This is my very honest and very real experience with potty training. I do know a lot about early childhood development and I do have my fair share of tools and techniques when it comes to practising mindfulness with your little ones, however, one area that has always intimidated me as a parent is potty training. Every child develops at their own pace and every child comes with their own personality. Shifting from diapers to toilet is the first time a child takes their own self-care as their own responsibility. It is a big step. I used logic from what I know and intuition from my soul to tackle this new experience for us. This is my story:
Day 6 - Stir Crazy
This was the day mama started to get a little stir crazy.
I was still having a fear of taking any type of transit or long trip anywhere. With that being said, I needed to get out of the house.
My mom and sister came to Toronto for a visit and we had a plan to go out once Zinnia was asleep. I was so excited. I hadn't been more than 200 metres from my home in almost a week, it was time.
The day went well. We took her to the park, again, with no accidents! She peed before and after and that was that. She was no longer needing to be asked to pee and she was stopping play on her own and racing to the potty. Our problem of having too much fun while playing has subsided. The end is near.
I think that the mess of an accident was more important than play. Zinnia has never liked being messy. It even took her a while to enjoy paint and sensory activities when she was a baby. She would touch the paint and then hold her hands out in the air whining for me to clean them up. She did get over that (refer to last post's picture of Zinnia covered in paint) but still isn't a fan of being messy. When she was having accidents she was getting super upset and wanted to be cleaned up right away, even though we weren't making a big deal of it. I also feel that this is why going cold turkey on diapers is the only way. Most children will not want to sit in wet underwear and keep playing. If you keep them in diapers or even pull-ups they don't feel the mess therefore the accident's aren't all that bad, since they're used to the feeling of a wet/soiled diaper.
She did have one accident today, but it was well-past her bedtime and she was entering what I like to call the Squirrely Phase. This phase comes after tired and appears as though she has snuck in a couple drinks at some point and isn't really focusing on anything at all. We had visitors, and I pushed the bedtime a little too late. Not sure this accident was much of her fault. In retrospect, I should've put her to bed an hour earlier and the accident probably wouldn't of happened.
All in all day 6 was good. My mom and sister got me out of the house, which was exactly what I needed almost a week in to our potty training journey and Zinnia made another successful trip to the park and back without accidents. Tomorrow we embark on the unthinkable: public transit and an all-day adventure. Mama is scared.
Day 7 - The End is Here!
We have done it ladies and gentleman. Zinnia is potty trained! We finally bit the bullet, set out on an adventure and she ROCKED it.
It has been one week since we began our potty training journey, and it is safe to say that she is potty trained. Our transition from diapers to underwear seems to be done. Do I still have worries, yup. Do I still have fears, yup. Should I? Not sure. Today was a huge feat, and I could not be more proud of my not so baby, baby girl.
We planned to take Zinnia over to Toronto Island for the day and put her on her first ride. I had been waiting to do this for so long, Zinnia has always loved the rush of being swung around by daddy and racing super fast down the big hill by our house in her stroller. I was so excited to bring her over to the Island and put her on her first ride, and today was the day.
Since Zinnia had still had one accident each day, my nerves were still very present and very real. We couldn't decide how to get to the island and needed to consider the potential of being gone for several hours. I figured if we got a ride to the Ferry, then we would only need to transit back to our house one way, therefore cutting travel time. However, Toronto traffic had another thing in mind and we saved ourselves maybe 30 minutes or so. The traffic here never ceases to amaze me. It doesn't matter what day or time it is anymore, it's busy. Had we known it would've taken so long to drive there, we would have just taken transit after all. Oh well! Such is life.
For our day trip we packed:
- 4 extra pairs of underwear and shorts
- a few extra shirts (in case things got really messy)
- 3 change pads (the kind with the cloth top and plastic bottom) to line her car-seat and stroller
- 1 diaper
- 2 plastic bags for wet/dirty clothes
- 1 toilet seat cover (fits all toilets and folds up nicely for travel)
When we got in the car, I lined the seat with one of the change pads and we set off. Thinking back, I am not sure why I had such intense nerves and worry over a silly pee accident, but I did. I must have asked/reminded Zinnia ten times in the first 5 blocks to tell me if she needed to pee. It was then that my wonderful partner, Shane, gave me a beautiful and greatly appreciated piece of advice,
"Chubbs (my not so beautiful nickname; long story) she has given us no reason not to trust her. She has done so great so far and has been going on the potty on her own for days. Why don't we go ahead and trust her that she's got this".
He couldn't of been more right. Hand meet forehead. She had earned our trust, and she was very ready for our big adventure, I just needed to relax, release the things I could not control, and let it go, let it go, let it go! Thank you mantras and thank you Shane.
Our day exceeded my wildest expectations. Not one accident.
We went into the day thinking "I wonder how long she will be in this outfit" and "I wonder how many accidents she will have today". Poor girl, there was not much faith in her corner.
We took a car, ferry, train, subway and bus. We went on rides, we had a picnic, we ate ice cream and she napped with NO ACCIDENTS. She told us she needed to pee, we listened. She peed in several public toilets making it there every single time. The toilet seat was a big help in allowing her to sit freely on the toilet and not have to be held.
Proud does not begin to describe how I felt. She did so amazing, and I cannot believe how much I feared this day. I cannot believe how much I dreaded this entire experience and I cannot believe it's already done. Day 1 feels like forever ago and I already forget how long and draining that day felt.
Do I still have fears? Some, such as long car rides to the in-laws, and taking diapers away at night, but I know better. I just need to trust the process, and know that this, like everything else in this life, shall pass.
I hope you have enjoyed reading about our potty training journey and I hope that I have inspired even one other parent to also bite the bullet and go for it, once and for all.
I truly believe the longer you wait and the older they are, the harder it can become. Habits get stronger and children can begin to grow an attachment to their diapers. I am so glad we did it when we got the chance and that by 2 years old, Zinnia is all done with diapers.
Thank you for being a part of our journey and reading my diary on this experience. If you ever have any questions in regards to your own journey, never hesitate to ask.