Potty training, I haven’t talked a whole lot about our potty training journey and this is mainly for 2 reasons. One is I think all children are so different, my boys were very different in what they liked / needed during this time and handled it in different ways, and two I am just a mum who has done it, like so many others, so am no expert, so why would someone care. But a few people have asked recently and so I decided there was no harm is writing a few bits down.
When I thought about potty training it felt like one of the last early motherhood hurdles, the next thing I needed to pass and tick off. My babies didn’t feel so small anymore.
I started mine together but Ollie just didn’t seem to be as interested, after 3 days I felt pretty stressed and so did he so I ended up doing them one at a time. Ollie was around a month after Toby, one day he said he wanted to wear pants, great. And honestly he then got it super quickly. It wasn’t stressful and he was so happy with himself, I do believe there is no reason to rush and continue if they are not feeling it. Plus I think then watching Toby really helped him. Once they are ready they will get there and it’s much easier to do then. All children are different.
I have listed below some of my tips and things that seemed to work for me:
1) Try putting them on the toilet or potty first thing in the morning and before bath time. Once they are happy with this it could be a good time to start fully. Make sure you have a seat and steps ready so they feel safe and comfortable.
2) Let them pick or buy them some fun pants – mine loved having Paw Patrol ones and enjoyed picking them out in the morning.
3) Don’t expect the first days to be great – It will most likely be bad, but that’s ok! Stick with it.
4) Make sure they always know where the potty is and have one where they are playing. Sometimes I even forgot this and at the start they wouldn’t give me much notice so good to have one near by. Plus as they got used to it I found they started to take themselves to it. So I always pointed out where it was to them.
5) They may prefer the toilet and that’s ok, have some steps and a seat ready, one of mine seemed to prefer this and actually it was great as we didn’t have to transition from the potty as such.
6) Some kind of travel potty in the car was a life saver, as well as spare clothes and some pads for the car seats.
7) We had a sticker chart but for mine bizarrely it wasn’t a huge push for them. They just seemed to like that we made a big fuss of them when they used the potty or toilet. So try and suss out what might motivate them and don’t worry if they don’t like the traditional sticker route!
8) Try and make it fun, don’t stress they will get it, maybe have a song you sing while they sit on it, something to talk about, the more relaxed they are the better. If children are struggling with with their number 2’s try making them blow out or maybe get them to blow on a toy trumpet or anything like that. This makes their pelvic floor relax and helps to distract them so have found this a good tip, especially if they start to hold it in.
9) Try not to compare them, and don’t ever start because others keep telling you they are ready. You know best 🙂
Toby is very independent and quite quickly wanted to take himself to the toilet, whereas Ollie wanted to have me help and stay near him. I found when out and about taking them to the toilet regularly is key. And they may not always tell you, I found instead of asking ‘do you need a wee’ it would be better to just say ‘We are going to the toilet’ and maybe say you need to go so why don’t they come. Often when they are playing they don’t want to stop, so instead of giving them the option it was better to just take them.
Sometimes it felt stressful, especially when out alone, I used to get anxiety taking them out by myself anyway, let alone while potty training. But I promise in some weird way the stories you look back and laugh and it does get easier. Now they are both done and it’s past us things are SO much easier. No nappies to carry around, which also means none to buy!!
Also if they start nursery or something new expect a few accidents, it’s normal.
I hope this is someway helpful. But I’d also love to know your tips, so let me know in the comments so we can all help more people.