Way back in August (yes that does feel like a lifetime ago) we made the epic decision to start potty training Jacob.
After the nightmare that was potty training Joshua I must admit I was not looking forward to this stage in toddlerhood one little bit.
However we watched Jacob carefully before making the choice to start the journey. We watched for indicators that he was ready. We knew he knew when he wanted to go. He would run off and crouch to poo in his nappy where it was quiet and he would pull at his bottoms while having a wee.
The First Few Days
We started as we meant to go on. I blocked time out in my diary so we could take the pressure off and stay at home for a week or so and then loaded up all the pants, wipes and a pottys and headed into the garden to begin potty training in earnest after months of sitting him on it after bath time and in the mornings.
We spent much of the first few days clearing up tiddle from down his legs but after a while he got the gist and was soon voluntarily sitting on the potty and we cracked the weeing part fairly quickly. The number two’s part took a little longer to master but in the first 10 days we were verging on success.
Nursery were immense at supporting this phase and as soon as we mentioned we were doing potty training at home they instigated it at nursery too. There were a few accidents there to start with as he wasn’t pulling his trousers far enough down and so he managed to dribble in the back of his trousers but we only had 2-3 accidents at nursery over a week and after 2 weeks he cracked it there too.
In the first month or so after wearing pants we put on a pull up nappy when travelling in the car for any duration and then dropped it to only if we were going somewhere that took longer than 30 minutes. We make sure that we make him go to the toilet before every outing out and that’s helpful as he would say he didn’t need it even though he can always manage a little tiddle before leaving the house.
For me making sure we were looking for signs he was ready and seeing them was the most important aspect of this journey, along with making it part of our routine to introduce time sitting on the potty and eliminating any extra pressures from our timetable when we decided to fully implement potty training.
So after 3 months where are we now?
Well, Jacob who is now 2 years 22 months is now in pants full time and hasn’t had any accidents at all in the last 8 weeks. He often will take himself for a wee, although he likes company if he thinks he can get a captive audience! Bedtime still involves a pull up style nighttime nappy. However we are noticing a decrease in how full these are now so I am hoping in the next few months these might be a thing of the past too.
Having potty trained 3 children now and managed to do it before each of them turned 3.5 years old I am positive that these things helped the journey
- Introducing the potty into everyday routines for a few months, even if there is no success. Getting your child to sit on it regularly will help when you make that leap.
- Prepare for wet everything. It can be a very tiddley business to start with so prepare for that with old towels if you’re doing inside during the winter months. (toddler throw away bed mats might also work for the potty to sit in the middle off to soak up anything that might dribble.
- If possible try and work through potty training the summer months. Being outside makes the clear up so much easier and far less stressful for everyone
- Make sure you are taking your child to the potty every 20-30 minutes to start with. Some people use rewards for a successful potty trip, however we never used this with Jacob and we still succeeded.
- Don’t give up. Its super easy after a week full of accidents to give up. But if you know your child knows when they need to use the potty and you have been seeing the signs then follow through no matter how frustrating it can be. The moment you do let things slide they will pick up on it and push it.
I am a little sad this journey is coming to an end for me as there are no more babies for me. However I am also pleased to not have to go through this stage again too!
If you are just starting out on your potty training journey good luck and see you on the other side.