As soon as Frankie turned 2 in October, my wise old Nan (mum of 12) told me that he should now be fully toilet trained. He wasn’t. I hadn’t even dreamt of starting to potty train him, as I knew he wasn’t ready. He didn’t seem to have any awareness of weeing in his nappy, so embarking on potty training would not have been a good idea.
(plus I’ve successfully potty trained two girls so I know what I’m doing by now )
Fast forward to February, he finally started to acknowledge when he was doing a wee, so off came the nappy. We have a downstairs toilet, so I didn’t bother getting a potty, I just got one of those cushioned seats for the toilet. I showed him how I wee on the loo (is that weird?) and then sat him on. Nothing happened for the first 5 or 6 tries, but after he had drunk a beaker of water I sat him on again. Ta-daaaa! He wee’d! I cheered! We made a song of ’wee wee on the toilet, a wee wee on the toilet’. We called his sisters in and we all joined in the song (we have been performing it live since Eva was potty trained 5 years ago, and are available for hire.) I think it’s important to show them they have done something amazing! And that was the start.
For about a week, I constantly nagged him by asking if he needed a wee or a poo, he’d scream ‘Nooo!’ at me a lot of the time, but now and again he’d say ‘yes’ and we’d leg it to the loo. We’ve never used training pants in the day but I do use them at night. I found with the girls that they just confused them – if I put training pants on them, they’d wee in them. If they had real knickers on they’d ask for the toilet. So with Frankie I just didn’t bother.
If we were going somewhere, I’d sit Frankie on the toilet before we left the house (whether he said he needed to go or not), then I ask him if he needed a wee when we arrived, then again before we left. By doing this we have had no accidents – honest!
He is now fully trained and it took about 8 days, although I admit he is not consistently dry in the night so we’re still putting the training pants on him but we take them off first thing in the morning.
So that’s my guide to fuss free/stress free potty training.
1. Do not even attempt to potty train unless you know they are ready. It’s pointless. There are no prizes for how early you start to potty train – I know someone who started at 18 months and they got very stressed out by the lack of success.
2. I think, once you decide to put them in pants/knickers – stick to your decision. I’ve heard of people using a Terry Cloth nappy as it feels like pants (so doesn’t confuse them) but is absorbent if there’s an accident.
3. Make a fuss when they do their business on the potty or toilet. Whether it’s the first time or the hundredth, until you are sure that using the loo is second nature, show them how proud you are.
4. If you can, use the toilet from the start instead of a potty. With Eva (my first) we used a potty. She then had an issue with using the toilet, so we had go through from-potty-to-toilet-training. Extra work. With Olivia (the second) we just used the toilet. Again with one of those cushioned seats.
I know there are many books on potty training out there but I believe as long as you wait until their ready, the whole thing is pretty straight forward.
Hopefully this will be of help to someone. If you have any tips to add let me know.