I guess Aanya was 7 months old when I realized I had had enough of messy diapers. So one fine day I bought a potty chair. It was a fancy potty chair (as all Made in China ones are) which played music and came with wheels too (my husband was shocked, “You want to wheel your child around the house while she is on the potty?” Made sense. Why didn’t I think of that?). Oops, I am getting away from the subject; this blog post is not at all about my logical reasoning or the lack of it.
The next day, I opened the covers with a flourish and showed to my little daughter. I should admit that she was not at all impressed. It was a little disappointing; I’d thought she would at least give me one of her gummy smiles. I made her sit for her nature calls but she started howling. She was scared of this new big thing. Now what to do?
Not one to accept defeat so easily, I started giving her baths on the potty chair to make her familiar with the object. Did you just say ‘yuck!” Believe me when I say it’s a lot cleaner and more hygienic than wiping off those poop-y bottoms. I cleaned the potty chair after every use with an antiseptic. Little by little, Aanya started acknowledging the potty. She wasn’t afraid of it anymore. Good for her and a score for me! Then I started making her sit every time she would make a potty face (yes, there is one and mothers recognize it when they see one. Lol!). Thankfully, she would sit on it peacefully and not howl anymore.
But it wasn’t long before Aanya discovered that it wasn’t fun sitting at one place and her legs could take her anywhere. Time for the potty to go out. Then I bought a potty seat that would fit on a regular western toilet. It was a pink potty seat made of Rexene in bright pink and interesting cartoon characters. Aanya was 9 ½ months; old enough to sit properly without falling down. She loved her new potty seat where she could sit dangling her legs. This time the transition was not at all tiresome. Though she could not say the actual word, she would stand still at one place, try to grab my attention and say ‘mmm’ which was signal enough for me. At 17 months, she had started saying ‘potty’.
It’s said that potty training is the first social skill that a mother teaches her child. I don’t know about that but it’s actually a lot more convenient for a mother. Though there is no right age for potty training, the earlier the better. If your child howls and cries, give it a rest for a few days and then again try it. Just remember a few rules:
- Don’t pressurize your child or punish her
- Don’t abuse her verbally/physically for missing the date with the potty
- Appreciate whenever she makes to the potty on time
- Make your child realize how dirty and uncomfortable it is to soil the diaper/underpants
- When you make her sit on the potty chair, you sit on the commode too. This way she will realize that it’s a normal thing to do.
- Make it fun; kids get bored so easily. Whenever she is on the potty, sing rhymes or songs with her. She will start enjoying her potty sessions. I have tried this with Aanya and it actually worked.
Currently, I am on another mission: weaning her off the nightly diaper. Let’s see how it goes but you can surely expect a post on it sometime soon.