I don’t want to speak to soon, and I certainly don’t want to come across as smug to those of you up to your elbows in excrement, but I think we may have just mastered potty training at CheltenhamMaman HQ.
This experience couldn’t have been more different than when I did it with the boys a decade ago so I thought I’d share my parenting wisdom about all things poo and wee with those of you who (are hopefully not eating your dinner) and may be at, or approaching, a similar stage.
First up the one thing that is going to hinder your potty training is pressure. So without doubt the most important thing to do is to wait until your child is aware that they are going to the toilet and are showing some signs that they have some control over when they go. If they pull a funny face a minute before they do a poo and shout wee wee then they are heading in the right direction. If you try and train a toddler who has no control you’re likely to do more harm than good and will end up giving up and needing to start again further down the line – that’s confusing for everyone.
Generally children will be showing signs of being ready somewhere between the age of 2 and 2 years 9 months. But remember age is just a number – some will be all done and dusted by 18 months others still using pulls ups beyond 3. If you’re stressing about your child’s progress then think about how many of your friends were in nappies at 15 – not many I’m guessing.
It’s really helpful to introduce your child to the potty as a friend not a foe from whenever you like. Have it in the loo and get your child to sit on it when you do – no pressure to perform – just so they understand what it does!
When the time comes take them with you on a pant buying expedition. Today is not the day to be frugal or only opt for cotton made organically in local factories. If hot pink princess knickers from Primark save you from sending 100 extra nappies to landfill you’re doing your bit for the planet today so let little one choose and make it part of the fun.
When you get started choose a week where you don’t have too much on. Spend the first couple of days in and around home and when you’re feeling a little more confident head to a trusted friends’ home (the kind that doesn’t have cream carpets.) It’s important that you stick to it so when your little one has a few accidents don’t be angry – explain that it would have been better if they’d done it in the potty but never mind let’s try again next time.
You need to be reminding them every ten minutes at least to begin with. When the Cheltenham Bébé performed successfully the whole house would do a conga dance – ‘Lila did a wee wee, Lila did a wee wee’ – she loved it and she craved the attention that only getting it right brought.
From a practical perspective it’s worth getting a couple of potties so you never have to far to travel. In our house we absolutely love the Pourty range of potties designed and sold by MumBoss Club member Lucy. The potties are sturdy, come in a few different colours and will last through multiple children and most handily can just be picked up and poured into the toilet which limits unpleasant mess. If you can get them sitting on the toilet Pourty’s range of flexible toilet seats (that secure onto the toilet) will ensure that your little one feels safe and able to perform! We have a little stool in the downstairs loo and a stack of books. I’ve lost count of the stories we have read whilst awaiting the magic and at times when sometimes we just have to have a cuddle while she goes (the never ending glamour of motherhood!)
Oh and just to clarify it’s worth mastering daytime dryness before you think about nappy free naps or night times – baby steps – quite literally!
If pressure to potty train is causing you any stress there are loads of options when it comes to support. Pourty has a private Facebook group that you can join with loads of top tips to help you and your little one to being nappy free. You can also contact your health visitor if you need some one on one support.
With warmer and longer days hopefully (please please please) not too far away it’s actually the easiest season to get started. Good Luck! If you have any tips of your own to share please do!