Potty training, AKA insurmountable-mountain-to-climb is something we have been thinking about for a while now. Here’s the thing, Paige is not really talking in sentences, or on demand and still prefers the relatively nonsensical but beautiful babblings of an adorable toddler. Nursery was helping in terms of wanting to be understood by her peers but lock down has put a stop to that! So how does Paige communicate “pee-pee or poopy”? – in a word, she can’t. So, I thought, ok we’ll look at her ‘tells’, her ‘cues’ – the ‘books’ say that she will go into a corner of the room and squat down to poop – this is not the case. Paige comes to me, clings around my neck and goes standing up – if I try to sit her on the potty during this time then she stops what she is doing until the nappy is back on!
So, I thought, start with pee-pee’s, easier to go, easier to tell? We began by sitting her on the potty, plying her with drinks and snacks, sitting with her and reading to her, playing games, colouring etc. We even put on songs about using the potty on YouTube while we waited, FYI these WILL get stuck in your head! We would sit there for 2 hours, quite happily spending time together until her little bottom had a red indent all the way around, she would stand up and pee! Naturally, I’d get the potty under her as fast as possible, tell her,” well done you are doing a pee-pee” (creating the association with that feeing), but then she would stop. Later I’d pop a nappy on her which she would immediately fill up!
Tried this for a few weeks and have come to the conclusion: She is not ready. They say the ‘optimum’ time is between 20 and 30 months, but it is not an exact science. I’ve learnt to listen to her. Paige told us when she was ready to move from the Next To Me to her cot in her room, she told us when she was ready for solid foods, when she was ready to stop nursing and no doubt she will tell us when she is ready to use the potty. I’m a strong believer that kids do things in their own time and I’m totally onboard with that. All it means is I will have 2 little ones in nappies 😊. I can cope with that, and I think Paige will be so happy to be my little helper that she will eventually, lead by example! Watch this space and we will try again!
Prep has gone out of the window:
As you know, one of my biggest fears with bringing a new baby home was having my little girl feel displaced. It genuinely keeps me up at night! The plan was to have play groups, nursery, toddler interaction and let Paige carve out an enjoyable and independent part of the day a couple of times a week which was just hers. This was going well, she was starting to settle, even I was crying a less on the mornings she was away from me! But then the pandemic meant that after Xmas we had to make the decision to temporarily pull her from nursery as I must be careful at this late stage of my pregnancy. It was an extremely hard decision and one which I almost wish the Government had made for me! But I figured that I could have these precious days with my baby and remind her that she is so important to us.
Without nursery, how did we prep for change?
- I read her books about becoming a big sister and how wonderful it will be
- The new baby has ‘bought’ a couple of gifts for her to reiterate and reinforce positive vibes
- We have bought a baby-boy doll that you can put nappies on, change outfits, feed etc so that Paige is part of what I am doing and then help for real
- I have prepared a plethora of meals and popped them in the freezer so that, when my hands are free, I am not away from Paige for any length of time but can enjoy her
- She has her own space in the house that won’t be invaded with baby things (that’s her Cupboard Under The Stairs play area)
So, although we have been foiled in our plans to prepare in the ‘right’ way, we have found work-arounds. Truthfully, I’m feeling beyond anxious about leaving her whilst I’m delivering her little brother, but I have learnt that I need to roll with the punches. Either way, in about 2 weeks’ time we will be a bigger, happier family and all safety back together, under one roof, finding our new normal.