When I found out I was expecting a second baby Athena was about 13 months old and I naively thought that I would have her potty trained before her new brother arrived; around 20 months. I bought a potty, sat her on it every so often and very quickly realised that she had no interest whatsoever in using it for its intended purpose. She did love sitting on it fully clothed in front of the TV though!
When she hit two we bought a few packs of knickers and had them available if she wanted to wear them, but she still showed no signs of wanting to wear them, much preferring nappies.
She did however start to wear pull up nappies around this time as she had been in cloth nappies before that and seemed to associate them with babies, probably as she saw me change so many of her brothers. I decided to let her dictate when she wanted to stop wearing nappies and she was dry day and night within a week of ditching the pull ups, around 3 months before she turned three. One day she just decided she wanted to wear knickers and that was that!
I’ve put together some snippets of advice for anyone worrying about potty training…
- Use the loo openly in front of your toddler, I am aware that most parents don’t have the luxury of going to the bathroom unattended anyway so use it as a way to start teaching them about what you’re doing, showing them the loo roll and the flush etc, explaining that you always wash your hands after going to the toilet
- Encourage your child to get dressed and undressed themselves, this way they wont be struggling to roll down their leggings or do zippers back up and it makes starting to use the loo a lot easier as it removes some barriers
- Help your child choose a potty/toilet training seat. We bought a Pourty Potty for home as it is really easy to empty and clean and also sturdy. You can buy loo seats with a flip down kids seat attached, if you decide to avoid the potty and go direct to the toilet (which is I think easier with girls as they sit down for both!)
- Force toilet training of your child shows no interest. Its much better to wait until they want to do it, rather than forcing it and making it more difficult for all involved!
- Tell your child off if they have accidents, explain that it happens to everyone but next time if they feel they need to
go then it’s best to go on the loo/potty. If you’re experiencing a lot of accidents it might be too soon!
- Expect them to be dry overnight right away, but do let them try without pants if they want to. Layering sheet/waterproof sheet/sheet/waterproof sheet means if you do get an overnight accident you can easily strip the top layer off and get them back to bed quickly. We left a potty in the bedroom overnight for peace of mind but she never needed it.
- Compare your child to their peers, everyone learns to do things at different times!
- Stay in the house for days on end! Trust your child to know their own body, remind them to go before you leave the house and make sure you know where a loo is but you can’t stay in the house forever!
Whats your best tip for when the time comes to potty train?