I was going to write a post on “how to potty train” but realised that this wouldn’t be helpful to anyone given that everyone’s potty training experience is different. So rather than a “this is what we did” post I am going to write down hints and tips that I felt were useful to me and helped K to become dry during the day.
It’s taken K around two weeks to become dry during the day, granted we still have the odd accident but that is usually in the evening time when she’s starting to become a little tired from her day. So far (touch wood) we haven’t had an accident whilst out and about. But I am prepared for it if and when this happens.
Just as a note – K isn’t dry at nap time or during the night just yet so for these times she still wears a nappy and it comes straight off the minute I get her up.
My potty training hints and tips
- Make sure they are ready to potty train. This sounds so obvious but actually I find so many people say “Oh, s/he’s two years old now, I must potty train” – no. It really doesn’t work like that. Some children are going on 3yrs old when they are ready to train. They will let you know they are ready by telling you when they are having a wee (or a poo) and that’s usually a good indication that they are ready. Trying to train them any earlier will leave you both stressed out and it will make it an unsuccessful attempt. If you try and train when they seem ready but they just don’t crack it, don’t worry. Leave it a few weeks (or months) and try again. I tried training K a few weeks before Christmas and it just didn’t work so I stopped and left it until after Christmas and by this time she grasped it much easier.
- Try and clear your schedule and stay in for the week. Granted, this doesn’t work for everyone and was my idea of hell but it really did work for us. There were no distractions, no moments of “Goodness me she needs the toilet NOW and I don’t have one to hand”, no public puddles and no stressed out toddler.
- Ask them if they need a wee every 15/20 minutes. You end up sounding like a broken record, but asking them regularly makes them remember that they need to go.
- Put them on the potty every 30-40mins even if they say they don’t need to go. More often than not they did actually need to go they just didn’t know it and even if they didn’t need it, it gets them used to sitting on the potty.
- Bribes, bribes and more bribes. Am I a bribing mum? Yes. Am I ashamed of it? No. Does it work? Yes. Offering out rewards (or bribes – however you see it) works wonders. It gives the child something to aim for and makes them feel like they’ve achieved something. Tailor the reward (bribe) to your child whether that be a little chocolate, a sticker or a new book/toy. We had daily rewards of a little chocolate every time K successfully went on the potty and then at the end of the 1st week we went to the toy shop and she chose a small toy for being such a big girl. Those treats have completely trailed off now because using the potty or toilet is just the norm but it really did work for us in the beginning.
- Have a potty in every room. We bought K a potty with a high back support to make it more comfortable when she sits on it and this is her main potty in the house but I also went to a £1 shop and bought 4 or 5 cheap plastic ones and placed them in different rooms in our house because I found that when she needed to go, she needed to go NOW. Having a potty in the room she was in helped to reduce accidents. I also bought a child training seat that fits over the normal toilet so she can practice using the big toilet as well as the potty.
- If you go out – bring plenty of spare pants/trousers/tops/socks. You will have an accident at some point. Don’t be caught off hand when this happens.
So these are my hints and tips. I hope they were useful. I’d love to hear if you have any hints or tips that worked for you. Let me know in the comment box below.
I think there comes a time in every parents life (both mum and dad) when they think about what their life was like before they had children. I won’t lie, I have thought about what my life was like pre-children many a time. Especially at 2am when D is screaming his head off for milk or the time I put a book in the fridge because I was so sleep deprived (true story!). You sometimes mourn the fact that you can’t be foot loose and fancy free anymore and those 11am lie ins on a Sunday morning are forever gone. But with all that, becoming a parent is something you will never EVER regret and a process which teaches you more about yourself and life than any amount of studying, travelling or working will ever do.
Here are my top 10 things I have learnt since becoming a parent myself.
- I am capable of infinite love – People talk about love all the time. Whether it be in books on the TV or loving the taste of chocolate. But the level of love you experience when these tiny people come into your word is the most intense feeling you will ever have. It’s fierce, it’s overwhelming and its something that will never ever go away (no matter what they do in life or say) and your love only grows when you have more than one child.
- Guilt will become part of your daily life – This is something that, as a mum, I have come to accept. “Mum Guilt” is the worse kind of guilt because it comes with everything you do with your child. From feeling guilty because you told them off for being too giddy to feeling guilty because you forgot to bring their favourite toy out with you. It’s something that will follow you around like a bad smell. Learn to accept it, don’t dwell on it and (try) to move on.
- You will go to the end of the earth to avoid the colour white – It is categorically impossible to own ANYTHING white when you have children. Don’t even try. It’s really not worth the hassle.
- You learn to have more patience – Something I have had to learn in great quantities since becoming a parent as I had very little of it PC (pre-children). You learn (frustratingly) that children will only go at their own pace and do things only they want to do. They ask the same question a GAZILLION times in a day and they will mess up the living room literally 5 seconds after you’ve just tidied up. It takes every ounce of your being sometimes to stop, breathe (count to 5) and be more patient with these little people, whom ultimately, are just learning to become their own individual.
- You will want to kill whichever idiot decided to invent felt tips – Something I am only just learning. K has just discovered the joy of felt tips and its something as a person with a cream sofa utterly despises. Don’t get me wrong, I love that K enjoys colouring but can we just stick to wax crayons or colouring pencils? Please?
- You will say/do/sing the most ridiculous things – As a parent there is nothing nicer in life than hearing the sound of your baby or toddler laughing. So if that involves you singing the “dingle dangle scarecrow” or “I’ve got a pimple on my bum” song whilst standing on one leg with your tongue out (in public) then so be it.
- It is important to take care of yourself – Again, something I am only just starting to realise. It is all so easy to put every ounce of your energy into keeping your children and husband happy whilst trying to juggle housework and family life that time for yourself is extremely limited. If I had a spare hour (ha) I would spend that doing something that helped everyone else but this year I am making more of an attempt to do something for me. That I enjoy. Whether that be having a hot bath, going to the gym or just catching up on sleep. Its for me and it’s my time. Taking time out for yourself helps you be a better mother and wife believe me.
- Life is too short – Babies are babies for about 2 seconds. Seriously. Toddlers are toddlers for around 5 minutes and before you know it these little people who depend on you so much and require everything from you are off to school. So let the house work lie, turn off the TV and your phone and spend time playing and cuddling your little ones before its too late. You will never ever get that time back again.
- Parenting is the hardest job you will ever do – I genuinely don’t care if you are an undercover MI5 agent cracking Da Vinci style codes, nothing is as hard as being a parent. Nothing. Both mums and dads will agree with this.
- You are happier than you have ever been in your life – As stressful, frustrating and utterly relentless as little ones are. You seriously wouldn’t change them for the world. They are the reason you get up in a morning, the reason you feel so content at the end of the day despite them having the most horrendous tantrum in the middle of Sainsburys (Which you do learn to laugh about eventually) . They are yours, you created them and they need you. There is no finer feeling in the world. Sitting down at the end of the day with a cuppa and my husband knowing that the little ones are safely tucked up in their bed (hopefully) sleeping soundly makes me the happiest person alive!
So, that’s my list. Are your lessons the same or have you experienced something completely different? I love to hear from you. Please feel free to comment below!