Yay! Potty Trained

Certain book titles like “How to Potty Train your Child in Just Three Days” seem to be something out of reach, but my little girl proved me wrong. Last Tuesday, she woke up with a decision in her mind; she had her intentions set on completely removing her diaper. As we were choosing her clothes for the day, she held her underwear saying, “No couche, mama! I want culotte.” I saw the determination in her eyes and her readiness to get rid and done with her nappies. So hiding my eagerness and excitement, I calmly explained to her that underwears cannot hold anything inside, and that she needs to use the potty in order to stay clean. And she agreed!

believe quote

To my surprise she had only one accident while the rest of the times she was able to inform me about her need to use the potty. On the third day, she was able to maintain her potty training even when I took them to a play date where she successfully used the regular toilet.

i can i willOf course we have been working on the concept for a year now by talking about it, reading books, and showing her and her twin brother as well, how we use the toilet. I also kept repeating that they soon will be able to remove their diapers. Her twin brother got excited about trying it as well, but he showed no signs of real interest or readiness to do so. That is why, I did not focus on the issue with him and decided to finish with his sister first.

And so our potty training came easily, smoothly, and with no stress (during the day and at night as well). The biggest gratitude goes to my little girl – 2 years and 3 months – whose decision gave me a forth cast on the type of woman she will turn into; a determined young lady who is able to take the right decision at the right time.

According to Dr. Schmitt, professor of paediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Medical director of the Encropesis-Enuresis Clinics, stress free potty training can improve a child’s self-confidence and grant him/her the independence he/she seeks later on in life.

However, if done improperly, studies show that it can lead to several long term issues which might be difficult to solve later on in life. Trauma, timidity, and fear are some of those concerns that might arise. We need to keep in mind that the child at this stage is fragile and sensitive. Being empathic, patient, and understanding the child’s needs result in having a successfull potty training.

www.livestrong.com/article/560414-long-term-effects-of-bad-potty-training

The more parents become frustrated and look disappointed by how long the process is taking, the more the child may withdraw into himself/herself and feel embarrassed and timid.

I believe that the calmer we are, the less stressful we act, and the more understanding we become, most parenting issues seem to be easier. So whether it is working on potty training or dealing with emotional concerns, we as parents need to work on our attitude first before having the impact on our beloved children.

N.B: I have written an article about potty training before where I have included a few important points as well. You can also have a look on it by clicking on the link below: www.thehelicoptermommy.wordpress.com/2015/05/25/help-its-potty-training-time/

 

feet

N.B: Images taken from @pinterest

 

 

 

 

My 5 Most Annoying Parenting Situations

Parenting has its gratifying and reprimanding moments. It is a mix of ironic conflictions, unique experiences, and surprising challenges. In fact it is an endless story of every day happiness, struggles, love, anger, patience, emotions, and routine. Moreover, we need to endure those monotonous chores that could sometimes be actually annoying.
Personally, I do tolerate and deal well with most of the issues like fights among my boys, the mess they create, and other boyish endeavours. For example, I try my best to rationalize things with them, set specific rules which they need to respect as well as implement my patient attitude and character.

Similarly, I enjoy reading the same story for the twins as long as they both ask for it ‘again’. I even savour the loud noises they make while they all play together. However, what really infuriates me are the following parenting rituals – until now – which have the facility of painfully distressing my exhausted body:

  1. Diaper change:

The worst case scenario is when I am done with the twins’ shower and everyone is neat and tidy as we enjoy our dinner. Then, there is this awful diaper smell coming from one of the twins. So of course mummy needs to change it! It does not take me a long time to wash and put a new diaper. It is normal, with experience I have become super-fast. However, a couple of minutes later, we smell that same awful odour coming from the other twin! There we go again! Happy hour…

poop

2. Bottle preparation:

I am in the process of weaning the twins off their milk bottles and using a sippy cup instead. Still, the worst time of having to prepare the bottle was around 5:00 am in the morning. It would still be dark outside and the house would be so calm and quiet. I simply could not continue enjoying my sleep in my warm bed once little Raphy wakes up ready for his morning milk bottle. I just don’t know how I got to prepare it with only one eye opened for all those months…

milk bottle

  1. Last minute change:

You might have an idea how much time it takes us to have all five get ready and go for an outing. I simply adore looking at them all neat and tidy standing next to each other. Yet, how could mummy come back to reality?  Of course, last minute accidents always find their way…. It is either one of them spills water on their clothes, gets a stain out from nowhere, or one of them falls down and tears his pants. So time stops again for us to solve the issue before we have to carry on with our plans. It is true it takes only a few minutes, but honestly it does bother me.

  1. Waking up siblings:

Usually, the twins sleep before the boys do, but we would be blessed if their boyish noises do not awaken their little siblings. How would you feel when one of your children wakes up the little baby who has been sleeping for almost an hour? I guess this issue will last for a few more years in our case. It would be easy if the twins slept directly after their nap has been disturbed, but sometimes they would just realize they are too energetic and active that they can play for the rest of the evening.

  1. Our bedtime:

The minute we think we can have our own ‘peaceful’ time and we decide to sleep, one of the children chooses to wake up. My eyes would be wet with tired tears, and my body is aching in fatigue. My partner and I start begging each other to get out of bed and settle the issue even though we realize we are both out of order. Does it happen to you as well?

sleeping baby

What are your most annoying situations? Do you relate to the above mentioned ones? Let me know by sharing your comments below. Hanging in there…

 

N.B.: photo credit online resources

 

Responsible Toddlers

The title “responsible toddlers” seems ironic. You might be thinking that I am over exaggerating when I combine those two words together, but trust me it is true. Doctors agree that a baby’s frontal lobe, which handles all thought and voluntary behaviour, matures in spurts, and takes years to develop. Moreover, few of these functions, like emotions, speech, and problem solving develop throughout the baby’s childhood, and perhaps even beyond.  (http://www.babycentre.co.uk/a6611/your-babys-brain-the-frontal-lobe#ixzz3xJHmdRdK)

However, a one on one interaction, skin to skin affection, and eye contact form the foundations of what I call “responsible toddlers”. Moreover, what you encourage your toddlers to do shapes their character and defines their attitude. For example, if we keep on repeating how naughty he/she is, they will come to believe that they are really bad and misbehaved. A better reacting to any mischief a child does would be, “What you are doing is not acceptable, or bad, or impolite etcetera” instead of “You are bad, impolite, naughty etcetera.”

Even better, once a toddler misbehaves, it is much more amusing and successful to direct his/her attention towards something else. For example, “Come see what I have here for you”, where you go and do something of interest for him/her.

They do understand and they know everything, so do not outsmart them. I realized that once a child is not occupied with an interesting activity, this need to be engaged will be transferred towards mishaps and sometimes impoliteness.

Nurturing healthy behaviour needs a consistent hard work, lots of patience, and lots of self-control every day. Here are a few things I did before with the boys and I am currently applying with the twins:

Nurture Independence:

I always encourage my kids to try out new things on their own. It could start with simple gestures, like eating alone, undressing, wearing their crocs, putting their dirty clothes in the basket, and even throwing the diaper in the trash bin. You cannot imagine how these small actions add up to their character and have them be responsible little beings.

Cooking Tasks:

I recently started having them help in mixing cakes, and preparing cookies with me. This activity not only gets them engaged, but it also helps in having them expand their vocabulary. While I am cooking, I give them some plastic cups, pots and spoons, some water and have them explore. They pretend to be feeding each other, and sometimes they enjoy sipping water from those cups.

dandr cake mixing

Present Choices:

I usually offer them the choice to choose between the types of fruit they want to eat, or the shoes they want to wear, and sometimes the bed they want to have their day nap in. This makes the child feel valued and respected. There is a mutual kind of respect going between the two of you and it is beautiful.

Show Empathy:

When younger, the twins, like their brothers before, have tried to exhibit tantrums at home, but our reaction to them helped them leap out of it as swiftly as they started. As a parent, we should remain calm and have them understand that we are there for them. Once they settled and were able to grasp what they did, expressions like,” I love you,” “ It is over now,” “It is ok to be angry” etcetera make the child know that we are there for him/her.  Here it is significant that the child understands that he/she does not have the right to hit the parent, throw and break stuff, or hurt oneself. Eye to eye conversation in such a case is vital so you make sure all the warmth and love are seen by the child.

Encourage Sharing:

I insist that the twins share and do it with pleasure which can be done by how softly I ask them to do so. Of course, sentences like, “Thank you for sharing”, “You are very thoughtful” etcetera reinforces such positive behaviour and attitude in the future. Moreover, it reduces frustration when dealing with other kids.
image

Firmness and Consistency:

This does not mean that a parent should yell or act aggressively to have the child abide by the rules. It is the challenge to remain calm, and positive as we deal with a certain attitude. After the twins started sleeping on their own, sometimes they try to break the rule and come out of bed. No matter how many times they do that, I carry them back and kiss them again saying, “You need to sleep now.”

Being firm and consistent does not only help toddlers, but it also constructs the foundations of dealing with “easier” teen agers as well. 🙂

Play time:

I dedicate almost an hour of play every day with them. It is pleasurable, rewarding, fulfilling and educational which also reminds me how blessed we are to have the time of being together.

There are plenty of activities that can be done, like painting, playing with dough, coloring, puzzle building, reading, cup stacking, block building, and the list never ends.

plyng twins

As I am always working on improving my parenting skills here, are a few things I am working on changing with my reaction not only with the toddlers, but the boys as well:

Limit the times I say NO:

As humans our first and easiest reaction would be “NO” to maybe every single request. Maybe it is out of fear, or sometimes out of not knowing how to react to a certain situation. This made me realise that I am encouraging a negative attitude which shows later on. So instead of saying” No, don’t do that”, or “No, it hurts!” I would say, “Gently, let us go down the stairs together”, “Gently! Pulling my hair hurts.” I can see some more positive reaction coming out even from the boys.

NO

Let us try to save the word NO for real dangerous situations.

Respect their individuality:

We need to be always aware of the fact that our children are not us. Each one of them has his/her own character, attitudes, personalities, and unique traits. We cannot force things on them, but we can guide them through explanations and clarifications as to why certain things are accepted and why others are not.  An open discussion starts really early on and moves throughout the years.

This reminds me of Gibran Khalil Gibran “On Children”

gibran quote

Yes, it is overwhelming at the beginning and seems impossible to even think of having those “responsible toddlers”, but it is worth trying. I would love to hear how you handle tantrums and what methods you apply. Please share your ideas in the comments below.

 

How My Babies Learned to Sleep Alone!

In the midst of all the commotion and the beautiful chaos during the vacation, the twins started sleeping on their own. Hurrayyy!

When all my five were still babies, they used to either sleep directly after being breast fed, or by the usage of a pacifier. Some of my babies used to doze off by pushing the stroller. Each one of them had their own preference, and I usually followed what made them comfortable and secure. Dahlia for example, would want me to sit next to her as she would coo or hymn until she became tired and sleepy.

Like all first babies, my first son used to sleep in a very quiet surrounding and we used get annoyed if there was any noise. Reaching number five, we are at a stage where we might even turn on the light as they sleep and they would not even feel it!

With my five kiddos my mothering instincts grew and matured. I became more aware of their needs and understood their attachment to me. For me it was a simple understanding I had with my children; if they need me, I am available both physically and emotionally. I realized that they will not sleep with me for a very long time, so why not take advantage of those cherishing moments as long as they last.

sleeping quote

One of the main successful methods for babies to sleep well is establishing a fixed routine. Otherwise, things get complicated and babies get horribly tired. Some parents are lucky enough to have their babies sleep throughout the night. On the other hand, not all babies do, and many parents get drenched by the time their little ones are settled into a fixed routine. However I have some good news for you dear mamas. Recent studies show that babies who do wake up a lot are highly associated with higher levels of intelligence and better mental health’ (Fleming professor of infant and developmental psychology, Buzzfeed.com)

newborn quote

I also learned, through my experience, that it takes some time for them to really understand and learn to sleep alone. However, I did not force it on any of them by applying “sleep training” or “controlled crying” methods. A 2011 study  showed that those approaches increase the level of stress in the babies even if they eventually learn to stop crying. It did take a lot of energy and time from me and my husband, but in the end we succeeded in having them sleep on their own.(http://www.earlyhumandevelopment.com/article/S0378-3782(11)00270-2/abstract)

Just two days after we came back from our trip to Lebanon, I was busy with the other boys tending to their scholastic duties. The twins were tired and I could not be present with them to follow in their habitual sleeping routines. So I gently put each one of them in their beds, saying, ‘Mommy is busy, and you need to sleep alone.’ I came back after five minutes to check on them to find both soundly asleep. Hurray again!

Even better, last night, Raphy held my hand and took me to his bed so I can tuck him in. Now that is even a bigger success! The cherry on top is that they both stopped waking up at night after mastering the skill of sleeping independently.

As a new mother, it is natural to try different techniques and means, especially if you are having a hard time with sleeping. But like all parenting issues, the main fruitful key is having true patience, or applying what we learn with serenity.

There are many handy tips that moms can surf on the net. At first babies spend most of their days sleeping; as they grow naps should be reduced. For example, once the baby is around 16 months old one nap per day is sufficient, and it is always better to have it done before 4:00 pm. Otherwise, the baby will not be able to sleep early at night. In addition, if the baby fails to sleep at that time it is OK to have her/him nap for ten minutes and wake them up.

sleeping chart

As per Fleming, many years ago and in many African countries nowadays babies spend most of their times carried around their mommy’s waist.  Babies crave personal contact and feel stressed if they do not get it. The whole idea of having the babies sleep all night in their own cots is a recent 20th century idea. This also explains why the rate of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) has increased.

In our modern lives we want everything to be perfectly organised, but the reality of parenting proves otherwise. If we grab that amazing chance of being parents where we could comprehend and appreciate their needs, we would relish those moments. I came to the conclusion that things get settled at their own time. For some it might take less than others, it is OK if yours need more time. Just go with their flow and enjoy them!

raising kids

Life with Twins

randd baby

Having had three single pregnancies before, I never even dreamt of getting pregnant with twins. Even though twins run in the family, I never thought I was going to be blessed with two angels at the same time.

made a wish

After having three adorable boys, my husband and I made a wish for baby number four… and two came true!! At first, we were overwhelmed with the idea that we will jump from a family of five into seven. It honestly took me quite a while to grasp the idea of how we will be able to manage all five kids with different age groups, needs, and characters. I was scared I would fail in front of them and I dreaded the idea of not keeping up to their needs. So how do I do it? It is an everyday process where I just learn. After all there is a learning curve for everything!

The fact of having twins is completely a new kind of parenting experience, as if you are now living on a new planet. One of the most common worries amongst parents who have twins is the jealous attitude that might develop between them, especially those of the same gender. However, from my humble experience I think jealousy is a normal feeling that arises amongst all siblings. I also strongly believe that the way parents react to jealousy incidents either foster or discourage it.

rand dmall

Like all other twins, our little boy and girl are extremely attached to each other. When they play, fight, babble, argue, share, or even get annoyed from each other, they are still deeply connected. Despite the fact that they both survived the same situations and passed through the same consequences, they have their own special traits and characteristics that signify them as unique individualized beings.

raphy on the desk

Little Raphy and Dahlia complete and complement each other. While he guides her into mischievous boyish acts like climbing all around the sofas and tables, jumping on the stairs, and rocking wildly on their rocking toys, she showers him with hugs, kisses, and cuddles. I know he will turn her into a tough one, while she is helping him become a considerate male figure. Both of them will actually thank the other later in the years to come.

crawling on back

Looking at their development, like all other babies, each of them crossed certain milestones at their own readiness. I don’t know if it is the same with twins of the same gender, but here are the main differences I observed between them.

Physical Development:

While Raphy was an expert in crawling at around seven months, Dahlia was more interested in sitting and observing objects around her. He also walked steadily before she did, and was able to go up and down the stairs with ease. (Around almost 14 months)

Language Development:

Dahlia seemed to enjoy dialect and knew how to use her tongue and lips properly to make appropriate sounds when she was still 7 months old. She even made bubbles using her saliva around 10 months. She was also able to blow a whistle after several trials. Raphy on the other hand, does not have the patience to do that and turns things into funny gestures.

Eating and Food:

While Raphy enjoys eating and devours his plate like a real man, Miss Dahlia is quiet picky. I do not know if this is a typical girl’s behaviour, but if she is not hungry then she would not open her mouth no matter what. This habit might serve her right in the future though! They both enjoy eating on their own where I give them the chance to do that when their brothers come from school and they join us at the table. You cannot imagine the mess they leave behind them, yet it is an essential practice for their growth and development.

Free Play:

One of the most exciting ways of playing on their own is to empty all the toys, cubes, blocks, and stuff found in their baskets on the floor. Raphy showed Dahlia just how fun it is to run through these toys kicking them in all directions! Yay, lots of fun times!

play mess

Learning Accomplishments:

Luckily enough they both love books, songs, puzzles, and imaginative play. Even if Dahlia is advanced in her fine motor skills, Raphy’s progress is improving day by day. Just a few months ago he would tire from matching puzzle, and now he enjoys finishing one after the other.

Here comes my role as their mommy in finding games where they can cross those milestones with ease. It is essential that they do not feel stressed about it as that will create a barrier between them and might eventually lead to jealousy.

sleeping angels

In my opinion, twins, like other siblings, should be aware of the fact that each one of them is unique and has special traits. They should learn on building these positive traits and in believing in their potentials. At the same time, they should learn to be responsible of each other and help one another when needed. I came across the following article where Lisa Devereaux discusses step by step on how to encourage individuality between twins (www.thelastdegree.com/how-you-can-encourage-individuality-in-raising-twins)

The amusing part of having twins is that you need to deal with the same issues twice and mostly at the same time. So whether they are having fun, causing trouble, trying to throw a tantrum etcetera it always comes in double. It is delightful and remarkable to see how they coordinate with each other. They have their own language and they know exactly what the other wants.

In comparison to moms who have had twins and passed this stage, my experience is still modest. Many say that despite the fact that they are twins, they are not really attached and others simply say the opposite. I am certain that specific conditions, parenting methods, and other factors affect their growth and development. One thing I am sure of though is that their presence in our life is such a delight. The way they stroll next to each other is adorable and their mischiefs are in fact hilariously witty. Bless all the twins and all the children out there.

holding hands

Practical Nursery Ideas

Decorating my home is a pleasure as it gives me the chance of being creative and set an environment which suits my character.

Although the twins are now almost 18 months old, I decided to share with you what I did in their nursery. I wanted to display the easiness of changing a nursery into a toddlers’ bedroom where they can still play and sleep in the same place.

Once I knew I had a set of boy and girl twins, I mainly decided on establishing earth colors with light beige, off-white along with pastel colors.

The good thing is that the twins’ room was big enough to install all the furniture I needed to use. When it comes to buying furniture for any nursery, I believe that the simpler you make it the better it looks, which reminds me of a French proverb, “La simplicite fait la beaute”. At the same time, I am a very practical person. Thus utile ideas suit me well.

Setting your mind on a specific theme for the nursery, helps you to narrow your research and to avoid purchasing furniture you might not use at all.

Furniture:

First and foremost buy the essential items that are needed: a cot, a changing table, and a rocking chair or even a sofa bed depending on your usage and budget.

This time, I chose white furniture because I wanted to rely more on the accessories to highlight the boy-girl theme. I also enjoy being in a luminous room as the sun rays fill my heart with joy, and what would a mom of five need but happiness to establish a blissful home?

For the changing table, I bought a few baskets where I kept diapers, cotton pads, sanitary gel, small towels, socks, shoes, bibs, and any other item that can be of handy while I changed for the twins. The good thing about the changing table is that it can be easily transformed into a cabinet where the twins, now use it to store books, toys, and playthings.

nursery 5

For the mattresses (which are covered by a special blanket to avoid soiling them in case of vomit and/or from soiled diapers), I purchased two sets of fitted sheets; one that is light pink and the other white. I also got two bumpers that covered the cot from all sides; one that is chequered pink and the other one chequered blue. Each bumper has two tiny birds on the front side.

cots

We changed those practical baby cots which have three different levels into tiny cute beds.The twins simply love the new freedom they have been given.

dwarf beds

Finally, I bought a beige L-shaped sofa bed, as I knew that I will be spending many hours during the night while feeding the twins, and I had to rest between feeds. Now we spend a lot of time sitting on it as I read stories for them.

sofa bedFlooring:

I decided on having a cherry brown wooden flooring, instead of putting a carpet since dust easily nestles itself in textile. The contrast of the dark wooden floor with the white furniture gave the room an atmosphere of warmth and serenity.

Walls:

I had the walls painted off-white, and put a striped beige and white wall paper on the biggest wall of the room. On the right side of that same wall, I had a white shelf where I displayed a white dress and a white shirt. On the top of it, there is a frame with small birds covering the whole border. On the left side, I put a cuckoo clock to set along with the two birdies theme.

nursery 3 (2)      wall shelf

Accessories:

In addition to the light blue and pink colors, I introduced the green pastel in the frames that hang up on the other wall. White crochet cushions are placed in one corner of the sofa bed, with two smaller ones that have birds of different pastel colors.  The chandelier is composed of off-white textile that surrounds each bulb.

 nursery 1 wall mirror

I also got them multiple baskets which at first were filled with basic clothes items and diapers. Now they are filled with toys, books, and stacking cups. I had them personalized, at Pottery Barn Kids, where later on each one of them can keep his/her stuff.

baskets dolls

Curtains:

The curtains were the last item I put in the nursery. Again, I chose off-white for striped vanishing blinds that are made of fabric. I went for simple ones as I only wanted to create some darkness in the room when it was time for sleep. During the day, I prefer to open them a bit to have the sunrays enter through the windows.

nursery 4

Interior decoration is a personal touch, and every person has her own taste, yet getting ideas always helps in developing one’s thoughts.  Finally, here is a picture on the day the twins arrived home. It is amazing how you completely forgot how small they were…

raphy baby home

Help! It’s Potty Training Time!

With every milestone and every new accomplishment done we, as parents, feel relieved and proud that our babies are moving smoothly from one stage to the other. The minute we finish with one achievement we start thinking of the following one. Potty training could be the most tedious and stressful deed to parents, especially if the child is not ready for it yet.

Our society puts a lot of pressure on the parents and the child where they expect him to be potty trained as earlier as possible.  While some toddlers accomplish this task at around 24 months, others struggle and might even continue wearing a diaper till the age of 4 years.

In the French system, for example, if a 3 year old child has continuous accidents in the classroom, he/she would have to stay at home until he/she is potty trained. The American system on the other hand does not accept students below the age of four where they can guarantee that this phase has been done and over with.

Friends, relatives, and grandparents start with their nosy questions as to whether or not the child still wears a nappy. As a mother – especially a first time mommy – you might feel overwhelmed and wonder what you need to do to help your child get rid of the diaper as fast as possible.  And so you start surfing the net and you try all those magical steps of 7 Easy Ways to Potty Training or Successful Potty Training in 3 Days etcetera..

  
I will be telling you about that issue as a mom of five and how different the experience was with each one of them.

Girls are potty-trained earlier than boys, and most people relate it due to the physical development of a girl where she can feel that she is having a bowel movement. This does not really apply to all children as my second son was potty trained at 13 months of age. Yes that early! So there is an exception to every rule.

First of all, as a parent you should know that there is no perfect or correct age for potty training. Each child is different and his/her readiness depends on biological, psychological, and emotional factors. It is very significant to know that the age when the child masters potty training has nothing to do with intelligence or future abilities as many parents suppose.

You can try pre-potty training simply to encourage your child and to have him/her get used to the idea. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that the child will be trained faster.

With my first son, I was delighted when he started showing signs at 15 months and I took advantage of the situation and encouraged him. After a few weeks of consistent practice, I thought we made it. Unfortunately, for some reasons, he regressed and started having accidents, and then he simply stopped thinking about going to the toilet all together.

I tried everything my hands came on to have him proper again, but my trials went in vain. First of all, I tried around five different styles of potties until I came across one that looked like a giraffe and was very practical for boys. Then, I bought him a very interesting book named The Potty Book For Boys by Alyssa Satin Capucilli. The book included a stuffed toy boy who had a diaper along with his teddy, and a potty. We used to read the story, act it out using the characters, and try to follow in with the steps in real life.

potty book

When that approach was not very successful, I printed out charts for him and had a sticker every time we succeeded in avoiding accidents. He soon got bored of all those stickers.

chart

I felt frustrated that I even tried bribing him with M&M’s and candy, but my son would not collaborate. Here, it is important to mention that as a new mom I didn’t know any better, but bribing, especially with candy, is not a proper parenting method as it communicates the message that it is acceptable to eat unhealthy stuff – but that is beyond the scope of this article.

At that time, my second son was almost four months, I knew I was simply putting a lot of pressure on myself and on him, and this had to stop. Otherwise, I would go crazy. Eventually, my elder son succeeded in wearing underpants again even though he continued to have a few accidents every now and then. Note that he had a dry diaper all night ever since he was 15 months of age. This helped me in understanding that he had no physical weakening in controlling himself and that helped me realize that he simply needed more time.

With my second and third boys, I didn’t even consider putting the anxious effort in trying to have them potty trained. They both looked up to their brother and took the good habit from him. Of course, I set a schedule where I would gently remind them to sit on the potty for a wee every half an hour, and from their facial expressions I could tell when there was a bowel movement. 

  

So we would simply rush again to the toilet. Seeing how their brother made it to the toilet made them realize the concept early, and once a child is ready to be potty trained it usually takes a week or even less.

Nowadays, I am at a stage where I could potty train my twins, and the differences in readiness to be clean are astonishing. For instance, my baby girl started to show me signs that she needs to poo when she was around 10 months of age, where as her twin brother doesn’t even care if he takes a wee anytime and anywhere he feels like it.

The bottom line behind this article is to tell you my dear readers that the more worried we are about parenting stuff, the harder and more complicated things get. By nature, God has perfectly created this astounding machine, which we call the human body. If we truly understand our children’s development and we know where their level of maturity and readiness are, we will help them accomplish great milestones with pleasure.

In summary, I can brief it down to the following points:

  • Yes you will have accidents.
  • Yes you will feel frustrated when the floors are clean and then your child feels that it is the best place to have his bowel movement take place right there.
  • Be consistent and set a certain schedule for the child as it might help. For example, a mom can start by having the child sit in the mornings on his/her potty until the child feels he/she does not want to sit anymore. She can try again around noon time if the first trial was not successful.
  • At the beginning it is quite difficult and you feel that the only two words you use often are pee and poo. But that is only natural and part of growing up.
  • Praise your child for succeeding but do not exaggerate.
  • Do not show your frustration as kids are smart and they know how to take advantage of this amusing situation.
  • Do not be affected by the society’s harsh comments, “Oh my he still wears a nappy!!” They only make you feel bad about yourself and your child.

girl on potty

In conclusion, you are the only person whom your child looks up to. In delicate situations you need to be spiritually positive about it. Note however, if you have any doubts and feel that there is a physical or psychological hindrance, do not hesitate to consult your paediatrician or seek any other professional help.

What is something you wish you knew about potty training? It would be interesting to know about your experience on this matter as we can always learn from each other. 

On the Internet there are many helpful sites that you can check. 

Below is a link to an entertaining song called the “Potty Song” which I came across;

www.youtube.com/watch?v=JoAMgjAmCdw

And for more details on potty training check this website which I found helpful for parents:

www.childdevelopmentinfo.com/ages-stages/toddler-preschooler-development-parenting/potty-training-guidelines

sticker image taken from: familycrafts.about.com

girl on potty: ehow.com