Potty training is a hot topic in our household at the moment. At present Jasper is 2 years and 2 months old and we have gotten him to a stage where he is dry during the day, in and out of the house. The only time he wears nappies is during his 2 hour daytime nap and at bedtime; although we may have had two consecutive days with dry naps – eek!
Rather than fit our whole journey into one post I thought I’d write a little series of each stage, I thought this would be better not only on my typing fingers but for you guys if you’d like to follow it more step-by-step.
So let’s start at the beginning. Jasper was first introduced to the land of no nappies when we potty trained his older brother Rhys about 6 months ago. Of course the bulk of it was done at him mums house and at nursery but the weekends were our time to keep it up and implement our own take on it at our house.
Jasper saw his brother sitting on the potty and kiddies toilet seat; he saw him wearing new and exciting big boy pants and most importantly he saw the praise and encouragement that we gave him … and quite frankly he wanted a slice of that potty training pie!
Without even meaning to, we introduced Jasper to it early on which I firmly believe is why his potty training journey has gone so smoothly, so I thought I’d share some ways you can introduce it to your little one, whether intentionally or not.
1. Be around other children that are potty trained
This isn’t necessarily an easy one if you don’t know many older children but if your toddler has an older sibling, cousin, friend etc then maybe try and be a bit more present when they use the toilet or potty (without creeping them out). If at a playdate ask them if your little one can maybe watch them go or if they can show them their potty or collection of big boy/girl pants and how exciting and grown up it is to use them.
2. Have potties and seats around the home
Why not keep a potty in the bathroom next to the toilet, or even in the corner of their bedroom or the living room just so that they get use to seeing it around and knowing that it’s a part of every day life. Being in the bathroom is fab as it helps them to associate using the potty with the toilet and the whole process of washing their hands etc and will save you teaching them they can go in any room and then only in the bathroom at a later date.
You could introduce them to it, telling them what it’s for and encouraging them to simply sit on it fully clothed while they watch tv or read a book; or you could wait for them to notice it and ask. Either way, seeing it daily will make it less of a sick when you start training.
3. Buy them big girl/boy pants
Making a big exciting thing of going to the shop or looking online for cool pants can make it a really fun introduction to potty training. Buying pants with their favourite characters or colours on is always a bonus and getting them to unpack them and put them in their drawer or basket can make them feel so grown up!
Jasper liked to wear his over his nappies which helped him get used to the movement of pulling them up and down and meant he was used to them when we started potty training.
4. Get them excited when you use the toilet
Unless you’re a muma who uses toilet breaks as the only break away from the kids; try and let them come in with you (maybe just for a wee) to see how cool and grown up it is. I used to go for a wee with the door open and say ‘mumas going for a big girl wee on the toilet’ and encouraged Jasper to sit on his potty next to me. He now loves to have a wee on the potty next to me and it’s quite a nice little bonding activity haha
5. Read them potty training books
There are some fab toddler focused books you can buy that to kiddies are simply fun story books but are actually introducing them to potty training. You can point out products they’ve got like potties and big kid pants and encourage them to be grown up and cool like the characters in the book. Add these to their book collection a few weeks before starting to really get them introduced to the whole process.
6. Try potty training activities
As well as story books there are fun activity books that include colouring and stickers to make the whole process more fun. These can be carried on when you start potty training and incorporated into rewards, but are fab beforehand to get them into it.
Pirate Pete’s Potty sticker activity book and Princess Polly’s Potty sticker activity book are from the same range as the books mentioned above so they would tie in nicely. They’d also help your toddler get to know the characters and have them as part of their potty training journey.
7. Watch youtube videos
If your child prefers to watch than read, you can find a lot of the popular potty training story books on Youtube. This could be something they could watch on your phone while sat on the potty, even if fully clothed; and you could make a whole playlist of them. Here’s the Pirate Pete one, but there are loads more you can find too:
8. Encourage no nappy time (when appropriate)
If the weather is nice and you’re out in your garden it may be an idea to get them used to not wearing nappies. This kind of went further than I expected with Jasper as he now loves to be naked all of the time, but it’s great for kids who are very attached to their nappies to help them tor easily they don’t need them on all of the time. Of course it goes without saying to expect a few accidents and to try not to discipline if this happens but rather encourage them next time they may go on a big boy/girl potty.
9. Emptying their nappy into the potty or toilet
This is something we tried a few times and that was straight after Jasper done a poo ( we knew from his facial expressions and grunting) we’d help him to take off his nappy and tip the contents into the toilet. Of course we wouldn’t do this if it had been a while as by then it’s usually squashed into the nappy; but it’s a good way to teach them that’s where poo goes.
10. Finally, ask them when they’re going to the toilet
If you can tell your child is doing a wee or a poo; ( they’re not the best at hiding it are they? ) then ask them if they’re going to the toilet and if they’re doing a wee or a poo. Get them used to being aware of the sensation, what the words are and that’ll prompt them to eventually tell you when they do it.
Well that’s the first part of the series, stay tuned for how we started, how we nailed potty training at home and out of the house and our top products!
Please do leave links in the comments to your experiences or any products you’d recommend!
Thanks for reading,