I’ve just potty trained my third child, a boy, and I was honestly expecting it to be a nightmare. He showed no interest in using the toilet or wearing pants and would absolutely freak out when it was mentioned. On a whim at the start of September I decided to just go for it and was pleasantly surprised. Here are a few tips that worked for me and might make it a bit easier for you.
1 – Preparation
Before you even think about starting training make sure you have everything you need. Potty, pants, puppy pads, waterproof bed sheets. Let your wee one help to pick their potty and pants and they are more likely to be invested in using them. Bring the potty out and put it somewhere accessible so your little one can see it daily and is familiar with it. Puppy Pads were brilliant btw, they were much cheaper than nappy training pads (the same thing) and I stuck one in the pram, the car seat and on my couch covered with a blanket so it wasn’t so obvious.
2 – Easily Worn Comfortable Clothing
Make sure whatever clothes they wear can be easily pulled up or down – no zips, poppers or fiddly buttons. Pick clothes that can be easily washed and dried in case of accidents. With my girls we had dresses, skirts or just their pants and my boy was either in shorts or pants. I also bought jelly shoes so if there was any incidents there was no major drama or damage done.
3 – Get into a Routine
To prevent your little one running to the potty or toilet every few minutes schedule in specific times to go and try. Also don’t let them sit there for too long, some kids don’t like sitting there at all (not looking at you Little D) so keep a few familiar toys handy to keep their attention if needed.
4 – Be Consistent
With everything consistency is king! If you are going to a relatives or out visiting then take the potty with you. Let people know that potty training has started and if someone else is looking after your child talk them through how you are doing it so there are no mixed messages. If everyone is doing the same thing then your child won’t get confused or overwhelmed.
5 – Be a Patient Cheerleader
All children learn at different rates and when you start people will tell you that their kid was amazing and nailed it in a day. This will be true for some kids but most of us have a different story. I always prepare for the worst but hope for the best so if there were a few false starts or it takes longer than you thought it’s not the end of the world. In my experience I honestly think that you need to give it a good 3 days to see how it goes. If they are totally disinterested or distressed then stop and go back to it in a few weeks. But if they are showing an interest or know when they are needing to use the loo then run with it. Stickers are also your best friend. I made up a little chart and bought some car stickers from Lidl for about 90p which were a big hit.
Never in my pre-child life did I ever think I would be standing in a bathroom jumping up and down singing “Wee Wee in the Potty” at the top of my voice but there you go, that’s parenting innit?!
photo credit: Thad Zajdowicz Jake! Jake! I gotta pull over. via photopin (license)
Clare is a mid-thirties mum raising three miniature versions of her husband (with his help) – Miss B (11), Miss C (4), and Little D (2) and lives just outside of Glasgow. As an HR Professional currently enjoying a career break she is passionate about maternity and pregnancy equality issues and is a big supporter of Flexible Working. As a mum she spends her days dealing with food allergies, tween and toddler tantrums, all whilst striving for perfect hair and trying not to chip her nails. Generally dealing with the up and downs of life.