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Bye Bye Nappies.
Toilet Training/Potties in General
Member Name: Mama-Q
Toilet Training/Potties in General
Date: 20/03/12, updated on 07/03/13 (40 review reads)
Advantages: no more nappies, save money
Disadvantages: wet carpet!
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.
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