I have had messages asking for advice on other Mummies starting their potty training (mis)adventure so I wanted to relay our journey with you! I do not claim by any means to be a parenting guru, my friends have heard me curse under my breath enough times to know I am by no means perfect but I love reading other parenting blogs and stories, especially if I am going through the same step with Frankie, so here it is! Hope it helps!
21 days down & I am officially a Mummy of a potty trained toddler! We are still having a few accidents but Frankie’s time in nappies has come to an end, I weirdly feel a bit emotional that I will never again have to buy a pack of Pampers again or really go down a baby aisle except for wipes!
After ‘attempting’ to try and get him on a potty aimlessly on days at home and failing miserably I picked the week we went away to Pontins to start as it worked out I was off for 7 days straight with him. We went out and picked a potty and pants together and kept telling him that he was going to be a big boy and get rid of the nappies soon as they are for babies now, he was excited until we got home and he point blank refused to be in the same room as the potty and cried every time I put it back in the lounge.
Every time I went to the toilet I told him to come with me and showed him how I was sitting too and put his potty next to the toilet which he preferred than being in the lounge with him! So that’s where it stayed!
Both sets of grandparents were informed and they both went out and got a potty for their houses to encourage it & I had a long chat with nursery who are more than happy to help providing you send them in armed with enough clothes, pants and shoes for quadruplets! On his first ‘dry day’ I put him in an old 18-24 month old romper so they could whiz it on and off quickly!
The first few days it was a novelty, he was getting a biscuit or a sweet after every wee/poo on the potty, but obviously he doesn’t know but I do believe they need to physically see how well they’re doing, a bit like a puppy! Reward them and they’ll realise, shout at them and they’ll be so nervous they won’t want to do it at all!
I made a chart for him and stuck it on the fridge and got some red and green stickers from W.H.Smith and explained that if he gets lots of green at the end of the week he will get a new toy (which he did after two weeks of dry nights & mostly greens!) He told EVERYONE what a big boy he was because he had been going on his potty so although I know bribery is bad, BUT some bribery goes a long way!(especially for Frankie & Thomas!)
When we are out I literally do not stop asking if he needs to go, he is pretty good at telling me he needs a wee but pooing is a different story altogether. I have watched him now visibly stand, squat and shit in my eyeline when we’ve been at the park, at the farm & down the beach. He actually locks in eye contact to tell me he is pooing which well is fabulous, but we’ve come too far now to put a nappy back on him so I’m just going to have to deal with the explosions for hopefully not much longer! His Dad is quick to tell him off for doing it, but it usually happens when we have been out and he has been busy so I don’t think it warrants a telling off! I do also think they are still learning their body makes noises, (pops, gurgles, farts etc.) so sometimes I think he thinks it’ll just be a pop but it turns out being a lot more & he always cries because he is embarrassed, so he does know it’s wrong but still having the same issue which is frustrating but we will get through it! We are 80% there! I do make a thing of putting a red sticker on his chart which has deterred him doing it for a few days afterwards but for 3 weeks he is doing amazingly well!
I’ve started taking the potty EVERYWHERE too, I don’t care where we are mid-food shop, petrol garage or nail shop, I will whip the potty out and run to the nearest secluded area for him! I have been recommended a ‘pottete’ which is on my list of things to buy, if I do I will stick a review up on here! When we get to a month I am going to get the last of his nappies, put them in a sack with him and leave them outside the door for the babies as a month in there is no turning back!
Being consistent and going ‘cold turkey’ are my main two bits of advice when potty training, nothing else worked for us but that doesn’t mean your tot will be the same! I chose to risk him in pants of a nightime from the get go and despite the first week of extremely sleepless nights envisaging a poonami in the night, he has been unbelievable and been dry every single night
My 10 tips in a nutshell are:
- Pick a date to start and stick to it
- Give everyone from Nanny & Grandad to the Nursery to Auntie or Mummy friends warning that you are starting to potty train so they can be prepared
- Pick the potty with them and put it out so they can see it for a few weeks before you start
- Stay indoors for the first few days and keep them naked so they can have easy access on and off the potty
- Make a rewards chart – use stickers/bribes to reward how well they are doing. Bribery is key with a 2 year old! Lollipop at 7:30am because you done your first poo on the potty? Why not?
- Don’t confuse them! Commit to pants/knickers and bin the pull ups/nappies
- Keep asking them if they need to go, even if you do (and most definently will) get sick of the sound of your own voice!
- Accidents will happen, don’t get angry, calmly ask them why they forgot to go on the potty or why they forgot to tell you
- If they say they need to go, take them – if they say they need to go x10 without going, keep taking them – they’re still getting used to their bodies and all the noises/gurgles it makes & if you don’t take them seriously they won’t tell you again!
- PRAISE PRAISE PRAISE, do not stop praising them and telling everyone when they’re there what a good boy/girl they are for using the potty and not being in nappies anymore!
May the force be with you!
P.S. stock up on bleach, you will need it!