The delicate transition from a diaper to a potty

Do not force milestones on your child if they are not ready for them

In Summary

• Hectic lives lead to worry about child falling behind in achieving milestones

Illustration of a child in diapers
Illustration of a child in diapers

My son is less than two months older than his cousin. As a result of being born around the same time and from close family members, there has always been this subconscious comparison between the two. As a mother, I hate it but I find myself doing the same unwillingly and causing myself grief.

You see, his cousin is a girl and super chatty and quick at hitting her milestones. She has also been at daycare since she was three months old. My son is reserved, brief and only attendded part-time daycare from the time he was two years old. However, because of their age, most of their milestones hit around the same time.

Now to the biggest milestone step in every toddler's life: potty training. Everyone around me has been vocal about me starting to potty-train my child, but I look at him and I just know that he is not ready. For starters, it's winter, it's cold, so I know he will not have the same bladder control as he would have in warmer months. Secondly, he still doesn't respond to his toilet needs or express discomfort with a full diaper. Thirdly, my husband and I find ourselves with our busiest schedules yet, with no time to set aside for potty training.

Meanwhile, it took his cousin a week during the Christmas holidays to potty train. While I was excited for his cousin, I found myself riddled with guilt and anxiety over my son’s delayed potty training. Am I delaying the process? Am I not giving this process enough attention and time? I pressured myself so much that I went out and bought a potty.

The potty sits in the bathroom accumulating dust, because my child is the least bit interested in it, even though I try to hype it up every time we are in there. He still doesn’t express his need for a change when he drops a dookie in his diaper. He’s simply just not there yet.

Potty training is a huge deal, it will redefine every aspect of our lives once we go through it. Outings and walks will never be as simple as they are now. Accidents and clean-ups will occur more often than they do currently. I don’t know why I’m pressured to achieve the milestone even though my child is clearly not ready for it. Luckily, I regained my senses and realised that this is one of those situations where as the parent, I have to take a step back and let my child take the lead. 

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