidding Adieu to Diapers
As a mother, it’s a great relief that our daughter is now able to do it on her own. It would also mean less purchase and consumption of diapers. Maybe she would just wear them when we would go out on a trip to the mall or anywhere else where bathrooms can be too far or not easily accessible.
It’s still a long way to go because we have to eventually let her transition to the big potty before she goes to school. Also, we still have to train her on good hygiene practices after using the potty. This will be another story to tell in the future.
Nevertheless, I’m still glad on her achievement. Way to go, Olive!