Guess where we have been spending time lately. You guessed it. It's potty training time.
Let me begin by saying I LOATH potty training. When I tried the "3 days and $30" method (in which you stay in your house letting them run naked for 3 days and then rent a carpet cleaner for $30 to clean everything up) I lasted until noon on day one and was a wreck. It just doesn't work for our family. I have no patience for cleaning up waste off my floor so this time round I am taking a bit of a different approach. I have heard of children with DS taking until they were 5 or 6 to finally potty train and I simply don't want to be changing diapers that big so I thought maybe if we started early and gently encourage her than we might at least have success by the time Ella goes to school. I much prefer the slow and steady approach.
We face a few obstacles on the potty training front however. One being that Ella does not mind being in a soiled nappy. Two, she is not the best communicator and three, she does not respond to discipline. She will laugh in my face and cheekily do whatever she is not supposed to be doing, again and again.
Four, impatient mommy and five, irregular schedule with lots of outings.
We started after Christmas, and began by putting Ella on the potty about every 15 minutes. It was a good time to start because Ben was home so I didn't have to constantly be stopping what I was doing and we could trade off. Since then, we try to put her on regularly when we are at home and then when arrive at our destination or at semi-regular times throughout our outing. In the in between times, I still keep a diaper on her.
I know many theories say to first collect data on how often and when they are "voiding" (don't you just love scientific lingo?) but really, as much as I am routine driven I don't always give Ella drinks at regular times, and she doesn't seem to always "void" at regular times. Plus, we are usually out at different times during the day.
So how is it going so far? I'd say good. I never expected it to go quickly. She knows to go when she is on the potty but doesn't know not to go when she isn't on. She will not initiate and use the sign for potty when she needs to go, but if we ask, she will, sometimes, use the sign, especially if we have done it first. Steps in the right direction right? If she is trained by 2013, I will be a happy camper, I can tolerate the program we have going on here: happy mommy, happy Ella. We'll see how it goes.
Just out of curiosity though, how old was your child when they potty trained? What worked best for mommy and child?
PS-If you want a good old scientific approach to potty training be sure to check out this post.