I don’t want to be one of those smug arseholes that say potty training has been a breeze, buuuut, I’m totally going be one of those arseholes. We just kind of fell in to potty training and haven’t looked back since, annoying, I know. I honestly thought it was going to be a nightmare, I am completely shocked at how things have gone. Mind you, I still spend everyday waiting for some sort of relapse and night times are a whole different ball game.I had planned to write a how to post sharing tips but now I don’t really have any. I will however share how we started and how we are getting on with potty training 6 months on.
Pre potty training
For a good few months before potty training commenced, we started familiarising Ava with the toilet. I’ve always explained to Ava what the toilet is for and as soon as she started to recognise that she was pooing we would talk about that, we talk a lot! We would also sit Ava on the toilet before she got in the bath every night, she loved the novelty of sitting on there, eventually she started to ask to go on her self, not to do anything, she just liked feeling a bit more grown up. On the occasion that she would wee on the toilet, we made a huge fuss of her, lots of well dones and clapping. The one time she did a poo on there we celebrated like crazy, god knows what the neighbours must of thought! I know a lot of children get the fear when it comes to pooing so we tried to make the fact that she had done one as fun as possible.
Eventually the frequency of her weeing and pooing on the toilet became pretty much every night and she had started to request to go at other times of the day too.
Time to start potty training
Around that point we started to wonder if she was perhaps ready, for me, I thought she was too young (2 years 4 months) and too rebellious, but she went and proved me wrong didn’t she. I waited until Ava broke up from nursery for the summer holidays to start, purely because I didn’t want any distractions or anything to be to confusing for her, she only does a couple of mornings, and I thought this might hinder her grasping it ( I think I was just being over cautious here, the nursery have been fab with her)
On day 1 I bought her potty downstairs with us, put a pull up on her and explained that we would be doing our wees/poos in the potty. A lot of that first day was spent with me asking if she needed a wee every 5 minutes, it worked though and that entire day she only did one wee in her pull up. I kept the pull up on for the next couple of days just whilst she got used to using the potty. We then moved on to pants and made a big deal about wearing proper pants, I bought ones with her favourite characters on and let her choose them each day. She was in her element, she loved feeling grown up and getting lots of praise. I didn’t go down the stickers or treats route purely because she just took to it and I didn’t feel like I needed them. We had minimal accidents, probably because I was constantly asking her if she needed a wee, poor kid was nagged to death. If accidents did occur, I tried to remain calm and reiterate that we use the potty now not we in our pants, and reassured her that next time we would do it in the potty.
Out and about
I was very nervous about taking Ava out, especially at the start when she seemed to need a wee every 15 minutes (thankfully that’s just a newness thing, it’s gets better!) If we left the house I did put a pull up on her partly for my own peace of mind and partly because she normally falls asleep in the car. Even though she had a pull up on I still acted as though she didn’t, so plenty of prompts to use the toilet plus I would take her to the toilet as soon as we reached our destination.
Once her ‘travel’ pull up was consistently dry for a few weeks we ditched them and started going out in pants. I always encourage her to try to do a wee before we leave, and take her to the toilet when we are out. I do a lot of reminding if we go somewhere I think she might get a bit distracted. I use a waterproof mat, like a puppy one, in her car seat in case of any accidents. You can get special covers but I had some of these that needed using up.
I also purchased this travel potty which is by far the best invention ever! I used one for my son many years a go and it is a life saver. The new version that I bought Ava is a 2 in 1 travel potty and toilet seat, I couldn’t recommend getting one of these enough. The Potette folds down so you can easily carry it, the sides flip out to put it on a normal toilet, Ava has no trouble sitting on this and it’s so much easier than trying to hover her over the toilet. To use on the go you simply pull the sides down and insert a disposable bag, these are a bit like a nappy bag with an absorbent pad. The pads have designs on the to make then fun for children. I didn’t buy the official bags because they are quite pricey, I found these alternatives on Amazon instead. To be honest we very rarely use the bags as most places we go have toilets these days.
6 months on
So 6 months on we have had minimal accidents, she is confident using the toilet at nursery and we are in a good routine of plenty of scheduled toilet stops if we are out and about. Her bladder control is so much better now and I don’t find myself asking is she needs a wee quite so often. As time has gone on I do find I slip a bit on the praise, this is when I find accidents or refusal to go start to arise. If this happens I just go back to basics and start congratulating every wee again. I think a lot of accidents happen once the novelty wears off so I always try to keep up that sense of fun, if Ava goes to the toilet whilst we are out I do a little wee dance for her, sounds ridiculous but it makes her laugh and it means she is happy using unfamiliar toilets.
Nighttime’s are a no go
Whilst daytime potty training is successful, night time is not. Currently this is not something I am worried about as I believe it is an age thing and Ava is still quite young really. She always does a wee before bed but her pull up is still wet in a mornings, they are not as wet as they used to be but she is nowhere near to being dry. Ava’s problem I think, is that she likes sleep and does not like getting out of bed, therefore her morning wee is usually done in her pull up rather than getting out of bed and going to the toilet. As I said, I’m not worried about this and I’m confident it will click eventually.
A relaxed approach
We have taken a very relaxed approach to potty training, we have taken Ava’s lead and will continue to do so. Ava is a very head strong little girl so I’m not sure any other approach would of worked to be honest. If you are thinking of potty training your little one, my only advice would be to go with the flow, don’t get stressed out, offer lots of praise, and let your little one feel like they are in control, after all moving from nappies to pants is quite a big deal!
If you have any advice for potty training feel free to leave it in the comments.