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!!

 

Ini perkara wajib anda ambil tahu jika anak anda menyusu botol!

Kebelakangan ini, saya jumpa banyak kes anak bawah setahun yang malang menghidap dysentery atau dalam bahasa mudahnya mengalami cirit-birit yang teruk (jangka masa pendek) yang disebabkan oleh jangkitan kuman E.Coli, Salmonella, Campylobacter ataupun jangkitan parasit amoeba E. Histolytica. Antara faktor berisiko tinggi yang kita jumpa pada kanak-kanak ini adalah mereka ni minum susu botol+ibu bapa/penjaga mereka tidak prihatin pada isu-isu penjagaan perkara berkaitan dengan susu botol. Perkara berkaitan apa pula ni? Haa.. bila sebut susu botol, mesti anda ingat botol+puting susu saja kan? Sebenarnya, ada EMPAT perkara penting yang kita sebagai ibu bapa WAJIB ambil tahu dan beri perhatian.

 

1.Penyimpanan susu tepung itu sendiri

Yang ini orang selalu lupa (saya pun terlepas pandang.T_T). Jika anda jenis yang beli tin susu dan buang setiap kali benda baru, itu tak ada masalah. Tapi, berapa ramai orang yang mampu beli kan? Selalunya orang beli yang refill dan ganti saja bila susu dah nak habis. Betul tak?

Yang ini, pastikan:

  • anda guna bekas kedap udara untuk simpan susu tepung
  • jangan lupa pastikan anda beli dan guna susu yang asli dan tidak luput tarikh penggunaan
  • sebelum refill dengan susu baru, basuh dan keringkan dulu bekas susu tadi. Ini penting supaya tidak ada pencemaran silang (cross contamination) dari kawasan sekeliling. Iyelah, kadang-kadang kita tak perasan tangan dah pegang macam-macam..
  • Simpan di kawasan yang kering dan tidak panas (kelembapan dan suhu yang tinggi boleh merosakkan kualiti susu tepung)

2. Penjagaan botol susu anak 

Yang ini, macam biasalah:

  • Basuh dengan air panas/sabun pencuci botol susu setiap kali selepas digunakan.
  • Guna berus botol untuk menghilangkan saki-baki susu yang tertinggal dalam botol. (jangan lupa ganti berus botol bila tengok dah tak berapa elok)
  • Steril kan botol anak (dan puting botol juga) setiap kali sebelum penggunaan pertama kali. Bagi yang anak mereka kurang dari umur 3 bulan/ lahir pra matang/ mengalami masalah dengan sistem imunisasi badan, anda perlu rajin sterilkan botol selalu memandangkan mereka ini lebih mudah dijangkiti penyakit berbanding anak-anak lain.
  • Berhati-hati dengan botol yang bentuk pelik-pelik, ia nya lebih susah dibersihkan berbanding botol biasa!

    Prevention is gold, people! 

 

3. Penjagaan puting susu botol:

Ini lebih kurang macam penjagaan botol susu tadi. Beberapa tambahan lain:

  • jika anda mampu, ganti sekerap mungkin (saranan sebulan sekali). Tapi rasanya ini option yang tak berapa praktikal bagi ibu bapa yang menggunakan botol susu berjenama (sebab kebiasaannya botol susu ini menggunakan puting susu khas untuk botol mereka dan harganya pun lebih mahal daripada biasa).
  • Rule of thumb: anda nampak puting susu tu dah terkoyak (duhhh..), lembik ataupun susu keluar terlalu laju.. silalah tukar. Susu sepatutnya keluar secara titisan yang sama (even drop) dan bukannya laju macam air paip (not steady stream)!

4. Tempat pengering botol susu a.k.a drying rack 

Ini pun orang selalu terlupa. Almaklum, dia tersidai je kat tepi sinki/atas meja. Jangan tunggu sampai rupanya dah geli-geleman baru nak cuci. Tempat pengering ni cepat mengumpul habuk dan jadi petry dish untuk kuman disebabkan ia selalu lembap dengan air yang menitis dari botol susu yang dikeringkan.

  • basuh sekurang-kurangnya sekali seminggu.
  • basuh tangan anda dulu sebelum mengendalikan cawan anak yang turut diletakkan di tempat pengering ini.
  • Jauhkan telefon anda daripada kawasan dapur atau tempat pengering ini (tangan dan telefon anda terdedah kepada pelbagai kuman dari tempat sekeliling).

Nampak macam banyak dan ala-ala OCD sikit, tapi apa salahnya kita ambil berat lebih sikit demi kesihatan anak-anak. Kesian si manja bila cirit-birit dan sakit perut hanya kerana kita malas/tak ambil berat hal-hal sebegini.

menyusu botol

menyusu botol_2

Akhir kata, semoga kita menjadi ibu bapa/penjaga anak-anak yang prihatin dan peka dengan kebersihan sekeliling, khasnya empat perkara berkaitan susu botol ini. Bye!