Mia is officially fully potty trained. I have a two-month break from nappies and then the whole cycle starts all over again!
I have kept putting off this post about potty training, because I wanted to write it when we were all done. In Mia's words, "no more nappies, woohoo!"
I took a very relaxed approach to potty training. I know kids that go to school do get toilet trained faster and at a younger age - but with Mia being at home with me until a few weeks ago, I didn't want to push her, force her, or put any stress on either her or me. I wanted it to just fall into place for her.
The process of potty training started early on, probably when she was about 18 months, we would start putting her on the potty just before bath time, so that she could get used to that. Once or twice she did make a wee in the potty and was super surprised, but mostly she would sit on the potty for a few minutes, then we put her in the bath, and then she gleefully tells us she's making a wee. ;-)
I didn't want to start potty training during the winter months, so although we tried between ages 2 and 2.5 to encourage going to the toilet more, she really wasn't interested or keen. So we left it for a while, and then officially started potty training her in August last year - a month before her third birthday.
I made a reward chart for her, where we could stick stars for each wee or poo in the toilet, and then for every couple of stars she could get a small gift. (Stickers, bracelets, choccie, etc.) This worked well for the wee-wee's, and within a month she was wearing panties all the time, with the exception of afternoon nap and night sleep, as well as when she wanted to make a poo, she would ask for a nappy.
She had the minimum accidents - sometimes when she was busy playing she would forget to ask to go to the toilet, but for the most part I was very attentive and made sure that either me, Wyn or the nanny took her to the toilet often. Our first few town-outings went well, but she has a habit (even now, still) of really liking to check out bathrooms wherever we are, so we would arrive in Pick 'n Pay and then she'd tell me she needs the toilet, even though she did wee just before we left - then we'd rush to the toilet, only to have her sit and sit and not do anything. Oh well! Part of the process. ;-)
By November, we stopped putting a nappy on her for day naps, and I told her she will only wear a nappy for sleep time, hoping this would encourage her to use the toilet for a number two as well... This set off a few weeks of horrible constipation. Who knew the mind was so strong that she got her body to a point where she would only poo once a week!! I was very stressed out about this, especially as she had always been very regular. After getting some advice from friends, I started giving her Movicol sachets in the morning, which would help soften her stools and promote a bowel movement. It helped, but she really didn't enjoy having to drink this medicine, and she was quite unhappy about it all.
In December I decided to stop fighting the number two's, and told her that she can poo in a nappy again. Within days she was back to regular bowel movements and would then always ask for a nappy, do her business within minutes and ask for it to be taken off. We decided we would just go with it for now and not force the issue.
Also in December, one night she kept moaning and saying "eina, eina" - she said her nappy is pinching her, I must take it off. And from there she didn't need any night-time nappies anymore. There have been a few bed-wetting accidents, but not a lot. We limit her fluid intake from about 5pm, and make sure she has a wee at bedtime.
Wyn had a good idea, that when she asks for a nappy to make a poo, we put her on the toilet, with the nappy on, just so that she could get used to the way of going to the toilet and sitting there while doing her business. This worked really well, and when she started school, I also asked them to continue doing it that way.
Then, two weeks ago, Wyn had another brainwave. He cut a hole in a nappy, and so when Mia asked for a nappy, he put this nappy on her, put her on the toilet - and she made a poo right through it into the toilet. She was amazed at this "magic nappy" and very pleased with herself. The following day, instead of asking me when she needed to poo, she went to pappa, and asked him for the magic nappy again. She didn't see the hole in the nappy, to her it really was a "magic nappy"!
On Thursday last week, when she asked for the magic nappy, I told her we must go wee on the toilet first, as I needed Wyn to first cut a hole in a nappy again. While she was on the toilet, I told her, "Oooh quickly make a poo, then when pappa comes with the nappy, we can tell him you don't need it anymore!" This idea appealed to her, and ta-daa, she made a poo. Oh joy!! I did a happy dance and Mia looked on gleefully, until she told me to, "Stop being so excited." Hehehe.
During this past weekend, she used the toilet each time - on Saturday even had a little bit of an upset tummy and needed the loo a couple of times - what a relief that she didn't want any nappies!
This morning at school I told the teacher that they don't have to give her a nappy anymore, they must please put her on the toilet, and Mia also joyfully declared, "No more nappies!"
So, quite an adventure, this journey of potty training - but we've come out on the other end, nappy-less! I think factors like being two-and-a-half in winter time, and being at home and not at school made it take a bit longer, and then the need of a nappy for a sense of security while doing a poo also extended the journey.
"Just ride it out" is advice I've often been given, for different circumstances, and that's pretty much what we did. Patience, encouragement, tolerance and perseverance!
Well done Mia Mooi. Mommy is super proud of you, my big girl!