As you may be aware we are about to start potty training so over the next few weeks the blog with will be full of potty training guest posts from lots of lovely bloggers.
First up is a post by the very lovely Lucy from Dear Beautiful – Thanks so much for sharing your experience with us Lucy – I hope Bugs is just as easy 😉
If you are a blogger and would like to submit a guest post then please email me at email@example.com x
I found that by far the biggest and most important thing with potty training and making it work; is being ready. Everyone knows you have to make sure your child is ready and not rush them into it before they are, but I would say that for me, the bigger deal was me being ready. I knew that my son was showing all the beginning signs of being ready, but I just couldn’t get my head around how I was going to do it and how on earth anything was actually going to work. Funnily enough at the moment where I embraced it and just decided it was time, despite not actually believing my little boy’s young mind was going to understand, we found it relatively simple.
The ground work of potty training started months before the proper training commenced. From about seven or eight months we had sat him on the potty, talked about the potty, generally made the potty a familiar thing in our home. He knew what it was, and had a vague idea of what was supposed to happen on it. At about 16 months we started putting him on it after meal times, he would often wee after meals because he drank a lot when he ate. Sometimes he would go, sometimes he wouldn’t; but we always praised him when he did. We didn’t do this every meal time by any stretch of the imagination, more like, we put him on the potty if we remembered, and if we weren’t in too much of a rush. At about 21 months old, he had a habit of wanting to poo at bath times, so we made sure the potty was always around and would sit him on it as soon as he showed signs. This proved to be really successful and by the time he turned 22 months he was asking for the potty every single time he needed to poo. We didn’t always get enough warning, but we were getting a warning so that was the point when I just decided to go for it.
Day one and we made absolutely no plans at all. The potty was in the middle of the lounge, he had nothing on his bottom half at all, and I was armed with baby wipes, kitchen roll, antibacterial spray and carpet cleaner. Day one was basically about teaching him to hold rather than just doing lots of teeny-tiny wees all the time. So there were accidents in the morning! He was asked every 30 minutes or so whether he needed the potty, most times he was happy to sit there, but if he was adamant he didn’t need to go I didn’t force it. If he started to do a tiny dribble while he was playing, I put him straight onto the potty to finish. Every time that even the tiniest bit of wee went in the potty, I made a point of showing him and saying what a clever boy he was. And to my amazement by the end of the day, the constant trickles had stopped and he was playing with his toys whilst holding on.
Day two was about getting to the potty in time. So on paper the day looked similar; no pants, potty nearby. For the first hour or so, he was back to the silly little trickles, but he quickly remembered and was holding again. I extended out how often I asked him, to between 45 minutes and an hour apart, again not forcing him if he said no. On day two we started doing a real whooping cheer whenever he did a proper wee on the potty, if he did a little trickle it was a lower-key “Good boy, is there any more?” to encourage him to doing bigger, proper wees. With the exception a couple of accidents in the morning, he did fantastically.
Day three was similar to day two. Up in the morning, no pants, potty out, but without all the little accidents to start the day. He had already learned he needed to hold. We went to my mums for a change of scenery but dealt with the potty training in the exact same way. I was worried about the change of location affecting his progress, but I also figured that it would all help with learning. He took it in his stride and only had a couple of accidents the entire day.
Day four we introduced some pants. I was anxious that he might go backwards and wet them thinking they were a nappy. He did initially, but he could feel what he had done, and after a day we had that cracked too. He enjoyed getting to press the flush on the toilet and washing his hands, so they were the rewards he got for using his potty. I know lots of people have success with stickers and snacks, but I figured anything could be the reward if we made it seem like one, he would have had to flush and wash anyway so we made it seem like a real treat. And we got really into some loud cheering and happy dancing for his potty use in general, to make it a really happy and exciting thing to do.
And genuinely, as easily as that he was day time dry. And I was so astonished and proud. I just couldn’t believe how quickly he dropped the nappy, and worked out how to not only hold on to his bladder, but know when he needed to go, and work out how much notice he needed to get undressed and on the potty in time.
And as much as I had been prepared for stress and lots of cleaning. The mess was nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be. And it wasn’t stressful at all; we enjoyed a few days of playing together a lot as I sat on the floor so I could be near the action. I potty trained my toddler with a three month old baby to care for too and it really, really, really was okay. In fact I’d actually go so far as to say that I found potty training really fun. My little man just did so brilliantly that I spent the whole time marvelling at what a genius I had created.
You can also find Lucy on twitter 🙂