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.

TIPS FOR EAGER PARENT AND CHILD:

  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.

PRAISES GOES A LONG WAY.

  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!!

 

Peranan ibu bapa apabila anak dijangkiti penyakit berjangkit…

Baru-baru ini saya dan keluarga berpeluang makan besar di kampung. Memang meriah, kecoh dan seronok! Almaklum ramai budak kecil, lari ke sana sini. Tapi sayangnya, dalam pada duduk bersembang-sembang tu, terperasan pula si kecil berdua ni. Yang seorang senyap je, melepek dengan emaknya. Yang lagi seorang tergaru-garu. Kita sebagai warga prihatin (dan ada latar belakang perubatan) ni pergilah bertanya. Nah! terkejut saya. Seorang tu demam campak dan lagi seorang pula kudis buta (kedua-duanya boleh berjangkit).

Jadi dilema sekejap.. T_T

  1. Apa nak buat dengan situasi masa tu di mana ada ramai budak kecil yang terdedah kepada dua jenis penyakit berjangkit ni? (dalam suasana keramaian yang ramai orang berkumpul dan masing-masing dah lama tak berjumpa, keadaan ini perlu dikendalikan dengan penuh berhemah dan teliti.. jangan sampai ada yang kecil hati dan terluka!)
  2. Bagaimana nak menasihati keluarga si kecil ni dari segi penjagaan anak mereka?
  3. Bagaimana nak elakkan penyakit si kecil berdua ni dari menjangkiti anak saya dan anak-anak kecil yang lain?

Akhirnya, saya sampaikan serba ringkas mesej kesihatan pada kedua-dua keluarga berkenaan. Yang paling penting, BAWA ANAK KE KLINIK untuk terima rawatan yang betul dan ASINGKAN ANAK DARI BUDAK-BUDAK LAIN dan tempat keramaian. Sebab apa? Sebab penyakit yang anak mereka hadapi biarpun tak teruk atau merbahaya pada nyawa mereka, tapi IA PENYAKIT BERJANGKIT! Kesian dengan anak kecil lain ataupun orang lain yang berimuniti rendah terdedah dan berisiko menghidapi penyakit yang sama. It really is not fair to them and the rest. 

Dan seterusnya, amalkan gaya hidup yang bersih seperti rajin cuci tangan (tangan sendiri dan juga tangan anak), kerap tukar cadar/tuala anak, dan ajarkan anak agar jangan berkongsi peralatan peribadi seperti tuala, baju dan berus gigi. (oh please.. don’t get me started on oral hygiene. berbuih mulut nanti nak cerita.. huhu).

anak ada peny berjangkit

Kesihatan anak adalah tanggungjawab bersama. Bukan setakat kita sebagai ibu bapa yang perlu ambil berat soal kesihatan anak, warga komuniti yang lain pun perlu ambil berat sama. Contoh mudahlah, rumah kita bersih tapi rumah jiran sebelah penuh bekas air kosong dan jadi tempat pembiakan nyamuk.. bolehke kita nak pastikan yang nyamuk rumah sebelah takkan gigit kita dan anak kita di rumah sebelah ni? Iye tak?

Jadi, semua orang perlu ambil berat dan jalankan peranan masing-masing.

After all, it takes a village to raise A kid. 

Jadilah warga komuniti yang prihatin. Bersama kita boleh!!