More thoughts on toilet training

Posted: - Modified: | parenting

We’ve been home all week. A- seems to be getting the hang of going to the potty, although she sometimes has accidents if she’s distracted or if I prompt her too directly. (She likes feeling that it’s her own idea, I guess!)

I haven’t made it out of the house because she’s been refusing diapers, clothes, and being in the carrier. We’ll need to insist at some point because of our upcoming trip, but in the meantime, we can be flexible.

Let me think through what could happen. If she gets interested in going for a short walk, agrees to put on wool pants, a jacket, and other clothes for cool weather, and heads out the door with us, we can stay close enough to home that a toilet is ten or fifteen minutes away. I can also time any outings for after she has recently used the potty, which could give us enough time for most neighbourhood errands. If she has an accident, we can go home and change clothes. I can bring extras too, if I don’t need my bag for much else. Wool can keep us warm even if it’s wet. My carrier can be machine-washed, and I can carry A- by hand or in a sling.

Most of the places we walk to have reasonable bathroom access. The playground doesn’t have a bathroom, but we can wait to go until after she’s used the potty. Transit is a bit trickier. We can pop out of the subway to use a bathroom somewhere if we need to. I can save longer trips for when she’ll accept diapers or training pants, or I can sit her on top of a towel and a waterproof bag.

Since accidents are inevitable, we can just keep things neutral so that she doesn’t feel ashamed. I can carry a towel, a spray bottle, and some hand sanitizer in my bag to help clean up messes and model being prepared.

I want to set her up for as much success as possible. It’ll get easier as we get better with noticing her signals, accepting prompting, and dealing with accidents. Those accidents can help her learn more, anyway. In the meantime, I don’t need to push her. She’s learning lots of things quickly, and we have plenty of time to sort things out.

I liked going for walks with W- or even with just A-, so it would be nice to get back to that eventually. I’ll just have to compensate by exercising more around the house. That’s something I can work on while A- goes at her own pace, and it’ll help me model good habits for her too.

Okay. Bodyweight exercises for me, plus some fresh air while she waits in the kitchen because we can see each other through the glass door. If she shows interest in joining me, I can help her dress up and we can stay in the backyard, and then eventually go for walks around the block. If that works out, I can pack a grab-and-go kit, and we can work on prompting. I can look into clothing options, too.

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