My toilet training saga continues. If you’ve been following, you know that I haven’t quite had a smooth toilet training journey with my LO. When we first started, LO was just over 18 months and already showing signs he was ready to train. Then, he locked himself in the bathroom – I won’t revisit all the nitty gritty details. Needless to say, it was a bit traumatic of an experience for him, he regressed and we decided to just take a break until he was ready again.
By the time he was two, I dove into the research, to become an expert on all things toilet training. Solidly 2 years old, my LO was still not toilet trained. At the height of my exacerbation, my coworkers reminded me of some key points that I had highlighted in the article I wrote on toilet training 101: manage my expectations, and if progress stalls, take a break. Deep sigh. Another break? Okay, I’m not going to push.
So, now 4 articles on toileting later (1 article on children’s potty books, 1 article on toilet training strategies, and 2 articles on my toilet training journey), I would’ve expected to be done talking about this Sh**. But here I am…talking about it again.
I’m happy to report that LO is fully trained for Number One. Even at night. I had received an IllumiBowl awhile back, but never got around to putting batteries in and actually putting it in my toilet bowl. If you don’t know what IllumiBowl is, it’s basically a night light that glows in the toilet. It is light sensitive and motion activated which means it only lights up in the dark and only when you’ve walked in the room. They advertise that “There is no longer any need to stumble around in the dark; turn on blinding midnight lights; fall in the toilet; or aim in the dark and make a mess! Finally!” To be honest, I felt like this was just another infomercial gimmick. Really?! Falling in the toilet, pee on the floor?; it’s not that dramatic, at least not in my home. But then, I set it up. And, I have to admit, I kinda dig it. The thing is, my LO eventually has to pee at night and each time, he’d wake me up because he can’t reach the light. Now, he is able to get up out of bed and go to the bathroom all by himself. No need to turn the light on means no need to wake mommy up! Talk about potty party! That’s a two-nourish two-thumbs-up!
When I first had installed it, he had fun calling out all the colors. Y’see, the light in the bowl changes colors (it can remain one color with a push of a button…but he prefers the rotating colors). He doesn’t know all his colors just yet, but what a fun way to learn. He loves it so much that in the evenings (when mommy and daddy are still awake and willing and able to turn the light on for him), he sometimes requests to just pee in the dark. That’s my LO giving IllumiBowl a two-thumbs-up.
My one critique about the IllumiBowl is that the suction cups that are supposed to adhere to the side of the bowl doesn’t quite stick to my bowl. So I had to set it up differently. Now the motion sensor hides behind the lid of the bowl. Therefore, the light doesn’t automatically illuminate when someone walks in the darkened room unless the lid is closed. Perhaps this will motivate my son (and my husband) to close the lid after each flush. Bonus.
I contacted Illumibowl and the customer service was amazing. They sent out their new Illumibowl design out right away. Suction cup fail rectified. This Illumibowl Number 2 comes with a bendable ‘arm’ that you can customize to your toilet. I still like my other Illumibowl…now i have two Illumibowls for my two toilets in the house. What a win.
Speaking of Number Two and getting back to my LO, well that’s a whole ‘nother Oprah. We had him in underwear for months, and each day he’d come home with poop filled underwear in a steam-filled, tied up plastic baggy for me to clean out. He has the where with all to tell me why he doesn’t poop in the potty – “because I don’t like it”, “because I dont want to.” He’s not even trying. He clearly isn’t ready. So, we decided to put him back in diapers. And he cried. He wants so badly to be in big-boy underwear, and if that is his only motivation – then okay, poop in the potty, then back in underwear he goes. Have an accident, back in diaper he goes. His daycare teachers gave us a sideways look when he arrived at daycare with diapers again. “Are you sure you want to go backward?” they asked, with a hint of judgement. Yep. No doubt about it.
When I picked him up that day, the teacher said he was very sad and “embarrassed” about being in diapers and he tried to hide it from his friends. Okay, where there was no doubt in the morning at drop off…I was heavy with doubt now. Stick to our guns. Follow through. If he’s not ready, why push him. It’s not a punishment, I tell myself and our LO. I’m not mad, I reassure him and myself…when he’s ready.
He has since successfully pooped in the potty twice. It’s slow going, but it’s progress nonetheless. Only a couple more months before he starts his new preschool where he has to be independent with toileting. Will he make it? Will WE make it? Keep your fingers crossed.
UPDATE: I wrote the above article a couple weeks ago but hadn’t scheduled it’s posting until today. I am happy to report, he is now fully trained. Taking the pressure off worked. He did it on his own. No coaxing, prodding, pleading. Just positive encouragement and lots of positive praise on those moments he was able to do it all on his own. Deep satisfied sigh. Last night, at bathtime – he said, “Mommy, go away. I dont want you.” Astonished, I exclaimed, “what?” He calmy said, “I don’t need you, you can go.” Now that he’s out of diapers, he’s officially a big boy. If you can’t tell, I’m sobbing inside. Son, you may not need mommy at this moment…but, I’ll always be here when you do.