I have to say first off potty training is hard.
So hard and that is because every single child is different and as I am writing this I am hoping I am not jinxing myself as potty training is just that – training. Your little one will still have accidents, miss their nappies and sometimes will not make it in time for the potty. This is life you just have to be prepared.
My two boys are very different. Khillian we potty trained later as we just went with the flow. He was out first – I didn’t know what I was doing and I was just looking for signs and none of them were there so I didn’t rush my decision. I was also heavily pregnant so did not want to stress about it. Signs that state your little one is ready to be potty trained…
- If their night time nappy is dry (or much drier then normal) this is all about bladder control.
- They ask to go to the potty or toilet
- They remove their nappy off of them all together and just do not want it on them
- They tell you they have done a wee and a poo
- If they can take their bottoms off and put on with ease (this is a great start)
There are so many more, but once Khillian showed some of these signs we rolled with it. Lorenzo was different. He didn’t do any of the above but as he speech is so good and he communicates well with adults at 2.5 we decided to see how he was on the potty. We brought a nice brightly coloured potty and put it in our bathroom. Before he got in the bath every night we asked him if he wanted to go on, and he did. Yepee!
Once a half term hit we thought we would go full steam ahead and take all nappies off so no nappies all day long, even in cars and trip out. Luckily my husband was off for a week so it was perfect timing. BIG TIP: It really does help when you have help – pick a week when you and your partner are at home or maybe if your sister has some time or a grandparent can pop over for an hour or two. The more the merrier. ANOTHER BIG TIP: I could not have done it in term times as we are constantly in a car due to school runs, days out and after school clubs. So I would really recommend thinking about when you want to train. If you have other kids, try a half term it will be so much easier and you will not find it so stressful.
I went out and brought all new pants with designs I knew he would love – monsters, anything yellow, buses and transports. He loved his treats and wanted to put them on straight away. No problems at all. His potty I brought from Ebay and I picked a Christmas one as I know he loves anything with Christmas designs and learning from my first son’s experience I brought a potty with lightly raised arms so that he could lean his arms on there and just relax. The other reason I like this potty is because the bowl section comes out so its cleaner and easier when removing the dirty contents. You simple take the bowl out clean it and place it back. The bowl is also a lot deeper (you never know how much is going to come out, do you?) Here is an example – they are between £8-£12. There are so many things you can try. You can move your little one straight onto the toilet (Khillian preferred this) and you can get the step extension, which is amazing! As Khillian is really tall he found jumping onto the toilet better.
However, I just knew my stubborn little man would not do this. I knew he needed something a little more simple and something more secure and comfortable – he is only little and much shorter than Khillian so we resorted to the potty.
A GREAT TIP: Once he was loving wearing his pants and knew where his potty was I also went to the library and took out as many books as I could about potty training. Any stories with kids who had morning routines and who went on the potty, stories about kids who didn’t like the potty but magical things happened when on the potty. This really helped as he was happy to go on and knew exactly what to do. All sounded great however – Lorenzo did not realise when he needed to go. He knew what to do and how to do it but he didn’t recognise the urge of when to go to the toilet. As Khillian was around all he wanted to do was to play outside with his brother. I got Khillian involved and even put the potty in the toilet when Khillian was on the toilet. But Lorenzo clocked on and refused to go. The more I asked him those annoying questions…
‘Do you need the potty?’
‘Do you need to go to the toilet?’
‘Would you like to sit on the potty and try and do a poo?’
The more my toddler said no and it wasn’t long before he flat out ignored me. It got to day 8 and we realised we rushed him and he just was not ready. 3 months later he started showing different signs. When I spotted him trying to do a poo I asked him… ‘Shall we try it on the potty?’ He said yes and was so happy he did it and it was so easy. When he finished, cleaned himself (my little Mr Independent) and washed his hands with a big smile on his face I knew he was ready. Every night he would still go to the potty and do a wee – we made sure of this. He was also told ALL the time…
‘Where does the wee wee and poo go?’ he would reply ‘In the toilet and potty not in my pants.’
About 6 weeks ago we tried again. Of course he had accidents – he is a toddler and he is learning. We tried not to snap and keep everything positive. When he resisted the potty I simple said… ‘If you want to go soft play you have to get the wee wee out. You will feel so much better and then we can play lots and lots.’ Works every time! I always make him see what comes after he goes for a wee…
‘Lets go on the toilet and then we can see Khillian.’
‘You don’t want to go to the park with dirty pants, so lets go to the toilet.’
Here are some more TIPS that really helped me…
- Let them bring their ipads, kindles, toys with them. It relaxes them and if they relax everything comes out better. I know when Lorenzo needs a poo as he always ask for his kindle. I also find when I put music on – nursery rhymes in the background he will sing on the potty and just has more fun.
- Always, always, always praise them!!! Even when its a drop or 2 they are learning something new and need to know what they are doing is right. Adding sarcasm or shouting at them if they poo in their pants is not nice for anyone. It takes time and in the end they will get it.
- I potty trained both my boys in the hot weather. Its the best time. They do not have anything pull up, take off they just slip their pants off and go to the toilet and as its so hot everything dries up quicker.
- Be patient. Potty training, after sleep training is THE WORST. Make sure you take a week off of work, get in help, get extra pants, extra clothes and mentally get ready for all the horrible crap you have to clean up.
- Do not think accidents will not happen – they do even when the kids are older. Do not stress and worry. They will get it in the end – every child is different.
- I never did with Khillian but as I have two little ones and am out and about a lot with them I brought a travel potty and OMG it changed everything. I brought this one from Amazon.
It is the best £15 I have spent. It is small and fits into a cotton carry bag so I always just throw it over my shoulder with Lorenzo’s spare clothes and pants and if he goes out with my parents I’ll just give them the bag. It opens up and you take off a see-through lid, let them go to the toilet, empty it, clean it, put the lid back on and then close it shut.
I have also just placed it in the basket of the pram – so small and it has saved me on trips to the park and school runs.
I highly recommend. Khillian even wants to use it when we are out.
- Always make sure they go to the toilet before you leave to go somewhere – soft play, supermarket shop. If they go to the toilet beforehand they will not need the loo for a while.
- Always pack extra pants and jeans. I even keep extras in the boot of my car, just in case.
- When dressing them make sure they are comfortable – they still want to go out and have fun and run. The more you put on them, the more they have to take off and undress. If they want to wear a hat, costume etc let them but try and leave it to just a cape and mask. The week I potty trained Lorenzo he would not take off his knight helmet. Now I look back and see it as a great memory.
There are lots of tips and tricks but the final one that worked wonders with my stubborn toddler was gifting him. I said to him as you are doing so well I am going to get you a present. (I do not like spending money one crap) so I brought him something I knew he would love…
I brought him new Batman pants. He is in love with them and now wears them every day. In the morning I let him choose the pants he wants to wear and he loves putting them on.
I hope these tips helps and yes it is a time consuming period but in the end they will get there. Be patient and praise them and you will see how good they will do.
If you have any tips for potty training I would love to hear them.