When Ella was only 18 months old I was out at Toys R Us and decided, I was going to get her a potty. I can't remember why I then decided I was going to get her one, I think it had something to do with my having a gift card. Originally I was there getting her a new True Fit carseat, (the previous one had been in an accident) which I did get. Anyhow, I brought that potty home and in two days she used it four times. Now was she ready to use the potty then? Maybe. We never really pushed it though. At the time it was more of a novelty for her to sit on it while watching Elmo than understanding that she was going on the potty.
When she turned two I decided to try it a bit more with her. For a few months she would get SO upset anytime I even mentioned the potty. Naturally, when I would go to the washroom she would come with me (I mean what mom goes to the bathroom by themselves anymore?!) and she would want to sit on her potty but wouldn't ever "go."
All I kept on hearing from other people was "You want her potty trained before that baby gets here!" I thought 'Well, sure that would be nice, only one kid in diapers' but I wasn't going to pressure her. This had to be something that SHE wanted to do. The more you pressure a kid about something like this the less likely they are going to do it I find. And who was to say that she even <em>knew</em> that she needed to use the potty yet? Some kids take a long time to grasp that understanding of "I have to go!"
Almost three weeks ago now Ella comes to me (it was a Tuesday) and tells me that she wants to use the potty. I then roll my eyes and say alright. I have heard this "I want to use the potty" line many times and nothing happens. Are you ever going to say no to them? Absolutely not! It could be that time that they actually use the potty, which in this case, it was! I called this Day one. She spent the rest of the day in panties, wet each and every pair that I put on her, but I wasn't worried about that. I just kept her off any carpet!
Day two rolls around. She gets up and I put her in panties. I have training pants here but I'm not a fan of them. Any time I had asked her about them before she just thought that she was going swimming. I can't say I blame her, Pull ups are exactly the same thing as those little swimmers that we would put on her to take her to swimming lessons. To my surprise she had 4 misses and 4 hits that day! I was so proud of her!
I should mention, I have never seen a kid so hard on themself when they have an accident. Many kids are just like "oh my pants are wet" or they don't even notice. Ella would wet herself and just start bawling! I had to reassure her that it was okay to have an accident, that she was learning, that I wasn't mad at her and that this was something we could easily clean up. That being said, her attitude when she went on the potty was the completely the same, only in a good way. She would get so excited! She'd have to call Daddy at work, then call Grandma at work. She wanted the whole world to know what a big girl she was!
Day three was a step backwards. She wasn't feeling well, we had 12 kids in the house from the construction of the park, so I let her wear a diaper that day. She still wound up using the potty, but only once. By the time Monday rolled around she wore her panties the whole day and did not have a single accident. That was almost two weeks ago and she has not had an accident since.
Everyone keeps asking me how I did it. I just tell them that it wasn't me, it was all her. Other than being there for her to take her to the bathroom and being patient and comforting when she had an accident, I had nothing to do with this! She knew when she was ready and she let us know. I know all kids aren't going to be like that, some are going to take a lot of work to help along, but I really think that waiting until they are ready and not pushing them is the key component.
Even with the baby on the way I can now say that I will never have to buy diapers again. We just purchased 36 KaWaii pocket diapers. This is one of those situations where I can easily say "I wish I knew then, what I know now." We just spent over the last two years buying disposable diapers, and in two ebay auctions I now have enough diapers to get this little babe through the next two years! Live and let learn right?! I had Matt convinced when I showed him the numbers more than anything. Using a diaper calculator on diaperpin.com, I discovered that in a year and a half we would save $1100!
The diapers arrived in the mail yesterday, and I have never been so excited about a diaper in my entire life! They are even more beautiful in person than they are in the picture! And oh so soft! The humor of my wonderful husband says " I wonder if you'll still be just as excited about them when they are covered in poop." I am sure I will be when I see them on that cute little baby bum!
Post written November 6 2010 moved from previous blog