My son turned 2 in February but is no stranger to the potty.
When I was pregnant a friend of mine gave me a book written by a woman who had managed to have her own sons using a toilet by the age of 2 and her daughter being completely nappy-free and using a potty by 7 months (on her own.) Completely intrigued by this I purchased a potty for my own 7 month old.
I made sure to buy a sturdy potty that was low to the ground as well as being comfy as possible. My son absolutely LOVED the potty! He would clap and smile while on board and seemed quite pleased with himself every time he 'went' in the potty. Fast forward to a few weeks later when I got sick and my husband took over.
The cloth nappies and potty were out the window replaced by disposable nappies because they are 'easier', apparently ;). When I slowly got better I re-introduced the potty but the love of going onto the potty was lost on my son. So I kept it in the bathroom and would ask him every time we were in there if he wanted to use it, including the odd times when he'd point to it and go onto the potty - sometimes peeing, sometimes not. I decided not to make a deal out of it and just play it by ear from this point on-wards.
He's been a part-time (ish) potty user from about 18 months, ranging from showing a big desire to want to use his potty to running away from it when he see's it out but just recently I decided to up the tempo with using the potty and getting him onto the toilet full time.
My mum bought us a toilet seat (a little turtle seat that fixes itself to the toilet) for our son when he was about 18 months. At first he was TERRIFIED of this thing! I think it was the height of the toilet that did it, to be honest and so I took the seat off the toilet and forgot about it until a few weeks ago.
Now my son squeals with excitement; "POT POT!" when he wants to use the toilet seat. Last week he was sitting on it for about 10 minutes and did a pee. When he was done he jumped down, waved to the pee and screamed 'BYE BYE PEE PEE!'.
Having a ritual for kids is great, too. For my son he'll go on the toilet, do the deed, wave bye bye to it, wash his hands and then dry them. He's also watched us go to the toilet a number of times so watches us in action so to speak ;).
Another step in the toilet learning experience was buying under pants - did he wet these? Yes. One time he did this twice in a row, in fact, which drove me mad. However, on the outside, I kept a calm face on and said; "Let's take these off, shall we? They're a bit wet." I put on another pair and he promptly peed through those about 20 minutes later. "Did you forget you're to use the potty if you need a pee pee?" I asked him. He just laughed at me. Ha!
Another time he wasn't wearing any pants at all and screamed 'PEE PEE!' so I quickly lifted him off my lap and onto the potty. Well, he didn't pee. 10 minutes later he did, however, pointing to some drops on his leg and laughing, saying; 'pee pee!'
We're not fully there yet but I hope we'll tackle it before the summer is over. I'm not sure how he'll handle going in public, but he'll have to learn as my parents live over 6 hours away and I can't see him holding it in for that length ;).
Edited to add: my son has now been out in public nappy-free many times in the past week. Only once out of 6 times did he have a pee accident. I took a carrier bag, clean pair of pants and trousers, in my handbag and when he'd had an accident I discretely took him to the nearest disabled toilet where I changed him into a clean set of everything. Unfortunately I forgot to pack the socks - there's always something, right? ;) - and so he had to do without these. To say that potty/toilet training is stressful is an under statement but here are some tips to survive the whole thing:
* Be on the same page. If you have a partner make sure you're on the same page. And if you're not then discuss your plan of action and compromise on anything you can't 100% see eye to eye on. Seriously. I wish someone had given me this advice because I'm the kind of parent who likes to do things cold turkey and my husband likes a more gradual approach. I'm home for the majority of the time so I can set most of the standards but when my husband is here I need him to have the same pattern and routine as I do during the week. If he comes along during a weekend and puts my son back into nappies or gives up on potty training then clearly we're not going to get anywhere.
* Clean, shop and de-stress at the end of the day. Clean: make sure you have plenty of trousers, pants and bedding. Your kid is going to pee a lot, perhaps not at first and perhaps never, but it's always good to be prepared. The cleaning thing also goes for your house. Potty training may take a few days, it make take a week or a few months, but you do not want to be dealing with domestic chores on those first few days of potty training. Shop: buy treats (I used stickers on a chart) for your kid when they 'go.' Buy treats for yourself. Quite frankly this is going to be tough on everyone and the adults deserve a treat, too. De-stress: you may have wonderful, no pee accident days and you may have days where you just want to put your little darling straight back into a nappy. Short of running to the bottom of the garden for a good scream find a way you can de-stress at the end of the potty training day. You will need it.
Good luck to anyone attempting this. Don't give up, trust your instincts and let the whole thing be child-led. Be kind to your child and to yourself. No one gets everything right on the first try so don't expect that your child will suddenly have a light bulb moment and never have an accident again - and perhaps they will, who knows - but it's going to take some serious investment of your time.
I want to share my experiences of potty training to help and advice other parents who may feel pressured or are struggling with potty training.
Before my daughter was born I had always said that I would like her to be potty trained by the time she was 18 months old. As all parents with toddlers will know it never happens the way you want. By the time my daughter was 18 months I just knew she wasn't ready. I felt that she wouldn't truly understand potty training if she can't communicate with me properly to understand what to do.
Because of this I didn't buy her a potty until she was 2 years old. By this time I had already received many comments from family members about potty training. I had my parents telling me she was ready and now is the best time to get her and then my partner's sister telling me her son was potty trained at 18 months. I was so stressed with people trying to tell me what was best for my own child I felt I was being pressured into making my daughter do something that I as her mother knew she wasn't ready for.
After buying the potty I let her play with it and get accustom to it before introducing the real functions of it. I started of simply; I would place her on the potty once a day in the hopes that she would use it and figure out for herself what to do with it. This she didn't like and would stiffen up when I tried to place her on it. So after coming to the conclusion that this didn't work I would leave the potty in the middle of the floor and casually ask her if she needed to use it. After replying with a harsh no I decided I wasn't going to rush her.
I found that introducing the potty to my daughter made her go back a step. Before she had ever even seen a potty she would come over to me or her daddy after she had had a wee or a poo in her nappy and tell us. After the fuss over the potty escalated she stopped doing this and would walk around with a dirty nappy until I noticed it. I felt that introducing the potty to her was making her stressed so I decided that we wouldn't try again for a while.
After a couple of weeks I tried it from a different angle. I put the potty in the bathroom and every time I went to the toilet I would tell her that mummy was using the toilet and asked her if she would like to use the toilet. After figuring out what I was trying to do, she left the bathroom and refused to try that method again.
After this I went onto a mother and baby forum to see if I could find any other mums who had stories to tell about troublesome potty training. Feeling as I was the only one after only hearing positive potty training stories I felt as though I was doing something wrong and was really looking for some reassurance. Seeing on this site that it can take up to the age of three for toddlers to start potty training I relaxed a little.
This relaxed state I was in soon disappeared a couple of weeks later when my daughter was invited to a family birthday party. My grandma (my daughter's great grandma) was soon to make comments on my daughters bulging jeans complaining about her still wearing a nappy. This was when my parents stepped in and was soon to play the great grandparents by telling everyone that they had told me months ago that she was ready and I hadn't done it in time. She then went on to tell me that it will now be really difficult to potty train her. Feeling somewhat bullied by my family about an issue they didn't even know about, as I had tried my best and my daughter simply wasn't ready, I decided that for the time being we would stay our distance.
Feeling even more pressured than ever now I informed my daughters nursery that we were going to try even harder now with the potty training. I bought some pull up nappies and took a packet into nursery and had one for at home. However on taking them into nursery they told me that the best way would be to just put knickers on her and to let her learn. So that's what we did. For the three days she wasn't at nursery I kept her in knickers. After taking her to the toilet or placing her on the potty every 20 minutes or so she still managed to go through ten pairs of trousers a day and was still refusing to use the potty. I thought I would be doing this for months, but was prepared to stick it out. However she went to nursery in her knickers (and they are the ones who told me to do this) and came home with a nappy on. They explained that they couldn't understand, but she simply wouldn't use the potty or toilet. I tried this method at home for another 3 weeks and with not one wee or poo being on the toilet or potty I gave up.
I was feeling completely lost, my daughter was 2 ½ and despite it being summer so she could run around in the garden she just wouldn't get the hang of it, I tried my best but I was feeling as though I wasn't good enough and simply wasn't trying hard enough. From then on I kept her pull ups on and kept the potty in a place where she could use it. (She never did though)
Around a month or so later we still wasn't progressing at home however she had her first wee on the toilet at nursery. This prompt me to try even harder thinking she was now ready. I purchased a toilet seat in the hopes that she would use this if she didn't want to use her potty. She carried on progressing at nursery to the point that she was barely having any accidents. The story at home however was very different. She still hadn't used the toilet or potty once and I had told the staff at nursery and they again didn't understand. I told them how we was going about it to insure they wasn't doing anything different to us and we wasn't we were going about it the same as them.
This boggled me. Me and my partner were trying to figure out if it was our fault for pushing her too early, or more to do with the fact that she was copying her friends at nursery. Whatever the answer was we couldn't help but feel that it was our fault.
During the end of summer we took our daughter out of nursery for 3 weeks and I was really worried that this would ruin her progress. As she was leaving, one of the staff said to my daughter, make sure you are in knickers when you come back. This really put a lot of pressure on me to get my daughter to do something she clearly didn't want to.
One night during our normal routine of a bath, and then to try placing her on the potty, usually resulting in a tantrum I decided that tonight I was not going to give in. I knew that she could use the toilet as she did it at nursery, it was more of a case that she didn't want to. I knew that if I could get one wee out of her I could praise her so much that she would want to do it again. So after placing her on the toilet, I started to sing as she was trying to clamber off. Placing her back on again I carried on singing and she joined in with me. She was having such a good time she totally forgot where she was sat. It wasn't until literally half an hour later I heard a little trickle and my daughters face changing to a shocked face I knew it had worked. After lots and lots of praise I went to take her of the toilet and she said to me "hold on mummy, Kerry wants to sing row row."
After that, she just got it, it sort of clicked. She would use the toilet or potty all of the time and rarely had any accidents. Toilet time turned into singing time and me and my daughter loved it. A week later she had it sussed, she has not had one accident since then and she can't stand wearing nappies. She knows how to hold it in when she is in the car and will tell us when she needs the toilet. My daughter was then fully potty trained by 2 years and 8 months.
Taking her back to nursery being fully potty trained three weeks later made me feel so happy and very proud of my daughter. She has never had any accidents there either.
Every toddler's potty training is different and it can be difficult especially when you are being pressured by family and friends. I am not perfect and have made some bad decisions and errors being a first time mum and when it came to my daughter's potty training I admit that I did make some mistakes but I never gave up and that is the most important thing. She got there eventually and if I went with my gut instinct I could have possibly saved me and my daughter a lot of stress and pressure.
Potty training can be very stressful for most parents but the most important thing is to wait until your toddler is ready. You shouldn't feel pressured to do it early as in my case I realised it didn't work. At some point they will pick it up whether they are one or three, they will do it when they are ready. And in starting later on you may also find that they pick it up quicker than if you started earlier.
I don't know how to rate this one in a way I feel I could rate a one from my bad experiences however I also feel I could rate it five from my quick and positive outcome. Therefore I think I will rate my experience a three. I hope you have found my review useful and if you are struggling with potty training just remember it's not that you are doing anything wrong, your toddler simply isn't ready yet. Another thing to remember in stressful times is that you are not alone.
Plastic toilet seat for 18 months till 3.5 years of age
This Ode does contain some toilet humour.
There is a lot to be said about toilet training, from setting the rules and anxiously asking about expected stools, installs an on tenterhook wait , wandering if it is going to be late, just like a Royal Mail Special delivery date. It can be the most difficult time for child rearing, concerning their bowel clearing; just passing by.
I've just had this with my three year old niece, who is blatantly keener to eat as much chocolate she can fleece, off me, oh what a delightful beast, yet she feasts, all the time, a little bit like me and wine. Her beautiful inquisitive eyes light up when her expected parcel is about to be delivered, grown men do not dither, a sharp dash, oh no it's a forgotten slash, that just passes by.
Her little lips ask me, 'why can't I go on the big toilet, I'll be good and hold it?' Small eager hands clutching the basin, no time should wee be wasting. Off wee pop to the shops, she hops, all the way, to see what is on display, in John Lewis. I hope, I wish; anything to stop her to fish, for floaters and have an early sudden bath, then tears. Oh I must not laugh! I'll have to impersonate a giraffe that just passes by.
'Baby Bjorn Toilet Trainer Seat,' sixteen pound, I say out loud, my little niece looks at it all around, with a frown. 'I'm not a baby anymore.' I pretend to ignore, until I got out of the shop door, otherwise she'll be on the floor. Let me know when you want to try it out, and be a big girl, we'll give it a whirl, it is not a toy, to hurl. Its plastic has no elastic, only a rubber ring to sit comfortably on the toilet rim. So, it's also ok for a little him, who maybe passing by.
No nooks or crannies on a Baby Bjorn, for a granny, to get confused and attached to, because it's new, like they normally do, while sitting on the loo. Ooh that cuppa really shot through, so they blame the brew. While sat contemplating wondering why everything is shorter, she has forgotten what I taught her. Remove the seat, before descending your sagging fleet; but that just passes her by.
I watch for my niece's facial expressions and that sticking out bum pose, that's when I nose, to get a whiff of a scent while she is bent, while watching CBeebies. If I can smell cheese, and she has freeze, I know it's too late. Her face 'puppy dog like' claim, 'I couldn't hold it! Sorry;' should be in a frame; just to remind her of her shame, while missing out on sitting on Bjorn, she'll look so forlorn. That lovely concept momentarily passes her by.
Portability these days is in the fad book; 'Baby Bjorn' has a handle available for any hook, in any place usually done in haste, preferably not on my face. Yes, I am a tad dotty, this is instead of the potty; hurry up, before I'm seen by some intrigued hottie, wanting to know what the commotion is. Remember to wash your hands to get rid of any diseases and then stand under the breezes. I bet you are happy, now you are out of a nappy, give yourself a clappy, they've now passed you by.
Among friends the word is out, my three year old niece stands about, staring at her peers as if they're queer sitting on a dog bowl on their rears. She creates a stir when she talks of 'Bjorn,' innocently smiles sweetly and does a yawn. Friends start gossiping in frenzy; who could her little man be? I laugh out loud and say it's a secret, I can't resist, and say 'you can peep at it.' They politely decline, then an accident occurs, its ok the little one is fine, and 'Bjorn' passes them by.
Now that Bjorn is four months old, it'll be a year at least till it is sold. It'll be tough because it has become part of our clan; Bjorn is our loyal little man. Calling object names is only a phase she is going through, when she sits on him and does a poo. 'Bjorn's' entity is real to her and to me as well, she talks to him, it makes my heart swell. It'll be hell, to sell. Sometime soon 'Bjorn' will pass her by.
And until that day passes her by, I will cherish those wonderful moments, until I have my own children and the little man will be 'Bjorn' again.
Thank you for reading my toilet humour
Potty Training is one area that every parent thinks and talks about. I first started thinking about it when my son turned one and he loved a crown potty my friend's son had so I purchased one for my son for the sole purpose that he would get used to having a potty around. I was actually shocked that at one years of age he would sit on the potty and wee on demand.
Sadly this phase of potty training ended when we moved and then he refused to sit on it or even have anything to do with the potty but this caused me no concern as he was only one so it was sat in the bathroom as something that he could see and use if he wanted to.
I have a few friends with children who are all a year older than my son so have sat through hours of potty talk and one thing that I did pick up is how scared some children can be of having a poo. I took this on board and would regularly show my son what he had produced which he took great interest in. I also gave him plenty of bottom time without a nappy so he could get used to the sensation of weeing and if he had an accident simply cleaned the carpet.
I started again when my son turned two and a half and bought a car shaped potty from a charity shop which he loved. At this point he did show some interest and would sit and wee on. On each occasion he passed urine we would take it up to the toilet pour it away and say bye bye to his wee wee. I also bought a reward chart off eBay so he could stick a sticker on each time he used the potty. I found my son became quite dry while wearing no clothes on his bottom but once he was wearing anything covering his lower body he would wee. I was very happy with his progress but my biggest stumbling block was that my son did not like wearing pants. We went on a trip to the Disney store where he was able to pick out some Mickey Mouse pants which he loved but not wearing them. He preferred to just show them to our visitors.
I continued to give him opportunities to practise at home. I found that no matter how many times I asked him if he wanted a wee he would never go to the toilet on request only when it suited him. As the winter came it was not warm enough to walk around the house with only his top half dressed so decided to try him in pyjama bottoms so that this would keep him warm but not give him a similar feeling to wearing a nappy.
I found we were stuck in this stage for a few months and I felt certain he had the skills to cope with using the toilet yet he did not want to wear pants. He was also quite bored with the praise and we had long since given up on the reward chart. About two and a half months before his third birthday it became clear his clothes were too small so changed his tops, Vests and pants to age three to four. He actually did seem to be more comfortable in the larger size and I decided that it was time for a gentle push from Mommy. I had been putting this off partly due to the snow and wanting to avoid him been outside and wet.
I decided during his half term holidays to make the change from Nappies to pants during the day however as all plans this fell apart when he fell ill with a sickness bug and was far too weak to walk never mind get up for the potty, but on the Saturday that week I decided that was the day I was going to start. I was very impressed that he was dry all day and praised him throughout the day. I woke the next morning to find the ground covered in snow but knew there was no going back at this point. On the Afternoon we took our first trip out to the supermarket. I offered my son the chance to use the toilet in the supermarket which he loved. He actually did a wee and not only was I proud but so was he was very proud with himself and did point out to various unsuspecting shoppers he was wearing big boy pants. It was at this point I realised not only did my son need to think about telling me he needed to use the toilet but also I needed to change my thought process to thinking about prompting him to use the toilet and where the nearest toilets were when we were out.
On Monday he was due to return to nursery for the morning so I got him to practise what he needed to say to the staff if he wanted a wee wee or poo .I packed three sets of clothes just in case they were required. He ran into nursery and announced he was wearing big boy pants and although he did have a soiled pair of pants he did ask for the toilet throughout the morning so was very impressed. We did have a couple of accidents during the first couple of weeks while out and about but on the whole I have been very impressed. He has only had one soiled pair of pants since his first week in pants but even then he did tell the staff he needed a poo after the event and I was assured that many children would just sit in it and not tell anyone.
One thing I wasn't expecting to change so quickly was that once in he was in pants through the day he also wanted to be a big boy at night and didn't want to wear nappies.He had always had a full nappy at night so I encouraged him to wear a nappy in case he wanted a wee and he wouldn't have to get out of bed. After two weeks and five nights of dry nappies I congratulated him on having a dry nappy again and he informed me that he doesn't do wee wee's in his nappy but in the toilet I decided that this was the point I needed to take him out of nappies at night.
The nights had mixed success and he was dry for about 5 nights out of seven. I had one night where he had two accidents but this was when he was unwell. I decided that I needed to try and toilet him before I go to bed to help him.
I started by putting the heater on in his room for ten minutes prior to waking as I am sure I would not like to be woken taken from my cosy bed and have my pants and Pyjama s pulled down to sit on a potty in a cool room so this makes it more bearable. I do put the potty right next to the bed support him and cuddle him despite having a no cuddling rule at night I do consider this to be an exception as it is not his choice and it is a bit of reinforcement for getting on the potty. He does wee most nights but not all and since I started this new technique a week and a half ago. I had one night with two wet beds when once again he was unwell but only one other wet bed which was prior to me retiring to bed so has been a great success.
My son is very proud of himself and I am a very proud Mommy.
My son is now moving onto the next stage as he has seen my friends six year old doing standing wee wees and so now is realising if he holds it and does a wee he has the ability to send it in any direction he pleases. This is not a great phase but all part of the growing process.
I have learnt throughout this process that you cannot foresee what will be an obstacle or set your child back. I have never once told my son off for having an accident but have encouraged him to try and ask sooner next time. It is a very slow process which you cannot rush or pre determine. You do hear a lot of competitive parents whose children have been trained in a week but for me I feel we have taken the process at our own speed and I have a child who is very proud of his achievements but not traumatised by having an accident so doesn't hide it away.
Having been through toilet training twice now, I have learnt a thing or two, the first being that though "they" may say a child will be ready to get rid of nappies somewhere between 18 months to 3 years old, things aren't necessarily so simple. If you are reading this because your child has turned two, or indeed three and is showing none of the "signs" - wanting pants or going a long time between wees, panic not and say "no" to competitive potty training.
Easy for me to say now that we are out the other side, so to speak, and nappy free after nearly 6 years of changing one child or another, but not so easy if you are at that point where you wonder if your child will ever learn. Even second time around, very recently, I am afraid I got shamed into at least one abortive training attempt. Thanks to hearing on Jermemy Vine that more and more children are going to school still in nappies I spent a fruitless and frustrating four days stuck at home whilst my clueless child weed on the floor in about every single room. Pointless, though a good test for my Vax. I did keep telling myself, and hearing from others "she'll do it when she is ready" but I wish I had really believed it because, actually, it was so true.
So what actually works and what can you do to train your child?
Here are a few of my tips, with a disclaimer that for both of my children I have failed to teach them before they were well over three, though on the plus side when they have learned toilet training the process has lasted less than two days. A friend once told me "potty trained at two, dry at three, toilet trained at three, dry at three", this has been true for me both times. Some children are ready earlier and I have known 2 year olds who have demanded pants and been fine, but also I have known parents who have been determined to train their less willing two year old and have, therefore, spent months following their child around with a potty or changing wet pants several times a day. This approach is not for me, though judging from the amount of times I have walked through wet patches in my socks in soft play venues (eugh) or had visiting children wee on the floor, it is a suprisingly popular choice.
Things you may need:
- Buy some pants with your child at some point when they are 2 or 3 and would like some.
- you can buy a potty and have it around to be sat on before bath time from age 2 onwards, though a toilet seat may be a better bet. I recommend the baby bjorn seat which is more expensive but fits above the toilet seat rather than under it like cheaper seats. I have found both times that my use of a potty has been shortlived, as I have had late trainers they have gone more or less straight to the toilet, if you are going to use a potty you will need some sort of disinfectant for rinsing.
- smarties and/or a sticker chart may help.
- you can buy a book if it makes you feel reassured, but you don't need to. Like with everything in my experience going with what your instincts is better in my opinion.
- Plenty of encouragement is an essential requirement. Do let your child see their friends happily using the toilet, do let them "have a go" if they want to. Don't force them to sit on the potty or toilet, some children find it quite scary and forcing them will scare them more.
- A book for the child. Go to the library and get a book about pants or potties, there are loads around. This time we found "Where's my Potty" featuring Bartholemew bear to be gentle encouragement. I wouldn't recommend the Marks and Spencer Potty Book if you have a late trainer as the lovely rhyme featuring "now I am nearly two" made me seethe, but "Aliens love Underpants" and other books in the series are all positive pants stories and great fun.
- Pampers mats/a towel/waterproof sheet for the bed. Actually with late trainers I have found they have been dry at night straight away, my eldest has never actually wet the bed at all and has been dry from day 4 of training. Some children may however still be in nappies or "pyjama pants" up to school age and beyond, so be aware of this, and don't think your child is failing.
Things you don't need:
- You don't necessarily have to buy special "toilet training" nappies, you can use pull ups before progressing to pants but in my experience when they are ready you can go cold turkey, so to speak, on the nappies and all will be well. Both times (touch wood) my children have had one spectacular wee accident and that has been it.
- Refuse to indulge in a toilet training competition with your peers. Competitive parenting is pretty endemic in some quarters, when you think about it being able to control your bladder is great but it is a pretty silly thing to boast about or be smug about. Ignore well intentioned but annoying "Isn't she/he in pants yet?".
- You don't need a deadline. If you are set on training because a new sibling is arriving, or you want them to go to dance class, you are probably setting yourself up for failure. Most preschools will take children wearing pull up pants these days - it's an equal opportunities matter - if yours won't, ask why.
- Negativity - try to avoid getting angry when they have an accident. Don't necessarily rush to change them, in my experience when starting out they actually have to learn what feeling wet is like as modern nappies are far too efficient at soaking up wee. Do change them calmly, the more fuss you make the more they will learn that "pee is power" to coin a phrase. My first child proved this spectacularly when her sister came along, she worked out the weeing everywhere was a great attention provider, memorably once pulling down her pants and weeing all over the front room as we were occupied with a new baby about whom we were talking on the phone. I learned that day to make the toilet into the everyday thing it is and not to make a fuss.
One other thing I would say that is useful to know, if probably a little on the "too much information" side, is that it is quite normal for children to be scared to pooh after they have learned to wee. Again minimal fuss is key;my first child actually used to go and put a nappy onto herself to pooh for a few weeks after being dry, we let her do this until she was comfortable and not scared as no amount of cajoling or bribery was going to work. My second child was fine to do both straight away, having previously shown a complete lack of interest and ability to do either, so every child is different. My second child learned at 3 and 4 months of her own volition, and some children may well be 3 and a half or older before they are really ready, though some may be ready at two, like everything there is a range of normal.
If you can tough it out and wait until your child is practically begging to wear pants, in my experience toilet training doesn't need to be a big deal. It is only part of normal life, and bizarre as I have found it both times that a child who can speak in full sentences has been a bit reluctant to get rid of the nappies, I'm glad that both times I have gone with the flow, as it were. My second child did choose to start using the toilet regularly during the tail end of a holiday and into a plane journey, rather inconveniently, but we went with it and all was well. It may be that you will have one or two failed attempts, but they will indeed do it when they are ready as everyone told me both times. My laissez-faire approach may not be for everyone, but it has been fairly stress free, and that for me is how every little step towards growing up should be, as non pressured and normal as possible.
My little girl is proud to say "I'm a big girl now, aren't I?", and it's true, it's another box ticked. If you are embarking on toilet training I hope my experience can be of some use, don't worry, reports on Jeremy Vine aside I haven't heard of many children going to school in nappies, they will do it eventually, just maybe not how or when you are expecting!
My little girl is 2 years old.She point blank hates doing a poop in her nappy so that one half of the potty training sorted to start with and she has been like this for the last 9 months or so.
Now all we need is to master the doing a wee wee on her potty or the toilet aswell.
So far we have a toilet seat for the toilet upstairs and shes very happy with that bless her
down stairs we have a pretty pin potty that she chose from the shop again shes happy with that too.we resently got a travel potty too but have yet to take that out with us and test it.
Now she will sit on her toilet seat but tends to look around the room naming things,sings,talks anything to distract from what she should be doing.
At the moment we are working on a sticker basis.
If she does a wee/poop on her potty she gets one sticker,if she dose a poop on the toilet she get one sticker and a biscuit,if she does a wee on the toilet she gets 2 stickers and a biscuit as a kind of growing reward depending on what we manage to achieve.
I think so far we have 3 potty stickers,2 toilet poop stickers and 1 toilet wee sticker on our chart and it seems to be working quiet well.
Im working towards getting her as dry as possible by the time she starts nursery in january (by which time she will be about to turn 3)
Any suggestions are welcome if you have anything to add to what were are trying at the moment.
One of the many things I dreaded when I found out I was pregnant with my first child was the potty training. I had heard so many people say how awful it is, how hard it is if they are boys and the thought of running around all day cleaning wee (and other such) of carpets was enough to make me want to cry!
My son was 2yrs and 8months before he came out of nappies. I knew he had to come out of them before he was started school but I was more than happy to let him stay in them until then! I was 7months pregnant with our second child when my first son finally decided to let us potty train him. And when I say let us, I mean it really was a decision he made all on his own.
I tried to get him out of nappies when I was just 5months pregnant with my second child. I figured this way we would have enough time to get settled before baby comes along. So I went out and I got the usual things, pants, potty, child's toilet seat, How To Potty Train in a Week book, pull up nappies, bed cover....everything I thought I needed. My first 3 mistakes are obvious 1) I didn't include my son in any of the potty training build up, 2) I got plain pants and 3) I assumed it was all about me being ready!
My son took no interest in the potty training and he spent a week wet, wetting or being bathed because he had wet. Horrible start to a horrible process! I gave up after that first week!
I decided to put it all out of my mind; I read the How To book and came to the conclusion that my son just wasn't ready. So I left it, about 2months later I was out shopping and just happened to pick up some Go Diego Go pants, some Buzz Lightyear stickers and a reward chart. When I got my son from Nursery he came home and saw the pants and stickers and asked what they were for. I explained to him the pants were for big boys to wear when they are finished using nappies and the stickers are for big boys who are clever enough to use a potty. He stripped off there and then, sat and did his business on the potty and asked for a sticker...I just stood there gob smacked! It really was that quick and easy to get him to take the first step! That first day went great; he used the potty, got his sticker reward and was happy to have his pants on. The next day he had a few accidents but we persevered and he got better and better as the days went by. He was still wearing a nappy at night but was having fewer accidents during the day. The reward chart worked wonders and giving him control over what sticker he had and where to put it proved to be a real hit. I eventually went out and got more pants with different characters on so he could choose whom to wear on what day. After the first week we had successfully moved out of nappies during the day and he was waking up dry in his nighttime nappy.
Unfortunately we did start to experience a few problems, my son is tall for his age and the potty was becoming awkward to use, he didn't feel ready to use the big boy toilet so we had to find an alternative. Eventually we went for an all singing potty training toilet, it looks exactly like a normal toilet but is portable and sings. He LOVED it, it cost quite a bit of money but the results were amazing. The only problem then was I had to keep going up and down the stairs to empty his potty when I was 8 and a half months pregnant!
About a week later he was going to bed with no nappy, we found the best thing to do was lift him on to a toilet before we went to bed and he didn't wet the bed at all.
If you are about to potty train, or it's going to come up in the future here are my tips from my own experience:
1) Wait until your child is ready, don't try to do it when you are ready or you will have more accidents and it will take longer for the child to do
2) Keep your child involved with the preparation
3) Explain everything to your child
4) Get a reward chart and stickers of your child favourite TV programme/toy
5) Give your child control over something, like what sticker to pick/where to keep the potty
6) Keep the potty in one place at all times, I suggest in a corner somewhere where you can see them but they have a bit of privacy
7) Be aware that actually potties aren't always the best to use, look for children's toilet seats or toilets that sing!
8) Lift your child every night before you go to bed
9) Try to have patience with them if they have an accident just try to keep them involved in the cleaning up stage
10) Don't use pull ups, either take your child out of nappies or leave them in. Any middle ground can be confusing
11) Wait until your child is old enough to understand instructions and tell explain things to you
I am still dreading having to potty train my youngest son, I will be using the winning methods that helped my first but the thing I have to remember is that every child is different and it has to be done when they are ready and not before.
I am just in the process of potty training my little man and have so far found this site very useful. I have heard many horror stories about the dreaded potty training stage so I decided to read a number of reviews written here before starting in hope that I could prepare myself the best I could and in turn I hoped that this would make the experience less stressful on the little one. The truth is yes the reviews written by others are great they give you some great tips which showed me that if one method failed there were many different approaches/ methods I could try in order to succeed. The main advise I found came from reading other peoples experiences, this really made me think a lot about how and when to start the whole potty training process (this was my main concern is he ready?/ am I ready? /am I pushing too hard etc??) I got some real invaluable advice which I am truly thankful for but nothing can fully prepare you for your time as each child is very different.
My little man has just turned two last month and the usual worries that surround potty training were whizzing around in my head, Is he ready? Is he behind? Am I missing the signs that he is ready? Am I misinterpreting the signs and rushing him? I am now sure that everyone has these doubts when they first start potty training but at the time I really felt like I was the only one and being a mum I thought that I should instinctively know these things and feeling bad that I was slightly confused.
I have friends with children a lot older than my little one that are still walking around in nappies with no sign that the parents are going to start potty training anytime soon and this is fine every parent knows there child better than anyone else but potty training was something that I had thought long and hard about knowing that every child is different.
I logged onto many websites about potty training advice, I also as mentioned before read a lot of reviews on here and found that every article/review said exactly the same thing "each child is different and you will know when they are ready but do not force them" This is very easy to say when you have been through it but for someone like me that hadn't I was very conscious that I was missing the signs or making things worse by pushing him to hard and each time I read this statement I felt like pulling my hair out but now that I have started potty training the little one I can happily confirm that you do not need to panic you will know when the little one is ready and even more so you will know when they are not.
Working shifts with fixed holidays and knowing that potty training would take time I was very conscious that I needed to start potty training in my 10 days off otherwise another chance would not come round for a while, I was sure as much as I could be that the little one was ready and I felt that a lot of the signs were there so having made sure that I had not planned to do anything with my holiday I would have 10 days completely devoted to my little man as I knew we could crack it.
I had left the potty downstairs for a long while before I started to potty train I thought that if the little one had chance to familiarise himself with this strange object even if he didn't know what to do with it the familiarisation may make using it a lot less daunting. I have always let my little boy come into the toilet with me I do not see anything wrong with this and believe that children learn best by copying and would really help when the time did come to potty training.
So my 10 days finally arrived the first thing I did was take the little man shopping where we chose his own pants and a travel potty together (would recommend letting the little one choose his or her own potty, my mum and dad had already been out and bought ours so we couldn't do this we choose a travel potty as the one he had was very impractical to carry around and looking back now he does use the one he choose a lot more) we paid for these and headed home.
Once we got back home I took his trousers and nappy off and let him run around naked I had made sure that the house was very warm so that he would be comfortable and here we went. We had a couple of accidents on that first day so without a fuss I cleaned them up and in a very happy light hearted way just said to him oh dear never mind just a little accident maybe we can try the potty next time. And he smiled and went on playing. I firstly tried reminding him every 15 minutes about going on the potty but as this was to no great avail I tried putting him on the potty a couple of times but he would not sit on it he wouldn't even go near it screaming if you tried to even show him the potty so instead of forcing him I tried a couple of times over a couple of days but he wasn't having any of it so I thought ok maybe he isn't ready I will leave him for a bit and retry again at a later date when he seems a bit more ready. So attempt one didn't go too well but it also didn't knock his confidence or put any pressure on him that may hinder the next attempt when ever that would be. So better luck next time.
"That would be my biggest tip do not push if your child isn't ready leave them for a while pushing will only cause more stress to the child and lot more work for yourself"
That night I placed the potty in my room so that he could get used to it but it wasn't invading his secure space (his bedroom) and he wasn't under any pressure to use it. He then took it into his bedroom where it has since stayed where he used it as a seat not the intended use but much progress had been made considering he wouldn't even go near it a couple of days ago, on the third day of it being there he ran in shouting mummy, mummy wee, wee with a huge grin on his face, having taken his own nappy off I calmly with a smile on my face held his hand as he showed me to his bedroom expecting to see wee on the floor I was so surprised to see that he had weed in his potty. Looking at his chuffed little face I got so excited clapping jumping around and telling him in a very excited voice what a good boy he was how he was such a clever boy, such a big boy and any other words of praise I could give him I then said in an equally excited voice come on lets go tell daddy what a big boy you are and with that he got exactly the same response from his dad.
After this point he started asking to use our toilet which I had no problem with what ever made him feel more comfortable would make the process easier and each time he was praised in exactly the same way as the first time and this is how everyone that he told has praised him. I find that praise works really well in encouraging him to do this and continue good behaviour in all aspects of his life. After holding him on the toilet for a couple of days I went out and bought a Kandoo toilet seat and step, he still had a potty in his room and we still had a potty downstairs but he just seemed to prefer the toilet he was doing really well and I couldn't believe how easy it had been but then he went through a lazy stage where he didn't want to do it any more this went on for a while so I introduced more rewards so he was treated with more than just praise. We have a sticker chart that he puts his own stickers on (this works really well he seems to enjoy getting stickers) we also count how many stickers he has and how many more he needs to get to complete the chart, I also use crafts as he loves glitter and glue we have a mummy and son hour doing crafts if he is a big boy while mummy is at work. I tend to use sweets very occasionally as we don't really let him have them (chocolate sends him into a complete monster) I have let him pick his own fruit at the super market, he gets to water the flowers in the garden and I also found that he really enjoyed flushing the chain, washing his hands and brushing his teeth so he introduced this as praise by asking to flush the chain and wash his hands each time he has been to the toilet and then he knew that in the morning and at night he got to brush his teeth but I would say use anything as a reward that your child responds to and alternate them so that he or she doesn't get to board.
At the minute we are doing really well managing no accidents throughout the day without his trousers on as of yet we have not managed to keep him dry with his trousers on so fingers crossed we will get there soon
STACEYS TOP 10 TIPS
1. Make sure that when you start potty training you sent aside time that is just for your child
2. do not let yourself get stressed especially when your child has an accident (they will defiantly have a few)
3. do not force your child if they are not ready leave it a while until they are
4. You may not fell like it now but you will know when your child is ready even more so you will know when they are not
5. Use a variety of different rewards as one form can loose its appeal
6. Familiarize your child with the potty, toilet before you start to potty train
7. allow your child to go to the toilet with you if they want - a child learns better by copying
8. let your child choose their own pants and potty so they fell involved from the start
9. ask every 15 minutes if they need a wee wee, then increase to 30/45 and 60 all children need a reminder when they are interested in something else they are not used to having to hold it until they get to a toilet
10. Give plenty of praise
My daughter is 2 and a half. I started potty training her about a month ago. I tried before this when she turned 2 but she simply wasnt interested and would cry when she sat on it.
The best peice of advice I can give is not to pressure them and let them decide when they are ready.
After a couple of freinds had recommended a potty which was shaped like an armchair and was more enclosed and made them feel safer then a regular potty, I decided to replace her potty with this one. She sat on it straight away when I showed it to her and I havnt looked back since.
Just yesterday she decided she wanted to use the toilet instead and no longer needs her potty which is great for when you are out and about.
I would recommend buying a travel potty and lining the car seat with a bed mat incase of accidents.
Potty training was something I dreaded and I think my daughter could tell, but when I relaxed about it, so did she and thats when we made some progress.
Making a star chart helps as it encourages them to use the potty, as does buying books for them to read and understand about pottys.
I tried my Daughter potty training about two months before her 2nd birthday as she seemed to understand things well and could tell me when she needed the toilet. We went nappiless and I left her without any bottoms on. I waited for a week when we wasn't doing anything and had a couple of pottys around the house. She had lots of accidents and was scared of the potty. So I thought it was obvious she wasn't ready.
A week after her 2nd birthday I felt confident we could crack this. It was summer and again she went nappiless and had no bottoms on. I read to her as she sat on the potty and the first time she wee'd in it we were very excited. She had a couple of accident the first few days then we tried the toilet using a smaller seat insert. She much preferred this and got on really well from then on, we were completely dry in a week both day and night. We used a sticker system that she got a sticker everytime she went on the toilet. We just kept encouraging her and praising her and I felt really proud.
I do think children are ready at different times, only you as a parent will find out when they will be ready. I'm hoping my 18 month old Daughter will be as easy to train, so much cheaper than nappies!
Well, I have had two different experiences with this..... one being my son ...who took a lot of patience and my daughter who took to it like a duck to water!!!
I think every child is different and i think as a mum or dad you know your child best and will probally spot the signals of your child being ready to be potty trained quite simply.
My son and daughter both started telling me that they needed wee wee's or poo poo's even when they had there nappies on and also they seem to be quite regualr, and tended to go the same time each day, or similar times after drinks or meals etc.
My son had nothing but accidents and it took him weeks and weeks to grasp the idea, he poo'd outside in a flower pot, he had a wee in our local shop against the freezer...... he had a poo on our neighbours garden wall....it was quite disgusting really...but then one day it clicked!!!!! and then he was fine...he just need a lot of perservance and encouragement.
My daughter took to it so easily, (maybe i was more prepared)she had a plain pink potty, and everytime she did a wee wee she got a sticker put on her potty, when she did a poo poo we gave her a biscuit!!!! I know I know!!! sound like she was a puppy dog...but it worked.....!! Although I can remember her trying to haggle with her daddy for half a biscuit because she had farted on her potty!!! she is not stupid bless her!!!
But straight away she went through the night, never ever used pull ups, she has only had a handful of accidents and every single one has been more my fault than hers.
She likes being clean, and is very independant so maybe that is why she found it so easy.
Highly reccomend knee socks or leg warmers for girls as i makes it easier for them to handle than tights and warmer than ankle socks.
My tips are;
* if you can get away with not using nappies or pull ups then so much the better as in my opinion i think it confuses them.
* give them the easiest clothes to put on and pull off...does not matter what they look like!!
* Give them lots of encouragement and try stickers or rewards...did trick for me!!
* be prepared....if you are a working mum try and schedule it in for when you take a long weekend off work, or when you have a quiet week, where you do not have a lot of visitors or trips out, its so much easier to start the training at home in the own surroundings.
* be ready for the blips!!! You'll think its cracked and then out of no where they will have an accident .... normally at there grandparents house...just when you are bragging on how good they are and how they have had no accidents..... they will then poo on nannies rug!!!!!!!!!
Don't stress........ It all turns out ok in the end!!!!
Potty training itself is easy if you wait for your child to show signs he/she is ready before you try. All children develop at different rates and don't worry too much if it seems your child is late developing in this way. My daughter was completely dry at 3 but my son was 5 and I only just got him dry before he started full time school.
Summer is the best time to try potty training as you can leave your child running around the garden with nothing on so if they do have an accident it doesn't make a mess in the house.
If you child does have an accident the best way to deal with it is not to chastise them but show them the potty or toliet for next time. Try to sit them on the potty /toilet after meals and let them see you going to the loo aswell so they can see what happens!
Toilet Training/Potties in general
After having a disasterous time toilet training my first child (and I mean disasterous) I decided to be a bit more organised when my second child started to show signs of being ready.
I did some research on the Internet to find out if there were any miracle guides to toilet training or any really handy hints.
I found that the "Potty Training in One Week" book by Gina Ford was mentioned on quite a few websites and also had very positive feedback from parents who had purchased it.
At my next trip to the supermarket I purchased a copy of "Potty Training in One Week" by Gina Ford. The book is a small paperback book and cost me ONLY £3.
Before I started reading the book I was a bit sceptical as Im not really a book person where my children are concerned, however, I found this book to be very interesting with very practical instructions.
The main grasp I took from the book iwas about the different stages of potty training. Firstly the preparation and secondly the actual training
Familiarising your child with the potty and toilet,
Ensuring they are showing all the signs that they are ready for potty training
Ensuring you have all the equipment required Ie. bucket for wet pants etc.
And also being prepared yourself, like starting at a time you are not stressed, maybe having a few days of work, ensuring you have nowhere urgent to go.
Actual potty training-
Spending the first few days of potty training at home concentrating on nothing else. Ensuring the potty or toilet is always close to hand.
After a few days venturing out for short periods at a time etc.
One of the key elements I took from the book was to constantly praise your child.
Let them know how clever they are for doing a pee in the potty
Tell them what a big boy/girl they are for knowing they need to go etc.
And never ever showing signs of frustration
Also I learned that another key factor was being consistent.
The book states that if you are consistant and your child is ready to be toilet trained then you will have no problems.
The book has a section that answers any problems that you come accroos which allowed me to forward think.
I potty trained my daughter using the guidance from the "Potty Training In One Week" book and it worked wonders.
I managed to train my second child without all the tears I had experienced with my first child
I didn't quite make it within a week but within 11 days we were well on our way.
"Potty training In One Week" By Gina Ford
Everything you need to know about Potty training
There are so many experiences parents go through when trying to wean their children out of nappies and onto the toilet. One of my children took great delight in weeing on the floor, you know, during those times when you let them run around the house with nothing over their nether regions! My daughter even did a number two on the bathroom carpet. Her sister finds it very funny to do her number twos 1. Just after I've changed her. 2.In the bath, especially if they are sharing! Obviously its very hard to get the eldest to share now. 3. Just as I've got her in the car to go out My advice is you've just gotta laugh - take it all in your stride - you'll get there. The trick is not to lose your patience with your child. Children are very good at finding out what pushes your buttons and will push them at every opportunity. Even if you are ready to tear out your hair, don't let them see. Keep calm and remember, it will all sort itself out.
I've got two daughters, one aged 10 the other aged 3. My first, well, she was something else - by the age of twelve months she was dry. Yep, bone dry, day and night! One day shortly after her first birthday she just announced: "I don't want to wear my nappy". I had been prepared to fork out for nappies for at least another year. She didn't want a potty so I just bought a training seat so she didn’t slip through the adult seat. She was so pleased with herself, but no more than me, I mean, lets face it, nappies have never been cheap - and I couldn't be doing with terries - what with working full time. My youngest is STILL not dry day or night. Sometimes I think I'm being paid back for having such a lucky break first time around. Although she loves to wear knickers she doesn't pay any attention to the fact that she's got them on instead of a nappy. She also likes to wear pull-ups, the situation is the same so it works out too expensive. She has a potty, one of those that converts to a step up to the toilet, I bought that one thinking it would encourage her to go as it was like her own little toilet. I was wrong. She also has a training seat, which I am glad to say gets some usage – although not as much as I’d like! I cannot remember the number of times she has relieved herself in my arms when I take her out of the bath and often find myself wondering when it will all stop. But I don’t make a big deal out of it. Just let her know she must tell she wants to go next time. Sometimes she tells me when she wants to go (usually in the middle of a queue at the supermarket!) then she'll scream constantly and inconsolably if she doesn't get to go there and then – she normally tells me when its just about to flow. There are no hard and fast rules, what works with one child may not work with another - mores the pity! I will keep trying every m
ethod available to me – she has to be out of them by school age…….I hope!