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Potty Training

Posted on April 22, 2013

The One with the Potty Training

Guest post/ Potty Training/ Toddlers

Another great Potty Training guest post on the blog today written by the lovely Georgy from Random Thoughts from a Random Woman – please make her feel welcome and leave a comment and if you like Georgy’s writing then you can also find her on Facebook and Twitter. Thanks Georgy for a great post! Hope the potty training continues to go well x

Photo belongs to This Mummy Loves...

Photo belongs to This Mummy Loves…

We have been trying to potty train the boy for some time now. I had been asked from about 18 months when we were going to do it but we thought this was far too early to consider it. I’d heard stories of children who were potty trained at that age only to regress back to a multitude of accidents later. I figured that as potty training was one of the things I dreaded most about having children I only wanted to go through it once, so 2 years old was the earliest we were ever going to try.

The boy is now 3 and we haven’t got a great deal further. Every time we made any headway something happened to put us back like an illness or the time he was running around with no nappy & doing really well when he lashed out at his little friend who’d come for tea. The resulting telling off meant he lost all control and promptly weed an afternoons full bladder all over the floor. Poor little mite was then so confused at what the telling off was for he refused to use the potty again for weeks. No doubt for fear of getting it wrong again. I don’t need to tell you how awful I felt and what a bad mother I thought I was, but how do you explain to a toddler I’m telling you off for that, not this, especially one with the three second memory of a goldfish.

The boy is also a “proper boy”, high spirited, hurtles at play at 100 miles per hour but essentially lazy. I love him dearly but if he had his way I’d spoon feed him all his meals and he’d spend all day in his own filth. And therein lies the trouble. When I read about potty training, and believe me I’ve read a lot, all the advice says that the child will start to not like the sensation of being in a dirty nappy. Not the boy. Happy as a pig in the proverbial he is. Doesn’t bother him at all.

We first tried last year in the spring and summer, after his 2nd birthday. He wasn’t keen. You could tell. He just wasn’t ready. We’d read Pirate Pete’s Potty book and he’d say all the words with me. I’d take off his nappy, position the potty in the centre of the room and ask

“When you need a wee wee or a poo poo where do you go?”

“On the potty.” Would come the cute and compliant reply.

He’d then promptly wee all over the laminate and curl one out on the carpet!

So we stopped when the winter came, as we were getting no where, he was getting stressed and I remembered the health visitor said, at his 2 year check, not to even bother trying until he was 3. It was just that all his little NCT contemporaries were done. Not only potty trained but going to the big boy/girl toilet on their own and here was my boy still in Pampers. No one put me under any pressure but I felt it anyway. You can’t help it. As soon as you have children the Mum fairies come in the night and sprinkle guilt dust all over your forehead.

Recently the boy turned 3 but he has had quite a long spell in hospital with an abscess on his neck so we are only now returning to normal and have re-introduced no nappy time in the mornings and before bed. That way he can get the sensation of needing to go without the dulling effect of a massive nappy round his bits.

And this time, By George! I think he’s got it. In fact this weekend we have had a major break through. Four big wee wees on the potty on Easter Sunday alone and hardly any accidents (is it just me or do boys “dribble” a lot?). I’m having to reward with chocolate but hey I figured its Easter he’d be eating chocolate anyway so why not use the vast stocks we have accumulated  to our own advantage.

So I’ve got the reward chart, stickers and chocolate buttons out and the nappies off. If the boy can crack it then so can I. I just might need to pinch some of his chocolate supplies myself to keep me going.


Posted on April 17, 2013

Potty Training by Keira

Guest post/ Potty Training/ Toddlers

Another potty training guest post this evening from the lovely Keira – Keira really could do with your advice; so please leave some for her if you have some 🙂 Thanks so much x

We are attempting to potty train a very stubborn almost 3 year old who is not very interested. Unlike her older brother who was potty trained not long after turning 2, I am really struggling this time. We have bought a potty book, Princess Polly’s Potty, which she loves and has read to her  about 5 times a day. We have bought some new big girl’s pants, which she also loves and even some treats  and stickers to bribe her with but it is going very slowly and painfully (for me!) On the plus side she has done a wee and a poo on the potty, two days ago, but has done nothing on it since! She seems to be able to hold a wee all day long, which does concern me a bit. Yesterday at the childminders she wore her new pants all day long and stayed dry and then had a pull up on for the journey home, which she promptly filled to bursting.

She doesn’t mind sitting on the potty she just doesn’t seem to want to do anything on it! I have tried giving her extra drinks (this just resulted in accidents). About 6 months ago she went through a stage of telling us she needed a wee, so we started to try the potty then but it didn’t work, she flat out refused so we left it for a while but now she doesn’t even seem to be able to tell us before she needs a wee (she does for a poo). Our childminder is amazing and says she has never failed in potty training, apart from Lily! Any advice is much appreciated. I thought, as she was a bit older now we might be able to crack it quite quickly but now I am not so sure. It is her birthday tomorrow and we have been working towards the fact that big 3 year old girls have to go on the potty etc. Anyone who has had a similar experience I would really appreciate any advice?


Keira from Mama Designs x

Posted on April 15, 2013

Potty Training by Instinctive Mum

Guest post/ Potty Training/ Toddlers

I’ve another fab potty training guest post for you today from the lovely Instinctive Mum who you can also find on twitter and facebook. I hope you enjoy her guest post and please make her feel welcome and leave a comment if you enjoy this post 🙂


Hello! Who out there is thinking about potty training their little one? Are you dreading it? Or are you looking forward to finally being free from those endless nappy changes?

For me, hearing the term ‘potty training’ makes me want to shout out loud to EVERY parent thinking of doing it and say….STOP…it should be called ‘potty when they’re ready!’  They can’t be trained!! And indeed why should they?

I have three children, a daughter and two sons, two of which are fully ‘trained.’ (Third is only 10 months, think that’s a bit early!) When my daughter was just two, several of our friends in the local play group were already talking about training their little ones to go to the toilet. Whenever we were out and about together I swear they spent more time in the toilets than actually with anyone else. Every time the words ‘Mummy I need wee’ were uttered off they’d dash, scared of an accident and fearful of the child feeling like they’d failed, that they’d done something wrong by having an accident. The mums all had massive bags too, filled with sweets and chocolate as a reward for success, and about fifty million changes of clothes for those inevitable accidents. They bought books, Gina Ford’s guide to potty training was one, and read them whilst we were out to check they were training their little ones correctly. And I guess there was a kind of peer pressure. If they were all doing it, training their tiny people, then should I be? Did I need to go out and buy a giant sized suitcase so I could carry my daughters entire wardrobe around with me in case she had an accident? Did I need a portable potty so that she could feel free to go whenever and wherever she liked? It all seemed like an awful lot of hassle. Whilst they were all running to and from the bathroom and changing their children, wiping away the tears, I was playing with my daughter. Enjoying time with her, be it at the park or a friend’s house or indeed wherever we were. She wasn’t showing any interest in using a potty, and she was only just two. I kept thinking to myself, how many grown ups aren’t potty trained? How many children go to school still in nappies? (In my 13 years teaching experience I’ve only ever known of one) And I made the decision then to trust my instincts, I knew she wasn’t ready and I’d be damned if I was going to force her to do something that could potentially cause her more upset than good.

So, we waited. And waited. And 6 months later I spied her in the bathroom, sat on one of our potties (yes I had bought some just in case she was ready!) and her favourite teddy bear was sat on another. And they were having a lovely little chat together. She didn’t actually do a wee that time, but not long afterwards she did. And barely ever had an accident. I hadn’t need to train her, I’d waited until she was ready and she had done it all by herself. She knew when she needed to go. And go she did. There were no giant bags of spare clothes, no dashing off and spending hours in public toilets. It was easy. There was no stress involved at all!

Nighttime dryness was the same. As soon as her nappies had been dry for a week or so I took them off. And left a potty in the room if she needed it. Which she did occasionally. But we never had a nighttime accident. Because when those nappies had finally been removed, her body and her brain were ready for it. They’d made the connection. They knew when it was time to go, and could wait when it wasn’t.

It was a similar story with my 3 year old son. Yet for him to be ready we had to wait until he was three and a half. He would happily sit on the potty, and enjoyed watching his Gruffalo do ‘wees’ on the potty (Which was actually me sneakily pouring water in whilst he wasn’t looking!) But his body wasn’t ready for him to do it himself for a long time later. And whilst everyone else at pre-school ditched the nappies, my little boy remained in his. It didn’t bother him. It didn’t bother me. I knew he’d get there in the end. When he was ready. And he did. At night time too. And we’ve had just one accident.

So I guess what I am trying to say with all of these lovely potty anecdotes, is that in my opinion children shouldn’t be trained. Their bodies are complex little things and only when the connections are made in their brains are they ready to use the toilet. It happens at different times for each different child. It’s such an easier and happier experience for everyone involved if you have the courage to wait until they are ready. To not feel the pressure of everyone else waffling on about how their child was trained at 6 months. (Bet these were the children that slept through the night from 6 weeks as well!) Take your time, they all get there in the end.

Posted on April 10, 2013

Potty training; it’s more than just your ones and twos

Guest post/ Potty Training/ Toddlers

I have another great guest post for you this morning from The Secret Father. A huge thank you to The Secret Father; it’s great to get a Dad’s perspective on potty training! You can also find The Secret Father on Twitter @Secret_Father :O)


Change is never easy, and potty training – one of the major milestones in any young child’s life – can be one of the more challenging and frustrating change phases for everyone involved. It is much more than just taking off their nappies and showing them where the toilet is. It is the beginning of the process that will eventually see your child walk out of the door and off into the great wide world on their own. No wonder it can be so stressful.


There were a number of catalysts that led to my wife and I taking the decision to attempt potty training our daughter. Firstly our daughter was soon to turn 2 ½ and we were both getting fed up with the daily change table struggles. She was becoming stronger, more vocal and less inclined to lie passively while we changed her nappies.

Secondly she had started to express an interest in using the potty, talked about it a lot and often sat on it watching us. We bought her books about potty use and read those to her frequently. She asked questions and was becoming inquisitive. She was also able to get her trousers up and down, which we figured was a key developmental stage and precursor to potty training.

Thirdly it was summer and we felt that it would be better to attempt potty training during a time when we were more often than not outside – easier to clean up if there were accidents, and as long as we had a potty on standby, everyone could relax. In hindsight this was a great decision. In hindsight I would HATE to try potty training in the winter when everyone is stuck in the house.

Fourthly her bowel and bladder movements had started to become more routine. She was starting to wake up with a dry nappy. She was starting to give tell tale signs that she needed to go, even if she couldn’t vocalise it  – shuffling around, complaining and holding her “bits” were all good indicators that she was starting to anticipate the process, and therefore becoming more conscious.

And lastly one of her best friends had also started the process of potty training. The application of a healthy dose of peer pressure struck us as providing the best chance of success of all.

So it was around June 2012 when we took the decision, just at the start of the UK summer. We explained what we were trying to do to our daughter’s key worker at nursery who was initially very supportive. We decided to go for day time potty training only. At night times we decided our daughter should wear pull up pants.

We were initially quite fearful as our daughter likes routine, doesn’t like change and expresses displeasure openly, frequently and assertively (in other words, like many other two year olds, she can be a “Todzilla” from time to time). However the transition to grown-up pull up pants made my daughter happy as she felt like a big girl. Equally my wife and felt an immediate relief and liberation from the dreaded nappies (not to mention happiness at the thought of the expense saved) and I think my daughter did too.

However despite these early quick wins, the first two weeks didn’t go very well at all. In fact I would describe them as a disaster.

My daughter found it very difficult and was having accidents all day at nursery and also at home in the evenings. We tried to be patient and adopted the line to never scold an accident, but instead gently reassure and encourage her to get it right the next time. My daughter became increasingly frustrated, unable to vocalise her angst. In hindsight, and judging by her reactions to each accident, I am also pretty sure she found the whole process quite humiliating – after all, who would want to be seen wetting or soiling themselves in public?

This went on for two weeks. Fortunately we have tiles and exposed floor boards at home in the majority of the family space in the house, so the damage from the many accidents was easily cleaned up. However the emotional scars were much harder to deal with. My daughter still couldn’t work out what was happening and became tense and stroppy. My wife and I were frazzled from following her around the house and garden with a potty.

We tried lots of ideas, but even the sticker chart (which we thought would be the failsafe technique given her love for stickers) didn’t work. Each day the situation report from our key worker at nursery made depressing listening. We began to dread the daily briefing of failure and continued stress and the exchange of yet another plastic bag full of soiled clothes.

Then one day, as we entered the third week of potty training, our nursery key worker pulled us to one side with our daughter, and suggested that it wasn’t working and that we should revert back to nappies. She said my daughter was not ready.

We were gutted.

Unusually for me, I was actually at the point where I was also willing to cave in (after all, I was the one who had provided the spine to get us through a month of sleep training earlier in her life) but thank goodness my wife provided the spine on this occasion and argued that we had put so much energy into potty training and that we shouldn’t give up now.

My wife was also aware that my daughter’s friend had successfully transitioned from nappies to potty pretty easily in the meantime, and this provided further incentive for all of us.

And the very next day something amazing happened.

We were stood in the nursery, explaining our decision to our daughter’s key worker and my daughter toddled off into the bathroom. After a few moments I decided to follow her. When I turned the corner I cried out in amazement! My daughter was sat on the potty, big grin on her face, HAVING A WEE! I could not contain my excitement and called the others in to see. Of course I am not sure this was the right move as it temporarily made my daughter a little shy of her achievement.

However, amazingly she had no more accidents that day, nor the next, nor for many days after that. That day (June 14th, 2012 if you are interested) from then on in, became known as WEE DAY in our household. We will celebrate it this year, partly as a bit of fun, but also partly so we can introduce the concept to her little brother who will also soon be embarking on his own little war of (nappy) independence.

By the end of it my daughter had cracked number ones within three weeks and number twos within two months. Accidents, when they did come, were generally during periods of intense play and excitement, when her mind was on something else, but within a couple of months these became incredibly rare. She suffered a couple of viruses in the time, which also seemed to set her back, but generally the learning trajectory was extremely sharp after that initial success.

I look back upon that period with mixed feelings. I was pleased that my wife had been tenacious enough to persuade me to stick with it. I was also proud that my daughter had decided to prove us all wrong, determined to do things in her own time, in her own way; but I also know it was a tough and stressful time, and a time when there were also many other challenges such as teething and sleep issues to deal with.

However, looking back, the overwhelming sense for us all is one of celebrating a victory; for my wife and I it was about having survived one of the key transition phases in early childhood development and for having successfully supported and coached my daughter through it.

But more importantly the victory was for my daughter; my daughter who assertively and confidently took her own decision to take yet another step on the path towards autonomy and independence; for my daughter who took a step closer to understanding and taking control over her own body; for my daughter who became closer to understanding her own needs and shaping her own independent future.

We learnt that potty training is more than just removing their nappies and showing your child where the toilet is. It is about empowerment, trust and preparing your child for the next stages in their life. These are big issues and big concepts, and introducing them so early on in their little lives is bound to cause tension, friction and challenges. And it is no surprise then, that it can feel all consuming.

And as we now stand on the verge of embarking on the potty training process with my son, we are preparing and steeling ourselves for a long, and sometimes stressful, journey. We will be prepared for setbacks on the way. We will be prepared for another summer of running around the house with a potty in one hand, and a bottle of disinfectant and brush in the other.

But ultimately, given what an incredible achievement it is for a child to throw off the lumpy shackles of nappies and to be able to stride confidently, with bare buttocks, out into the big wide world, we will be prepared for our children to (yet again) amaze us.

Posted on April 2, 2013

Potty Training by Kelly

Guest post/ Potty Training

The lovely Kelly is on the blog this morning with her potty training experience(s)… I’ll leave Kelly to introduce herself as she’s so much better at it than me 😉


Kelly is the face behind the vintage silhouette at Domestic Goddesque. She eats too much cookie dough to have a waist that small. She is a thirty-something Mother of two absurdly photogenic little girls, is married her beloved DH and endures daily battles-of-will with the dog she refers to as the Wonder Hound. She likes to avoid housework as much as possible, preferring to bake, craft and drink cocktails. Sorry, did I say cocktails? I meant coffee. And nap. She likes to nap too. When not blogging, you can find her haunting Facebook for interesting snippets of gossip, or throwing her wit around the twittersphere. (She may have made that last bit up too: she’s not that funny.)


About 11 thousand years ago when LBG was a year old I listened to my mother and bought a potty. Not, I stress,  because I was planning on potty training but because she suggested that just having the potty around would get LBG used to it and therefore not view it as alien and terrifying when the time to train came.

She had a point. That potty was a doll-keeper, a hat, a step and a seat long before it was used for it’s intended purpose. She played with it almost every day. I confess I don’t have a clear memory of the day it became a potty as it was such a gradual process. We started having naked time before bath: I would lay a waterproof sheet over the sitting room floor and put pants on LBG. They invariably were wet by the time the bath was full.

And then one day, they weren’t. One day I realised that she was always dry. So whenever we were at home, I would leave her without a nappy. And sure enough she was dry. All the time.

One day in August 2010- three months after her second birthday- she announced that she no longer needed nappies. She wanted to leave the house wearing ‘big girl pants’. So she did. I packed several changes of clothes, the portable potty and a shed load of wipes, all in a waterproof potty bag. Within 90 minutes she had three accidents and wanted to put a nappy back on . So that’s what we did.

A week later she tried again with the same result.

Then nothing until October, a fortnight before we were flying to America for my brother’s wedding. That’s the moment she picked. I could not have been more stressed. But she just knew. I think during those first few days we had two or three accidents. She still wore nappies for naps and long car journeys. So the potty bag came with us to America. And she rocked potty training. We used the portable potty in shopping malls and diners and the back of our enormous hire car but I came back from our two week trip with a fully trained two-year-old.

I know that parts of it were stressful but the change was gradual for us all. And when, a few months after that, she announced that she didn’t want to wear Princess Pants (the Pull-Ups we were using by then had Princesses on them) we just went with it. When I came up to bed, I put  her on the loo, so that she could do a wee. I had one night where she had two accidents and ended up in our bed for lack of energy to change the bed.  And there were several other accidents but when she suddenly made the connection with juice and started drinking much less, those issues disappeared overnight.

It seemed that following her lead worked perfectly for us, so we did the same with Dimples. She is so much more single-minded than her sister and the day she turned two, when she received pants from Granny as a present, it was ‘adios nappies’. Literally she became dry like that *clicks fingers*. The same with night-time nappies three months later. I think she had one accident. She has always been the child that will take herself to the loo in the middle of the night- she used to sit up in bed shouting ‘Muuuuuuum, I need a weeeeeee’ until she could get on the loo alone- whereas her sister doesn’t wake at all, which is probably why she had more accidents.

Of course our approach isn’t for everyone but it really worked with the nature of our children. I liked it because I never felt confined to the house, and they liked the confidence that making their own decisions gave them. They switched between nappies and pants without any issues, often requesting a nappy if they were tired or on a long car journey, which I’m fairly sure goes against all the advice you read in books. But it was relatively painless for us all and you can’t ask for more than that!

To see all of the Potty Training posts click here.

Posted on March 29, 2013

Potty Training – Our First Day!

Potty Training/ Toddlers

So today was the day that the nappies came off and the potty came out! I couldn’t be happier with how it has gone to be honest… Bugs has been a complete star and I think he knows that by how much he has been cheered on today 😉

Photo 28-03-2013 13 52 06

I’ve left him bare bum all day as I did with my other two when I trained them. I watched him carefully all day looking for signs and getting used to his reactions – there were few at first as he didn’t realise what was going on but as the day has gone on I have noticed little signs when he was needing to go; so from then I have said to him come and sit on the potty and do a wee wee.

We have had 3-4 accidents.

4 wee wees on the potty and 1 poo!

I couldn’t actually believe he did a poo on his first day, with my experience from the other two they always came later and they would save them for when the bedtime nappy went on.

Bugs was sat at the table at dinner time and said poo, got down off his chair and sat on his potty and proceeded to do a poo! I was amazed!

I am so pleased with how today has gone. I was dreading it! Fingers crossed it all continues to go smoothly.

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Star Chart from his Potty Book

He loves to get his star and stick it on his chart after he has been on the potty! We got this chart with a book we bought at Christmas; Boo had the same book in the girl version. You can find the links to them below! I bought both the books they weren’t review items  I just wanted to mention them as they have been really helpful and both Boo and Bugs have loved them 🙂

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