Adventures in Potty Training

Potty training is one of those things that I knew as a parent I’d have to tackle but that, honestly, I’d been living in fear of.  Am I alone in this?  We’ve just been happily rolling along in nappies, why not just keep that up as long as possible?  I just did not want to face it.  I kept putting it off, saying we’d give it a go when the little man got out of school and was on summer break.

Well, summer break came and I was like OMG, I have no more excuses.  We’ve had a potty around the house and used it a few times so he did at least know it existed.  But, I didn’t really have a plan, hadn’t read any books, I just knew it had to get done.

Then one day a few weeks ago the weather was just bloody miserable and we had no plans to go anywhere so I decided, out of the blue, to give potty training a try.  I mean if you’re going to be hunkered down in the house avoiding the rain, you might as well try to do something productive.  So in a way, I’m actually thankful that we had such a long stretch of miserable rainy weather.

We’ve been at it now for a few weeks and like everything else I’m afraid of doing, it hasn’t been nearly as bad as I imagined.  Yes, we had a number of accidents in the first few days, but I think we’ve worked through that now. I no longer live in fear of taking him nappy free outside the house.  And I no longer carry Dettol wipes and paper towels in my handbag.

And I have to admit, I do feel a bit of freedom with a boy.  Because in those emergency situations, let’s face it, it’s pretty darn easy to find a bush in the corner and do a “farmer wee.”

What’s Worked for Us

  1. Choose a time when you’re happy to be homebound for a few days.
  2. Read them some books that talk about potty training.  Our favorite was Pirate Pete’s Potty.
  3. Make it entertaining.  We went to the shop to pick out fancy underpants.  I also had a reward chart where he collected stickers for all the wees and poos that made it into the potty.  There was a trip to the toy shop and a matchbox car at the end.  We also tried sinking Cheerios in the toilet.
  4. Be diligent about reminding them to go.  All of the more recent accidents we’ve had have been because I stopped paying attention, was distracted by something else.  I’d love to say that he consistently takes himself when he needs to go but he doesn’t yet.  But as long as I regularly encourage him to go we’re golden.
  5. Go cold turkey, except for nights.  I think nothing motivates a child to go to learn to go the potty than wet pants and underwear full of poo.
  6. Most of all, be supportive and encouraging because this is more of a challenge for them than it is for you.

Have you been afraid to face potty training?  What’s worked for you? 

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1 Comment

  • Reply HONEY July 30, 2012 at 11:52 pm

    HOORAH…FOR ….YOU…AND….JAMES……for Brent and Steve, I remember it going fairly smoothly….but , oh, my, JOHN was another story……I think he LOVED that nice warm “whatever”……….I don’t even remember how old he was…and wouldn’t put it in writing if I DID REMEMBER……it was such a marvelous occasion when it finally came to pass, that we “had to save it for Daddy to flush” when he got home from work (we saved daily for a day or two and then I talked him out of that routine)……oh, well, you do what you gotta do……

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