Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Toilet training

A long time ago, I blogged Elissa's progress through learning to sleep through the night. That was a success story.

Just to prove that I am happy to show the world what I can't do, as well as what I can, I am going to blog Elissa's toilet training. Expect horrors and failures. This will no doubt be a study in how not to toilet train a child. Educational tips (including "You're Doing It Wrong, you idjit") are welcome.

We have been doing the prep. We've been talking a lot about using the potty. I've read half a book about toilet training. I bought Elissa a book about toilet training (which she loves). She's sat on the potty (both of them, we have two types) at length, but never really done anything in it. (There was one occasion a long time ago, when I caught her mid stream in the bathroom and sat her on the potty to finish, but it was never repeated.)

So today I finally bought some training pants, brought her home and put them on. We had the potty at hand, and explained the Plan. She was keen.

Half an hour later, she announced she needed to go to the potty. Yay!

Crash pulled her pants down and fortunately, was able to catch the poo before it landed on the carpet. Unfortunately, he was able to catch the poo before it landed on the carpet*. Nothing was forthcoming in the potty.

Strike 1.

About an hour after that, I asked if she wanted to go to the potty again, and discovered another poo in the pants. I'm smart, I learn from other people's mistakes and had checked before "pants down".

Strike 2.

At dinner time (maybe 45mins later) I was pretty confident she was due for a wee, but she wouldn't have a bar of sitting on the potty. This should have been a warning signal for me. It wasn't. I found her standing in a recess in the dining room in a puddle.

Strike 3.

At this point we put the nappy back on, in order to actually eat dinner in peace. There was a plus - she stood in the corner for the wee. She must have known it was coming. I explained that instead of standing in the corner, she should have sat on the potty. Maybe it made it past her ear lobes.

She's at day care tomorrow, so the plan is to send a pair of training pants, and have her wear them until she has an accident. Hopefully accompanied by a good deal of encouragement to use the potty.

Please feel free to chime in with ideas. Or just point and laugh. 

*This is word for word what Crash told me when I got home from work, I merely replaced "I" with "he".


  1. *Tries to think of something helpful and encouraging to say*


    *Laughs, but refrains from pointing*

    This is why I let daycare train Dave and Cait. We won't talk about Tom :P

  2. I HATED this part of parenting. Hated it. I was convinced I could Screw It Up. I was sure I would Do It Wrong. Seriously, so far it is the only thing that affected me that way. I'm less anxious about dealing with Eve's birthfamily than I was about getting her out of diapers.

    I was so anxious that I waited until well after she was probably ready (in part because I'd been told that when she woke up dry in the morning, that would be the Signal, and it turned out she wasn't dry at night until age 6) and it took a week, max. Of course, Eve is a very rule-driven, people-pleasing kid, and Elissa, from what I can see, is not.

    On the other hand, she won't go to uni in diapers. Onward.

  3. @Mim At least you didn't tell me your kids were toilet trained at 13 months!

    @Jay You're right, she is certain to be toilet trained by puberty.... And I am completely with you on the anxiety thing. It's the only thing I've felt helpless and hopeless with too. That's partially why I decided to just do it now - put an end to the anticipation, even if it takes months.

  4. It's been nearly a decade since we went through this, but I distinctly remember bribing my daughter with Smarties every time she made it to the potty and had a wee or pooh. It worked brilliantly and she got the concept very quickly. We also did a potty dance each time she used the potty. I am sooooo thankful the dance was never videotaped!

    Anyway, she's a great kid so I'm pretty sure I didn't totally screw up her toilet training... ;-)

    Hang in there!

  5. I am completely on board with bribery. Lollipops have been promised for the first serious effort, which will probably be scaled back to jelly beans as the feat becomes less gargantuan.

    Chocolate will be avoided, since it has uh... unfortunate effects on her digestive system. :)

  6. Like Mim, daycare trained my eldest child. Bribery works very well with Bro (especially little gummy-type snacks), but he has shown interest in the potty actually so we might survive training him as well. Good luck! Can't wait to hear how the rest of it goes.