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!