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They say no two children are the same, and after having three children, I can say that I completely agree with that!

For instance, when it came to potty training, my older daughter Hafsah was fully trained at the age of two, and we went through the usual process with her that consisted of no pull-ups, putting her on the toilet every two hours, etc. My other daughter Madina, on the other hand, wasn’t potty trained until the age of three! You would think that because she is my second child, and that she has Hafsah as a role model, she would be potty trained quicker…..nope! We had some issues with Madina that we never experienced with Hafsah, and this delayed things by a full year!

Here’s Madina’s potty training story: I decided to put Madina on the toilet a couple of months before her second birthday, however she didn’t seem very interested, so I decided to try again when she was two years old. When Madina did turn two, she expressed interest in potty training (felt uncomfortable in a wet diaper, wanted to sit on the toilet…) that’s when I put her on the toilet again. A week or two went by and everything was going as expected: sometimes she would pee in her pants, but other times she would pee in the toilet. However, I did notice that she did not have a bowel movement in the toilet at all- and that was a concern.

Since infancy, Madina did have issues with constipation, and I was afraid she was going down that road again, prompting me to make an appointment with her pediatrician. Sure enough, her pediatrician informed me that Madina was quite constipated and she needed to be put on a laxative. He also advised me to stop potty training her because it appeared as if Madina was too afraid to have a bowel movement in the toilet, which was causing her to hold it in instead.

For the next three months we stopped potty training Madina and she was given a laxative to clear her stomach and to ease her constipation. When we decided to try again, the same thing happened: she was too scared to have a bowel movement in the toilet! By the time she was three years old, she finally got over her fear and is now fully potty trained!

If it’s one thing that I learned from this process, it is to take cues from my child and to not start them on a journey that they aren’t ready for.

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