Potty training. Something I had been putting of for as long as possible. You could say I was being a lazy mum, but it was easier having the boy in nappies. We could go for long days out on the trains in the summer and I wouldn’t have to worry about him needing the loo. Plus, I just didn’t want an extra thing to clean up – the potty, ugh! Then I got the reassurance I needed, that waiting until your child is 3 years and 4 months is the best time to start potty-training – thanks to this post by Swords & Snoodles 🙂
We had just come back from our family holiday in Hastings back in August, and there were 4 days where both me and my husband would be home before we went back to work. The boy was nearly 3 years and 4 months. I just decided there and then to do it, let’s get him potty trained!
Amazingly, it took only 2 weeks for him to be totally dry. And the first few days were quite disastrous. I put him in his new pants, and I’ll tell you what went wrong and what I think you DON’T need for toilet-training.
- On Day 1 I set up a reward chart, where I would draw a car everytime the boy sat on the loo, peed in the loo etc. I can honestly say this did not make any difference at all to him wanting to go to the loo. Scrap that!
- We had a plastic loo seat from Argos. He hated sitting on it. He cried and cried. I was taking him every 15 minutes to sit on the loo, after a friend said that’s what they did at nursery. Even if he didn’t need to go, it was just to see if we could catch any pee in the loo. He ended up holding his pee in the whole day, so terrified he was of the whole process. FAIL!
- The potty. We got this Mamas and Papas bus potty when he was 2, and he never wanted to sit on it because he wanted to see the bus (doh!). One year later and he still would not go near it. A friend told me that when I put him in the shower, stick the potty under him as boys always pee when the water is running. That was just a MESS! I put the potty away. FAIL!
- Taking him every 15 minutes was so tiring, I was exhausted by lunchtime. I went to take a shower after a morning of no pee. I came out and he had peed on the sofa! He was waiting for me to leave him alone argh! I wanted to cry 😦
- At the end of day one, he hadn’t peed ALL day, and he was limping. After a comment from a fellow mum on Facebook, I realised he was holding it as he was scared to pee! I put a nappy back on and decided to try again the next day.
- I carried on on Day 2 with no luck. So I’m afraid we gave up and put him back in nappies. As it was a sunny day we went out fruit-picking. Halfway through he said he wanted to go home and was wriggling. We realised he was holding his pee, so we had to said to him, it’s okay you can pee in your nappy. Oops, maybe we were confusing him.
So as you can see, it was a bit of a disaster – how on earth did we get him potty training by the next week?! Well, I can honestly take no credit for it. It was all down to…
Yep, my top tip is give your kid to your mum haha! I went back to work and had left the boy with my mum. I got home in the evening to her excitedly telling me how he had peed in the loo that day. Wow! The next day she had got him to sit on the loo and he pooped. Her trick – blowing Minions bubbles, suddenly sitting on the loo was fun! When I had him on my non-work days, I carried on her hard work and he was happy going to the loo and the boy was completely dry by the next week – SUCCESS!
So, I’ll let you in on Nana’s Secrets – these are our Toilet Training Essentials.
- SOFT Toilet Training Seat – one for home and if your child spends a lot of time somewhere else as childcare, one for there too. Our mistake was buying a hard seat at first which he did not like. We have the Thomas soft seat at Nana’s house (which was from Mothercare) and the plain white soft seat for home (from Toys R Us).
- A Step. This was part of a 2 pack with the hard seat from Argos, but I’ve seen most people have the Ikea one. The boy uses it to step on and off the loo, and then moves it across to the sink so he can reach up and wash his hands.
- Minions Bubbles. This was Nana’s trick to get him to poo. So everytime he needed a poo, he asked me to blow Minions bubbles. I think it took his mind off the pooping and it just happened. Which is great as I’ve heard some kids are scared to poop in the loo and then get constipated, so I’m relieved that he’s happy pooping in the loo! Obviously use a character your child loves, for us it’s Minions!
- Character Pants. Buy loads of pants in your child’s favourite characters – for us it’s Minions and George Pig pants, which I got from Sainsburys and B&M Bargains. I initially got age 2-3 as he has a tiny waist, and a few months later moved to age 3-4. He loves choosing what pants to wear and it made him more interested in going to the loo and being a big boy.
- A Nana. Haha, I know this might not apply for everyone, but for me she was a miracle worker, and I guess it’s because she did potty-train me and my siblings! So the advice here is, if you are struggling, do ask someone who’s done it before to help.
- Huggie Pull-Up Pants for Days Out only. We did not use the day time ones day-to-day, only if we were having a day out somewhere or going to the playground. I would put them on just in case we had an accident and we were in the middle of nowhere, especially in the early days. People say not to use them as they are like nappies, but Huggies have changed the pull-ups now so the child can feel the wetness first and then it dries. So once he did pee by accident and he went ‘Wet!’ but then it dried so we could go home and I didn’t have to worry about wet pants etc. We stopped using Day Time Pull Ups by November, as they were always dry.At night we used the Night Time pull-ups, so in the morning he could pull them down like normal pants when he went to the loo. Some nights he peed, other nights he didn’t. There was no pattern. So we carried on using Night time Pull-Ups for another month, until we realised they were always dry in the morning. By November he was going to bed with normal pants on – no more pull-ups.
And that’s it really. He was toilet-trained in 2 weeks, no more nappies!
In those 2 weeks it was still up to me to ask him if he needed to go, every 3 hours on average, and he would walk to the bathroom, I would pull his pants down and sit him on the loo.
Soon after, it was him telling me ‘Mummy I need the loo!’ rather than me having to remember, and a mad run to the loo.
I stopping having to blow Minions bubbles by December.
And then this February he finally went to the loo without even telling me! I heard the door shut and he was walking out of the bathroom. I said ‘Do you need the loo??’ and he said ‘I done it!’ I checked and sure enough there was pee in the loo. So he went on his own, pulling pants down, putting the seat on, jumping up, pulling pants back up – all without me – YES! So I’d say that’s a potty training success!
Oh, one more thing. When the boy first started peeing in the loo, the pee came out at a right angle! So it was splashing on to his leg. I was so freaked out, I thought something was wrong. But on asking my friends, they say this is normal for the early days. Soon enough the boy was holding his you-know-what down so the pee was going into the loo. So if that happens to your kid – it’s okay 🙂
I hope this will be of any help if you are going to potty training your child soon!