Sunday, September 15, 2013

potty training woes

(Those squeamish about the bodily functions of toddlers, you have been warned.)

So Faith is now 2 1/2 and we're working on potty training.

She's definitely ready, and has been for awhile.  She tells us when she needs her diaper changed, she has the ability to take her own pants off, she stays dry for hours at a time.  It'll also be GREAT for her to be out of diapers, because she's always gotten diaper rashes super easily.  We postponed starting for awhile until after Josie was born and after the big move, so now that we're settled, we figured it was time to begin.

Dude, I don't know if we're doing something wrong, but it's hard!  At first she wouldn't sit on her little potty at all, but after we got her a couple kids' books about how the potty is SO! MUCH! FUN! she's more amenable.  (Jack HATES the potty books.  They are fairly explicit in explaining what the potty is all about: "Mommy and Daddy and Ashley looked in the potty.  They saw pee and poop.  'Hooray!' Mommy said.  'Ashley used her potty!"  I think this is reasonable and even helpful, given the purpose of the books, but Jack finds it totally disgusting.  I don't completely understand that, since he's a pediatrician, and pediatricians talk about poop all.  The time.  But to each his own opinion.)

Anyway, thanks to the books, Faith will now take off her own diaper, announce, "Need potty time!" and plop her little naked bottom on the seat.  This is pretty cute, and certainly better than when she viewed the potty as some kind of evil torture-trap, but it comes with its own problems.  Like, she doesn't always tell us when she takes off her diaper, and if she's wearing a dress, we can't necessarily tell, which is clearly a dangerous situation.  Also, there have been a couple close calls where she started to remove a diaper that was already, ahem, shall we say, loaded.

And even though she'll sit on the potty, she still won't use the potty.  I can tell when she actually needs to pee because she'll get off the potty, start doing this panicky little dance, and shriek, "Need diaper!  Need diaper!"  At least I know she can hold it, I guess.  Right?

Any potty-training pros out there have tips for this newbie?

(I'll be glad when this is done for one reason other than the obvious:  I'll actually have some experience to lean on when my patients' parents ask for tips on potty training.  As one of my attendings told me during my first year of residency, "Being a pediatrician doesn't make you a better parent, but being a parent makes you a better pediatrician.")

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