Teaching a toddler to go potty in the toilet is not a small undertaking. Here are some of my takeaways that will hopefully make your journey a bit smoother!
Driving me Potty
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Recently it seemed like most of my mummy friends had started or mastered potty training their toddler. This idea, with (imagined pressure) from nursery, made me decide to undertake my own potty training journey.
As with every stage in my son’s life I decided to research it to death and as always I was totally overwhelmed by the amount of information/advice that was out there. Train in 1 day, 3 days, 5 days. Wear underwear, go bottomless, use pull-ups. Train for the day and night, forget about the nights and focus on the days. My head was spinning and I was more unsure about the whole process than I had been in the beginning.
After much discussion, my husband and I devised a plan. It involved 3 days lockdown and a chocolate button (not the healthiest, but it worked) reward system. That was it, that was the plan, what happened during that time would be anyone’s guess.
We got up in the morning and made a big deal about saying farewell to the nappies. We placed his potty in (we purchased one that looked like a toilet, fake flush and all) in the living room for easy access and left him bottomless. The day went like a dream, 3 pee accidents and everything else went in the potty. This was easy, bring on day 2.
We decided to add underwear to the mix since day 1 had been such a success. Turned out not to be the best idea, he matched his day 1 accidents in the space of 20 minutes, I wasn’t sure we had enough underwear to maintain this pee rate, so the underwear came off again. This dramatically improved things, but I started to wonder if he would ever wear pants again.
We reintroduced underwear again today and it went slightly better. Still a few accidents, but not too bad at all. Maybe, just maybe he was getting the hang of this potty training.
The next 2 days we managed to venture out and about (I would highly recommend a travel toilet seat, without one we would have lost Oliver to the sewers). We went food shopping and visited granny, so accidents. I was now full of confidence for the week ahead at nursery.
Turned out my confidence was very much misplaced, for the next week and a half he had between and 2 and 4 accidents a day, and then it happened. Two weeks and one day after the potty journey began we picked him up from nursery in the same clothes we dropped him off in. I was overjoyed but didn’t want to get my hopes up, I had been caught out before. Turned out this was the turning point, he went the next 3 weeks accident-free. He still has the odd accident from time to time, usually when he is so engrossed in his favorite tv show, but potty training is definitely done.
If I Could Do It Over Again
There are a couple of things I would do differently if I was to do it over.
- I would keep him bottomless a little longer.
- I would not have bothered with the potty. We use a step that lets him use the big toilet. They don’t use potty’s at nursery, so it made sense for us to follow the same setup.
I’m really glad I stuck with it, even though there were times I nearly reverted back to nappies. I think that was the best piece of advice I was given, don’t stop, no matter how much you want to. They’ve been peeing in nappies for over 2 years, it takes them time to get used to not having that freedom.
Life is much easier now and my bag is much lighter, I do carry a spare pair of clothes, but then I always did. And I definitely don’t miss the nappies in the weekly shop.
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