Thursday, 24 November 2011

Training Day

The plan had always been to toilet train child number two when they were eighteen months. That's the age when child number one was trained. So, as someone who needs to have rules, that was that. Cancer threw a spanner in the works though. I was absolutely uninterested in doing an intensive potty training session. Child number two is now a big 22 months and the peeping nappy was calling for "potty training" too often. Would you believe that child number one was trained in a day? No kidding. I used the "Toilet Training in Less Than a Day" book's method and was totally amazed that I had success the second time round. Yep, child number two is now potty trained. Here's how it all happened...

I gathered what I would need: plenty of drinks, yellow coloured water, treats, training pants, toilet paper, plastic bag, towel, doll, potty and mobile phone (timer). I had to add to my list later, paper and pen. With child number one out of the house, my youngest and I could focus on the task at hand. We began at ten in the morning and I knew that I was likely to only be wrapping (or should I say wiping up?) at one in the afternoon. It's gruelling, absolutely tedious but it really does double up as a great bonding activity. Let's face it, how often do any of our children get our uninterrupted attention for three hours straight?

I role played the doll having drinks and needing to go to the toilet. What do we do? Go to the toilet. What does dolly have to do? Take off her undies. Look! Dolly did a pee (yellow water was squirted into the potty by me) on the potty! These questions and responses are severely reduced here. You can imagine how many times this would have been repeated... Anyway, dolly is rewarded with a treat which child number two got to eat because, well, dolls can't really eat, of course. We went over this scenario three times. Then I, in my most enthusiastic voice, invited child number two to have a go.

Child number two drank as much as they wanted. We would be needing that bladder full in order to have many opportunities for potty time. I asked child number two, constantly, to check whether their undies were "wet" or "dry". I kept the timer going and encouraged a seat on the potty every two minutes. Eventually, (this takes a great deal of patience, there's no way I could have done this while I was on steroids!!) child number two peed (I have never, ever written that word, I don't think) on the potty. There was much celebration. A treat was given. I clapped. Even dolly got a lolly. But, she refused, so child number two got two treats.

That is, essentially, it. Lots of drinks, lots of talking (all centred on peeing, drinking and being dry) and lots of playing. As you can well imagine, there were accidents. So, as much as I was rinsing out the potty I was also having to replace the training pants with a clean, dry pair. That's ok, as they were opportunities of explaining what not to do.

The first time I did this, I carried out the whole session in the kitchen. This time, I knew that that was likely to be far too confining for child number two. Child number two's training occurred outside. This was definitely optimum. It allowed a little more room for child number two to run about while we waited for the timer to alert us when it was time to sit on the potty.

The real test came during the nap, following the toilet training. I will admit that, I was nervous. Was child number two going to be wet or dry? Well, child number two was put to bed for a nap at one. The toilet training meant that the morning nap was missed so I was pretty confident that it was going to be a longer nap than usual. Was that going to complicate things?

When child number two awoke, at four-thirty, I ran into the room. The nappy was dry! I carried my little treasure to the toilet where I heard the gentle sound of a pee hitting the toilet bowl. I was ecstatic! Second time around, with a different child (totally different personality from the first) and the results were the same.

Today, the day after training, I have some further good news to report. After an eleven hour sleep, last night, child number two had a nappy that was only a tiny (incy, wincy) bit wet. This has never happened before. You know what children's nappies look like in the morning...bulging, in need of a change... Clearly, the toilet training has, somehow, taught child number two some bladder control.

It's amazing. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone ready to potty train. The method was modified for babies back in the 1970s, after it was proven to help children with a handicap. There's nothing magical about it. But, it works.

And, a couple of bonuses from the process are: bonded with child number two and child number two has grown in self-confidence (seriously!).

Unpaid plug for the book...check it out here.

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