Toilet Training

If you're a parent you'll get this. Remember when you had a newborn and in a desperate attempt to cling onto the last vestiges of your sanity you actually believed that if you wore an orange t shirt, or played a certain song, or put on the tumble dryer your baby would be more settled? That they were more hungry on Tuesdays or couldn't sleep because their hands were cold or you shaved off your beard because they just didn't like it?  Well that kind of wackadoo crazy thinking can return under times of stress. You will attribute magical powers to everyday items or happenings in a desperate attempt to understand why your children do the things they do.

And if you're not vigilant you'll find those disturbing thoughts return when you start toilet training. To understand the errant, random behaviour of your toddler you'll start a bit of loony thinking before you know it.

We started the whole process during the long hot days of summer and while Grier peed lots outside she didn't get any in the potty. At all. She may have peed in the toilet sitting on her trainer seat - we're not sure but certainly none in the potty. 

It's my firm and true belief that if you start the process you have to power through. You have to keep going even if that seems like madness. Putting nappies back on is counterproductive I'm sure. 

So we kept going and within a few days something clicked. And now we are home and dry.  (sorry)

We used books, sweeties, stickers and singing and dancing celebrations in the beginning, but now all she needs is an admiring glance towards her ebullution and some help to tip and flush. 

In all seriousness I think this is one area that soetimes gets bigger than it needs to be.  There are lots of checklists which will tell you when your child is 'ready' but I don't take much stock with those - you will know when they are ready, and almost as importantly when YOU are ready. Ready for more washing, wiping up pees and poos, rusing to find public loos and always ALWAYS keeping a happy, upbeat face on. You absolutely do not want your child to associate toileting with negative repercussions so no matter how tired or fed up or wee covered you are keep your game face on.

And don't forget your child will continue to have occasional accidents for a long time probably and that for at least a few years they are going to need help with tricky fasteners and brace yourself - wiping. 

With any luck in a few weeks you'll be leaving the house nonchalantly chucking a pair of spare pants in your bag, leaving the mahoosive changing bag in the corner to gather dust. 

I would also highly recommend one of these travel potties. Yes you have to carry it about with you but it's pretty light and compact and saves you running the 'toilet dash' every time you hear 'Pee coming'. And it becomes a toilet training seat. 

This time around I did a bit of research about the science behind learning bladder and bowel control because I don't get out much. No seriously I read this book   which points out that babies only wear nappies in the Western/First world and it got me thinking. Then I came Elimination Communication which you can read about here or here. When I first heard about EC I dismissed it as hippy mumbo jumbo but it's actually pretty fascinating. That seems to be happening to me a lot these days........

Also read this if you're as weirdly fascinated by the toilet habits of infants - includes awesome rant about disposable/despicable nappies.