Toilet Training

Toilet Training is something which brings about a good deal of anxiety in new mothers. As soon as I became a mother, I started hearing advises which more or less sounded like "Start training her from now itself. My kids were almost totally potty trained by the time they are a year old. They never wet the bed!". And thus the pressure starts building up - the pressure to be a good mother who is inculcating good habits in her child.

Inspite of such plentiful advises, I couldn't give it a serious try until my daughter was 1 year. Although the guilt was there for not being able to pursue it. See this is what all these well meaning advises do to you - they make you feel guilty like hell for no fault of yours.

Anyways, after her first birthday, I made up my mind to start training her. With some initial efforts, she began understanding the meaning of 'being taken to bathroom'. She would not tell me if she had to pee/poop but if I took her to bathroom at right times she would eliminate. So now the challenge was detecting those right times. For potty, it was easier. Whenever I see those pushing/straining signs on her face, I would take her to bathroom and she would almost always do it. For toilet (urine), it was difficult to guess. So I used to take her to bathroom every 25 mins or so, and much earlier if she had had a liquid diet. But this did not work well for long. Her urine cycle kept on changing as she started consuming more solids. So I had to always think about when did she pee last, when can she pee now and stuff like that. It was a such a burden that I could not continue it for more than a month. I realized that -

In this kind of Toilet Training, it's basically me who was getting trained. I was following her elimination cycles (which fluctuate very much) while she was not taking much of an active part in the whole process.

I didn’t want to work that way so I just dropped the idea and started thinking what do I really want from her at this stage. It came out that I wanted her to at least get down the bed when she had to pee. So I started making her aware everytime she pee'd. Gradually she started getting the awareness and started getting down the bed. But only once in a while. I thought she will learn better in action than in preaching. So what I did was - I will be watchful when its highly probable for her to pee (like just after getting up from sleep) and as soon as she would start peeing, I would take her down the bed in an instant. It worked.

She is now 1.8 years and has started taking initiative when she has to pee/poo, which is to say she either gets down the bed or points there towards her pants. This is not to say that accidents don't happen but for the most part she is doing it fine.

Category: parenting