With the heatwave we got this Summer I decided to try potty training about a month after The Elf turned two.
You wouldn’t believe the nerves I had when I made the decision to do it.
It was probably the hardest thing I have ever anticipated since starting out on my mothering journey.
It was close to the feeling I had when I moved her into her own room at ten months.
That gut wrenching feeling as I questioned my decision again and again.
Anyway, she took to it fairly quickly so that confirmed to me that she was ready so it wasn’t as bad as I had anticipated.
There are so many potty training guides on the internet and in books and plenty more parents willing and ready to give advice.
So, I am not going to give you the ABC of potty training but I will give you a list of things I took note of while doing it:
1. Have lots of tissue and paper towels ready for cleaning up after an accident. LOTS. Also, have a gentle cleaner ready- I use Lilly’s Eco Clean toilet cleaner.
2. Get a second potty for travelling- a small one. I got an old fashioned potty mould for less than €4 in Boots.
3. Don’t get duped into buying one of those ridiculous potty-like thrones. Your kid will soon be using a big toilet so the above potty will actually do the trick. I foolishly bought this gigantic 3 in 1 contraption for €20 and although she uses it, she also uses her pink cheapo one and the big toilet just as much.
4.When they are resisting going instead of asking ‘Do you want to go potty?’ try asking them ‘Would you like to go on the green potty or the pink potty?’. This way you are giving them a sense of control and decisiveness. This one worked every time for me.
5. When they catch on to no. 4 change it up a bit with ‘Would you like to go on your potty or the big toilet?’
6. When you decide to potty train: Decide to be patient. Figure out a way to control your frustration in advance of starting.
7. Be prepared for set backs. They get fed up. You get fed up. By day three things could be going great but you might feel like you’ve taken three steps back on day four- that is normal.
8. There is no set time that marks the end of potty training. Their accidents just become less and less. I am into week seven now and The Elf had an accident the other day- she hadn’t had one in over two weeks and suddenly there she was looking down at herself and laughing as she pissed in the middle of Dunnes Stores.
9. A good thing you can say when they’ve had an accident is: ‘Oh look you’ve had an accident. Maybe next time you’ll use the potty.’ My sis-in-law gave me this advise and I found it was really helpful as it helped me communicate that it’s not the end of the world to have an accident but at the same time emphasise what it is I want her to do.
10. Things could be going great by week three but if they get sick or constipation you may have a huge setback. Just go with the flow when this happens- don’t put them back in nappies. Do re-stock on those paper towels, though.
Do you have any tips that you found helpful during potty training? Put them in comments so other readers can hear about them too. Just click on the ‘leave a comment’ link below and it will bring you through. Or you can leave your advise on the facebook link.
Stay tuned for my advise on dealing with toddler constipation naturally.