May 13, 2009

On potty-training

'Toilet training is best delayed until the months following the second birthday, when the child can consistently identify the signals from a full bladder or rectum and wait for the right place to open these muscles - physiological developments essential for the child to cooperate with training. A toddler who stays dry for several hours at a time, stops playing during urination or a bowel movement, and is bothered by a wet or full diaper show signs of readiness.'
(Berk, 2008, Infants, children and adolescents.)
Recently I have been asked by someone if K is potty trained, when I answered not yet, her answer to me was, "My sons have been potty-trained since they were 9 months old!" Good for her! She must have saved alot of money on diapers.

I have started initiating K to the potty, starting with books like 'Everyone Poops' by Taro Gomi. A book that takes a matter-of-fact attitude towards the bowel activity and its outcome. For a toddler, it is informative and it has worked to ensure that K has regular bowel movements every 2 days. But for me, this probably qualifies as 'toddler toilet humour', quite literally, with its quirky illustrations.






Cognitive association without muscular development of bladder or bowel control does not help. K understands the concept but has shown that he is still not physically ready to be potty-trained. He goes about his normal activities with a heavy diaper and wants to sit on the potty if he sees dh or me using the toilet. He then ends up sitting 5-8 minutes on the potty waiting for the bladder movement to happen. From that few times he has asked to use the potty, he has only succeeded twice. This is a sure indication that he is still not able to tell if he has a full bladder.

Before I am able to start K on a 'potty-going' routine (morning, after meals, before nap time), his reply has been "Don't want," whenever I ask him if he wants to use the potty. I have also decided against using 'underwear training method', until I see more signs of potty readiness.

'Children whose parents postpone intensive training until the early to middle of the third year are generally fully trained without four months. Starting before 27 months simply makes the process take longer.'

(Blum & Nemeth, 2003, Pediatrics 111)

I have decided that K can dictate his own pace for potty-training, and I will not be pressured by the 90% of 2 year olds out there who are already in their training pants.


Merryn said...

no hurry. if he is ready, he is ready. why rush? rite? ethan has been using the potty since he was 6 mth old until 16mths.. then he stopped! see! that is why expert says.. wait until they are TWO! now i dunno when he will re-use the potty!!

Karen said...

Absolutely right! There is no use forcing as it only stresses ourselves. Ethan didn't want the potty nor the toilet bowl till quite recently. We took it easy eventhough my MIL always boost that my she trained my hubby to go potty as young as 12 months old. In actual fact, she put him on the potty every morning, afternoon and evening. So she was trained not the toddler. But of course there are many parents who still cannot hold back this part. When they are ready, it just takes a week ot 2 to be trained. But with Ethan, wearing briefs did wonders. Training pants are not useful as he treated it as diapers.

Rachel said...

Merryn - Wow...u must have alot a patience to start training him on the potty since 6 months. I think we just have to take nature take its course. Should not try to rush it in case they get all turned off by the routine.

Karen - I noticed that from the older generation...they take pride in believing that they have trained the child, while in fact, the baby cannot even control their bladder/bowel impluses at that age! At the end of the day, I think there are so many other things that we need to learn to let nature take its course, when we are bringing up a child.

the little prince said...

I start Kyle from 7 months...but much earlier, since 2 months old...he do not 'simply' poo poo. only when I 'ask' him to...sometimes, he doesnt want poo poo only in 3 - 4 days time when he is younger.

but around 6 - 7 months old...he start using potty, then every morning will poo poo...once a day only except the teething period (2 times!)

Wee wee training, in fact not really training..I did not let him wear the pants...and later he refuse to wear diaper, he will scream when I try to put on for him!! :-)

Now he will tell me to 'shee shee' when he want to wee wee. Still got to wear cloth diaper during nap time n sleeping time at night.

I think let them be naturally, I didnt expect my boy to be so early...its just him 'hate' to wear the diaper!! :-)