Let me begin by saying that when I started the task of potty training my son, I was naive to what it would entail. As I mentioned in this post that I wrote a week after we began, I had been told by many that, when they were ready, they’d do it in a week. While I don’t doubt that this is true for some children (I have witnessed it with my friends children), this was definitely not the case for the Roversi’s and I know for a fact, that Little L was ready.
Fast forward TEN AND A HALF WEEKS later, we have just completed a week of no accidents, including nursery and I finally feel like the title of this post suggests, that he’s got it. I feel like throwing a party to celebrate.
I am fully aware that after writing this post he will probably regress and I’ll be dealing with p**sy pants again…I’m taking that risk and staying positive.
For those parents that haven’t yet potty trained, or are in the throws of the hellish first few weeks, I felt it was important to follow up my “Driving Me Potty” post and tell you want I learned in our adventure from nappy to pants. So here are my six steps to potty training:
ONE: It’s not a quick process.
You can’t rush potty training. Unfortunately it’s one of those things that has to come natural to the child and they have to learn the sensations of needing to wee/poo as well as holding it until they get to the toilet.
The first few weeks are the most painful. We stayed in on my days off for the first week and L has a lot of naked time to help him be more aware of when he needed to go. As a family that don’t like to stay in, it was hard work, but it paid off.
TWO: Home and nursery at two completely different ball games.
I remember in the first week he did awesome: very few accidents and even telling me when he needed to go! Then on nursery days I’d pick him up and be treated with a bag of wet clothes. It was so frustrating and made me doubt my decision to begin it – should I have waited till he was nearly 3? The lovely ladies at my son’s nursery were really encouraging, telling me that it’s different at nursery because as soon as they break off from a toy to go to the toilet, that’s free rein for any other child to get the toy…meaning they would rather wet themselves than leave a toy – grrrr!
The following week it was the opposite way round: only one or two accidents at nursery and loads at home. Again I was pulling my hair out wondering what was different that week to make him do this. The main fact is that nursery always takes longer than home and it’s only now that we’ve had a week of no accidents at nursery that I feel like he’s got it. Like being dry at nursery was the deciding factor on whether he was potty trained or not.
THREE: It’s a rollercoaster.
Like the above point, it’s got its ups and downs. We had five days of no accidents in the run up to Christmas then we had accidents left, right and centre for two weeks! One week you feel like they understand and are getting the idea of going to the loo to do their business, the next minute you go pick them up from nursery and they tell you that he sat on the toilet, then got off and wet himself (yes that happened) and you think “WTF!!!!”.
FOUR: Don’t go back.
There were soooooooo many times when I wanted to give up and put him back in nappies! The nursery ladies told me not to, my friends told me not to, my mum told me not to, even my readers of my blog told me to KEEP GOING! In the back of my mind I knew I had to keep at it, Mummy Instinct told me that he was definitely ready. I was right…he’s just took a bit of time to get it.
FIVE: Rewards and tracking.
We’ve had a reward chart from Day 1. We began with stickers and a smartie for every time he used the potty/toilet. This was really good at encouraging him but it was also good for me to track how much he was going. It was a lot at first because I was making him go on the potty every ten minutes or so but then I calmed down a little…every half an hour! Once he got that, I stopped rewarding him for every time he went, and started rewarding him for every day he didn’t have any accidents: one bigger sticker for every day he was successful. I think if he does another week or so without any accidents i will buy him a little toy as a reward and to draw a line under the whole potty training saga!
SIX: They will get it…eventually!
Don’t lose hope! They will get there and it’s such an achievement when they do.
Granted, you go from looking out for places to change them to toilet spotting everywhere you go and planning a route in case of the words “Mummy I need a wee!”. I’m not joking when I say I nearly took out several elderly ladies in Debenham’s cafe a few weeks ago when Little L exclaimed those words and the toilet was in the shop rather than the restaurant. I also thought that I might be able to go to a normal handbag once he was out of nappies but I’m now carrying spare clothes in case of accidents…when will I ever be able to have a normal handbag again?!
It’s great that I don’t have to buy as many nappies…but I do still have to buy them as we’ve not tackled nighttime yet and we won’t be for a while. But do you know what, I don’t care! He’s not even three yet so I will wait till he’s waking up with dry nappies before I even bother trying to potty train him at night.