We’ve been working on potty training for Zoey recently. I know many people think that children can be toilet trained as early as 1 years old. However we have not focused on this issue very much. I think part of the reason is because we use cloth diapers 80% of the time and so don’t feel the pinch of constantly buying diapers. With Zoey going to full day child care since January, this has become a matter with more urgency as I realise how much we are now spending on disposables. So I bought a bunch of nice underwear for her and started training her to pee on the potty or toilet.
She can now sleep through the night without wetting her diaper and wakes up to pee on the toilet in the mornings. She can also wear underwear in the day time and let us know when she needs to go pee. However, we have been struggling to get her to poop on the potty or toilet.
Her poop routine is generally hiding in a corner when she wants to poop and then refusing to admit that she has pooped. This results in a chase around the house while trying to hurl her into the bathroom to wash her butt. She is also a bit of a clean freak and gets freaked out when bits of poo floats down her leg while she is being washed.
So today, I put her in her nice new Elmo underwear and she was really good with letting us know when she needed to pee. There were no accidents in the morning as she diligently went to the toilet whenever she needed to. I knew she would need to poop at some point and constantly reminded her to go to the potty when the time comes. I especially focused on the fact that our helper was off today and that should she poop in her underwear, no one would wash it for her so I would have to throw it away. Zoey agreed to let me know when she needed to poop and I even decided to bribe her by saying she can have a Thomas the Train “phone” (walkie talkie set) as a present should she manage to poop on the potty.
Of course, when the time came, she forgot she was not wearing a diaper and that she was only in her underwear. By the time Irene and I realised she had been standing in a corner quietly for some time, it was too late. She had pooped in her underwear.
I decided to show her exactly WHY it is a bad idea to poop in her underwear by making her clean herself up. So instead of getting upset with her and scolding her, I told her that since she made a mess, she had to wash her underwear or I would have to throw it away. To my surprise, she did it like a champ!
She picked up the soiled underwear, dumped the lump of poop in the toilet bowl, flushed it away, washed her underwear, wrung the excess water out and put it up on the rack to dry. There was no complaining and she didn’t even ask for help. She did it all on her own.
I’m incredibly impressed by my little girl. For a toddler who is not even 3 years old, to take responsibility for her actions and do the necessary without complaining is amazing. Now I hope she remembers this lesson and will sit on the potty instead of pooping in her underwear again.