As a mother of a toddler I was dreading the moment of potty training. In fact I was reading so little about it that from all the materials out there I could only remember that the good age to start is 25 months (or at least someone said that somewhere). But time really fly and here it is my lovely daughter turned two last month. I knew the time is close. I decided to read the 3 day potty training method, and laughed my socks off after. The only thing I learned is that nothing significant can happen in three days. The method highlight on three days, but in fact it starts with one month preparation and it says to keep the good work for at least another three months. Well in my simple calculations this isn`t at all three days training, but more like four months. So after I established that a) the time has come and b) this popular article is rather misleading I decided to follow my own approach. It is based on what I have seen done by friends, my mum advice and few reads in popular websites. I reached the conclusion that I need to prepare myself and our nanny for almost endless amount of wet panties and even ordered 10 pairs to get started with 🙂 For my surprise things went so smooth that I have to convince you I am not lying. Here how things looked like in the first week:
I put her on the potty after waking up. She refused to sit for longer than five seconds. Asking if she wants to do a wee she firmly said “No!”. It wasn`t true. She weed herself in less than ten minutes into wearing only pants. I put her again on the potty, and told her that if there is wee or poo she can do it here, because she is a big girl now. She kept wetting herself through out the whole day. Refusing to sit on the potty for longer than five seconds. Overall I thought that this is going to take ridiculously long and just tried to keep my cool with her.
She woke up and I took her with me in the toilet. She sat on the potty this time and did a wee. Hooray!!! First success! I was wowing and telling her what a good girl she has been. I showed her how we clean the potty and let her flush the water. After breakfast I put her on the potty for a poo (because this is her usual time to do it). This time she sat and did not protest. She then did her job there and you can only imagine the happiness in our house! She then continued doing wee only in the potty for the whole day.
Day three was the first working day of the week and I had a talk with our nanny. I told her she needs to put her on the potty regularly and only uses nappy for her nap time. When I got home from work, the nanny said she kept her off the nappy even for her nap and there was no accident.
Again accident free, we went for a small play date with the car. I decided to be bold and take the chance of going out nappy free. It paid off. Poppy was holding until we went to visit her friends and did a wee in the potty. We also came back home and we called it for another accident free day.
As I am writing the article we are in week two and it has been brilliant so far. We had outings longer than 5 hours and she always kept her panties dry and only does it in her potty. She now comes to me and says she has to do a poo and it has been 100% accurate. She is using her nappy only at bed time and I am planning of taking it off completely in the next couple of months or so. My goal is to send her to nursery in September completely nappy free and fully trained to ask and use potty/toilet. I am facing the problem of going out for longer as I have noticed that she is holding her wee until we get back. To avoid that I ordered a travel potty, that can fold and clean easily.
This article is obviously in process for the next months, so I am planning to write an update and keep you posted. If you are yet to start you perhaps would like to read all the things I did, said and took in consideration in the process of potty training. I hope my tips are helpful to you 🙂
Introduce potty at early age
It might sound bonkers to some, but I have been putting Poppy on the potty since she was 7 months old. The purpose of it was just to introduce her to it and teach her that wee and poo are done there. She was brilliant for many months and we had great success most of the time. However I did not treated this as potty training and had 0 expectations.
Starting at the right time
It is a tricky moment to actually guess when is the right time. I was just lucky (honestly I believe that) to choose the right time to do it.
I firmly believe that the child should not only have words for wee and poo, but completely understand the meaning of words such as toilet, big girl/boy, having more than one word to describe his needs and being able to speak simple senescence (such as: “Poppy go potty”).
Gets irritated from wearing nappy or being wet
It is a firm sign that the child is ready to be nappy free if she is trying to remove her nappy when wet or pooped. This clearly is a sign that she is uncomfortable with it and is ready to try something different that will make her carefree.
Hiding to wee or poop
Hiding and even saying “No”, when asking if she need to go to the potty is a sign she might be ready. Going to poop in one particular corner in the house can mean she is aware of what`s coming.
Interested in others using the toilet/potty
If she comes to you in the toilet (and lets face it every child does that) and saying things such as “Mummy toilet” or “Mummy wee” is a sign they understand what is the use of the toilet and how to do it.
Staying dry for a long time
Dry nappy after nap or after long play date is a sign that the bladder is more regulated. For my daughter is also easy as she is very regular with her pooping- morning and in the afternoon.
Telling you they want to use the potty
I mean if you reached this stage you are probably procrastinating it for a while 🙂 Go and be there for your child
Keep your cool
Seriously this is the hardest of all! Try and keep your face friendly even if you want to scream (and you will most like love to do that). Congratulate and encourage the child every time they do wee or poo in the potty. DO NOT loose temper or getting crossed if she fail, the last thing you want is to make your child hate or even being scared of the potty.
Ask if she needs to go to the toilet regularly enough, but not too often. It sound tricky, but you can quite get it when your child gets frustrated. Always use the potty when waking up, before going to sleep, after drinking loads of liquids or eating salty foods.
Wait if you have to
If you think you are seriously failing even after doing all of the above, just give it a break and try again in couple of weeks. Kids are so different and they get to hit some milestones differently. What he or she cannot do today, she might be able to do in few weeks time.
Keep it clean
Always wipe her bottom after wee and poo. Setting healthy habits starts from very early age.
Talk them through the whole thing
Explain every single tiny bit of the potty training process out loud. Kids like to hear and repeat what you are saying. It might be tiring at first, but once you get used to it will be easy peasy.
Things I did not do
I did not bribe my daughter to sit on the potty as I wasn`t sure this would pay off. And also what will I do if we want to go out and I have no TV or treats?! So I decided to go bare and choose talking rather than bribing. I also did not use any chart to follow the progress as it isn`t my thing (it might work as a charm with some kids tho).
I wish you a very best of luck in the potty training. Let me know in the comments if I missed something that worked for you and your child.
Photo credit: IKEA