I will just put it out there, first time mothers fear many things when they have a child, it can range from pregnancy itself, labour, breastfeeding, calming down a baby, etc. Trust me you can definitely have more than one fear. When I had my daughter, my fear was potty training. It terrified me, but I knew it would be something my husband and I had to soldier through.
So early last year, after my daughter had turned two years, I ventured into parts unknown. My mother in law helped too but it was an epic fail. I concluded that my daughter just was not ready. And I felt I wasn’t ready too. She could not comprehend what I wanted to teach her. So winter came, potty training stopped and we waited for summer again.
The reason we waited was because my daughter would be in panties for most of the day, it was the method we felt would be most effective for us. She would only have nappies at night.
So on the 21st September 2018 when my daughter was two and a half years old we started again. This time I promised myself I would be more dedicated and accommodating of her. My mother in law has her for 3 and a half days of the week, so this would have to be a joint effort. She seemed to be doing well at her granny’s house, but the first day I had her was a nightmare, for both of us.
She had several accidents, which is normal. But this left both of us feeling frustrated. So for that day I had her, she wet herself the whole day. When she had her nap, I put her in a nappy which she didn’t even wet.
I wanted to pull my hair out! I even put it up on my WhatsApp status that I needed the patience of Job! I’d tried reasoning, pleading and begging her.
Then I made a decision after that first day I would let her be and I’d be content cleaning her accidents. After all she is my child. I chose to speak to her with love and be positive about it all. And then I prayed on it.
On the 23rd September 2018, my second day potty training her, she had some accidents but guess what? We had triumphs too. She did a small wee in the potty. It was small but I was dancing and rejoicing like someone had told me I had won the lottery! Later she pooed in the potty, my excitement was out of this world by then!
In the beginning I had to remind her about the potty and weeing in it. It was a new phenomenon to her so she didn’t take the initiative. By the end of that day I was an extremely proud mama!
At first she would always be reminded to use the potty because she never asked for it herself. This bothered me. But that all ended on the 3rd October 2018 when she had requested to go. I was so happy and I began to see that the end was in sight now!
The night of the 4th October 2018 was a memorable one in our household. Our daughter woke up the next morning, and she had not wet her nappy. The first night she had not wet herself since we started. I could not contain myself. This would be the first night of many (till even now) that she would not have any accidents at night.
On the 7th October we went to Church for the first time with her in panties! This was again a first for us all and I did feel anxious because of the many people who would be there. Would she feel intimidated and forget to tell me she needed to pee? Sadly I made her anxious too because I kept asking her if she wanted to wee, and she would go. But then my husband reminded me of something very important. She can speak up if she wants to wee now, so I stopped. It’s important that when your child has mastered the art, you should now, let them lead you.
Potty Training Tips
1. Patience, patience and more patience. I really cannot stress this one enough.
2. Consistency. Keep at it once you start. Don’t stop otherwise the child will be confused.
3. Positive reinforcements and positive vibes. Approach the situation with positivity and gentleness.
4. Show Love & Kindness. It will be tough on both of you and it is a learning curve for you both.
5. Put your child on the potty first thing in the morning, when they wake up. And before they go to bed at night. Even if they do not pee, this will prepare them mentally.
6. When you first start monitor the fluids your child takes, and time the time in which they are likely to need to pee and place them on the potty.
7. When you first start watch pictures, cartoons, videos while your child is on the potty.
8. It will get extremely difficult. Do NOT stop even if it gets tough (unless your child seems to be forced into it and is not ready yet)
9. Keep reminding your child what to do when they need a pee and about the potty itself. You can even make it a game!
10. Don’t stress too much. Otherwise you will both be stressed. Take it easy Mommy. Potty training is a daunting task but it is extremely doable.
All the best mamas’. Remember, if a terrified first time mother who feared potty training like a plague could do it, you can do it too.