Potty training – the business of ‘letting go’

My son reaches the 30-month-old mark (finally!) and with his big build (15 kg and 93cm), all of a sudden many people (during kenduri back at home) asked me, why Adam still not potty train? (my well-intentioned cousins/aunties thought my son is already 4 years old and above, which is NOT by the way). Some even curious to know what size of pampers I used for my little darling of mine (the answer is XXL, thank you). All I can say is that: potty training is not something you just do on the fly. A lot of thoughts, preparation and planning (as a family) go into this (at least for mine it is). Not to scare you though. I approach potty training as a business of ‘letting go’, both from my side as a parent and Adam’s as the toddler in training.

We successfully potty-trained Adam at age 29-month-old in one-week time (with several accidents along the way). Here are some tips and well-proved guide that I’ve read, compiled and tested on my own. Some of it may be good for you while some are not. And if you’re lucky, you may be able to potty trained your child in 3 days! (it worked with my niece).

Just go with a heart of steel but with lots of tender loving care.

The best age to start potty training is between age 18-month-old to 3 years old with boys probably later than girls. If you missed this specific period of time, no worries. You can always start whenever your child is ready at a later age.

potty train

How do you know that your kid is ready then?

  1. He can talk or expressed himself well (either through sounds or facial expression or body language)
  2. He’s showing interest in going to the toilet (berminat ke tandas setakat nak mandi atau main air pun ok)
  3. Your child wants to change his diaper right away after urinate or passing bowel motion.

For us, it’s the one long week of hell in which Adam (and me) was down with rotavirus infection around 2 weeks before we start potty train. Imagine going through up to 20 pampers in the span of few hours for the past 4-5 days (including 3 hospital visits that week). That’s where we know for sure that Adam is ready and we can do this.


  1. Accept that accidents WILL HAPPEN and that’s part of the training.

I’m against punishment/scolding during potty training. How can you scold a child for something that’s way beyond his control and remember: this is his first time ever trying to stay apart from his ‘beloved’ pampers. Pampers for the kid are a safe haven for them. A comfortable place where they can just ‘let go’ anywhere anytime they want to.

For me, the best way to deal whenever accidents happen, just simply clean up and then encourage them to make it to toilet next time.


  1. Gentle reminders EVERY 15-30 MINUTES. Ask your child if they need to go?
  2. Positive reinforcements. Incentives are important to the kids. It can be sticker, crayon, action heroes, drawing time, etc. Be creative about it. Mine: showering him with kisses whenever he manages to do one in the toilet.
  3. Use potty training seat or urinal that best suit your child’s need and grab his/her attention.

If your house if two storeys, make sure you have one in each level for easier access. The key is to make the journey as easy as possible and accessible at ALL TIME.

For Adam, the second potty that we bought him finally entice him to sit on it longer and do the business. It was portable, comfortable and the design is in football theme – Adam’s favourite. The first one is animal theme and sadly, as colourful as it is, my son doesn’t like it so much.

  1. Do it in sessions.

You can try to do it daytime and later ease slowly into night time.

Or you can go big and go down hard as in trying for both day and night at the same time. Just don’t forget to lace your mattress with waterproof bed sheet and make sure your child urinates before he goes to sleep and try to cut off liquid after dinner.

  1. Cool undies help. A lot!
  2. Get supports from others a.k.a your babysitter, teacher in taska or your extended family (datuk/nenek sekiranya anda jenis yang balik rumah orang tua hampir setiap hujung minggu macam saya).
  3. Stay together with your child during the process and give rounds of encouragement in the toilet itself. And enforce hand hygiene and wash up right away after that. Stick to this routine.
  4. Figure out why your child doesn’t want to go in the toilet.

For some children, they fear that they may fall down into the hole. Just ensure that they are safe and you are there to keep them company and safeguard them from falling.

A few got scared of the sounds of the running water when we flush. The same explanation applies here.

(ini kes anak saya Adam, takut dengan bunyi air mengalir dari paip rumah atas!)

There are some who saw the feces as part of themselves and when they see it gone, they got scared/angry. Little white lies or simply explained to them. Either one is OK.

Just don’t rush to flush!

  1. For boys, start with sitting down.

When a child is learning, you want to keep the no of variables that he needs to think about to a minimum. Few seconds hesitation can be crucial. You don’t want him to go on your expensive carpet, don’t you?

  1. The most important of it all: TAKE BABY STEPS.

First start at home.

Daytime then proceed to night time training. (less stress for us parents!)

Travel in short distance (less than an hour distance) then tried without pampers for long distance travel.

potty train langkah mudah

Lastly, toilet training can only be mastered with your child’s VOLUNTARY COOPERATION. If he’s not ready, don’t push it.

All the best and may the force (of will and perseverance) forever be with you!


Celebrating life (with wonder and gratitude)

Esok adalah hari istimewa bagi saya. Hari di mana genaplah sudah 33 tahun membina kehidupan di dunia ini. Macam tak percaya lagi dua tahun dah nak masuk geng ‘advanced maternal age mother‘.. sob sob T_T.  Yang itu nanti kita cerita lain ye. Back to current topic, kami tak ada perancangan khas melainkan untuk menikmati saat berkeluarga bersama (cuti-cuti Malaysia y’all!)

Ada orang tanya pada saya, perlu ke ditekankan sangat peranan sebagai ibu/bapa ni? Katanya biarpun dah ada anak, she/he is still her/his own person. Ada banyak role lain yang turut beri impak pada kehidupan dan sekeliling.

My response:

Yes, you are your own person and motherhood or parenthood does not become the SOLE thing that define you. Rather to me, motherhood give me an edge, a sense of responsibility that can never be shaken off, and it transcend across all (not just to my own child). When you have a child depending on you, you start seeing world as a place where every little things matter, each kind or harsh words/acts lives on, and yes.. everybody needs hugs/love every once in a while. 

We need to celebrate life (and diversity) with wonder and lots and lots of gratitude. 

Teach your kid how to say thanks (and appreciate other’s help graciously) while at the same time be cautiously aware of strangers.

Lastly, pardon me for my entry today as i intend to fill it with some pictures documenting the wonders of a growing toddler =). Drop by with some picture of yours or kind words if you agree with my sentiment today!

achievement over the years!

achievement over the years! (1)

Love and Hugs!!


Menghadapi ‘kenakalan’ anak seusia 2 tahun.

Cepat sungguh masa berlalu, sedar tak sedar Adam Naufal anak manja saya dah hampir mencecah usia 2 tahun. Belum cukup dua tahun lagi tapi dah ternampak kelibat kenakalan a.k.a Terrible Twos. Sudah pandai memberontak, mengamuk sehingga guling-guling di lantai, berlari bila nak pakai baju, main kubu dan perang-perang biarpun dah lewat malam, dan macam-macam lagi. Pendek kata, memang terrible lah! Haha. Memang tercabar kesabaran dibuatnya.

Sebenarnya, bila berhadapan dengan apa jua masalah sekalipun, cara nak selesaikan adalah dengan HADAPI ia dan FAHAMI kenapa ia berlaku.

Dari situ, kita akan lebih mudah berlapang dada, dan lebih bagus lagi .. dapat cari penyelesaian terbaik untuk mengubah/menghadapi masalah itu.

Anak kecil yang baru menginjak usia 2 tahun ni bukan saja-saja nak buat perangai. Mereka sebenarnya sedang mengalami satu proses perkembangan otak yang pesat:  perkataan yang mereka faham dan tahu sudah semakin banyak, otot badan semakin kuat jadi bolehla nak buat itu ini dan cuba macam-macam, dan ini fasa di mana mereka belajar untuk mengenal dan menerima apa yang boleh dan apa yang tidak boleh dibuat.

Tup Tup.. emak ayah asyik dok marah, asyik kata TAK BOLEH, dan setiap langkah asyik terhalang.. maunya tak mengamuk si kecil tu.

Si kecil tak buat perangai untuk saja-saja buat ibu bapa mereka marah, sebaliknya mereka nak BERITAHU perasaan mereka (dalam erti kata lain, itulah cara mereka berkomunikasi/ menyampaikan perasaan ‘terbesar’ mereka pada ketika itu).

Tak ada istilah tunggu dalam kamus hidup si manja yang berumur dua tahun ni.Apa dia nak, masa tu juga dia mahu. No delayed gratification for them. Sebab tu bila kehendak mereka tak dipenuhi, mengamuk la jawabnya! Jadi, ibu bapa sekalian, jangan ambil hati ya!

Cara nak atasi kelakuan mereka ni..

1)Beri ruang kebebasan untuk mereka (promote independence). 

Bebas dari segi memilih agar mereka boleh belajar membuat keputusan dan merasai nilai berdikari (yang sangat-sangat mereka idamkan).

Boleh mula dengan perkara yang kecil-kecil dan tak mendatangkan bahaya. Contoh:

a) pilih warna baju yang nak dipakai hari itu.  Kalau takat nak duduk di rumah dan tak perlu hadiri apa-apa majlis, beri mereka peluang untuk pilih apa yang mereka mahu.

b)Tanya pada si manja apa yang mereka nak main (jangan terus disogokkan permainan pada mereka).

c) ajak mereka masak sama-sama (gaul salad/ uli doh/dll.)

Pastikan soalan yang ditanya hanya ada dua pilihan jawapan.

Close ended questions k.

Contoh>>> Nak pakai baju gambar badak ke baju gambar zirafah?

Kenapa >>> supaya mereka ni tak overwhelm dengan soalan dan pilihan. Kita hanya nak didik dan beri peluang mereka rasa kebebasan, bukan nak mereka betul-betul bebas! Ok?

2) Rumah yang mesra permainan. 

Si manja nak buat kubu dengan kusyen sofa, biarkan selagi tak mengganggu orang lain/ merbahaya.

Si manja nak main lompat-lompat? Sediakan alas penahan agar si manja tak cedera dan jauhkan dari bucu-bucu tajam.

Lagi bagus, anda join main skali. Baru betul-betul bonding time!

Memang susah nak buat, tapi jangan lupa..kanak-kanak belajar dari bermain. Jadi, main untuk si manja bukanlah masa yang terbuang sia-sia.

3) Berikan sokongan emosi pada anak. 

Ini paling penting dan paling selalu kita lupakan.

Kehidupan boleh jadi sangat menyeksakan apabila kita kecil. Apabila anak-anak ini merajuk/mengamuk/buat perangai, mereka sebenarnya mahu dipeluk dan disayangi.

Saya suka guna mantra CONNECT INSTEAD OF REDIRECT.  Mengalihkan perhatian mereka ketika mereka sedang tantrum memang bagus. Alangkah bagus lagi bila kita fahami dan berikan makna pada perasaan si manja tadi. Agar si dia mampu untuk mengendali emosi sendiri dengan lebih tepat dan baik.

Trust me, it’ll help you a long way from now. 

Percayalah, ia akan sangat-sangat membantu di masa hadapan.

Akhir kata, jom ubah perspektif kita. Daripada fokus kenakalan anak dan Terrible Twos ni, apa kata kita jadikan ia Tremendous Twos? Fasa umur yang penuh dengan magika dan detik di mana si manja belajar mengenali identiti diri. Barulah yang negative menjadi positif, dan setiap keringat menjadi rahmat!

Mari mendidik dengan ilmu dan sabar!

terrible twos