Traveling With a Potty Trainee
This is not an article on how to potty train your child but more about how to deal with getting around as you are training.
If you're like most parents, the idea of potty training can seem more than a daunting task. It can be downright frightening. Like where exactly do you begin to take off your child's diaper and just see what happens? And when you do, how do you plan to leave the apartment???
Most articles and books tell you to look for the signs that the child is ready. But you could be waiting and waiting for those signs that never really show up, as in my case. Then you may find yourself with a child who is doing everything else on their own except using the potty. At 28months i felt it was time for her to learn to travel without diapers and so the process began.
With the encouragement and advice of a neighbor, I decided to go ahead and do the cold turkey method. You remove the diaper and let the child stay at home naked from the waist down. Every little while you suggest they use the potty and sit them down on it showing them that now pee and poop will go into the potty not the diaper. It takes them a while to get it and yes there are accidents, but sooner than you think-they are sitting on the potty. Whenever she asked for her diaper I knew she had to go. I would say 'we are not using diapers anymore,go sit on the potty'. I felt I had empowered my child and given her the tools to move forward in her growth. To see her pride with her accomplishment was wonderful.
Then it was time to leave the apartment without diapers, da da da-scary! Since a 2yr old really doesn't have full grasp of language,they can't always tell you what's going on with their bodies. However what I learned was just as we can control our urge to go, so can they, for a short while at least. I purchased some training underwear- slightly thicker cotton in the crotch area. If there is an accident, this will make it less messy. I also got a portable potty which I think is a fabulous idea. It gives you freedom to go outside and not panic when they have to go. We brought the porta potty all over town in the beginning. It was especially helpful on long train trips. Toddlers are a little afraid of an adult toilet and having their own potty makes it easier for them to relax and go. You can bring it in the car and on airplanes. It is like them having their favorite stuffed animal with them. Soon they will be asking you for 'MY' potty!
It took about 3 weeks before we stopped having accidents. But now it is done and it's like the diaper never existed. There are definitely a lot of emotional factors on both ends, but I am happy with the results. It has been 8 weeks and we still bring the porta potty on long trips. However on shorter outings to the park, she really doesn't need it anymore. Elimination control has become as natural for her as it is for us and what could be better?
It is a little sad to watch your baby move into toddlerhood and say goodbye to the diapers forever.. But I think this journey we take with our child will always be full of hellos and goodbyes, as we help them continue to grow throughout their lives.