Potty TrainingAug 08, 2022
This is the only child-rearing thing that I have no strong opinions about... you never thought you’d hear that from me, did you? 😏
That’s because this is a temporary thing, I say do what works and get it over with.
The only thing I’d say please don’t do is to ever get upset with children for having a pee or poo accident. That’s not only harmful but can really complicate the potty training process. This needs to be a process where big emotions from you just complicate matters for the child.
The other thing to remember is that if you decide to potty train before age 3, you’re likely setting yourself up for more work and frustration and possible failure than is necessary. I also have read several articles by urologists who say early potty training leads to frequent UTIs and constipation (because they end up holding pee and poo longer than they should).
Anyway, I’ll tell you what I’m doing with the twins and you can decide if you’d like to do it this way. They’re 3.5 now and honestly the delay is because of me... I just couldn’t commit to it earlier. 😬
So this is going to be a work-in-progress report. Because we’re still not 100% accident free. But we’re almost there after some 3 weeks.
If you’re thinking that’s a long time, I agree.
I potty-trained my first son (at age 3) with conventional methods in technically 2-3 days but he continued to have accidents after that AND he continued to be scared to poop in the toilet even months after he was pee-trained.
With my daughter, also at age 3, I followed more of what I’m doing with the twins (read below). It’s called “child-led” potty training so we only started when she asked to stop wearing diapers but she did take another whole YEAR almost to poop in the toilet.
She was just terrified of it and would ask to be please given a diaper for pooping. There were no accidents but it also wasn’t fun to keep doing the diaper poops but hey, what choice did we have? It’s a fairly common problem, apparently.
With the twins, I did the same thing.
Which means, we slowly (about and year ago really) introduced them to ideas about going in the bathroom. This included:
- Putting them on the toilet to rinse them between diaper changes so they were VERY familiar with sitting on toilets. We never used any seats or anything either.
- We also let them see their siblings going to the bathroom
- We read the book I’ve linked below many times.
Recently they started staying dry for 2+ hours (readiness sign) AND asking to buy underwear like “Eisa Bhai”.
So one day, I simply told them that they’re now old enough to say bye to diapers and I bought them a bunch of cute underwear that they were really excited about. I just put underwear on them instead of diapers.
The first couple days I tried to take them to the bathroom every hour and when I did, they were fine but if I didn’t, there’d be an accident. A few times during these 2 days, they did also initiate going to the bathroom.
After 2-3 days, when I would remind them they’d go to the bathroom themselves for pee and were hit or miss with poop.
We never reacted to accidents. Not even to say “uh oh”. We just said, “That’s ok... let me clean you up.”
Maybe one week in, they both started to ask to poop in there too though were still having several accidents in the day (combined for both kids). We have wooden floors that are easy to clean.
Now (3 weeks later) we’ve only had one poop accident (between two kids) in the whole of last week and maybe one pee.
They’re peeing themselves without asking for any help. We have “hoses” (as they call them) or Muslim shower as some of you call them or bidet as some more of you call them... so they just pee, wash, dry, flush, wash hands and come out. (Watching Daniel Tiger episode and reading potty-training kid books helped)
So yes, I’d say it’s taken a total of three weeks to do this but the whole process has been entirely stress free for us and them. And we didn’t use any rewards or anything even though again... if that works for you.. this is the one instance in which I think it’s fine. (Even though personally they’ve never worked for any of my kids).
I will report again in another week and I’m going to say that this process really takes one month. I will share more pros and cons of this method if they arise. For me the biggest “pro” so far has been them pooping in the toilet. I was worried they’d follow their older siblings’ foot steps and take longer for that so الحمدللہ for that!
UPDATE: I'll say it took a total of three months for these boys to be completely pee+poop trained. Until then we had to take them every 1.5-2 hours for pee or else there'd be an accident. They'd tell us for poop though. After three months of this.. they're going to the bathroom themselves, peeing, washing, drying, washing hands and coming out. No help from us required. Only when they poop. Yay!
Book link: A Potty for Me! https://www.amazon.com/dp/0689874235/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_NpSIEbN0GGWZ6