Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Mind over matter

So, my elder one aged 4.25 has finally got rid of the diaper and is completely potty trained. While it was a humongous task for me to get him to sit in the loo, it was a herculean one to get him to stay dry the entire night... What could have started (or rather, was attempted) a year ago, got delayed owing to the birth of my second son, Ashwin. And after the initial excitement of the homecoming of a new member, getting used to his presence, and after me gaining confidence of managing both him and the little one at night, I finally coaxed him into letting go of the diaper. To take full credit of this event is rather unfair because I did my job and it just happened; it could have not happened as well... I would leave all credits to the one above in making this happen. I suppose the experts know it well when they say that potty training can happen in just a few weeks or it may take many months or a year as well. It depends on so many factors; one of the prime factor being the child's mind or the child's mental makeup towards diapering.

The entire process started like this: me declaring that we are not going to use the diaper at night time because he has become a big boy (of course he agreed to it as well, but failed to have control over his bladder) and after so many nights of crying when woken up to change after he gets wet, we decided to go back to the diaper. So, one fine day I casually mentioned that for the money that we buy diaper I can as well get you a toy; why don't you stop crying and wake up when I call you to go to the loo... After reading up, there were two things that went into my head: the kid probably is goes into a very deep sleep state and so is unaware and sleepy to acknowledge what is happening within him and outside him, and two: luring the kid with something fancy like an alarm clock etc. A workaround for the first item would be to have a night light that is a bit brighter so that he does not settle himself too well in his sleep. And for the second trick, what worked for Ashwath was one day he was asking if there a 13 in the clock, for which I said that there is a 13 in digital clocks and that corresponds to the one o clock in the wall clock. And he was impressed with the digital clock stuff and an alarm in it. And I even dug up a digital clock that I had, which thankfully had the alarm working in it.

All these discrete events summed up to get him potty trained. One fine day when we went to my friend's son's birthday party—the kid was a month younger than Ashwath and in a casual talk I happened to ask my friend if his son was completely potty trained (stayed dry at nights). He had mentioned it was more than 6 months ago that he was potty trained. This rang a bell in my head and I decided to give it a try now that I was comfortable with the little one sleeping as a family (rather than in his cradle). I explained to Ashwath when he was in a calm state that it is high time we gave up the diaper and that he gets a digital clock which will beep in the night when it is time for him visit the loo. He was excited about it. One more thing that was a hindrance was the time when we last gave him a glass of water. By the time he finishes his dinner it was 9:30 or 9:45 and after which I give him the mandatory 200 ml of water. So, after advice from my doctor-husband about it really not making a difference if he drinks and eats or eats and drinks, we decided to give him is 200 ml of water before dinner (ideally, 15 min before dinner) so that he does not miss his water intake and with just a 50 ml of water after dinner, we are done with the water for the day.

So with his excitement about the digital clock and the alarm, I decided to give it a try one more time... Starting from March 25th to April 25th, I woke him up every night between 1:30 to 2:30 (I learnt from the initial failed attempts that he wets anytime between the aforementioned time). In fact, the first few days, I kept the diaper on him and tried to wake him up at night for his loo visit; the digital alarm was just not strong enough to wake me up; so, I decided to give the phone alarm a try. And with that I woke him up; of course, I had to coax him saying that the alarm clock has beeped and that it takes just one minute to wake up and pee (again I had this working logic from past experiences that it take lesser time to do things than it takes to cry and not get it done at all). The coaxing worked every night with much struggle. After about a month, it so happened that I had to work in the US timings for a week and I was too tired the last two days to wake him up for his loo visit and voila, he stayed dry from then to now, and it has been a successful two months now!

So, that is the story of the boy who would not know to speak to tell us when he wanted to potty to the boy who trained himself to stay dry at night.

Monday, January 06, 2014

The boys at home

My thought at the end of the first three months of my second son's birth and managing my first son who is a preschooler now:
What was I thinking... 
Rather, was I thinking at all?