Friday, June 17, 2011

Potty independence

This post is about potties.  If that's TMI for some people, then consider yourself warned and go check Facebook instead of reading it.

It's now been almost 10 months since Annika was been potty-trained, but we still have one big transition to make.  We need to get rid of the little potty and have her use the regular toilet instead.  I've been putting this off for quite some time, but I think I need to just suck it up and do it.  She'll be going to preschool in the fall, and I want her to be able to function independently in the bathroom by then.  Currently she still requires quite a bit of help, which means she'll often just hold it if I'm not around to help.  Luckily, she's pretty good at holding it.

I think it's mostly my fault that Annika is still using the little potty, and needs help going.  It's what's easiest for me, so that's what I do.  Most of the time she can get her pants off by herself (unless she's wearing some pairs of jeans), so when she needs to go, she can go sit down on the little potty by herself and go.  That gives me a few more minutes, if I'm upstairs changing Emmett or feeding him.  Then she just calls to me when she's done.  I'm sure she's quite capable of finishing up the rest (wiping [at least for #1], pulling up her pants, etc), but she's so slow that most of the time I just do it for her so I can quickly get back to whatever I was doing.  The only thing she really does need help with is turning on the taps in our downstairs bathroom.  We have a large decorative bowl sink, and she can't quite reach past it to the faucet yet (even when standing on her stool).  So that I may still need to help her with, but with the other things I need to take the time and encourage her to do them on her own. 

I think she would be okay with making the switch to the regular toilet, because she will use them no problem when we're out, and sometimes even at home she'll ask to use the "big potty" instead.  It will just be a bit of an adjustment period, as she learns how to get on and balance on there by herself.  We have one of those trainer seats for on a regular toilet, but I'm a bit hesitant to use it.  We have dual flush toilets, and the seats are shaped slightly differently from regular toilets, so these trainer seats don't sit very securely on them.  I would hate for her to slip off the toilet because of the seat.  Also, if she gets used to using the trainer seat, then there's still another transition to make to get her to just using the toilet by itself.

I'm thinking about doing it cold turkey - just put away the little potties (we have one downstairs and one upstairs) and tell her that she's big enough to use the toilet.  I'll just have to be prepared to take a bit more time with her, and perhaps go back to scheduling potty visits every 2 hours (like we did when she was potty training), instead of waiting for her to tell me she needs to go (because by then it's usually pretty urgent and there's not a lot of extra time).  Not sure when I'll do it - I know I shouldn't put it off much longer.  Maybe next week.  Does anyone have any advice for me?  Either about switching to the toilet, or getting her to do more for herself?  I'm open to suggestions.


Kristin said...

I have an idea, Pam! What would you think about Annika helping out another little girl with her potty-training endeavors...? I'm looking to borrow a potty for Charlotte ;) You could tell Annika that she could be a big helper by 'giving' her potty to someone else who really needs it. I've heard of people doing that with a soother. maybe it would work with a potty, too. That would explain the sudden disappearance of the potty.

pam said...

Kristin, that's an awesome idea! I think Annika would like it too, because whenever I tell her that she's getting too big for a shirt or something, then she says "then we should give it to Charlotte." We could do the "switch over" next week when you guys come over.

PS. if you need an idea for getting a little girl to sit on the potty (while waiting for the pee), I found that painting Annika's toenails while she sat on the potty worked really well.

Kristin said...

That is SO cute about Annika wanting to pass on her too-small clothes!! I will definitely try your toenail painting trick to get her to sit and wait ;)

Since Little Miss is very aware of what's going on and can already tell me she's about to poop or already pooping in her diaper, I figure we should give potty-training a shot...