Are you in the midst of potty training your child? If so, this can be a breeze or a very long drawn out process. For my husband and I, it was more like climbing a slippery hill – generally a smooth upward trek, but with lots of small backsliding moments. I can’t say that we are over the hump or hill of potty training yet (still working on no diapers during the afternoon naptime, and haven’t tackled that overnight diaper), but we are making progress. The most frustrating thing as a parent can be that just when you think you’ve achieved a small victory, you receive a small setback. For example, our 35 month old toddler had been doing well at school and in church nursery with not wetting her pants despite just wearing underwear since she was about 29 months of age. We had also been teaching her to notify the teacher that she needs to use the small toilet in the next adjacent room. However, just two weeks ago, she came out of church nursery with wet pants, and just last week she came home from school with wet undies and jeans.
Similarly, at the start of August we replaced the diaper with underwear for her afternoon naps. In the first week she wet the bed about 3 times. Then after that, she went through an amazing nearly 2 weeks of not wetting the bed once in the afternoons! But then 2 weeks ago, she wet her bed about 4 days in a row, and also wet her undies a few times. Granted, I may have given her too much soup on a few of those occasions too close to her naptime, but still it was frustrating to see her backtrack when she had been doing so well (not to mention all the extra laundry!).
I’ve since learned through experience a few tips about smart pre-nap planning before afternoon naps, especially if you have a child with a small bladder like mine. First, only give a very, very small amount of milk, water or soup at lunch. Second, try to finish the entire lunch at least 1- 1 ½ hours before naptime. That way, your toddler will have enough time to have any liquids she consumed work through her system and use the potty once or twice before she goes down for a nap!
Lastly, books can really help! I’ve read to her a couple of “potty” books in the past 8 or 9 months, but none seemed to really make a big impression on her. However, I recently borrowed this book from the library, titled “Ian’s New Potty” by Pauline Oud (Clavis Publishing), and it became her favorite book for the next 2 to 3 days. First published in 2010 in Belgium, this book was translated from Dutch into English and then published in the English language in 2011. Perhaps my toddler could finally identify (based on her recent experiences) with the Ian character in the book who wet his pants while playing (she was mesmerized by Ian’s expression and this image on the right). Anyway, she kept looking at the pages of the book and asking me to read it. Of course I also played up the book’s content, and used Ian as a positive role model for my toddler (“See, he only wet his pants once and then he learned, and now his underpants are dry!”). I believe this book along with the 2 tips I employed above really helped stem her wave of bedwetting. So far it has been 11 days and no afternoon bedwetting yet. Hope this continues!