Potty training, it’s a bit like labour, you forget how hard it is. Even the easiest of children to potty train has their moments. I have three very different children whose potty training experiences were very different. All three children started at different times. I was always a parent who insisted they would learn when they are ready.
Meme started a couple of months before she turned three. I possibly could have started earlier with Meme but I wanted to wait until I had my second child, Harriet who was due in June. I have heard lots of stories that a big change can cause regression to a child with regards to potty training. At the time it felt like really hard work. In reality it took a long weekend. We started on a Thursday, we had lots and lots of accidents. By the Saturday she was starting to ask for for the potty. By Monday she was dry and wearing underwear.
Harriet was quite easy. She started not long after she turned two. Having an older sister definitely helped.
Then there was Alfie. Firstly I have heard many stories that boys are much more difficult with potty training than girls. In my experience this is true. The words ‘you will know when they are ready’ rings in my ears but even after a couple of months after turning 3, Alfie was still not showing any signs. Whilst I was tempted to just wait and follow his lead. I know my child. He is very stubborn and likes to do things his own way. If I left Alfie I know that he would stay in nappies for as long as he could.
I needed to take the lead. Armed with rewards stickers and chocolate buttons I was determined to get him potty trained. If only it was that easy. It took a couple of weeks for Alfie to register that he needed to go on the potty. However once we got to that point I knew there was no going back.
Are you ready for potty training. Here are 5 things to remember:
Once you have decided to potty train. Run with it. Don’t change your mind half way through. It will just confuse them. Stick with it.
Rewards are a must. We tried stickers at first but a little chocolate treat was also needed!! He was always so delighted to get a chocolate button after going on the potty. Praise always works well too. Even now Alfie is excited to tell us when he has been on the potty.
Ask you child all the the time do they need the potty. Encourage them to sit on the potty. Get the used to sitting on it before you go out, before a bath and before they go to bed.
Buy it for when you start potty training. Use it straight away. As tempting as it will be ( and you will be sooo tempted) don’t go back to nappies. Oh and buy plenty of spares. You will need them!
If you can (we couldn’t with Alfie) go straight to toilet. If not as soon as they are comfortable using the potty make the change to the toilet as soon as you can. Meme wouldn’t use the toilet for a while and so we had to carry a potty everywhere with us. Once Harri was confident using the potty we went straight to the toilet. She was a bit nervous the first time but was fine. It makes life so much easier.
It can be tough. With Alfie I never thought we would crack it. Of course we did, it took a bit longer but he got there in the end. Be patient and kind with them. Remember they are learning a whole new skill. It takes time.
Have you got any advice to add?