If you’ve read my previous post on our experience with all things potty, you will know that I am a potty training whizz. I guarantee that listening to my advice will have your toddlers out of nappies and fully toilet trained quicker than you can scream “You’ve done it on the carpet again? Seriously?”.
Ok, maybe not. But I am now in a position to disclose (albeit very cautiously and while touching wood), that we may now have successfully arrived at the end of this horrific chapter (touch wood again).
On reaching this milestone, I feel I should now be qualified to bring you my top tips for potty training, but the fact is, we just winged it.
So instead, to mark this momentous occasion (touch wood yet again), I bring you a list of six things I learned during our six month potty training
hell nightmare ordeal experience.
1. Calm thoughts, calm thoughts, calm thoughts…
The key thing to remember throughout the whole potty training nightmare, I found, is to stay calm. Easy to say when it’s not your George Foreman grill being wee’d on by a toddler, but there is nothing to be gained by losing your cool. Remember, toddlers have had a couple of years of being able to wee at will. Having to find and sit on a potty is probably a bit of a chore when you have other priorities, like emptying kitchen drawers of all Tupperware, drawing on table clothes and vaulting off the sofa.
Potty training may well be an uphill struggle and it may be much harder than you anticipated. You may want to scream, cry, or torch your living room carpet, but that’s not going to help you to reach your end goal any quicker. Keep calm and stay positive.
2. Be ready
Potty training will be easier if your child is ready. Everyone says that, right? What they forget to tell you is that the parents also need to be ready. Don’t even think about starting potty training on a day when you’re not in the right frame of mind, you’re in the middle of having a kitchen fitted or your entire extended family are coming to stay. It will only end in tears. Most likely your own.
3. Do a big pants shop
You will never have enough big girl/big boy pants. Buy cheap, buy in bulk, bin if necessary. You may want to find pants that have a picture of your toddler’s favourite character on the front, for encouragement. Just make sure they’re not encouraged to the point that they end up trying to get through the whole pack in one day.
Again, it happened.
4. It’s just not pleasant
Nothing will make you wretch more than a poo in a potty. No previous nappy will ever compare. Even the worst ones. Prepare yourself for this and you will go far. And beware of the splashback when emptying the contents of a potty down the toilet. However much you wash afterwards, you will feel dirty for the rest of the day. I promise you.
5. Travel potties are your friend
Travel potties are absolutely vital in my book. We bought the Potette Plus and never looked back. It’s compact and stops you from being confined to within a 60 second radius of a toilet. You can whip it out within seconds, and it’s so easy to dispose of the contents afterwards. In addition, it can also act as a toilet seat, for those none-too-pleasant public toilet visits. And there will be many of those.
6. Rewards are essential
Use rewards. I cannot stress this enough. Personally, I found that having a nice big bar of Dairy Milk or a gin and tonic to look forward to at the end of the day made scrubbing wee out of a carpet for an hour or so almost bearable!