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by Karen

Potty Training in 5 Attempts (And Counting)

I was reluctant to begin potty training. Ok, I was terrified. I’m not sure if I’m alone here, but I was quite happy plodding on with nappies to be honest.

I knew how they worked, I knew how baby changing areas worked, and I felt confident (for the most part) that with my toddler wearing nappies, we would avoid any bodily waste related disasters. Of course, nappies were costly and terrible for the environment, but they were (almost) stress free and I knew what I was doing.

Potty training however, was a whole new realm. Do you have to carry a potty everywhere? How do you empty and clean a potty? What about the carpets and furniture? Do we need plastic covers? How do we even leave the house?

So far it’s taken us 5 attempts and we’re still not completely there, but oh, have we had fun on the journey!! Actually no, we haven’t…..

Attempt 1: The purchasing of equipment

I call the purchasing of equipment the first attempt at potty training because it signified my acceptance that the whole ordeal was imminent. I believed that the purchases we made would spur me on to take our first steps towards a nappy-free future. For the record, they did not.

The first item we bought was a potty (obviously). And then, we bought this:

This, my friends, is a Potette Plus 2 in 1 Travel Potty. And you are viewing it as I viewed it for approximately 5 weeks, because although I knew it would be useful, I really didn’t understand how and I feared that by opening it, the impending potty training would become a reality, and my shiny new living room sofa would become a thing of the past.

Attempt 2: A very brief farewell to nappies and the death of the George Foreman grill

I’d like to say that when I finally bit the bullet, potty training wasn’t that bad, but it really was. It was awful. It was as horrific as I’d feared it would be.  To be fair, I probably wasn’t in the right frame of mind that first day, and toddlers have a knack of picking up on things like that and having a bit of fun. Nevertheless I had set my mind on beginning the potty training process, and nothing was going to get in my way.

By 10am, Little B had weed on two rugs and the George Foreman grill. By 2pm we were back in nappies.

Attempt 3: The nappies’ revenge

A couple of months later, I geared myself up to start again. This time we would use Pull-Ups rather than go straight into big girl pants. And it was much easier. A bit too easy actually. Sometimes I’d forget to check if Little B needed to use the potty, and she had sussed that the Pull-Ups worked like nappies, so wouldn’t always tell me when she needed to go. Potty training was gradually abandoned, as nappy wearing returned by stealth.

Attempt 4: Success! Sort of….

I felt mentally strong enough to return to potty training using big girl pants. This was to be our time. I was going to make it work. I sat Little B on the potty every 30 minutes or so and it all started to come together! I thought I’d cracked it. I had made a concerted effort, Little B had taken to it like a duck to water (or a toddler to Quavers). After just a couple of days, she was back to telling me when she wanted to go on the potty. A couple of days later, she was dry all day. And then, the following week, she was dry in the night too. Job done.

But of course, it wasn’t. A few weeks later, Little B had an accident on the sofa. A blip, I thought. But then she had another one. And another one. And I began to wonder if the success of the previous few weeks had been a fluke, and that all the time spent deciding on a title for my potentially bestselling, groundbreaking potty training guide had been in vain. As it happens, it had.

Attempt 5: The saga continues

We continue to persevere. Dry nights are a definite thing of the past. Dry days are slowly making a comeback. It’s hard not to feel disheartened sometimes but from everything I’ve heard since, this kind of regression can be fairly normal. I just wish someone had told me that during those heady few weeks of dryness, when I felt genuine relief for my carpets and seriously pictured my future as This Morning’s resident potty training expert!

How did potty training go for you? Let me know your stories and your tips!

Written by Karen for her blog, Twice Microwaved Tea.

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Twitter: @twicemicrowaved

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