Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Introducing Potty Training: What We Did

Potty training was the one thing I dreaded.  I had no clue where to start or what to do.  We introduced the concept of the potty to Emelia fairly early on, I tried a few different techniques but in the end having a potty visible in the house seemed most effective, we had one downstairs and one upstairs. She seemed to understand what it was for but at one stage became a bit freaked out by it, at which point we just left it and didn't push it again.  It wasn't long before one day she started using it again herself.  She did so, consistently all day and has been dry ever since (minus the odd accident here and there!).  To be honest we have been very lucky with her, I strongly believe when they're ready they will pretty much potty train themselves, which is really what happened in our case.  Unfortunately Brett and I can't take much credit for how quickly she became potty trained.  However, I expect next time round won't happen so easily!

Here are some of the things we did to introduce potty training:

Books - the first thing we did to introduce the potty to Emelia was reading books about potty training to her.  There are so many brilliant books out there which get children thinking about potties and wearing big boy/girl pants.  It also helped when it was time to go shopping as we could refer to the book when asking Emelia which colour pants/potty she would like.

We found Princess Polly's Potty book to be the one that she liked the most, possibly because of the cheer button, but it's worked none the less! Pirate Pete's Potty book is available for boys.

Have a potty/toilet seat visible at home - I started keeping a potty in the bathroom next to the toilet and in the living room.  As Emelia is regular company for anyone making a trip to the toilet having a potty in there gave her somewhere to sit, we would sit her on it and ask if she needed the toilet - at first she looked at us fairly blankly, but eventually she made the connection.  I found having one downstairs made her more aware of what it was for and comfortable with it being part of everyday life.  I was really didn't want her to be scared of it or feel like we were forcing it on her.

Be around children who are potty trained - this isn't always possible if you don't have friends/family with older children, but I found Emelia would watch some of her older friends using the potty/toilet and see that they didn't wear nappies, I would always talk to her and give her a bit of a running commentary but tried to never be forceful on it.  If she showed willing I'd ask if she wanted to have a go, sometimes she would and others she wouldn't.

Big girl/boy pants - Buy pants, and lots of them!  Sometimes when accidents happen it's easier to just throw them away.  I have found buying pants with Emelia's favourite characters on made the transition from a nappy to pants really easy, we get her to choose 'who she wants to be' each morning when she gets dressed!

Be Excited - whenever your child uses the potty make a big fuss of them and be excited, telling them how good they are and that they're such a big boy/girl may seem obvious or maybe irrelevant to some, but it really does boost their confidence and make them excited and want to do it again.  All children want to please so extra praise and encouragement really helps them want to do it again. Emelia loves stickers, so every time she used the potty she would get one to put on a sticker chart we made.

Empty their nappy into the toilet or potty - This is something my mum advised me to do when Emelia did a poo.  When we were at home we would help her remove her nappy and then tip the contents away.  It was a good way of her understanding where it goes.  Obviously it isn't always possible and practical to do this but we did whenever we could.

No Nappy Time -  when we were at home we encouraged Emelia to have no nappy time, she would either wear a pair of big girl pants or be naked.  Of course we had accidents but we didn't discipline when they happened, just tried to encourage her to try and use the potty next time.

Good luck if you're starting to potty train! Please leave links/comments of your experiences or anything you recommend! 


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