There are certain questions that Iâ€™ve asked â€œGoogleâ€ over the years. Now that I know the answers, I thought Iâ€™d share them on this blog in case someone else googles the same question and happens to discover this very post for an answer! Also, when your friends and co-workers are asking you the same questions, you can pipe in with, â€œWell, I know a woman who knows thatâ€¦â€
Googled: “Will my child ever be potty-trained?!”
What I Know Now: Every child is different and tackles this potty-training thing at a different rate. With sound advice from my mom, we decided not to make a big deal about one daughter’s looong potty-training journey… three years, to be exact. Only recently have we felt confident not to bring along an emergency change of clothes. She is doing a lovely job! But, it took a while to get here. It has been such a long journey that she now gets pretty upset when she has the smallest of accidents. But, we’ve made it to the other side, and I’m glad of a few things:
Our nutritionist said it could be due to a gluten-sensitivity. Or a premature birth. Or a small bladder. Or simply a physiological delay. We are certain it hasn’t been rebellion or laziness, so we’ve just waited for her body to mature. I rarely lost my patience or temper, because most people end up being potty-trained at some point or another, don’t they? So, we just taught her how to alert us discretely when she had an accident and how to clean up after herself. This is something we can expect. I’m glad we’ve chosen this response because it has helped our daughter not develop secret shame or negative coping mechanisms over something she can’t control. At the same time, she has learned the hard way how to be transparent and responsible for a human weakness; something we all need to learn.
Night-time training has taken even longer. Inspired by my mom’s sound advice, we’ve never made a big deal about it. She has never ever been dry through the night; so she just wore Pull-ups for a mighty long time. When we transitioned her out of Pull-ups, we started carrying her to the toilet around 11 p.m. (She is such a sound sleeper, that she never wakes up through the whole rig-a-marole!) . Someday, we’ll train her to wake up at this time and go by herself, but for now, we don’t mind helping her in this way. I’m convinced that it’s the only way she’d be dry through the night.
Our other daughter was potty-trained in one-week before she was 2 1/2. She is always dry through the night and we never even carry her to the toilet. She also is the type of sleeper who “comes to” even if I move her sleeping body away from the edge of the bed. I’m sure this makes a big difference! Two intelligent and obedient girls with two very different systems. This realization has given me even more peace and grace towards our daughter who has just taken longer.
So, if you are at your whit’s end with your three or four-year old who is still wetting the bed, keep clipping coupons for Pull-ups and wait patiently for her system to mature. You can expect her to be responsible for her accidents; teach her exactly what you’d like for her to do when she has an accident and help her not to be ashamed. You will be happy and healthy as you grow in patience together.