I pondered for ages on the title of this post and decided on potty training because that's what most people call it. First up I don't like potties and secondly I don't really think of it as training. Good start, yes?
I've been dreading the time when the Little Man needing to move on out of his nappies and onto the toilet. I've had some bad experiences in the past, Star was the worst as you can seed in this post. Boo wasn't so bad but it took her a good while to become dry at night. So facing the whole process again was something I really didn't look forward too.
At 2 years and 8 months old Little Man was more than ready. For weeks he'd been asking to sit on the toilet every time I changed his nappy. I obliged, but he didn't actually do anything, he just sat there. He goes to pre-school two and a half days a week and as he's one of the youngest there he was becoming interested in the other children's toilet activities. My original plan was to wait until the summer, the later the better, or maybe I was just putting it off. However, I felt that maybe I should bite the bullet during the Easter holidays and give it a try.
So, day one went something like, put on toilet, pee in pants, put on toilet, pee in pants and so on until I decided that maybe five pairs of pants wasn't going to be enough and I put a nappy on him and gave up.
Day two, and three more pairs of pants, showed a little more success. His little face was a picture when mummy clapped and danced in our minutely small smallest room as he finally pee'd in the right place. Of course, he wanted mummy to do it again so we kept going and he kept peeing. Only he kept peeing his pants too....where did it all come from?
Day three showed a lot more success with only two accidents all day, but I was plonking him on the toilet every 20 minutes all day long.
Day four and we risked going out without nappies. Ok, I cheated a little and put on some nappy pants. I shouldn't have worried. We were out from 10 am until 6 pm and I took him to the toilet four times and his nappy pants stayed dry all day.
After that things just got better and better and within two weeks not only was he having very rare accidents, but he was actually asking to go to the toilet himself. He even knows when he needs to poo, although he's not always quick enough and it is already making it's way out by the time we get to the toilet. I think he has done amazingly well.
Today was his first full day at pre-school and he was dry all day. Although he did need a change of clothes after a trip to the toilet because his aim was a little off, ooops! (it's a man thing)
I am so proud of my Little Man. I'm thinking he will be dry at night very soon too as his nappy is dry every morning and he asks me to remove it so he can go to the toilet. I may just leave his nappy off and use a mattress protector until I'm sure he can stay dry all the time.
Forgive me for making it all sound so easy. If you read my previous post about Star you will see that it's not always plain sailing, however, I have learned much along the way and would like to share some tips with you.
Don't get stressed. The more stressed you get the more you will stress out your child and they will take longer to learn their new 'talent'
Wait until your child is ready and don't push them to be ready, let them be the lead. I'm not saying it won't work if you push it but it will be easier for all if you wait.
Signs that your child is ready are; staying dry in nappy longer, showing an interest in the toilet or potty, talking about the toilet or potty, dislikes wearing a wet nappy. The child also needs to be able to sit still for a short while and be able to understand simple instructions.
If having problems try using props or bribes, sticker charts work for older children, or you could give them a small reward when they go on the toilet.
Praise works well, make them feel really special when they do it properly and they will want to do it again.
Don't shout or be disappointed if they have an accident.
Don't take age as a reason to start, it's more important that a child is ready. Some can show signs of readiness at 18 months, some will not until nearly 3 years. It's rare that a child is not using the toilet by the time they are 4 years.
If it doesn't work out, don't stress, give up and try again later.
Don't expect the child to be dry day and night at the same time.
Use what works for your child, if they prefer a potty that's fine but some children don't so try the toilet instead. I've never had any success with the potty and I have a special toddler seat fitted to my toilet.
Expect them to take a step back a little sometimes. Accidents can happen even if they seem fully trained.
A child can be very proud of their pants, so get them some nice ones and they will be happier not to wet them. (Little Man has some Thomas the Tank engine pants and when he wants to pee he tells me 'quick mummy Thomas doesn't want to get wet')
Good luck to everyone who has to face teaching their little one to use the toilet, don't fret too much, go with the flow (excuse the pun) and let your child take the lead.