Ahh potty training. I’m not going to lie, I found potty training difficult. Much like weaning, potty training wasn’t something I ever really thought about when Harley was first born, I was more concerned with keeping this not-so-tiny baby alive. Weaning freaked me out (surprisingly even more this time round with Ada) but potty training was just something I assumed would happen naturally. Wrong.
I read up ALOT on the various approaches to potty training and signs of readiness, and felt like both Harley and I were ready to go. I’d chosen the day – Monday 4th December, my first day of maternity leave, and was sure that we’d be like one of those trained in a day success stories. Wrong.
Harley simply wasn’t ready and he was upset. He even asked me to put a nappy back on him. It was at that point, despite all the advice online telling me not to give up, I decided that we’d stop. There was already so much change going on – we’d attempted to start him a nursery (disaster), we were having lots of work done in the house and Ada’s due date was just a couple of weeks away. So I put away the pants and the potty.
And then suddenly one day a month after his third birthday Harley announced he wanted to do a wee on the potty. Within a couple of weeks he was in pants full-time during the day and using the toilet rather than the potty.
I guess my reason for writing this post is to say that if potty training isn’t working out for you and your little one at the moment, stop. I’m a big believer in letting your child guide you (within reason – we all know how these toddlers can play us at times) and following their lead. Each toddler is different, they’re ready when they’re ready and I think pushing it too soon can cause more harm than good.
Not that I am an expert by any means, I thought I’d share my tips and must-have products for potty training.
My potty training tips.
- Follow their lead: Looking at signs of readiness e.g. how often they wee, are they aware of when they’re weeing etc. Basically just anything that shows the awareness is there and you’d be fairly confident to put them in a pair of pants.
- Forget the expectations: Simply take it one step at a time. If you aren’t confident about them wearing pants when you’re out of the house pop them in a pair of pull-up training pants instead.
- Celebrate the successes: It’s a huge achievement for a toddler to go from nappies to pants, it’s actually a massive lifestyle change really. I know we’ve all done it but I’m constantly amazed by these tiny people.
- Don’t get too caught up in all the advice: Of course read up on it but it’s only when you start that you’ll find what works best for them.
- Potty vs Toilet: My personal advice would be not to put too much emphasis on the potty as you’re effectively adding another step when you need to move them from potty to toilet.
- A special trip to the shops: I let Harley chose his own pants and most of the items I mention in my must-haves so he felt involved and in control from the beginning.
My potty training must-haves.
- Huggies Pull-up Training Pants: We went for the Cars design because Harley is the biggest Cars fan. Super easy to use, handy especially for car journeys and they’re usually on offer somewhere.
- A book and sticker chart: I picked up the Toilet Time book from Aldi during one of their Baby events and thought it was great. They do a boy and girl version as it explains the process of using the toilet. It also has a rather handy sticker chart. I’d definitely recommend using all the stickers – it was Harley’s favourite part.
- A toilet training seat: We do have a potty, which I keep in the car boot in case of emergencies, but have stuck to using a toilet training seat (Cars of course, sense a theme?).
- A stool for the sink: Reinforcing handwashing is another challenge especially as we have a deep sink set right back in our bathroom. We went for a Cars stool obviously.
Whilst it might seem super stressful at the time, it’ll all be worth it. If you’re about to start potty training, good luck and enjoy!
The Aspiring Yummy Mummy. x