Sunday, 6 June 2010

Sometimes it's OK to give up

Pop Princess is 3 in October and after a lot of pushing from nursery, last week I decided it was time to get her potty trained. I had been leaving it and leaving it as her world was turned upside down with the arrival of Rock Baby, and its something she has really struggled to come to terms with and even now she has not accepted the fact there is a new little lady in the house.

However we are 5 months in after RB's arrival and I thought this was enough time to now try her with the potty training. So off we went together to buy the big girl knickers with Peppa Pig and Dora emblazoned on them, the floor wipes and ample kitchen roll. We had already got the pink Peppa Pig Potty some time ago and she had been sitting on this on and off over the last few months.

So Day One was obviously not that great very few wee's actually went in the potty but by the end of the day she was getting the idea and the bribe of a chocolate button after each time she successfully got one in the potty seemed to work. However this was only working when she had nothing on and as soon as you put her big girl knickers on she struggled. She also hated the toilet and seemed really scared when she did do a little trickle!

Day two - Actually quite a good day, she was still not saying she needed to go but I managed to catch her with the potty before most of it went on the floor. Lots of stickers and buttons later I was really hopeful she was getting the idea. It did appear though she was struggling to get on and off the potty as its so low to the ground and she was tripping up when using it which seemed to knock her confidence.

Day three and four - total disasters now fully clothed with knickers and little skirts or loose leggings she was still not saying she needed to go, she was wetting herself and not caring, she just wasn't that interested and more interested in playing rather than noticing she was wet and only actually managed to use the potty once. Every time I asked her if she wanted to go she said no, when I tried to put her on the potty every half hour she didn't want to.

By Thursday night I was wondering if she was actually ready and everything was pointing towards this

She didn't once tell me the whole week she needed to go for a wee wee
She seemed scared of the toilet
She didn't seem bothered when she wet herself, more interested in playing
She wasn't excited by her potty and really had no interest
She couldn't pull her knickers on and off by herself

I could feel myself starting to get frustrated and I didn't want this to pass through to her and set her back so that night I rang my Auntie who is a midwife and she has always given me great advice and she said put her back in nappies, don't make an issue out of it, I was the one who had decided it was time to be potty trained not Pop Princess it was not her choice and she obviously wasn't ready.

So after a week of frustations I decided it was best for her and me to stop and try again in a month or even two months or three whenever PP showed more signs she was ready and asked about her potty.

Since being back in nappies she has not asked or mentioned the potty once another sign she was not ready.

So this episode has now taught me to go with my instincts more, she is my daughter and I know what's best for her, it doesn't matter that she is the last out of all her peer group to be potty trained, it doesn't matter that she has not met the target the nursery have on their charts and it doesn't matter that she will be 3 in Oct. She is just not ready and I need to listen to her more and go with what's best for her.

I need to remember she didn't sit up on her own until she was 9 months, she didn't crawl until she was 13 months and she didn't walk till she was 19 months, even now she can't competently run, is constantly tripping up and stumbling and hence was always physically slower than all her friends and potty training is going to be no different.

The biggest lesson is giving in is not failing, sometimes its ok to back down and give up if its in your child's best interest. I do feel very guilty now that I pushed her so hard, given her age I just assumed she would have had it cracked in a few days as we had waited that little bit longer but I was wrong and she is much happier so for now that's all that matters to me.


  1. I think it's great that you've reached that moment of realisation. All kids are different and the only person you can trust to get the parenting skills right I'd yourself. Believe in your own instincts and don't worry about what everyone else and all the parting resources tell you. Do it your way and things will happen when the world meant them to. Good luck!

  2. You know your child best, she's clearly not ready. It's as simple as that. I really don't understand the pressure to potty train early. It's not like we're hand washing terry nappies these days. My niece was put in pants when she turned two, four months ago. This week she peed on my carpet - again. My eldest will be three in September and, much to the horror of my MIL, is still in nappies. I'm waiting for him to tell me he's ready. Good luck x

  3. I found your post really interesting - my little girl is only two, so far too young to consider potty training yet, but I wasn't sure at what age I should start thinking about it. You've reaffirmed my belief that I'll be able to tell when the time is right. xx

  4. Well done for letting her grow up at her own pace. Both my boys were late out of nappies, but we missed the potty stage out and went straight to the loo (I HATE potty's). There is no rush at all.

  5. She'll do it when shes ready and ignore all the books that say stopping once you've started is damaging, its not, she will do it in her own time, nursery will no doubt help in the end as she will see others doing it and she will want to!
    Well done for giving it a try! xx

  6. Thanks for the comments everyone I know we've made the right decision, I'll keep you informed on her progress!!

  7. We have a similar thing, I'd love for Toddlergirl to start training but she really doesn't seem interested and doesn't really notice when she's doing things

    She was also late moving and walking so I guess again will be doing this a bit later

    Nice to know that having the confidence to not do something is the right thing to do

  8. It's not 'giving up' though is it? It's listening to your girl like any good Mum should. Good for you, she'll get there in her own sweet time. We're our own worst enemies with pressure aren't we?!

  9. Yes yes yes!
    i wish someone had told me this.
    we had hell when my boy was 2 1/4. i felt that i "ought" to get it done as all the (ok yes) girl friends were dry.
    We eventually gave up after many tears and tried again at 2 3/4 and it was relatively smooth.
    listen to your own instincts.