I’m not going to lie, it’s not a fun time. Potty training is repetitive, anxiety triggering (please don’t wee yourself in the middle of town/traffic jam etc) and quite often very messy! But once they’ve cracked it, it’s so worth it!!!!
There isn’t a perfect age for toddlers to start potty training and it’s best just to go with your instinct. Do they take an interest in the toilet/potty? Do they watch their friends/siblings use theirs and try to copy? A good indicator for me was when Mila started becoming drier at night which is a sign she was aware of the ‘feeling’. That’s really what is comes down to, them understanding the feeling of needing to go before they’ve actually gone.
I attempted (the first time) to potty train Mila at around 20 months. I’d heard some other toddlers were trained at this age and as I was a few months from having baby number two I’d thought I’d try and make my life a little easier with only having one child in nappies.
I made a potty chart, bought ‘treats’, took her to choose her first pack of knickers and began.
I cleaned the floor more times than I can remember, she always went and sat on the potty straight after she’d left me a surprise on the carpet and I ended up binning the entire pack of Peppa Pig knickers within a few days. She just wasn’t ready. I decided to wait a few more months and left the potty out for her to use in her own time.
Don’t, like I did, feel pressured that once they hit 2 they need to start being dry – this really isn’t the case and I remember feeling relieved when I was told by her nursery that actually most of the children are usually potty trained by 3 years old.
Mila started nursery not long after her second birthday, she had been going a few months when her Key-worker told me she had used the potty after seeing some of the other children use it, she said that after a week or two if she continued to show an interest she could come in with knickers on instead of a pull up and the following week I did just that. I was pleasantly surprised when I picked her up later that day and she hadn’t had an accident so started training her at home again also. The first day or two I let her walk around the house without clothes so she could run and use her potty quickly without having to undress and I made sure we didn’t have plans to go out. She of course had a few accidents mostly when she was mid play and very distracted but when she did make the potty we made a huge deal of it. We cheered, we clapped, we sung and even waved goodbye to her wee as we flushed it away and within three days she’d cracked it.
They will learn to go to the potty quicker when they need to poop, this is because the feeling is much stronger than just needing to wee so you might find (thankfully!!) they get that a little quicker.
When we went on days out or even just short trips we always had the potty in the basket of the pushchair, you soon get used to doing the walk of shame in a park/middle of town to empty the potty into a drain.
I recommend taking these items with you when you start venturing out with a newly trained (or still training) toddler:
- A small potty that’s easy for you to transport around or fit under your pushchair if you use one
- Wet wipes/Toilet roll
- Complete change of clothes, including socks and shoes!! (Oh yes, it goes everywhere!)
- Puppy training pads for pushchair seats and car seats for those little accidents which will mean a much easier clean up!
- Plastic bag for wet clothes
- Nappy sacks
- Hand sanitiser
We kept a pull up on Mila at night time and after around a month of her waking up in the morning with a completely dry pull up we stopped putting one on her then too. It is quite rare that children will become dry day and night at the same time and usually takes a little longer at night but for some reason she just stopped both together. We made sure she didn’t drink much before bed and got her to sit on the toilet to ‘try’ after brushing her teeth so we weren’t woken in the middle of the night with ‘I need a wee!’ or having to change sheets. Which is never a good time at 3am!
Accidents will happen and Mila has had a few, even recently. These accidents usually occur when she’s very distracted and having so much fun that she’s clearly held on a little too long. I try to give her a little ‘Do you need a wee-wee?’ reminder if she’s particularly busy playing which does sometimes give her the much needed push to go to the toilet.
These training seats are fab for when you go from potty to toilet. Mila’s little arms would shake trying to hold herself up from falling down the toilet so the seats are great but the steps are ideal so they can run to the toilet by themselves without asking you for help to sit them on it. You can shop them here (RRP £17.99).
You can shop our OXO Tot potty here!
If you have any great tips comment bellow or pop over to @StarieSisters and comment there, I’d love to hear them for next time…
Lots of love (and luck 😉)
* For a couple of tips on travelling with a recently potty trained toddler check out a previous post Flying With A Family…