Saturday, 19 December 2009

Going potty over the potty

How do working parents potty train?
This is not meant to be an odd question. I have a real conundrum. And I'm sure I'm not the first, A Mums Survival guide has a few tips in the potty training for working parents' department. Now, I've never fretted much about potty training, it's not something I've ever looked forward to, while I always thought it would be easy peasy. Cubling is now 33 months, and ticks all the boxes for readiness.
Apart from the one that has something to do with actually wanting to use the potty/toilet.

She's funny with that. She knows what potty and toilet are for. She saw her cousin being potty trained about 4 months ago. She sometimes wants to sit on the toilet and really wants to do a wee in there, but nothing ever comes out of it, and I have to drag her off the toilet. However, whenever I try to use those magic 3 days at the weekend to use the potty or toilet, she initially likes to sit on it, usually on day one we have one success and the rest accidents, and from day 2 she becomes very.reluctant.indeed. She begs not to go to the toilet, but also doesn't want nappies. Also on day 2 and 3 there are no more successes, only accidents.

While I'm not particularly pushy with potty training, I've tried three time so far to reach some degree of potty training in my 3 days off work, because I believe she's ready. You see, if I'm lucky, I don't work Fri-Sun. Recently though, I had to do a considerable amount of weekend work, which meant that I hardly ever even got 3 days in a row. Now, I can't exactly potty train for three days with maybe one success and then hand Cubling over to the childminder. That's cheeky. Even so, I'd reached the point of considering cheekiness, but asked her first to have a guilt free conscience. She said no sorry. I don't blame her.

Her tip was to do it when I'm off work for a week. That didn't really happen this year as I took individual days off before and after my niece was born. So I left it a while. Now I'm off work for 3 weeks, and this has to be the time. Because, to be fair, I won't get any week off work until Cubling starts at nursery and I really want her out of nappies by then. Another motivator is the fact that she now regularly gets a very sore bum in cloth nappies (something that never had been a problem until she turned 2) and we're using many more disposables than I'm happy with.

So then, round 4 of potty training has been called. It's not been going well. While at home, in the evening, she'll happily sit on the toilet for 30 minutes until I drag her into bed, at my SIL's house she had no inclination to cooperate. Yes, I'm bribing her with chocolates. Anything at this point to get her to be cooperative, I don't care. Yes, she does want chocolates. Oh and she does understand that she'll get them if she manages to do a wee or poo on the potty or toilet. Yet her interest in doing so wanes with every hour. We've done the potty dvd, role play and books. One (German) book, Der Klokoenig (loo king) has a great example of how to unroll a toilet roll into a heap of paper. So she does that bit on the toilet with great joy and says she's a loo king now.

Two days in and she hadn't pooed at all. I got rather worried. Her all day complaint about a sore tummy didn't make me feel any better. We had curry in the evening, surely curry would yield some BM? With plenty of cajoling, cuddling, singing, story reading and even feeding while sat on the potty we got her to at least sit for a long time. It was clear that she needed to poo. I even got the chocolate out, unwrapped it and held it in front of her like a carrot to cajole a donkey. Jee. This was getting a bit much. She alternated between big grins (I very happy! - at the prospect of getting chocolate) to a very worried face caused by fear that it might be sore.

Then finally, and please avert your eyes if this is too much information, that was what got her not one, nonono, but TWO pieces of chocolate:

Needless to say we had a big cheer and a little girl who was jumping for joy and proudly presented her turd to her auntie and cousin (the latter even shared her enthusiasm at the sight).

I very happy now. I know it's only a start. But it's a start, right?


Clair said...

In seriousness - we always do it on holidays but its never tied up totally by then so we do opt for ream pants whenever we are at home and nappies (pull ups) for all other times. Its a pain in the neck at first but it quickly becomes more potty / toilet than nappy.

BNM said...

We hit a breakthrough in our house last night and Car (2 in January) sat on potty without screaming and making any kind of fuss!! She also knows its for peeing in and will walk past it going pispispis and used to refuse to sit on it. But I think also over Xmas we'll have a go!

MrsW said...

That's one weird childminding setup you have there! If you, the parent (and incidentally the one who pays the childminder) have decided it is time to potty train your child you shouldn't need to ask your childminder if that's OK - you should both be working together to implement the care strategies you choose. Any childcare professional should be well equipped with the skills to potty train a toddler and to refuse is outrageous.

I worked when my older two were young and they attended a nursery from the age of 26 months and 7 months. When each of them was ready to leave nappies behind I told the nursery and put them in pants from then on.

With this last baby I wasn't working and to be honest couldn't remember an awful lot about potty training except to wait until they were really really ready. The nursery must have done a great job! I waited til he was about 36-37 months and it took a week. It was summer though - I made a point of waiting til summer :)

Ang (A Mum's Survival Guide) said...

I think your childminder should assist you in the potty training, how are you ever supposed to manage it otherwise! You'll be stressed and your daughter will pick up on that. I couldn't have done it without the help of nursery. Well done on the breakthrough though and I hope the success continues. Thanks for the link too :)

platespinner said...

Hmm, I agree with other people's comments. My daughter attends nursery three days a week. When the time comes to potty train, it hadn't really occurred to me to expect anything other than to talk it through with her keyworker and make a decision in consultation with nursery as to how we go about doing it, to ensure there is consistency. It needs to be a partnership, surely, with whoever is caring for your child?

Hope things continue to go well.

Kat said...

I work as a childminder and I am shocked you had no support. If you take children before they are using the potty you have to be prepared to help the child through that learning process when the time comes. My advice is to ditch nappies apart from at nap time and go bare bum in the house for the first week or so. I would also be very relaxed, she will get there eventually and making a big deal of it won't speed up the process. Good luck! K x

Muddling Along Mummy said...

It sounds like you need more help from your child's keyworker - I can't imagine having to try and train in just the weekends as you go through the whole reaclimatisation to being around all day and not at nursery and then the return to nursery

Good luck

cartside said...

interesting comments and many thanks for all the tips! I never thought twice about it when the childminder said that at least she should have used the potty before she would continue during the week. In all my attempts, my success rate was once in 3 days. So I didn't see that as the required progress to continue during the week. Same success rate now. But I can see that she's getting it and we're getting to near miss rather than our initial I HATE THE POTTY. We have three weeks, it should really work!

Anonymous said...

God! I can see we were really lucky last time around but am already dreading what might happen with two year old in a years time. We did wait till summer, though, just so we could spend a lot of nappy-free time outdoors...

smashedpea said...

We did the first one at 20 months (early, I know, but she was ready.... had been dry over night since she was 8 months old) - cold turkey together with her home daycare provider. She refused to go at first, but it worked out if we timed it right and payed close attention to her. Within two weeks, she was done and has only had 1 or 2 accidents since (she's now 4 1/2).

The wee one is now almost 30 months old and decidedly not ready. They have started him on the potty in daycare and he likes to sit on the toilet at home, but it's more to get him used to the idea as he has no or little clue of what's going on. I think he just puts up with it because everyone else sits on potty/toilet, too.

The first time he sat on the potty in daycare, they timed it perfectly and something came out - he didn't know what it was and put his hand right in there, laughing his head off. I'm not sure what we're doing with him when the time comes, but I'm also not in a hurry. His daycare thinks he'll need a few more months before he's ready, but once he is, it'll be a joint effort with us and the daycare.

And honestly, I can't believe your childminder! Just like everyone has already said, if you look after kids in that age group, training them is part of the deal.....

Good luck! Life without diapers is great, though I barely remember it myself, given that we went from one just barely toilet-trained toddler to a newborn who pooped 18 times in his first 24 hours of life.

zooarchaeologist said...

Congrats on the progress so far, you are doing much better than me!
I would have a chat with your child minder, from all my training that does not sound reasonable or appropriate. She should be working with the best interests of your child. Your child does not fit in around her!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on a poo! Ben still gets excited about them and shouts big one! to let me (and the rest of the street) know what he has done.

I think your child minder is being a little difficult. Even once potty training is well underway you're likely to have periods where it all goes backwards. We've just had four days of refusing to sit on the potty and starting each wee in his trousers.

I'm a fan of bribes too - I used the excuse that father christmas didn't like boys to wear nappies when they sat on his lap so we simply had to start potty training!

cartside said...

Day 4 and we're still struggling. She gets very upset, really doesn't fancy potty or toilet, but I think she's trying, partly to please me. However, we've had 100% success rate on the no. 2 front (compare that to 0% success on no. 1s). She's doing it back to front.

On the childminder front: I'm off work for almost 3 weeks, so I do hope by the time I get back we will have enough success for the childminder to continue. Her point of view was that if there was no success in 3 days, it would be too messy considering she's got nursery run etc to think of. She will pick up once initial success is there, and I'd even consider what we've got at the moment some form of success. So it'll be all good ;)

Bribes? We are BIG on bribes. They work wonders. Pity that Cubling really and truly doesn't like the potty - we need one chocolate just to keep her on it, poor soul.

smashed pea: newborn with 18 poos? Wow. I'm impressed. I remember we had like one in 10-12 days. I think I'm only starting to realise that using the potty is harder for them than I ever imagined.

smashedpea said...

Yes, even the midwifes were impressed by his output, with one saying she'd never seen anything like it :) He continues to be a very good pooper, but thankfully he's slowed down to a more manageable amount....

Good luck to Cubling, sounds like you've found a perfect xmas project for the whole family to enjoy :) Consistency was key for our first one, so stick with it - it'll be so worthwhile.



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