Potty training… even the words strike fear in the strongest willed parents! It doesn’t matter if your the uber competitive parent who’s kid does everything first or the most laid back relaxed parent, potty training is a right of passage we all must go through and experience.
I started potty training my little one when she was 2 1/2 years old, more out of necessity as it was my last chance to do it before I went back to work. I took me a week ( ohhh my such a long week!!!) staying in the house to crack it but since then we have honestly not looked back! Not only is it so much easier being out of nipples but it is save me an absolute fortune!! ( I must remember to write a blog about my new love of cheap Tesco nappies for baby number two…. i am officially a nappy snob no more!!)
Anyway I thought I would share with you a few words of wisdom from my potty training experience:-
Introduce the potty nice and early.
Months before we started potty training we left the potty sitting in the bathroom and naturally your toddler will get curious and show an interest. I let my little once play and sit on it so when the time came it wasn’t a scary ordeal!
Read a book
There are plenty of books available from libraries and shops that will help to prime your child for the big day. I found a great one that played music and really got my little one excited. We read this book for a few weeks before we started to plant the idea in her head.
When is the best time?
Normally it is said the best time to potty train is the summer after your toddler turns two. You will need a few days/ week in the house to start with. More for your own sake than the toddler, accidents can be stressful at first but you soon realise you can deal with them fast and they don’t happen nearly as often as you think the will.
How to start?
I was beyond clueless. In the beginning I was putting my little one on the potty every 30 minutes and expecting her to go that often. I soon began to realise that no one needs to pee that much!! After a few days I twigged on and started putting her on the potty at set times. First thing in the morning and 30 minutes after she had a snack and drink.
Praise is key!
You may find your child sits on the potty and doesn’t go. That is ok, just give lots of praise every time they sit on the potty and when they do eventually go find a way to reward them. I did a small treat, chocolate button and after a week of using the potty we bought a toy for her and this seemed to really keep her excited about it once the novelty wore off. I would say put the potty somewhere they are comfortable and that is handy for you. I had a 6 month old crawling round so couldn’t be sitting in the bathroom with a toddler all morning. Instead I let the potty come to the kitchen, living room, bedroom or back garden… pretty much wherever I was so I could continue with my activities. DON’T stress my little girl has now ditched the potty and is happy to sit on the toilet in the bathroom so it won’t give then the wrong idea about going to the potty not in a bathroom.
Out and about
We bring the potty with us and have had a few crucial car stops. All I do is put the potty on the floor in the passenger seat and let my little one go. I would say make sure you bring plastic bags if doing this… talking from experience. A runny poo in the front of the car and no plastic bag can only be described as character building!!! Accidents in public will happen! Bring plenty of spare clothes and include socks and shoes… nothing worse than pee soaked trainers!!
Regression will come
We have 4 weeks of no accidents and one day my little one had a bad cold and just wasn’t feeling 100%. She had about 4 accidents that day, just wet herself and told me afterwards! This is normal and will happen. Sometimes a change of routine or illness can cause it.
Most children pick up potty training pretty quickly, especially if they are completely ready. But what if they don’t? Don’y stress. Give it a few more months and start again! Everyone learns eventually to go just remember every child is different and there really is no rush at all!!