Thursday, September 10, 2015
Toilet-training my 2 year old
(Warning: Post for Mummies or those who are simply interested in how toddlers learn to control their bladders.)
We started toilet-training Gabriel shortly after he turned two because I tried to use the summer temperatures to let him run around the house half-naked. There was only a one-month window of opportunity before temperatures dipped again and it became too cold to let him run around naked.
So far, what I've been doing is removing his diapers and letting him sit on the toilet bowl at regular intervals throughout the day. I try to concentrate my toilet-training efforts when Sam is at kindergarten and I have Gabriel at home with me.
At the beginning, it was horrible! He refused to sit on the toilet bowl and would climb off as soon as I got his butt down. But now, he's quite content to sit on the throne with a book in his hands. I do tell him to pee or kaka (German for poo) and he would just repeat after me "kaka!"
And I'll be like, "No Gabriel, you gotta pee / kaka". And he would just look at me and play with his ah-hem, down there. After 2-3 mins of sitting down, I would let him resume his normal activities and repeat the entire process in a couple of minutes time.
Needless to say, it's been a LOT of work!
This boy knows exactly what he has to do, but refuses to do it! He's very capable of holding everything in and would wait for the opportune time to let everything out when I'm forced to wear him a diaper when he goes down for his nap or when we have to pick Sam up from the kindy.
Of course he has peed all over the house too! Even our brand-new sofa has only gone through the initiation ceremony! (I've since washed that spot VERY thoroughly).
I must say that my patience was beginning to wear itself thin after numerous unsuccessful attempts over many days.
But somehow, something clicked!
In my desperation to get him to co-operate, I started the same method that worked brilliantly for Sam - A reward sticker wall! I pasted a piece of paper on the wall in the toilet with some space to paste stickers. Then I asked Gabriel to choose one, so as to reward his behaviour of sitting on the throne.
Apparently, he was so fascinated with the stickers that without me realizing it, Sam and Gabe went ahead to fill up the entire paper with stickers! (Facepalm)
At dinner time, Gabriel suddenly said "kaka!" I automatically checked to see where it was that he peed again (he usually announces only after he has done the deed). But I realized to my amazement that everything was still dry! And he started to hop impatiently. I swept him up in my arms and ran to the toilet. He actually managed his first successful pee session!
Well, almost. Let's just say that the trigger was pointed in the wrong direction and I had to readjust the trigger to point at the right target before everything was fine.
I was ECSTATIC! I was jumping around the toilet and giving my boy high-fives or rather high-tens. It felt like I had struck lottery!
My boy did his first pee in the toilet at 2 years 3 weeks old!
I only toilet-trained Sam at about 2 years 7 months because when he was 2 years old, I had a 2-month newborn to care for and potty-training was the last thing on my mind.
Since then, Gabriel is able to tell me whenever he needs to do the deed (pee) and would go to the toilet on his own and even climb on the throne.
It's early September now and Gabriel goes diaper-less most of the time when we're at home during the day. I still wear him diapers at night and when we go out of the house.
Let's see how long it will take for us to take the plunge and go cold turkey on the diapers!
I don't want to pressurize Gabriel to make the switch until I feel that he's ready. And now that the weather is colder, I'm assuming that it would take longer than if it had still been warm. But for now, I'm glad to say that at least half the battle is won with Gabe being able to control his bladder at will.