Josiah has taught me a lot in his 4 years. He was a very difficult to please baby. To the point where, I actually had someone tell me that I must be doing something wrong, not giving him enough attention, because normal babies didn’t cry as much as he did.
He met some major milestones early, like when he pulled himself up standing at 5 months old and was fully walking at about 7.5 months old. We even caught him climbing about 3 feet off the ground up a bookshelf when he was only 10 months old. He’s always kept us on our toes!
Other milestones, however, have been a bit slower to come. Josiah didn’t really talk..at all..until he was 3 years old. Before that, his vocabulary was restricted pretty much “uh-oh”, “ow”, and sometimes “no.” He could say all of the letters of the alphabet by the time he was 2, and most of their sounds as well, but communicative vocabulary just wasn’t there. Around the time he turned 3, he had a word explosion and started really communicating. His speech is still behind that of most peers his age, but I care more about improvement than comparison. He’s also been a late bloomer, socially speaking.
Potty training has been another struggle. I learned with my eldest that pushing to potty train just doesn’t work. I pushed and pushed, and he resisted and resisted. Of course, he eventually potty trained..several months after I gave up on trying, and he just decided on his own that he was ready. From that time on, he was dry day and night. He was about 3 years and 10 months old.
I had expected Josiah to potty train before he was 4 but that didn’t happen. He turned 4 this past March. He resisted any attempt I had to get him to sit on the toilet, and the rare times he agreed to, he either wouldn’t or couldn’t get anything out. So, I let it go. And I tried not to feel judged that my 4 year old was still in diapers.
However, with baby #5 being due any time now and still having 2 in diapers, I started bringing it up more. I’ve had 3 in diapers before and hoped to avoid it again. I started talking to Josiah about how he’s a big boy and will be ready for underwear soon, asking him more often if he wanted to try out the toilet. If I tried to let him go around bare-bum in the yard, he’d be asking for a diaper about 5 minutes later. His interest was pretty much nil; he just didn’t care if he was sitting in a wet or poopy diaper.
Then I tried potty treats. At first, he didn’t really care. Then, he would just sit on the toilet and try to squeeze out a few drips in order to get a treat. I rewarded every success, no matter how minuscule. Eventually, he got a full pee out and was so excited and proud; Bing! There was the interest he needed to proceed.
I let him go bare-bum in the house, and voila! He did great! The first day he had no accidents, the second day just one accident. It’s been almost 2 full weeks now and he’s had maybe 3 or 4 accidents in total, all of them just being a tiny pee from waiting too long. Sometimes he wanted to try by himself, other times he wanted someone to come with him. I let him lead. He even started trying to go pee more often so that he would finish his small jar of potty treats because that would mean he was officially potty trained.
And he is!
By the end of the first week he loved counting down the treats until the jar was empty, and eventually showing off the empty jar.
We haven’t gotten to the point of wearing underwear yet..we’re slowly going from bare-bum to wearing loose shorts so he doesn’t get that familiar cozy and close feeling, but we’re getting there!
Oh, and what have I learned in this?
That if you let a newly potty training child go bare-bum at home all week, he might go streaking through church come Sunday. 😉
Take heart, potty training Mommas! Don’t stress! Don’t compare. Don’t let other moms make you feel like you or your child is failing or behind. If your child isn’t ready to potty train (both physically and emotionally) it will not be worth the stress and frustration of trying. It will happen, though!