This should have been posted here in August, but better late than never.
With the risk of jinxing it I am going to write about Eva’s toilet training success. Early in the year I tried a couple of days of nappy free time in an attempt to have Eva out of nappies before the baby’s arrival. It was some of the most frustrating days of my parenthood and I resigned myself to the fact that she wasn’t ready.
Fast forward to a month ago when we started with Eva’s agreement. What a difference it has made.
Hugo spent his first few months in eco disposables while he waited to grow into our bum genius nappies. When he first started wearing the cloth nappies Eva was a bit put out that he was in her nappies but we had some newer ones that were just for her so it was ok.
Within a couple of weeks I could see that the volume of nappy washing was significant and the drying turn around time was a bit long in Winter. Also Eva was able to start telling me when her nappy was dirty. Previously this hadn’t bothered her.
Nappy change time had increasingly becoming a battle and I think that she realised that Hugo was a baby and sharing her nappies.
One afternoon, at the start of school holidays with no activities planned, I again casually dropped in the “big girls wear undies” statement as we were putting a wet nappy in the laundry. Immediately Eva said “Eva wear undies” so I seized the opportunity and put her undies on.
Eva has been sitting on the potty since her arrival home as we practiced a very casualelimination communication. We didn’t do the watching Eva for cues but more the “pottytunities” straight after waking and before the bath. This provided us with lots of reading time each day! Eva was thus familiar with the potty and it’s purpose but as you can see it didn’t really encourage her out of nappies any sooner.
I knew from my experiment in January that she had a good bladder capacity which meant that I could skip the 15 minute reminder stage and jumped straight to hourly reminders.
The first two days we had a few accidents of course but I could soon see that she could go 2 hours between wees so I had to do less reminding which took the pressure off. The tricky thing was finding trousers to wear the didn’t fall off of her now that she had no waist to hold them up! She currently wears a lot of leggings.
Eva did a lot of sitting on the potty in the lounge or her bedroom so that I had somewhere to put Hugo down while with her. The bathroom isn’t very conducive to that! As well as timing from the last potty use she sat immediately after meals, ie the potty was next the high chair. Those first few days I used the television as bribery to keep her still long enough.
Each success was met with much celebration, clapping and a high-five. Eva of course really enjoyed the fuss being made. This reward system seemed to really work for her. The first few days she continued to use her undies for a poo but I did notice that she hid somewhere, which she never did in a nappy. I was surprised but she didn’t save her poos for her sleep time nappy.
Our first outing was to have Hugo weighed which was an hour round trip in the pram and we managed to go in between wee times. Although she did want to try the toilet at the Maternal and Child Health Clinic I guess as a novelty.
The next outing, 4 days after starting, was to visit a friend and then to pick Daddy up from work. We travelled with her potty and I was thrilled when she stayed dry and proudly used the potty at Sally’s house. I was so excited by this success.
Eva has just continued to progress over the past month. Soon I found that she was using the potty on her own so I stopped reminding her. Gradually she has progressed to using the toilet which has a small seat inbuilt.
The first few attempts at crèche at church ended up with accidents. I was very proud when 2 weeks after starting she stayed dry at Occasional Care. They have a toddler sized toilet so that was a great treat.
Eva has become more accustomed to toilets when we are out although I have seen her hold on for 3.5 hours when on a playdate despite my encouragement to go.
We have a star chart for poos which has ben an excellent incentive. Eva gets a gold star for each poo in the potty. The goal has now progressed to the toilet. Her first reward after 5 stars was some bubbles. She was so excited.
I was amazed to see just how she flowed through each stage of the process virtually leading the way herself. Eva continues to wear nappies for sleep times. Previously her day sleep nappy would be dry whereas it’s often wet now.
Since the first day she has strictly been in undies for awake times. No nappies for just in case. We even survived a recent plane journey with dry undies including an exciting trip to the plane toilet.
I am so proud of her and can’t believe that we have reached another major developmental milestone with our little girl who started off in life with a battle to breathe and eat. We are reminded daily of just how blessed we are!