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
- Choose a time when you’re happy to be homebound for a few days.
- Read them some books that talk about potty training. Our favorite was Pirate Pete’s Potty.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?