Saturday, September 24, 2011

Toilet Training: Months Later + A Giveaway

Striking Keys: Potty Training

Only intended for those whom it may be of some help to, clearly; zero offence taken for "marking as read."

So, it's been some time since we got on this ride.

We're most of the way there.  Accidents of the wet variety are occasional, and more poop is going in the toilet than isn't - yus. Esky is now dry almost every night and wears underwear full-time in the day - at home and out.  We've come a long way.

I've learned loads(Now that word even sounds dirty.  And I mean dirty as in, poop, not innuendo.)

I've also heard of more than one first-hand case of self-training children since - you know, the kiddilicks they've just "let be" and they one day start going in the toilet?  Yeah, those ones.  It makes wonder if I should have left Esky longer and seen if time would have proven kind in her case...
...but she was saying she wanted to use the toilet.  You can't ignore that, right?  I mean, "Just go in your pants," really isn't an option once they're articulating an interest in not doing that.

Anyhow, for our little lass, poop proved to be the challenge (which I didn't see coming...well, metaphorically, anyway, I saw it literally coming a-plenty.  Or should I say, "loads?" /feeble smile).  I've since wondered if the "twos" being mastered second is fairly reasonable; say it takes 50 accidents to "get" putting your waste in a receptacle you have to walk to, that's 2/3 weeks for 50 pee accidents (a.k.a. "learning opportunities")...but how many mis-fired bowel movements?  Jeepers.

In the end, I added a few strategies to the kitty that seemed to really help - things that were a result of adapting and refining my approach after seeing how things were going.

Things that helped OUR girl, who was peeing in the toilet fine but having trouble with the turdskies:
  • Being positive about poop.  Yup, you read right.  It made a huge difference to talk about it more.  She'd seen us go in and out, and I'd left the door open plenty...but it wasn't until I was positive about it the whole shebang that she seemed less afraid of pushing her business out on the throne.  Coming out saying, "Ah, I feel so much better now that I have done a poo in the right place," and "That was easy!  It can take a while, but it's worth it to be clean!"  Yup, this isn't for the faint of heart.  Embrace the bodily functions for the kids's sake, I say. 
  • The rewards meant more when she was seeing them.  For pee, even in the early days, there enough flukes and hits among the hits and misses that Esky saw stickers; got to ring the bell; flush the toilet.  With the poo, she wasn't getting enough rewards to affirm improvement and evoke desire for more.  She started to accept life without these "talked about" rewards wasn't so bad.  As mean as it sounds, I decided all poo-ers were eligible for rewards.  She'd actually suggested it before, "Mama!  Good job!  You did a poo?  Good job!  Now you can have chocolate raisins!"  I brushed her off, "They're especially for you, darling, because I don't need them anymore."  While this is true, it wasn't helping.  When Esky started seeing the rewards were being served, and she wasn't getting a helping, she suddenly wanted to be like the adults in the house a lot more.  The treat changed to strawberry milk at some point, and Haki was more than happy to down a glass after each exit from a long bathroom visit.  I cannot help but compare this to how quickly Esky downs more vegetables when she sees adults serving up dessert after finishing theirs.  Seeing us eat our veges isn't enough, seeing us eat the right stuff first then have sweet afters...well, it's enough.
One other thing that helped all-round, that I don't think I've mentioned:
  • If a disposable was required (well, preferred, I say "required" because we only used them at night and now and then in the day), we always used a Pull-up or nappy pant - because I felt there had to be a distinct end to Esky laying down to be changed, for good.  It felt even more important because she has a little sister she watches lay down to be changed.  I think this helped Esky understand she was in knickers or stand-in knickers for good, not (yes, I said that in to the Transformers theme in my mind).
Maybe none of this will work for you, or maybe you'll have a better idea after reading.  Regardless, I wish you the best of luck.

If you feel like you've been doing this a long time, I offer you an imagined arm squeeze across the webiverse, I know some days you're tired

And if that's no comfort (virtual arm squeezes rarely are), how about something for free?

Still working on night-time control?
Or know someone still riding the red-eye Potty Train?

You can win a pack of DryNites.

If you'd rather not advertise your child's night-time habits, you can send me an email entry, otherwise leave a comment (with your email address in the comment body or linked in your profile).

A random winner will be selected Friday 30 September (in NZ), entries close midday.

Sorry, this is my first giveaway open to New Zealand readers only.


*NOTE BELOW:  I have received product from Huggies in return for links to their site and discussion of their products.  I have also made it very clear that any review of said products will consist of what I really think, and they were fine with that.  What I really think: these products have their place, and can make your life easier; but don't overdo it, for me no convenience product could replace the lesson taught by a puddle on the floor.
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