Monday 4 February 2019

How We Potty Trained In A Week!

It's been a while since we potty trained, but after commenting on a couple of posts on social media about how long it took us and getting a lot of 'wow, that was so fast' and 'how did you do it', I thought I'd share our potty training experience with you.

Please don't mistake me for any kind of earth wonder mother or child psychologist though. Like many parents the thought of potty training filled me with dread and the thought of pee and poop on my carpet, furniture and me, made me feel a bit sick. As our little boy approached his third birthday though, it was time to get on with it!

Orange potty in front of a cloudy background

First off we..............

Asked for advice! 

Let's be honest, potty training is a big deal. You're teaching your little one how to go to the loo, how to be hygienic and basically how to not pee or poop themselves. Hopefully you've got this sussed for yourself but how do you teach it? How do you train their bladder? 

I googled and read way too much on the best ways to potty train to the point I confused myself. So, I had a think about who had the most experience and who had potty trained most recently. My slightly frazzled eyes fell upon Joseph's nursery ladies, so I spoke to the lovely manager, Emma. She was full of advice and with years and years of experience she was certainly best placed to help us! We went with the nursery technique and this certainly helped us nail it. Plus it meant there was no confusion caused by the potty training being different at home to nursery. 

Buy a potty and a toilet step!

You might want to go straight to the toilet and skip the potty stage but having a potty is still a good idea. If there's stairs to climb to get to the loo your little one might not always make it and that's where a potty can come in handy. You can also guarantee that when you sit down to use the toilet yourself your child will probably be desperate to go! A potty is also handy when out and about. It's highly likely they will need a wee when your in the car travelling or are miles from a toilet. Most public toilets don't have a smaller toilet for kids and it's easier to take your potty than holding a child over a loo that you don't really want them to touch, whilst not getting pee on you both. 

A toilet step not only helps them climb onto to the loo but it also takes away the fear of falling in, as with their feet touching the ground they don't wobble around or have to grab the sides of the toilet.

Ditch the pull-ups and nappies!

Ok, again, I'm all about honesty and when I was told by Joseph's nursery to ditch the pull-ups I gulped. The thought of the all the washing and the accidents that were bound to happen made me feel a bit stressed. I had visions of pants everywhere, pee and poops stains all over my furniture and carpet! Ditching the nappies and pull-ups really is a must though as it takes away the comfort and security of the absorbency. Feeling the accident against their skin and developing a dislike for it helps prompt them to use the toilet and avoid that feeling again.

Buy lots of pants!  

If you're stepping away from pull-ups and nappies you're going to need pants and lots of them! I bought two packs to start with, which I think was around ten pairs but it wasn't enough. The first couple of days will be full of trickles and you'll soon go through them, so get three or four packs or be prepared to have the washer on a lot!

Go to the toilet every 15 minutes!

This suggestion really took me by surprise! Many people will say just look for the signs that your child needs the toilet and pop them on the potty, but you'll find yourself following your child around constantly. If they are ones for hiding behind the sofa when they fill their nappy you might find they bolt when you spot them crouching. Pop to the toilet or potty every 15 minutes and try and get them to have a wee. You'll be surprised how often they will actually go! The next day push the time a little further and do every 20 minutes. The day after that try 30 minutes. 

We had one accident on the first day and a couple of trickles over the next few days but by the end of the week he was telling us when he wanted to go. 

Don't night train too!

Lots of parents choose to go all out and night train to but for I felt this was all a bit much to get used to in one go. It also means waking them a couple of times through the night to take them to the toilet to ensure they don't wet the bed. Even after we'd gone to bed we would have had to set an alarm for the middle of the night to take him again and personally I thought this was bit daft. Oh and I really like my sleep! Realistically though if you're potty training and your child can't hold their bladder for 15 or 20 minutes, isn't it a bit much to expect them to hold it for 8+ hours?

We left it a couple of months and found Joseph was eventually dry, leading us to ditch the night pull-ups too!

Light the way! 

If you do decide to train your little one at night make sure they can find their way to the toilet. Leave the landing or bathroom light on, buy a plug in light or use a toilet light to light the way. Consider leaving their bedroom door open if they struggle with the handles and leave yours open too so you hear them get up. I have a friend who didn't hear her little one get up for the loo because of a closed bedroom door and was met by a whole toilet roll down the toilet in the morning. Not unrolled, just the whole roll wedged down their!

Stay calm!

Let's be honest (again), this is go to be stressful and you're probably going to need a stiff drink and a lie down at the end of each day! Ask anyone and they will say potty training is hard work but whenever I asked for advice or spent hours googling there were always a couple of common denominators. All of them were linked to us parents and not the little one you're trying to train! Don't get stressed. Don't raise your voice. Don't tell them off or punish them if they have an accident. 

If a couple of days have passed and your child isn't grasping potty training then the technique I used isn't for them. Simply try something else. If they keep trickling and not quite getting to the potty in time, go more regularly. Maybe they're just not ready and you need to leave it a couple of months and try again. Above all stay calm and your chilled technique will hopefully but your little ones at ease whilst they potty train. Being stressed will probably stress them out too and make them nervous of going to toilet.

Take it day by day and can nail potty training in a week too!

Mummy Snowy Owl

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