My 2-year-old son started toilet learning this past month. He had showed interest in using the toilet, so I supported his choice and I started by asking if he wanted to wear a diaper or undies, letting him be in charge.
Some days he’s great with getting to the toilet in time, but other days he’s not, and yesterday he had lots of accidents.
Getting in some ‘Potty Talk’
At bedtime we had some extra time just to relax. I was holding one of his stuffed toys, when suddenly I said, “Oh, Giraffee you peed on me!” Then I made the giraffe look embarrassed by hiding his neck behind him.
My son got the giggles. So then I said he pooped on the bed! More giggles!
Next, we went through all of my son’s stuffed animals, and made each of them talk about their toileting problems.
It turns out that his little bear is still in diapers, for instance. He likes to poop and then sit on the floor and smoosh the poop into his bottom. My son and I pretended to clean little bear’s bottom and put on a new diaper while little bear wriggled around, which was challenging!
His big teddy is much older and so he doesn’t have accidents anymore. But Big Bear did talk about how it took him some time to learn to get to the toilet before he stopped having accidents.
Why Play Helps with Potty Issues
My son was giggling the whole time with my silly toilet talk, voices, and stuffed animal actions. It was great! I think playing this way helped him laugh away some of the pressures, worry, and anxiety he might have had around using the toilet.
This morning, he was playing outside and said, “I have a poo coming, Mommy.” I brought him in the house and he took himself to the toilet, shut the door and called out when he was done to come wipe him.
It was the easiest toilet poop he’s done yet!
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Claire Rosina is a certified Hand in Hand Instructor based in Queensland, Australia.