We’ve done it – she’s In pants! Not just any pants but unicorns and flamingos don’t you know. I’ve been chatting about the ups and downs of the potty training journey over on my Instagram so thought I’d share the key things I learnt along the way. If you are thinking of attempting potty training or have just started this might be one for you.
I decided to give it a go as we had two weeks over the summer where Liv was between childcare and we didn’t have any major plans in the diary. So it seems like as good a time as any, she was the ‘right’ age (27 months) and I knew we were likely to be housebound, so the sunshine helped.
What I learnt during this journey was pretty much the recurring lesson in my parenting life, just trust your gut! It’s amazing how much you instinctively know as mummy. I read the gentle potty training book by Sarah Ockwell-smith and took on board lots of the advice from this. But to be honest I didn’t follow it word for word. The best part for me, which was the same when I learnt about birth, was understanding how your (their) body works. Getting to grips with how we produce urine and stools and how much is normal at different stages in life really made me look at it differently. She was showing all the signs to be ready, telling me when she was going, wanting to be a big girl etc and I knew if she wanted to do it, she could.
We’ve had a potty hanging around the house for a couple of months, one thing the book tells you not to do interestingly and I did end up getting her a new one which she chose. Infact that’s my first preparation tip:
Let them choose the potty – make it part of the journey. Rather than having one around and occasionally asking if they want to use it (advice I was given initially). I found it better to draw a line in the sand and just do it. No half-hearted attempts, discuss it with them a day or two before hand and then on Monday or which ever day you choose, you start from the moment they wake up. A mistake I made was buying a nice grey functional potty, when I know my pink crazed daughter will want the most girly thing imaginable and I ended up getting her a new one which she was excited about using.
Make shopping for the pants exciting - I did however let her decide on her pants, we had a trip to Sainsbury’s and she choose the ones she wanted to wear. I decided to go cheap, cheap as I knew if she pooed in them I would be throwing them in the bin rather than scraping it out. We had an adventure, brought the pants and had coffee and cake in the café making it a day out for her.
Read books and watch cartoons about using a potty - We had read books about potty’s, and the night before we sat down to watch Princess Polly’s potty, (I’ve linked to YouTube) this got her really excited and was my first clue that I’d be ditching the stylish potty and buying the tackiest thing she could find. We also read the poo book on a regular basis to make doing number 2’s a bit easier. I’ve included my book recommendations below
Reward – We used the Potty Training academy pack which had everything in it for us. The stickers are a huge hit and our originally sticker chart went out of the window. Some people say not to reward with chocolate or at all, and so many people had told me to have the chocolate buttons at the ready. I decided to do it with chocolate stars and we adapted the rewards as time went on which I’ll discuss later.