10 Steps to Potty Training

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…Or, Easy Peasy Potty Training; How it all went wrong

Hmmm, I hear you say? Well of course it depends on the child, but it also depends on the parent. Potty training my first son took ages and he continued to wear night time pull-ups for years. With the little one it seemed much easier, but now I come to think of it so did sleep training, weening, bedtimes etc. So whilst my boys are VERY different characters and both totally lovely, I just have to ask myself could it be me who was less stressy second time round?

Potty training the firstborn:

Where did I go wrong with Ben? Well for a start I felt so guilty about working that I totally over compensated when I got home. I did everything he asked me. This is the child who came to work with me as a tiny baby… but then went to nursery once he started walking, spending long hours there whilst I tried to juggle work and a child. Once we were home after a tiring day (and very little sleep at night) I was so exhausted I found disciplining him virtually impossible. I read all the books and took advice from friends, but despite everything, Ben really just seemed to do what he liked, which was drink gallons of milk, wake up several times a night and generally continue to use nappies far longer than necessary.

I tried and failed to potty train him the first time, giving up and putting it off another 6 months. With night nappies I just continued for what seemed like forever. Obviously I succeeded in the end, but it was a long, hard slog.

Potty training Poor Little Brother:

1. I chose a nice, warm week’s holiday when we were at our cottage in France (which has no carpets on the floor so accidents are quickly wiped up).

2. I took his nappies off leaving his bottom bare the first couple of days (he always loved running around naked anyway). We mostly stayed around the house and garden.

3. I placed a couple of plastic potties strategically around the house – one in the kitchen and one in the living room when we were downstairs and whilst upstairs one in his bedroom and one in the bathroom – “Yuk”you say. “Sensible” I reply.

4. I procured a good supply of Percy Pigs at the ready.

5. I drank lots and lots of water myself (2 litres a day)… a good excuse for a detox and I also needed to go to the loo a fair bit – this reminded me to remind Toby.

6. Each time I needed a wee, I asked Toby if he did, sat him on the potty and if he could manage to squeeze out a little drop there was a sweet for him. “Good Boy!” I squeal. “Mercy Ig now” he replied and was handed the Percy Pig prize. As for number twos, we would do this together, chatting away as we sat on the loo. We were definitely not squeamish in my house!

7. We went shopping for big boy pants. Such fun – a special trip and he chose them, it was Thomas the Tank Engine in his day.

8. We took photos – Toby-the-baby in NAPPIES, then Toby-the-big-boy in PANTS and put them up on the fridge for all to see what a clever one he was. I guess it might be on Facebook these days – but they won’t thank you for that in years to come.

9. We gradually dropped the bedtime bottle of milk, a little less each night till it was only a drop. No liquids in = less to come out.

10. It really did take less than a week for day nappies and a little longer for night pull ups, as opposed to months of accidents for poor old son number one!

By the way, I really do hope my teenage boys dont ever bother to read my blog … so far so good, but I’m guessing its a matter of time before I get it in the neck. Maybe I should invent pseudonyms for them? x Laura

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