Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Toilet training - the saga continues

Image from here
If there is one area of parenting the 0-5 set that I would claim to be a complete loser at, it is toilet training. I loathe toilet training. All the rewarding for mediocrity. The continuous asking (Do you need to do a wee___? Insert name of child currently undergoing TT). Children experimenting with control. Being house-bound. Dealing with wet beds and wees on the carpet. Nightmare.

I had a mixed run with the boys but the twins have just started their journey.

Nugget didn't accomplish this milestone until he was nearly 3 1/2. I waited for 'the signs' and quite honestly, I think I would still be waiting if I left it up to Nugget. He had no qualms with being the only child in a nappy.  I insisted we get it sorted before the twins came along. The fear of four children in nappies loomed large and was a great motivator.

He reached competence in a remarkably short period of time, but he relapsed when the twins were born and spent a couple of months randomly 'bush weeing' throughout the house, and, occasionally dropping a stink bomb by night. That will learn you Mum for bringing those scrawny screaming babies into the house!

A charming experience (beyond words is many ways) that I hope to one day forget (although I think dealing with a nearly four year old's poo in his nappy may in fact be printed on my memory and in my nasal passages for life).

Night time nappy-free living didn't come for him until he was nearly six. One down.

Doo Dah self initiated day-time training when he was 2 1/3. Not long after Nugget actually and I was still suffering fatigue from the relapse. I was also breastfeeding the twins. In tandem. And stuck behind the world's biggest feeding pillow. It was less than ideal timing, but I wasn't going to complain.

I moved the potty into the lounge room so I could at least be present for his toileting, but needlesstosay he was on his own, putting his own stickers on his reward chart. I know, I feel sorry for him too.

It was a beautiful thing, smooth and accident free. The only glitch was 'getting the hang' of Number 2s. He was the sort of kid who would wait until his nappy went on in the middle of the day for his 'nap' (or crap). That stage dragged on forever, but he eventually overcame it. He is still in nappies at night. One and a half down.

And so it is over to the twins. Toilet training twins is proving to be a whole new world of pain.

Dew Drop started to show interest about two weeks ago. So I pulled out the potty. He was all gung ho and managed a whole day of success. Sadly this was never to be repeated. He woke the morning after his all conquering day and frankly refused to wear undies. He has managed a couple of wees on the potty since, but to say that he lacks enthusiasm for the task is a gross understatement. Dew Drop is experimenting with control and he likes it!

The Minx on the other hand showed no interest. She looked on as Nugget made a reward chart for Dew Drop and we populated it with bright coloured stickers of the "Your bloody awesome" variety. Point blank refused to get involved.

And then, they managed to capture a wee at daycare (during a regular toilet time) and she has been a machine ever since. She has powered through her first 'wee chart', tackled her first poo on the potty (which she stated she 'did not like') and embraced her Dora undies. I would go so far as to say that she is well on the way. (One and three quarters down?) Today. But tomorrow? Could be a whole other story...

I know they all do things in their own time. I know I need to have patience and lavish them with praise. I'm just not sure I have it in me to get through another two lots of toilet training, and worse? At the same time. Argh. How good will it be though? When they are done? No more day-time nappies? I barely dare to think about it.

So I would  love you to share your best ever toilet training tip. And Mums of Multiples, tell me about your twin toilet training experiences!

23 comments:

therhythmmethod said...

I don't know how you do it. But it will happen. Hang in there.

Coal Valley View said...

I'm in the exact same zone.
It occurred to us about a month ago that the boys were still in nappies and maybe we better do something about it. They were 3 in August. I asked one of them if they wanted to try undies - "Oh yes" he said. It took him about 2 days and then he got it straight away and a few nights later he said he didn't need a nappy at night. Not a single accident and it's been a month. Done. I asked the other one if he wanted to try and he said "no" and has said "no" everyday for the last month. sigh. Can't make them. It's very convenient doing 1 at a time. So now I can focus on the other one. Is your daughter not more interested than your son? Sweeping generalisation there!! I agree they do it when they are ready - I've seen friends try way too early and it then takes them ages to get it with heaps of relapses /dramas along the way. And the day the last one is toilet trained will be cause for celebration indeed. Good luck!!

Photographer Mum said...

Miss 4 is done and dusted - night nappies took forever to get rid of though, but by some fluke, she was done with them the weekend N and I went on our cruise. The kids were staying with my mum and she forgot to put a nappy on her. Woke up dry the next morning and not one single accident. She was originally day trained at 2 & 3/4 but then reverted when Mr 1 was born.
Mr 3 is starting to show interest but not quite there yet. We have a drawer full of undies for him and hoping it takes over summer and before preschool starts.
I can't imagine doing 2 at once - good luck!!

brismod said...

I have no tips apart from a stiff martini or two. Two of my children were late bloomers and it will happen when it happens. xx

life without mathematics said...

No tips...nothing. Just my weary exhaustion at the mere mention of it, and the memory that it always eroded my humanity. I loathe those "Do it in a Weekend" books, and every promise it won't take long. I found it was a good 6 months of CONSTANT reminders and accidents from the day we started. I wish I had read somewhere that it is a journey of a thousand steps that takes a THOUSAND YEARS!! Our last Miss is Five and still in nighttime naps...and she can stay in them!!!

Kirsty @ Bowerbird Blue said...

In the midst of training and accidents here with my 2 3/4 yr old. My first trained while camping at 2.5 easy. Second didn't like to be naked 3.5 before he mastered it. This one has wees going quite well with special treats - dried mango, blueberries, the odd sweet thing but poos are another matter altogether. Sticky sloppy poos in new tinkerbell knickers not so nice! Will be all but a distant memory before long but yucky while your in it.

Bungalowgirl said...

We have just had our last nappy in the house 2 weeks ago, yippee. Firstly with boys, do not bother before the age of 3. We did and wished we had not bothered, at 3 years and 1 week just days before an interstate holiday he ditched both day and night nappies and was done.
My little girl was was into undies from just over 2 but finally ditched the night nappy at 2y10m. Chocolate is a great reward and mine loved that step chair much more than the potty. Also they are just like cats, the less you care the more likely they are to get it sorted. good luck , melx

Mum on the Run said...

Um, this Mum of one has nothing to say to you but- braaavvo!!!

If not one of your children used the toilet until their teens, I think I'd still be in awe of you.
:-)

Mama of 2 boys said...

Haha, you're hilarious, love this post. I am NO expert as I have only had to train one child thus far. He was actually quite good. Two and a half and we just decided one day to 'give it a go'. He hasn't looked back. Always managed to get to the loo for number 2's and have had only a handful of wee wee accidents. However, we still haven't mastered the art of the nighttime toileting, so he's still in nappy pants, but we're looking at getting out of them in the next year... hopefully!
I think you're amazing Mama... 4 toliet training experiences... really, you are amazing xo

tinsenpup said...

I did an awful job toilet training my first girl. My only advice (pathetic though it is) is don't push it. It's fairly unlikely they'll still be asking for a nappy for poos when they're fifteen. Also when you're finally at your wits end and you know they're ready, but resistant, bribery can be rather effective.

Sarah Mac said...

I was still stuggling with my son when he was 3 1/2 - one day he announced that he would stop wearing nappies when he started school and that's exactly how it happened.

He didn't used the toilet once until he started school and never had a nappy (day or night) after he started and not a single accident either :)

joeh said...

Training is the worst. This exercise is suspended when Grandpa Joe is on the job.

THe Cranky Old Man

Diminishing Lucy said...

I am no help with the twin thing. That makes my head hurt, the very idea.

(Charlie was a night time crapper BTW. Shit me to tears. He regressed as a result of being in traction for ages at age four. Arrggghhh!)

But all I can suggest as my best tip is concentrate the effort. Spend a few days at home on a weekend. Just. At. Home. No outings at all for the TT child and one parent. I know this is probably virtually impossible. But I did this with all three. I roped in all kind of help to ditch the other two kids. And the TT was done in a day. (Three of most boring days in the world, but satisfying. SO rare for each one of them to get a whole 12 hours of one on one Mummy attention! No TV even!)

You will get there. It's magical when you realise that the only nappy in the house is a newborn one you snaffled from a friend for a dolly accessory...

GOOD LUCK!

Mrs Average said...

Toilet training was the worst bit of parenting Master A. Missy A at just 18 months has initiated it herself and sporadically has a wee on the potty. However the whole event of Master A has scarred me and I cant bring myself to go through it yet... I know I need to and now is as good a time as any and she is ready. All valid points.

But, I'm not sure I can spend another 4 hours at nursery and refuse to move until a wee has been completed. Yep I did that so that Master A wouldnt hold himself all day.

Oh and in case you wondered how I cracked it. Bribery. It worked and I say it without shame. He was dry at night as soon as he was dry in the day.

Ali said...

I sympathise with you. I have only toilet trained one child so far - actually I didn't do anything. I had totally given up and was convinced she would be attending high school still in nappies when she suddenly decided that nappies were for babies. Who knows how the second one will go, I am not looking forward to it.

cityhippyfarmgirl said...

I've done this twice now, and already I'm hazy on how I did it. I know it involved food bribes and a lot of neighbouring trees...actually the trees still get used.

Mel said...

Oh I don't envy you with 2 at the same time! Mind you, we just mind end up with 2 at the same time because my two are 14mths apart and DD is just starting TT while DS is still going through it.

Its been about 10mths since my DS (then 2 3/4) showed signs and daycare encouraged us to start. He really wasn't ready. He's just now moving out of pull ups during the day, and will only this week stay dry for his day sleeps (#2s another story - now that we've taken the pull up away for that sleep, we're getting them in undies instead!). DD is almost 2 1/2 and very interested in undies and the potty, but hasn't quite got the hang of actually 'going' on the potty yet. Hopefully this summer will get her started.

My Mum is a school teacher, so has dealt with kids all of her adult life, and she admits that toilet training is the hardest thing she ever had to do with young kids - so frustrating because she just had to wait for us kids to be 'ready' ourselves.

May we all have luck, and soon!!

Ms M said...

My tip. Get child to pick out their own undies and buy lots of them. Make a big deal out of the undies and just stop wearing the nappies (except at night - everyone needs a rest, its hard work learning this stuff). Yes they have accidents. Christmas day last year my then 3 year old poo'd at a park with one of those auto loos. What a nightmare getting him clean. But we survived and shortly after he was dry. Just say "oh well, never mind, you can try and get to the toilet next time". I stressed with my first child and it was a lot more of an ordeal and took longer. Better to just be blaze and accepting.

River said...

I don't know that this counts as a tip, but mine learnt to use the toilet by copying me and their dad. Starting at about 18 months, I'd announce that I had to wee (or poo), and head off to the toilet with child following. When I'd finished I'd ask Do you want to wee? Soon enough they wanted to be "just like mum" and wee in the toilet. All of them preferred the toilet over the potty. I had a little seat that fitted inside the regular seat and a small stool they could climb on to reach. all four were completely daytime reliable by age three, with the younger two being bedwetters until almost 8, it runs in the family so I was expecting it from at least one of them.

Cathy said...

I had to laugh...although I really shouldn't, as I have one left to "train". Heaven help me! I'm sending this to a friend though who is having trouble with her 3 year old! She'll know sjhe's not alone (and that it could be worse - 2 at a time!)

Megan Blandford said...

A got it quite easily, but I still hated the whole thing! That constant talking about 1's and 2's has done my head in for the last year!

Kate said...

"He was the sort of kid who would wait until his nappy went on in the middle of the day for his 'nap' (or crap)."

...oooh you do make me laugh!!

bribes all the way i say!!

Janelle said...

Oh gaaaawd, we haven't started yet but I can see it looming on the horizon. And I'm scared stiff! I like River's suggestions above, sounds like a sensible way to go about it.

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