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.