I was awakened up by my son’s cranky screech last night… I automatically hugged him back to his pillow and encourage him to go back to sleep. But he refused. With both eyes closed and a rasping voice, he said: I like to wee-wee mom. So, I carried him to the toilet, remove his pajamas and brief and let him pee. After that we both went to sleep as if nothing happened.
I’m quite used to this kind of bedroom scenes because it’s been a year and half since my son worn a diaper. He does not even recognize it now. It’s totally alien to him. How did we arrive to this point? Let me share you some of my secrets and tips which might bring into play with your babies.
When we moved to our new house here in Antipolo last October 2011, we started potty training my son. He was 17 months then. Why? Here are some of my considerations:
- Our house is ready. We used to stay in a studio-type apartment in QC. The toilet is elevated (about 4-5 inches). It is not safe for a toddler, very prone to tripping and falling. But in our house now, it is in the same level as the floor. Check!
- My son is ready. My son can say simple, one or two syllable words. We can start identifying things around him. So, we can give pee and poop a name to his liking. Check!
- We are ready. I told my husband and my son’s yaya (nanny) that we will start potty training. Period. Martial law proclaimed!
- Over budget already.My son’s diaper size is already large that time and as I checked the next size (XL), it has a considerable amount of difference. A big X to price increase.
Here’s how we did it:
- Make a realistic schedule. We started with after his bath in the morning, no more diapers, until he gets a prepped for bed. So roughly, that’s 10 am to 5 pm. saving you 2 nappies each day.
- Introduce his new friend. It could be his potty trainer or your own toilet seat cushioned with baby-sized colorful seat. Whatever works for your baby? For our son, it was our porcelain toilet bowl with a trusted companion to hold his hand worked best. So be it.
- Repeat the code again and again. Our code for poop is yuck during the early stage of the training. His yaya gave that code. Anyway, as long as it works, fine with me. When he feels that the poop is coming out, he says yuck. Then we usually ask him, would you like to yuck? OK lets yuck. While he is concentrating on his seat. Tell him: Go ahead, yuck. Are you done? No more yuck? Keep on repeating your code so that he can identify. Sometimes we even ask him before he even feels like going. Would you like to yuck? He even went overboard sometimes, pointing at his poop… yuck!
- Adjust your schedule. Make it the whole day when you see that your child is adjusting already. Do not wait until he’s well adjusted and comfortable because that would take too long.
- Remove it immediately. When you decided to put on diapers at night only. The moment your child wakes up. Remove it! Soiled or not. Remove it. Bring him to the toilet and let him pee. That would become a great habit to develop.
- Supersize your rubber mat. I got this big rubber mat that fits in the whole crib floor. We used that when we started removing diapers at night. Ask your child to pee before sleeping. Then avoid giving him milk after that (bottle weaning in a separate post).
- Try to stay close. Co-sleep your child or put his crib as near as possible to your bed so that you can check from time to time if he’s wet or not.
- Get ready to go wet and wild. There are days that he will fail to notice his need to pee, especially if he’s too tired from playing, and get you all wet in the bed. Most likely you will be awakened and so is he. Do a quick clean-up, both the bed and the baby. I’m sure while doing this you are telling your child a lot of things that he probably heard for first time. Let it out. It’s ok. Allow him to be part of the cleaning process so that he will learn that it’s messy and it’s not appropriate. He will try to avoid doing that again.
- Commend your child for his progress. He will be more cooperative and he’ll be proud of himself.
- Be inspired. This process is difficult so an inspiration will keep you going. Focus on your inspiration. May it be a rash free baby bottoms or a 500 pesos less monthly grocery bill, whatever will inspire you, think of that. Get energy from that. Inspire yourself with that. And you will definitely be a success. 🙂