There are many stages kids go through that are memorable: when they become mobile by rolling or crawling or walking, when they start to eat solids and feed themselves, even learning to talk with loud screeches and constant questions is a special time. Of all the memorable childhood stages there is one I don’t look forward to at all. You know the one.
I dread this. At first the idea of transitioning from diapers and pull-ups into underwear is exciting, but after months of cajoling and laundry the excitement begins to wear off.
I remember with my first-born the discussion among moms would be about how early their child was toilet trained. As a first time mom I fell into the trap. I stressed about my daughter being toilet trained by 18 months and she was, for a few months anyway. I quickly discovered that my daughter had her own goal. We were off and on pull-ups for the next year. It wasn’t until just before her third birthday that I could confidently say she was toilet trained.
When it was time to train my son I tried to stay calm, remembering the stress of the toilet training process with my oldest. I expected he would be trained by around his third birthday so I didn’t worry too much, until his third birthday was around the corner. I wanted to book him into summer camp but kids have to be toilet trained to attend. After a few failed attempts I decided I would book him in camp anyway. Worst case I would have to cancel. I guess that was enough incentive. My son was completely trained a few days after camp registration.
You would think with two kids having gone through this stage I would know what to expect and not get so obsessed. Maybe I’m just a glutton for punishment. I did start well, not worry about toilet training or even broaching the subject with my now three-year-old. If she wanted to sit on the potty or the toilet I’d let her but I wouldn’t turn it into a bathroom training session.
I did buy my daughter motivational underwear and eventually she learned to go pee on the toilet. She has the occasional accident but I can usually trust her to tell me when she has to go pee. But bowl movements are a whole other story. Now perhaps I’ve given mixed messages in the beginning, like when we were out and wanted her to use a pull-up so I wouldn’t be in a mad panic to find a bathroom, but since she turned three we’ve only used pull-ups at night (night-time training is a whole other game). With her using the bathroom regularly to pee I thought the next stage would follow closely behind (no pun intended). No such luck.
My daughter has taken to hiding in a secret corner to go poop. I’ve tried all the tricks that worked with my other two: taking her to the bathroom at key times, getting her to sit with a book on the toilet. I’ve even tried incentives like sticker and treats. It’s been a real hit and miss with her. Now she only turned three in December so she does have time before summer camp and school begins. I guess I haven’t learned much from my past experiences, except for the fact that I’m a little obsessive.
I am trying to not stress over this and not stress my daughter but if you know any tricks that have worked for you, please share them. PLEASE.