I planned to introduce R to the potty when he was 2.5 years old. I initially thought it would be an easy one, having read that it can be done in just three days. Lesson learned. Do not believe everything that you read because each child is different. While it is true that some kids are potty trained as early as 1.5 years old, there are some that are still holding on to diapers until 4 years of age. There are some kids who will readily use the toilet, while some prefer to use potty trainers. It all boils down to the kid's readiness. Actually, the parents should also be prepared because it will be a dirty, tiring and sometimes long process. But once the child nails it, it will be such great relief!
As you know, R is my firstborn and I had no idea where to begin potty training. I researched and asked some moms for pointers. The best tip that I got which I used was from our longtime masseuse who has five kids. She told me to bring R to toilet every 30 minutes, and then lengthen the time until he already knows how to control his pee. At night, I made him pee before he went to bed and another one before I slept. This took less than a week, but the mastery only came after a month and a half. At the onset, I had no problems having R wear cotton training briefs. I guess he felt the difference. He wore padded cotton training briefs during the day and diapers at night. Gradually, when I saw that he did not anymore wet his diapers at night, we finally said goodbye to diapers.
I will say it again that each potty training experience is different. My experience with R is in two phases: the pee phase and the poop phase. He is now 2.7 years old and our potty success rate is at 60%. I say a little more than half because he just recently agreed to try to sit down on the toilet. We are slowly inching up towards the goal. We are still working on having him sit there and do the deed. For now, I just remind him everyday "No poopoo on brief, only in the potty" which he actually recites when he feels like going. By knowing that, he is aware where his poop should go. I also try to encourage him to try to sit on the toilet from time to time to get the hang of it. Honestly, I am not rushing him (even if it means having to wash his soiled brief) because I know he is getting it and will suddenly do it once he is ready.
Here are some quick tips for you to get by:
1) Make potty training a good experience. Wait for queues that show readiness (Ex . Interest in wearing underwear and using the potty). Be creative if you wish.
2) Be prepared. Ask for tips and research if you want and tailor fit according to your child's personality and readiness. Do not reprimand your kid when accidents happen.
3) Practice what you preach. Show them how to do it. Be an example.
4) Buy pull up diapers and padded cotton underwear. Padded cotton underwear or training briefs are available locally at Mothercare, which is pretty expensive at around P800 for 3. So if you have someone that can buy you from Walmart, it's way cheaper and better!
4) Buy a waterproof mattress protector.
5) Buying a potty trainer is optional. In our case we just bought a cheap potty trainer because we were not even sure if he would use it. True enough, it's just collecting dust in the bathroom. I find potty seats (the one that you attach to the toilet seat) more useful.
These are R's potty seats and potty trainer. The one that we find useful would be the potty seats (upper left and bottom pictures) which you can also bring when traveling.
There will be a lot of times when you will just feel like giving up, but just continue with your routine and soon you"ll be surprised that it's over.