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Potty Training Tips

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      04.04.2012 22:47
      Very helpful



      Wait until you and your child are ready!

      I may sound lazy, but I never potty trained my children. I had read a fair amount about other cultures before having children, and I realised potty training isn't the big deal it is often made out to be. I doubt most native populations even have a word for it - children just eventually learn to follow the customs of their culture in this, just as they do in most of life. I always said if my children were still in nappies at three I'd consider it, but we never even got close to it. Please note though - I said I would start to think about potty training at age 3 - I didn't say a child must be trained by then - every child is different and what matters is what is right for your child, not mine!

      I don't think potty training is necessarily harmful - although I do think using punishments, shame or coercion to potty train could be. But I do think it is a lot of work, and it doesn't really accomplish much until the child is ready. It just seemed more natural to me to just wait and let nature take it's course. It doesn't seem to matter what method you use - unless something is seriously wrong - children do learn to use the toilet. We don't see 16 year olds in nappies unless there is a serious medical issue.

      Of course I had to listen to "the experts". I honestly think people forget how long potty training took when their children are older and I view tales of "My child was completely potty trained by 12 months with some skepticism. Of course children can be potty trained much younger. Some families practice something called elimination communication which can begin at birth. The idea is taken from African tribes that wear the baby naked in a sling and whip them out to pee on the ground when needed. I think this may work better outdoors or in small huts with dirt floors though. But quite frankly, I don't see this happening often in a modern Western culture. It requires almost complete baby wearing as well.

      I never went in for what I called the baby races. I never participate in the competitive parenting of " my baby did this or that first". In all honesty - I don't care at all. I think too much pressure is put on mothers to potty train, and it really is not anyone elses business. Each mother knows her own child best, and can judge these things for herself. If your child is showing signs of readiness, and you are up for the challenge - by all means go ahead. But pushing it too soon can leave you and your child and frustrated and tired. Beginning toilet training too early just stretches it out into a long drawn out process, when it can be accomplished very quickly and easily if you wait until the time is right. So if you find toilet training isn't working, my advice is to relax, take a deep breath and just leave it for awhile. You can always try again when the child is a bit older. My most impoertant piece of advice is not to feel pressured or rushed by anyone else.

      With my children, I simply waited until they expressed a natural curiosity about the toilet. Then I started getting toilet books, and a few dvd's and we would read and talk about toilets. When they were ready - they chose a potty or toilet seat. If they chose to use the potty - that was fine - if they didn't , that was fine too. It was their decision. Sometimes they would be very regular and I was sure I could pack away the nappies for good - but then they would quit using it again. I never made a fuss - except when my oldest took to weeing out an upstairs window!

      While I didn't make an issue of using the toilet - I do think the books really helped so I have decided to list some of our favourites. In some cases the title will refer to boys - there is always a separate book available for girls in these cases, and while I have not read them, I assume they will be equally useful. I am listing the books in order, starting with the ones I found most helpful. I am not bothering with the poor ones though - if I found it useless it went into the bin. Whether you go with a totally relaxed approach as we did, or a highly structured one, i think the more books a child listens to, the easier it will be.

      Potty Poo Poo Wee Wee: This is certainly the best. We still read it now and again for fun, even though my sons are well past potty training. I have reviewed this separately on dooyoo - but in short the little dinosaur is very reluctant to use the potty to wee or poo. He finds all sorts of other things to do with it while chanting "potty poo poo wee wee" and doing his business on the floor. It's only when the grown ups give up that he decides the time has come.

      The Rugrat's Potty Book: A Baby's Got to Go!: this is another book we still have and read once in awhile. In this Chuckie learns to use the loo, and it is full of fun and humour. It even has a set of gold toilet stickers to use as rewards.

      The Pop Up Potty Book: This has flaps to lift and tabs to pull and my son really enjoyed this book. Of all the basic books to show what a toilet is for, this was his favourite.

      Potty Time (Bear in the Big Blue House): We had just the story in an anthology, but there is separate book with pop ups and flaps.

      Potty Time with Elmo (Play-A-Sound) still gets used around our house, mainly because the boys love the silly noises. This book shows Elmo potty training his doll.

      The Potty Book for Boys is a simple book for very young children to get the idea of using the loo. My sons both really enjoyed it, and I did find it very helpful.

      Big Boys Use the Potty!: this another book for very young boys, I would say even younger than two. It is sturdy board book with photo illustrations. It is very short and simple but babies do enjoy pictures of other babies and I see no harm in reading this well before they are old enough for potty training.

      We didn't have this one as I didn't hear of it until my boys were to old but I would recommend giving it a try as the Bernstain Bears are a great series: My Potty and I Berenstain Baby Bears Board Books.

      The following books are not specifically for potty training, but we found them very helpful:

      The Story of the Little Mole Who Knew it was None of His Business: This isn't about potties at all, but it is about poo and we would often talk about how people poo when reading this and where they should be doing there business.

      Pingu's Little Accidents: This was combined in another book, and some people do object to this as the dvd very clearly shows Pingu weeing. There are also rumours that Pingu is drunk in this episode, but I don't think so, I think it is lemonade. The book is less graphic and I see no problems with it. It did really encourage my son to wee in the loo and that made it a grand book in my opinion.

      Who's In the Loo: This is a really funny story my children still enjoy. I have reviewed it here as well, but in short this is a colourful, well illustrated Board Book by Jeanne Willis. Each page has a different idea for or what could be taking so long in the loo and some of them are using the toilet as it should be, so I believe this encourages children very subtly to use the toilet as well.

      Bear In The Big Blue House - Potty Time was far and away the best dvd we found for the toilet learning ages. It is funny and cute and I can still remember the toileteers song. The story is about Tutter learning to use the loo, but everyone gets in on the action.

      Elmo's Potty Time: I honestly can not remember a great deal about this one. I know there is a silly potty song. I am recommending it anyway as I feel this would be very helpful to any Elmo fans, and the more children see characters they like using the loo - the more likely they are to do the same.

      Pingu's Little Accidents: This is hard to come by, but can be found on you tube and some compilation dvd's. As mentioned in the book review, some people really dislike this, but I found the fact that it actually shows the urine going into the loo quite helpful for boys to get an idea what to do.

      Rugrats - Chuckie the Brave: this is a compilation video including "Chuckie Versus the Potty". My oldest loved this one. It begins with Chuckie very upset and terrified of the toilet, but he finds out it isn't so bad and soon enjoys being a big boy. My oldest loved this, but we were watching less dvd's by the time my youngest son was old enough.

      A step stool. This is such a simple idea, but if your child is using the big toilet - and mine preferred this - a step stool makes such a difference. I really can not recommend this enough, and it is useful for hand washing as well.

      This is a completely separate issue and completely out of a child's control. I'm very lucky in that even as babies my sons would wake to pee, and wet beds were very rare even in the early stages of going without nappies. But luck is all there is to it. It isn't because I followed a better method of potty training - or anything else. Many children do wet the bed, especially boys. It isn't a big issue and it's best not to make a fuss. There are a few steps you can take, such as waking at certain times or using a moisture alarm - but please remember - the child can not control this anymore than an adult can control snoring or talking in their sleep. Of course reminding children to always use the loo before bed doesn't hurt in these cases though - and very young children may be afraid to get up by themselves, causing them to hold it until they fall asleep and have an accident. A torch by the bed can work wonders in these cases - or leaving the hall light on. Some parents even leave a potty next to the child's bed.

      Rating - my number of stars are for toilet training in general - I think it has become too much of an issue and something that adds pressure to Moms. I am glad we never bothered with it.


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        18.05.2010 01:52
        Very helpful




        Potty training .................. The first thing you have to remember is each child is different, just because your friends child is potty trained at 20 months and yours isn't doesn't mean your child isn't as clever or you're not a good parent.

        At lot of parents seem to get a bit jealous, stressed or feel inadequate when other children do things first. Don't; they all develop at different rates.

        The books say the time for potty training is when your child shows an interest in the toilet and wanting to watch when you go etc. and also when they start realising when they are going in their nappy.
        Well I agree with the, when they start to tell you they have done something in their nappy, but not necessary when they take an interest in the toilet. This is because I think lots of children take an interest in things that mummy, daddy sister or brother are doing and they also want to follow you wherever you go. So they could really be pretending they are interested.

        For my eldest we got a potty when she was about 12 months and just left it downstairs for her to get used to (we never expected her to use it), although it mainly went on her head, after about a month we put it away. We next got it out again when she was about 18 months.
        When she was 22 months she started telling us when she had had a wee (how did she know what it was called - I don't remember telling her) and then when she started to have one. It was time.

        I didn't agree with the pull up nappies as I thought they were too much like nappies and believe if you are going to do something then do it and don't stop half way.
        So, we already had knickers in so I picked a day when I had a week off work (I thought this would be enough time) and went for it.
        Firstly the potty was within easy reach and I didn't dress my daughter in knickers so she wouldn't panic if she needed a wee.
        The first day she was weeing quite a bit on the floor (luckily we had wooden floors). As soon as she did this I sat her on the potty. I also put a nappy on her at teatime, just whilst she ate and the nappy was full by the time she had finished eating. I also put one on her for her daytime nap.

        The second day she was beginning to get the hang of it and there were very few accidents (I think you just have to judge it on the first day or two whether it is going to work or not). I still put a nappy on just for tea and for her nap.
        On the third day I put a pair of knickers on her and didn't put a nappy on at tea time, she was really getting the hang of this.
        By the fifth day she was fully dressed and sorted although I did ask her to go for a wee etc.

        BINGO sorted within the week. I do believe once you decide the time is right, you should have a day to see if it really is right and if you decide it is then don't go back unless it is stressing your child out.

        I think when you first start potty training then you should plan to stay in for a week, if the weather is nice you can always go out in the garden. Maybe you will be able to go for a little walk on day 4. If you continue to go out and about when you first start then it will be difficult for both you and you child. They need time to adjust and be able to get to the potty as and when they need it. (so they don't worry and get stressed) My daughter was potty trained in the day within the week and then started taking her nappy off at night so 3 weeks later I didn't bother with one at night either.

        My youngest wasn't ready to be potty trained at that age and didn't really start telling me she had done a wee etc. so I picked a day and left her nappy off and then decided she wasn't ready. At 27 months I decided I had to make an effort rather than wait for her to tell me. I only chose to do this as she was starting nursery a couple of weeks later and I felt it would be better. If she hadn't have been going to nursery then I wouldn't have pushed it.

        I left the nappy off on the first day and it was hard work but I continued into day 2 and 3. Day 4 I was working and it was down to my husband - she went through 7 pairs of knickers whilst I was at work, but still I insisted we carry on. I had also bought pull ups (which as I have already said I don't agree with) which were used for a couple of days prior to the real potty training starting. 2 weeks after the potty training started she was starting nursery so I was really hoping she would get it.
        We bought sticker charts which she loved and clapped and cheered everytime she got a sticker.
        By about day 9 I was feeling confident that it was sorted so when she went to nursery I wasn't panicing too much plus it was a gradual nursery thing.

        All went well until she poo'd (sorry) in her knickers at nursery - she was horrified and so upset but no big deal was made. But from that day problems started she wouldn't poo. Then when she was desperate (after she had had something from the doctor) it would be done in her knickers. Nursery were so good they never moaned. She also started having other accidents in her knickers.
        This went on for weeks, I talked to her about it but nothing made a difference, even when I could tell what she was doing and sat her on the potty. She just screamed then. I eventually told her when I thought something was happening if she just did it on the potty or toilet I would stop going on about it. Ok fair enough she said.

        She would then only do it on the potty when I spotted her. Eventually she did it on her own but only when nobody was watching and she is still like that now. If she requires a poo she won't do it on the toilet because she can't manage to get on it by herself, but will do it on her potty and if we are in the room we are not allowed to watch.
        I don't blame her I wouldn't want anybody watching me either.

        We did take the potty away from downstairs as it can be used as a step to the toilet and a little seat, when the problems started we took it back downstairs where it has stayed and we also have one in her bedroomin case she wants to go once she has gone to bed. (The safety gate is still on so she can't get out)

        So don't stress they do eventually do it but at their own pace. I believe I pushed my youngest and that is why we had the problems. I wouldn't have done it if she hadn't have been going to nursery but i did, eventually it all worked out because we were patience and didn't get annoyed (which was sometimes difficult).

        So don't try and push them before they are ready


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          11.03.2009 13:33
          Very helpful



          Not someting you can rush, and it will take some longer to be ready than others

          When my little girl turned two last May, there was a certain expectation that seemed to come with turning that grand old age. All well meaning(?) family made comments about how she should be out of nappies. If I dared to mention money worries, my mum would quickly quip back that I'd save SO much money if my baby was out of nappies - doh, Mum you don't say! Why do people think they know your child better than you do??

          With her being a summer born baby, its the perfect time to train her; isn't it???? Doesn't matter if she is actually ready!! She's 2 and its the summer - why wait???

          So putting my mum's opinions over my own, nappies came off and knickers went on. Not just any old knickers, but very pretty knickers chosen by my little darling herself (shame Woolies has gone - such a huge choice, and a great way of wasting an hour or two while THE KNICKERS are chosen!!!) The potty(s) had been bought - one for the lounge, one for the hall and one for the bathroom - well there was going to be urgency and emergency dashes wasn't there!!

          Was there heck as like!! Ok, she loved her knickers and loved her potty (which one was favourite changed regularly!!) especially wearing the plastic pot on her head, tiping her juice into it and using it to collect "things" in it (usually small toys, crayons etc). Oh and not forgetting turning it upside down to stand on to make her that little bit taller so she could reach those things I didn't really want her reaching!!!!!!

          As for using the potty for the real reason it was invented it sadly didn't happen. My little girl, who according to some, is quite advanced at certain things (speech being her best attriubute because she takes after her mum and never shuts up!!) did not have a clue when it came to where her wee wee should go! Bless her, she didn't have a clue of when she was going let alone what she should do about it if she did go. We had puddles all over the house. So after a couple of days of this, I put nappies back on. I began to feel like a failure especially when mum reckoned I'd given in too easily.

          Back to the drawing board and to research! Good old internet again! Apparently it can take a while to establish the connection between their bladder/bowel and their brains - just like walking or talking. The best thing to do is leave until they are really really ready, then it will be quick and easy. So how do you know when they are really ready?? They need to be able to give you signs that they are wet/dirty by actually telling you or pulling at their nappy; they need to know and understand what is expected of them so they can try to get to the toilet/potty. They should also go for long periods without passing urine (a couple of hours at least)It also helps if they can, to some degree, manage their clothing (ok mum one point to you for the summer thing - less clothes is obviously easier!!)

          I also read that it may be best to put them straight into knickers rather than having bare bottoms, and once you give it a go don't put them into nappies for trips out etc as they will get confused. Of course do one stage at a time and still use nappies for bed and at nap time. Use sticker charts for encouragment and teach proper hygiene standards from the onset.

          I was quite prepared to leave it until the spring/summer because of the clothes issue, before even thinking about assessing her readiness. But last month, at bath time she was having some nappy free time when she went and got her potty, sat on it and did a wee!! Wow, weren't we all excited!! She must have felt the need and knew what she needed to do about it!!

          So next morning I didn't put a nappy on her, I just explained that if she needed a wee she should shout it out and I'd help her use the potty. I also made up a sticker chart so that everytime we had a hit we got a sticker. Whenever I went to the toilet, she came too and sat on her potty. When she went I made a huge fuss and she loved flushing it away. Then of course it was plenty of soapy water for hand washing!! She has always drank a lot, and I encouraged her to do this so she got use to the feeling of a full bladder.

          I can honestly say, that apart from the odd accident (that was in a shop, and I was a bit slow!!) she's been brilliant and we no longer carry nappies with us. We do have a change of clothes and a potty, but she prefers to use a toilet now, so I'm expert at tracking one down where ever we are. Her nappies are usually dry in the mornings after a good nights sleep, so it won't long before I give that a go too!!!

          So, in the old days, toddlers may have been out of nappies at a younger age, but usually that was achieved by getting the little one to sit on the potty at regular intervals, so "training" them to wee on demand and even at set times !! It must have been a stressful way of doing it!! Today, our little ones learn to recognise the feeling of needing to go, and what to do about it. Leave it long enough and its much, much easier!

          Your little one may well be three when you get them out of nappies, they all develp at different rates, and just because your child walked "early/late" doesn't mean the same will happen with potty training. Let your child develop at their own pace.


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            10.03.2009 17:45
            Very helpful



            It makes life so much easier

            I initially tried to potty train my daughter just before her second birthday. I cant say it was my idea, rather some gentle prompting and encouragement from her nursery. But I thought lets give it a go, it was summer which I thought was a great time of year and to be honest I could have done with saving the money on nappies.

            It all started so enthusiastically I replaced the disposable nappies with "Knick Knicks" and encouraged her to tell me when she needed a wee wee. In the first day we had 3 accidents the second day 4 but then by the end of the first week we were down to 1 or 2 accidents a day. I really thought we'd cracked it. Then she started hiding in the kitchen to wee or screaming and locking her legs so we couldn't sit her on the toilet. It really was so distressing to see her so upset but I was told this was normal so persevered. After another 2 weeks of the same we made the decision to stop, she was so miserable and it had just taken over our lives.

            I planned to try again later that summer but I fell pregnant and it just wasn't possible. During the summer I watched all of her friends become trained and I felt like I was being frowned upon that my daughter was still in nappies. I waited until she was 32 months allowing enough time for her to adjust to the new baby and then we attempted it again.

            This time the difference was amazing, she was that bit older and understood what we were trying to do. We drew up an incentive chart and each time she went she got a sticker and a jelly baby. To be honest we havent looked back within 6 days we had mastered the wee's, poo's are still a work in progress but we are getting there.

            I would say that the two golden rules are firstly be patient and try to keep your cool even when your house smells and looks like a public toilets. Secondly don't set your expectations too high, its normal for kids to have a relapse this doesn't mean they are never going to get it.

            I wanted to write this review to give other parents the confidence to potty train when they and their child are ready not when other people think your ready. It is a process that both of you need to be 100% committed to and I truly believe that every child is different. I have no doubt that some children take to it very early but I feel that it can have an adverse effect if you push a child too quickly. Its great when your child finally does get it and runs into the room saying "mummy I've done a wee on the toilet" with an immense look of satisfaction on their face. The next challenge is to memorise where all the public toilets are!!


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              27.11.2008 16:26
              Very helpful



              A training that can be a trial.

              My brother was potty trained almost fully by one year, so since I was not to be outdone by a mere sibling, I decided to have the same success with my daughter. After all I was hoping it would run in the family.

              I started around seven months when my daughter could sit properly, and I would put her on the potty after a bath, naps, meals etc, I did this about 4 times a day to start off with, and without fail she started to do something in the potty, almost immediately. I would only leave her on for about 5-10 minutes and made sure to read a book or do something to keep her entertained.

              I discovered that if I stuck to a routine I could keep her dry for almost the entire day, the best times to catch her was in the morning and after her midday nap.

              However as most mothers know, it isn't always possible to have a potty handy, when you are out and about, and sometimes your other half isn't as faithful when you are away. You really need to be very consistent and even a few days can ruin everything, which we were soon to find out.
              When she was about one year old, we went on a trip to Germany for twelve days, we didn't bring a potty, but since we were so proud of how easily she had caught on to the idea, we didnt see the short break as such a big deal.
              Well much to our dismay, on returning, we found that it was worse then starting all over again.

              Now that she was able to walk and even run, nothing would keep her on that potty, she was up and running, the minute she was sat down on it, with her stockings bunched at her knees, and shirt tails flying.

              She is now 14 months, and while we have found ways to coax her to sit down, it isn't automatic like it used to be, while before she would not have a single poo in her diaper for days, (she would still wet them especially at night) now without fail she will hold out till shes back in her diaper, and then let loose...
              Slowly we are getting back to the level we were on before, but even a half hour difference in the routine can have consequences.

              This is a outline of her potty schedule:

              Wakes up and goes on the potty

              After breakfast goes on the potty

              before going outside goes on the potty

              after lunch goes on the potty

              after nap goes on the potty

              before dinner goes on the potty

              after dinner goes on the potty

              before bed goes on the potty

              As you can see it is pretty often, but it is only for a few minutes each time, my goal is to shorten it to about four separate times like she was doing before and then to limit it to when she asks.
              Already she says potty, and pulls it out when I tell her we are going to go on the potty.

              We have found the reward system pretty handy, we clap and make a big deal when she goes in the potty, and she gets very excited herself. As for actual treats I give her a little cookie or raisins while she sits on the potty and it helps to keep her sitting longer while we read books etc.

              I know it is possible to start potty training very young, I personally know a 19 month baby who asks for the potty each time he needs to go, but it does require allot of diligence and routine.
              My goal is to have her potty trained by 18 months, this dosnt mean that I imagine she will be walking to the potty and pulling down her pants when she needs to go, but rather that she will ask, and be able to hold herself.

              In some ways it is easier when they are young as they catch on pretty quickly, but since they aren't able to communicate fully, its harder to explain the concept of going on the potty.


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                07.11.2008 22:06
                Very helpful



                Just go for it head on with all equipment and persevere, just not too early

                We started potty training our twin girls at around 2 years, in a desperate bid to reduce our outgoings on nappies and in the hope we could do it in our old house before we moved and had new carpets.

                Initially we bought two pretty fairy potties and would park the girls in front of CBeebies with a large cup of juice and some chocolate buttons for bribes.
                Sure enough the inevitable happens and we'd cheer like mad which did get some great response but for the hours invested it just wasn't worth the few successes, so we decided to leave it a while.

                At 2 years and 7 months we started again, in a new house with multiple loo's, a throne potty from Amazon and a much more chilled out approach. (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Fisher-Price-J7815-0-Royal-Potty)
                The throne potty, though not cheap is by far the preferred choice of both children and much easier to clean, empty and deal with in general. It has a musical function which rewards them every time something goes in, unfortunately that often includes Lego, My Little Pony and Thomas The Tank Engine and friends. We need a cleverer potty.

                This time we had chocolate buttons only for successes and stickers on charts taped to the toilet door.
                Both girls had a marked success rate and the chocolate buttons were costing us handsomely when one of our bright sparks realised she not only had bladder control but could use it to elicit the maximum quantity of buttons with some well controlled mini wees and many of them.
                At that stage we moved them entirely over to pull ups and made a big song and dance that only babies have nappies and big girls have pants. The novelty pictures certainly appealed and our success increased.
                However, pull ups cost almost twice the price of nappies (min 17p each during Tesco 241, up to 78p each dependent on brand and size) and though we get the 'big girl' routine we also get a pauper mummy in the price!

                However the same bright spark (Twingle 2) would not poo on the toilet or the potty and would scream to have a nappy on in which to defecate. We found she could hold on all day if we wouldn't put pull ups or a nappy on.
                The other twin however suddenly found potty training dreadfully boring and began doing everything back in her pull ups again.

                I decided that it may not be a good thing to cause too much havoc about that, especially when Twingle 2 was doing so remarkably well, so we decided to bypass it and give no comment other than to positively reinforce the actions of the other.

                The next step was the eliminate the need for pull ups so I found some sticker charts on http://www.pottytrainingconcepts.com/Free-Potty-Training-Chart-DORA.htm
                and laminated them after adding our twins names to each one. Each twin also has a photo of themselves beside each chart to help them identify their own.
                We then took them out to buy the best stickers we could which appealed to them, making much fuss about getting one of these 'special' stickers each time they did a poo on the toilet or potty.

                Sure enough, Twingle 2 was soon on her way to filling the chart with her special stickers and further fueled by the promise of a toy when the chart (of 25 squares) was full.

                Now, 5 months later and just turned 3 in the last few days, Twingle 2 is entirely potty trained and has been for a couple of months and takes great pride in her grown up knickers. If you can call Dora The Explorer grown up.

                The down side is that she now knows that if she says she needs a wee, we'll make sure there are no accidents and she can wee most places. Unfortunately she likes the fresh air and loves being in dire need when we're no where near a loo and she'll have to wee outside. A naturist in the making I wonder?

                Twingle 1 we're just about to start over with and we'll do the same routine again, hopefully with greater ease since we only have one to train this time. She's picked out some Charlie and Lola knickers in preparation......


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                  20.10.2008 13:02
                  Very helpful



                  another developmental process accomplished

                  My daughter was in reusable nappies for most of her 1.5years before toilet training .
                  I started buying pull-ups just prior to starting to train her.

                  I started wee-training her when she was 1.5 year old just because she was showing a bit of interest in what mamma does in the loo and luckily it had clicked except I left the nappy on at night.
                  when I say luckily it has an exception like all lucks come with, she would only wee in the bath-tub(yuck).. I was sure weeing in the nappy was better than cleaning and disinfecting the bathtub everytime to be honest but I perserved just because it was saving a bit on the nappies as by this time my little one would pull off the nappy as soon as she weed in it once.

                  My little one was too small to understand about stickers or merits then and at around 2 years she had gastroeneritis on vacation and just lost it all and just would'nt want to change her nappy even if she had pooed.

                  Come summer and when she was 2 years 3 months old I started again from step one and we both went to buy 'smarty good girls knickers' and she had fun time buying a few sets of charachter knickers .
                  The first day she wore only knickers and no nappy she weed 7 times on our newly laminated floor and I put her back in her nappy when she pooed on the floor as well .

                  At the suggestion of my neighbour(who wisely said when they wear knickers/boxers/briefs they feel as if they still have their nappy on) the next morning I left her air-bummed and hey ho she started using her potty and we had no accidents at all since then.

                  I still kept her nappy on at night but they were always dry when she woke up so I stopped putting them on after week 1.

                  I remember one day we were at tesco and she quickly pulled her potty out of the pram and did a wee right ther and I had to carry the potty to the loo amidst dubiously eyeing shoppers.

                  She loves going to toddlers group and it was a challange for me to shift her from using the potty to the commode but a bit of threat about ' they know you are a big girl at the toddlers group and can use the commode they won't like you to use the potty' did the trick.

                  I was lucky in not having too many accidents just because my little one drinks very little though out the day(I know it is a seperate issue in itself) but others may not be as lucky.
                  The only advice I would give is to start training when both of you are ready..you will need a lot of patience and perseverance ,you just cannot rush it .

                  Also always carry a spare set of clothes and knickers/briefs around .Believe me they weigh a lot less than nappies, wipes and nappy sacks.


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                    05.10.2008 12:45
                    Very helpful



                    Overall potty training isn't as hard as you think and in time you will get there,

                    We started potty training my girls about a month ago they are 2 and a half years and have taken to it brilliantly. At first I thought they would never take to it but I was very shocked that they had. Firstly we let them get used to using the potty when we were inside, so it didn't matter if they had an accident, we just let them run around with no bottoms on and just kept putting them on the potty when they said they needed a wee or if we could see them going. Then they didn't need to try and pull there trousers down then when they got used to that we put there skirts on etc and they got used to pulling them down then up to go to the toilet. After a while when they needed the toilet they just went, on there own. There was only a few accidents and that was when they couldn't pull there trousers down in time.
                    Then the other day we decided to go out and try them without nappies they did brilliant every time they needed the toilet they would tell us so we quickly went into a shop or a cafe and they didn't have no accidents so that was great. I think you just need to keep asking them if they need to go as sometimes they forget they haven't got a nappy on.
                    Then on Monday we began them in there beds to see if they could go all night without nappies on. I put waterproof mattress protectors on the mattress, duvet and pillow, I am glad I done this. We put a potty in there room but when we woke up they hadn't used it, I think they were so used to going in there sleep that they didn't even wake up when they went. The next night one wet the bed but the other hadn't, I think the trick is not to give them a drink before they go to bed try not to give them one for about an hour before bedtime. My mum told me what she used to do to us was before we go to bed get them out of the bed and put them on the potty even if there asleep we done this and to my amazement they actually went toilet every time I have done this, now we have had two nights in a row without them wetting the bed. So hopefully this will carry on and we have saved a lot of money not buying nappies.


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                      02.09.2008 14:32
                      Very helpful



                      It's not easy, but gentle encouragement can help

                      I don't think there is a single 'never fail' solution to the big question of when to potty train; it all comes down to the child and the parent.

                      I introduced a potty to our daughter when she was about 4 or 5 months old - not with the intention of potty training her at this stage - but because every time I took her nappy off she seemed to do a poo or a wee, and I was just fed up of cleaning up the mess. So we bought the potty and I started sitting her on it at every nappy change, and she kindly obliged by doing her business in the potty. This allowed us to let her have a bare bum for longer periods in the day, and we all know fresh air to the bottom is good for our children, and it also reduces nappy rash.

                      So anyway, the potty just became part of our daily routine, and she even enjoyed 'going' on the toilet which seemed to cause great surprise in most of my extended family, I'm not sure why. I suppose most children must have a fear of using the toilet for the first time or something! Perhaps my daughter wasn't affected by it because she'd seen me and her Dad use it so many times (we're not shy!) and thought it looked okay.

                      When she started walking confidently at about 13 months we encouraged more 'bare bum time', mainly because it was easier than putting another nappy on a wriggling toddler. We still weren't in the frame of mind that we were potty training our daughter, but during these bare bum sessions I used to sit on her the potty every so often, just to let her do her business. Sometimes she did something and sometimes she didn't, and I never put pressure on her, but she seemed to be aware of the fact that the potty or toilet was where she needed to be when she needed to go.

                      When she was about 15 or 16 months there came the time when she would tap me on the leg and say 'wee wee' so I'd take her to the potty and she'd do either a wee or a poo, which I thought was marvellous considering I still wasn't (as far as I was concerned) 'training' her.

                      Of course there were still accidents on the floor - they say children forget or become too engrossed in their toys and just don't think about doing a wee or a poo, and then there it is on the floor... Something which I totally agree with - how can you expect a child who's used to doing it in her nappy whenever she pleases to all of a sudden start remembering every single time to go and do it on the potty? You just can't; remember they are only children.

                      So now at 19 months, we are still at the same stage. She wears a nappy most of the time, but when she has no nappy on; she seems to remember to tell me when she needs to go. I did attempt full-time pants at one point and she did really well for a short time, but then she went backwards and we had to resort back to nappies for the time being. I think this was mainly due to the fact that we are about to have another baby and changes are going on in the houselhold. So full-time pants will have to wait until a month or so after the baby is born.

                      What I'm trying to say is that, while potty training is different for everybody and there is no set solution or miracle 'train your child in one week' strategy, you can help your child along a little by the things you do in preparation for the big milestone.

                      I think the fact that we introduced a potty so early on in our daughter's life has helped greatly because it's just a part of her life now, and there is no bribery involved in getting her to sit on it. Many of my friends have introduced potties at the moment they want to start training, and their child has recoiled in horror at having to sit on this plastic monstrosity.

                      So a little bit of gentle encouragement from an early age could help you forego all the angst that many parents experience when attempting to potty train their child. My daughter and I have never had an argument or struggle over using the potty or toilet, and I hope it stays this way. When the time comes again for full-time pants (once she has adjusted to the new baby), I am quietly confident that we will have a smooth progression from nappies to pants.

                      I think a lot of parents expect their children to be trained immediately and get frustrated when they wee on the floor again after using the potty for a set amount of time. But I don't think it happens this way, kids go backwards and forwards before they are powering at full steam ahead. I'm not expecting miracles, and I am prepared for the accidents, and am hopefully going to be calm and collected throughout the training process... unless of course the new baby is a nightmare!


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                        01.09.2008 21:14
                        Very helpful
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                        My son is almost 4 now and I would like to share my experience - tips on potty training.

                        They recommend a child is ready for potty training between the ages of 13 months until around 3.

                        I started by having ready the basics, Easy pull down underwear and trousers, lots of wipes nappy bags, Potty, under potty wipe clean matt. I searched nappy manufactures websites and got a free potty training DVD i watched this with my son and placed a potty near by he was playing, yes he found it fascinating to put it on his head put toys in it etc but i left him to explore. After a few weeks of watching the dvd and getting used to his potty, I bought his favorite characther under pants and we was ready. Once i made the decision to train him i would not look back. I put a nappy on him ONLY for bed, once the pants went on i was determined not to go back to nappies. I prepared myself for a lot of accidents and so there was !!! #
                        Its important to praise the child when they have used or attempted to use the potty, if the child has an accident just place them immediatley onto the potty do not get cross but do not give any praise. Its all about perserverance and understanding when your child is 'ready'. I believe you have to be prepared for a lot of accidents but do not put a nappy back on them from the moment you have made your decision stick to it. My boy was fully potty trained by the age of 2 !!
                        Good Luck


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                          28.08.2008 11:19
                          Very helpful



                          praise be for health visitors they are worth thier weighit in gold

                          Although both my boys are gladly way past this stage now I thought I would share with you some of the tips I learned when potty training my darling sons.

                          My eldest was late starter and was almost 3 before we even began trying to get him to use a potty, all previous attempts before that had failed and generally made him very distressed so we thought we best wait till he was ready and not force him.

                          Luckily enough when his brother was born he had come to the conclusion through carefully placed persuasion that only little babies wear nappies and he wanted to be a big boy before starting nursery. Believe me this was not an easy task, new born baby in one hand and trying to keep down little accidents in the other. My family thought I was off my head but when the timing is right you have to go with it.

                          We bought 2 potties one for the bathroom and one for down stairs to save on accidents. I also used huggies pull em up at night to save myself on washing as there was plenty to do at the time with a newborn and a under bladder controlled toddler.

                          Everything went relatively easy on the old pee scale and within a matter of days we were only getting the occasional accident. But as far as doing the toilet was concerned he would always end up doing that within minutes of getting on the pull em ups.

                          So we tried different tactics such as not wearing pull em ups for a while, this didn't work as he would go a few days without doing the toilet and I worried he would end up damaging his bowels.

                          Next we went for placing a nappy into the potty to see if that would work, again no joy. This ended up going on for months on end and the worry of it all was taking its toll on me. I decided to discuss his problem with my health visitor when I was up getting my youngest his check up and she gave me an idea, a bizarre one that I really thought would never work but was willing to give anything a go by then.

                          What she told me was that when children potty train they find that doing a pee is easy as the don't have the discomfort of feeling wet but regarding doing the toilet it can be a whole other ball game. When doing the toilet in a nappy it is always close to the body but in the toilet or potty it falls away from them and for some children this can be scary or discomforting for them. So what we should to is use cling film.

                          I can just see the puzzled looks on your faces now.

                          CLINGFILM ?

                          Ok here's what you do, when you get an inkling that your child needs the toilet place cling film over the top of the potty or toilet seat. This will imitate the closeness of the nappy and make it almost similar to the same feeling the get when doing it in a nappy. Gradually as your child becomes for confident in doing this you use more cling film so that the (ok I will need to use the word) poo falls a little bit away from your child. Till eventually you have no real need to use cling film anymore.

                          Out of everything I had tried previously this actually worked. Ok we got the occasional splash back when he decided to do a pee at the same time but it was worth it just to have him able to go to the toilet without tears and tantrums or needing to use laxatives as he would have made him self really constipated.

                          I am happy to say he is now a happy and regular 10 year old and should he ever come across this will no doubt disown me for life. But I hope that this tip will help anyone else out there that is having similar problems with their child as I know how you feel and hope that this tip might work for you.


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                            01.06.2008 19:50
                            Very helpful



                            Go for it! Once its done, you can congratulate yourself and your kiddie on a job well done!

                            I'll be honest with you, potty training wasnt all that traumatic, and actually left me with a real sense of achievement as my little girl gained some pride aand independence. My daughter was keen to learn, and happy to be rid of nappies, so it was actually quite a pleasure to train her! However, the process of potty training has its moments, even days of frustrations and setbacks, so its quite important to remain focused throughout. Here are tips on potty training for anyone who is about to embark on this mission!


                            ~What is Potty Training?~

                            Potty training involves teaching a toddler independent toilet habits. Nappies are exchanged for the potty (or po, as we call it at home), or perhaps even an adult toilet with a padded seat and step stool. Potty training is most viable if your child shows certain signs of emotional and developmental 'readiness', for example:

                            1. *Regularly Dry Nappies*

                            Your infant may have a consistently dry nappy after naptime during the day, or perhaps even during the night. They may get through less nappies in one day. This indicates a degree of bladder and bowel control.

                            2.*Hey Mummy Ive Wee-weed!*

                            Your kiddie may be pointing out to you the fact that they are about to wee, or are in the process of weeing. Again this shows an awareness of their toilet habits, and that their nervous system is developing.

                            3.*Good Language Skills and Comprehension*

                            Im not suggesting they need to be ready to sit the civil service exams, just that they are able to adequately express their needs and feelings to you! They should ideally be at that stage in their development when they are willing to accept instruction, and are responsive to praise and incentives to please. You should be able to identify privaledges that might show them they are doing well, ie: a sticker chart with a gift at the end of the week, or if theyve 'performed' really well (voluntarily weed in their potty perhaps). Or, maybe you could buy them a magazine as a treat, take them to the park, invite a playmate round, or even buy a little toy?

                            3.*Are they 18 months Plus?*

                            This is just my opinion, but I honestly feel that toddlers need to be 18months+ for potty training to be a true success. Of course every child is different, but I just dont see the point in pushing them unnecessarily too early-I wanted my daughter to be mature enough to do well with potty training, and I didnt want to be chasing a 10 month old about when I had enough on my plate to deal with at this stage; like climbing, snatching, grizzling etc...
                            Also if setbacks occur at 12 months for example, youve only got to tackle it at a later date, and you may feel negatively about it as a result of your earlier experience.

                            ~What Do I Need for Potty Training to Begin?~

                            1. *Ideally a 'Free' Week to Devote to Potty Training*

                            With potty training, its good to have a week of freedom from outside commitments. This is why potty training should be ideally started before toddlers start preschool; that way, interuptions to the routine are kept to a minimum, and the infant has consistent instructions. Day 1 and 2 are usually the most difficult days, with may accidents and much prompting/reassurance to be given. On these days, you may want to stay indoors. You can then venture out for a little walk on day 3 maybe.

                            2.*Two Potties*

                            If you are in a house, Id recommend two potties. One for upstairs and one for downstairs. That way you will have one to hand, wherever you are with your child. Travel potties are also available from places such as Mothercare, and can be put in the boot of the car for outings.

                            3.*Wet Wipes/Toilet Rolls*

                            Keep a pack of wet wipes or a roll of toilet roll especially for your toddler. One for each potty. Tell them its their big girl/boy toilet roll, just for them to wipe their botty.I kept my daughters potty in the lounge for the first few days of training, with her wipes.

                            4. *Star Chart for them, Diary Sheet for You*

                            Make up a simple star chart with the days of the week down one side, and mark up the times they do a wee/ ask to do a wee. Then add a star when they 'perform'. Add these up at the end of the day/week and give a reward as you see appropriate. Cuddles go a long way in the encouragement stakes too!!!
                            Also, draw up a little diary sheet for yourself, so that you can keep track of the major events of the potty training week. As you note down the successes and setbacks/accidents (and times), you may see a pattern emerge as to when they are most likely to go to the toilet. This will help you to read the signals in weeks to come and enable you to prompt when necessary!

                            5.*A Cushion Wrapped in a Plastic Bag*

                            This sounds mad, but its actually a very good tip of mine. By day 3, when you're bored of being indoors and wish to pop to the shops or whatever, you dont want a wet buggy if your toddler has an accident. So, put a small cushion into a carrier bag or two, wrap it up, and place in the seat of the buggy. That way, the little one feels confident they wont make a scene, and you can relax knowing the buggy wont stink of wee! Also, the carrier bags are easily disposed of and replaced for subsequent outings.

                            6.*Plenty of Pretty Girls Knickers/ Funky Boys Pants*

                            You will need plenty of knickers/pants, and make sure youve a nice empty washing machine and lots of soap powder for the week!I bought about 20 pairs of knickers from Primark, because they are cheap and I could let my daughter (she was 25 months old) select which ones she wanted.

                            7.*An Abundance of Good Humour and the Patience of a Saint*

                            Ha! If only.......No seriously, the key to potty training is heap on the praise, try not to focus on the accidents (just say nevermind, and let them choose a fresh pair of underpants), and plenty of indoor games to play. To be frank, this is where the tv and DVD selection become invaluable! Just make sure you've got a nice array of toys, books, and DVDs to hand- with the potty, so that you dont rush off to fetch them at an inoppotune moment! If you have a garden, then let them play outside in the warm air (summertime), but keep the potty outside too.

                            8. *No pressure*

                            Children are almost always clean (not pooing in their nappies) before they are dry (not weeing in their nappies), so be patient. Also, I kept my daughter in nappies at naptime until at least 30 months. I only got her out of pull up pants at night at 3 1/2 years. Like everything, take your time, and the achievements and rewards will come rolling in for you and your child!
                            Potty training is usually successful after a week or two, and accidents become less and less frequent as the kiddie takes responsiblity for their own toilet habits.If you feel that progress is slow, speak to your GP or health visitor.Youll soon find it all cliks into place.

                            Good luck everyone!


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                              10.04.2007 19:31
                              Very helpful



                              Good luck if you are about to start this!

                              When you are a parent of young children, there seem to be numerous milestones (or hurdles) to be achieved or overcome along the way - your baby sleeping through the night, weaning, dealing with tantrums - and - what sometimes seems the biggest one of all - potty training!

                              Having been through it once with my three year old, and just starting with my younger daughter who has just turned two, makes me think that there are many different ways of getting it right and getting through it!

                              The main thing is not to be stressed by the whole thing! The chances are that there might be a couple of false starts along the way. There is nothing to be worried about by this and it is vital that your little one doesn't see it as a problem either! You also don't want to take any notice of what anyone else is doing either. It seemed to be a constant topic of conversation amongst by post natal group of friends from the moment that our children turned two and I couldn't help but feel that we were lagging behind some of the others! At the end of the day you do know that they are all going to get there, but all children will be able to be potty trained when they are ready and not before!

                              So what did we do to potty train our daughter? Firstly we looked for all the signs of readiness - staying dry for longer periods of time, being able to follow our instructions, the predictability of her bowel movements - yes she was ticking all the boxes! We also bought lots of books - in fact every time I saw another book that might help I picked them up. Some of these were books aimed at children like 'I want my Potty!' by Tony Ross and also others aimed at parents like Gina Ford's 'Potty Training in Seven Days'. So you could say we were well equipped with reading material. (I will say more about these books later)

                              OUR FIRST POTTY...

                              So we bought a new potty (a very nice bright pink one) and also made a fuss of buying some very pretty pants that she would be able to wear when she was not wearing her nappies any more.So we decided on the week we were going to go for it, put very few plans in the diary and started out with a huge amount of optimism! Only, as they say, the best laid plans never run smooth! Rachel happily sat on her potty, read her books as she sat there, and we waited and waited...Nothing! Never mind, we praised her to the hilt for sitting there and having a go! We also had a sticker chart so we gave her stickers for sitting on the potty! The only thing is that I don't think that she had any idea of what she was meant to do - she loved the potty stories but had not related them to herself! When she got off and put on her pants we would discover that she had weed herself and had not even noticed even though her pants were soaking! We kept trying for a day but really felt that despite all the signs she really hadn't been ready!

                              Now, I know that most of the books will tell you that once you start down the route of potty training you should not stop as that will send mixed messages! We did stop though, and I honestly think it was the right thing to do!

                              OUR SECOND POTTY...

                              We didn't try again for a couple of months and at this stage my daughter was two and a half and much more aware! This time we involved her very much from the beginning and she came with us to Mothercare where we made a great fuss of choosing a new potty! She loved her new potty ( a fairly expensive potty chair with Winnie the Pooh on it) and definitely was very keen to try it out as soon as we got home! Amazingly, she did a wee! There is nothing more wonderful than the first time you hear your child cry happily 'I did it!' when they have achieved their first wee. We were all highly delighted and my daughter knew she had done a really great thing! We had a new sticker chart, so it was with great pride that she chose the sticker and placed it carefully on the chart herself! At this stage we didn't know whether this was a one time lucky fluke, but it was not. As the days passed the accidents became few and far between, and of course, when ever there was one we didn't make a fuss!

                              At first you seem to be forever saying 'do you need the potty?', or 'come and sit on it now', but it doesn't take long until your child is recognising the signs for themselves and telling you when they need it! And eventually, neither of you even think about it very much because you've cracked it! (Hurray!!)

                              I am tending to feel it is slightly easier with a second child. Firstly, as a parent I am more confident and know what I am doing, and as a consequence, I am probably much more relaxed about the whole thing! Secondly, my youngest daughter has a role model in her older sister, so she is much more aware about what the potty is for!

                              So overall my main tips would be:
                              * Relax and don't let potty training stress you out
                              * Don't take any notice of what other people are doing as it's not a contest
                              * Wait until you are really confident that your child is ready
                              * involve your child in the process as much as you can
                              * And most importantly praise and reward every small step in the process!

                              And as for the books - I wouldn't worry about them too much. I think that the ones aimed at the adults are mainly common sense, and you can gain the same advice from websites such as Pampers, and the ones for the children might help a little, but only if they can really understand what they are trying to say!


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                                04.04.2006 18:34



                                be patient and your child will learn.

                                I am a father of two small kids (girls) aged 3 and almost 2. They both go to nursey 4 days a week where they learn to draw, count, identify things, socialise with other kids, sing, play and all the things youngs children should be doing before school. My youngest started potty training before she was 2 by watching what her older sister did and then just doing it without much assistance from me or my wife. My eldest took a little longer as she had nobody to watch and after quite a few accidents at home, including poo and wee on the stairs, started to pull down her pants and go whenever she needed to. She still sleeps with a nappy on until such time as she can prove, by way of a dry nappy, that she can sleep without one on. I suggest to all parents wanting to potty train their kids not to allow them to drink any water or juice at least an hour before bed and they will learn to go whenever possible and not to wake you up at 2am wanting a wee. DO NOT pressure them to go as this will set you back a few months and your child will wet their bed more often than not and subsequently cry if you shout at them. Trust me, this is a lesson my wife and I learnt recently. You must be patient and they will just pull down their pants and wee.


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                                16.02.2006 11:25
                                Very helpful



                                Hope some of these tips help with this period in your little ones life. x

                                I am mum to two youngish kids. My son is now 4 and a half and we potty trained him when he was just over 2 years old. I working part time at this point, 3 days a week, and had never potty trained before.

                                I decided to start in the June/July as the weather was warm and I figured we’d be in the garden most of the time, therefore minimising mess to clean up!

                                I was sadly mistaken with the idea that this would be a quick and easy process and not following any particular method or tried and tested way I was soon in the midst of a poo and pee hell!

                                The whole thing took about 6 months for him to master, with wee being the easier one for him. (This was a surprise as so many people had told me that they get control of their bowels first!) He just would not use the potty or toilet for his poos and there were plenty of dirty pants and plops on the floor to clean up.

                                So, when I realised a few weeks ago that my daughter who was 2 at the end of November seemed to be taking an interest in the fact that she had something in her nappy I knew it was time to do a bit of research and master the potty training part of life a lot better than last time.

                                I looked on the internet first and found lots of advice given on websites like pampers, huggies and bounty but my break through came when chatting on the Discovery Health forum for parents. One of the other mums suggested the Gina Ford “Potty Training in One Week” book. Another mum suggested Dr Phil’s methods so I got the book and printed the instructions from Dr Phil’s website and this is what happened.


                                The main thing that all books and sites seem to agree on is that your child has to be ready. This can vary in age any where from 2 to 3.5 years. I wanted my daughter to be out of nappies by September when she starts pre-school but I would not have pushed her if I didn’t think she was ready.

                                Things to look out for to see if your child is ready to start potty training are:

                                Their nappy is dry for a few hours length at a time.
                                Your child knows that they need the loo – like saying, “I need a poo”, before they do it.
                                They know the difference between wet/dry, clean/dirty, pants/nappy.
                                They can follow simple directions like “let’s go to the bathroom”.
                                They show an interest in what you are doing on the loo.
                                They can pull pants up and down by themselves.

                                My daughter was showing all these signs and I started by:

                                Half an hour before her bath in the evening I was taking her nappy off and letting her run around with nothing on. I showed her where the potty was and what it was for and then let her take the lead. Amazingly she used the potty by herself straight away and there were never any leaks on the floor.

                                I did this for the first week, half an hour a day before her bath, no knickers just so she would get the feel of what it was all about. I thought I had cracked it and put her knickers on the first day of the next week, straight away from the morning.

                                This was a big mistake; she wet herself every time she wore knickers. I was guessing she felt too much like she had something on that would catch it, like her nappy did. Thinking for longer I realised I had not really shown her how what to do with her knickers – i.e. pulling them down, then using the toilet. Still this didn’t improve the situation.

                                I knew I had to go a different route so read up again from the book mentioned above.

                                Where had I been going wrong?

                                Well, I had basically believed she would catch on all by herself. Looking back this was a ridiculous notion and I realised I had to put time and effort into this or it would not happen in the required one week Gina Ford suggests.

                                This is where I am now!

                                We have been putting her knickers on in the morning after her breakfast, and then every 15 minutes, taker her to the toilet to have a wee. This seems like really hard work at first, and there is some resilience from her occasionally. For instance if she is playing with her toys and I get up and say, wee wee time. She doesn’t always want to go. If this happens I pick her up and start talking about something interesting to her, like have a dolls tea party, and I keep talking all the way to the bathroom and through getting her knickers down. She seems to listen in anticipation and forgets about what we are doing. So far this has worked and she has wet her self only twice during the day.

                                I have made sure she has access to lots of drinks all through the day, this way she always needs a wee, even if it is only a small amount every time we go.

                                You can do the 15 minute system for one or two days depending on how well they respond. On the next day, increase the time in between visits to 20 minutes, then 30 minutes. By the end of the week you should be on visits every hour and a half or so or even only when they tell you they need to go.

                                If your child does a bowel movement around the same time each day, make sure they are on a toilet trip when this will normally coincide. This way the poo is more likely to go in the toilet and not in their pants. It is a good idea to let them see what their poo looks like before you start potty training. Sometimes kids, who have not seen their poo before due to quick nappy changes etc can become a bit scared when they see what’s come out of them for the first time. Make sure the first poo on the potty/toilet is a positive experience.

                                The other major factor in getting them trained is to give lots of praise. When I say lots of praise I mean really lavish it on. Clap your hands and whoop with delight when they do it in the potty or toilet. Do a little dance to show them you are really pleased and give lots of kisses and cuddles. Rachel thinks it hilarious when I start jigging about the bathroom and is obviously pleased with herself too. On the other side of the coin if they wet their pants don’t scold them. But say “Never mind, but try and get to the toilet for the next one”. Change them and clean them up and move on.

                                It is a good idea to have words ready to use to describe certain bits to them. For instance when I want Rachel to wipe after a wee, we call her female bits a “pocket”. Don’t ask where it came from but she kind of adopted it and I am happy to have a word that’s not gross, offensive or clinically correct in order to describe the bit I need her to wipe. For boys we just use “willy” as that seems universally acceptable! I use the word “poo” and “wee” for the motions but some parents prefer “pee”. I find this a bit nasty for kids to use for some reason so we prefer wee.

                                Dr Phil, am American life strategist, suggests using a doll that wets itself. Have two potties side by side and they go together. This is supposed to help to show your child what to do and make them feel more comfortable about going with a “buddy”. I have not tried this approach, as I felt buying a doll especially for this purpose, when I would not have the doll already was too expensive when I could hopefully achieve the same results without one. It’s an interesting approach though and if you have a doll that wets anyway it might be worth a try. Maybe not so clever for boys though.

                                A little tip I read somewhere on wiping was to squash the cardboard tube inside the loo roll so it’s not round. This will minimise the amount of loo paper your child can pull off and will avoid heaps of it down the loo or on the floor.

                                The last practice I will try, if the going every 15 minutes thing doesn’t work, in a week, is to introduce a sticker chart or other incentive program. I want to avoid sweet treats as an incentive but Rachel would respond to stickers I think. You can stick them on a special bathroom chart, or on the potty itself.

                                Lastly, a little thing that I am doing is to avoid the potty altogether. There is one in the bathroom and she will use it every now and then if she is getting ready for her bath and needs a wee but I have a child’s toilet seat on the loo and this stays on all the time. Adults have to remove and replace when they need to go. When I take her to the loo I always put her on the big toilet. Eventually when she has the hang of going without being prompted I will invest in one of those toilet seats with the little stepladders on them so she can go herself.

                                Oh and one final thing – don’t forget to teach them to wash and dry their hands after the loo. They will actually enjoy this bit as water usually tempts any toddler!

                                Whatever approach you take – good luck. Stay patient, keep praising and most of all make sure you are BOTH ready to take on the challenge.


                                Points of reference:

                                Gina Ford book – Potty Training in One Week

                                Edited on 19/2/06 to let you know I am day 5 of the 15 minute thing with my daughter and we are now going every hour and a half and she is doing brilliantly so it does work. Also her nappies are dry in the morning when she wakes up and she takes it off and does a massive wee on the loo first thing. Excellent stuff. Good luck with yours. x


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