Firstly I'll explain our journey and then I'll share some of my tips.
Around Christmas time (Jackson was 1 year and 9 months), Chris and I had a few bits to get from Ikea, and whilst we were there, we bought a potty and a step for Jacks, although we weren't going to start straight away but wanted Jackson to get used to them being around. Of course my mum heard that we had bought one and went straight out and bought one for her house too. Every so often, when we were changing his nappy or going for a bath, I would ask him if he wanted to sit on it, which he mostly refused and I didn't want to push it. However, when he spent time at my mums, he wasn't so bothered by it and often actually used the potty.
After Jackson turned 2, he was using it more and more with us and, even though I didn't think that I was ready for it, he was showing signs. So off we went to buy him some pants, which I let him pick out, and they ended up being dinosaur ones of course! After a few days, I braved it and asked Jackson if he wanted to wear his new pants. He was so excited about them but when it came to actually wearing them, he was not game! If I'm honest, I was relieved. As the weeks went on we would occasionally ask if he wanted to wear them but it was getting closer to my sister's wedding so, to be frank, the thought of Jackson shitting in his hired suit was not something I was game for!
A bit later on, at nearly 2 years and 1/2, I felt I was ready to deal with it, so I made him wear his pants for the first time and it was very surprising how little pushing it took. Amazingly, he was brilliant! Of course we had accidents but it was also a learning curb for me. One mistake I made was when we met some of my family at a restaurant and let him have some juice with his meal, but unfortunately they brought him a whole pint of juice, just what you want for a toddler who is toilet training! He must have thought it was his birthday and Christmas all at once. I did the sensible thing and took him for a wee before we left but of course a pint in means a pint out, so after an accident in Clarks, and then again in Next, he finished off sat on a portable potty in the middle of the shop! We all found it hilarious!
Fast forwarding to Christmas, so almost 4/5 months potty trained and only a few accidents since, he went totally backwards. On Christmas Day we changed 5 pants and pairs of trousers and it took a few months to get back on track. Thankfully, we have finally got through all of that and we are also now on day 10 of no nappy at night, which he is doing brilliantly at, however, it is worth mentioning that, after a lot of googling, that is something that you can not train them for - it just comes in time and like everything else, everyone does it at different ages.
Top tips for Potty Training
- Wait for them to be ready! There is no rush, and trust me, poo is so much easier to clean up in a nappy than in pants!!!! Plus asking them 300 times a day is just annoying for both parents and the toddler.
- Wait until you are ready too, not only do they have to be ready but you do too as it is a big commitment.
- Carry on as normal but take a potty with you! A few people/books talk about staying in for a week but to me that sounds like hell - cabin fever and potty training? No thanks! I'm not saying head out on a 3 hour car journey or a full day shopping (not that I would recommend that with a toddler anyway) but take a trip to the park or a friends house like you normally would.
- There will be accidents, just be prepared with some spare pants, clothes, and buy a lot of washing powder!
- We all probably know this one, but let them pick their own pants and use sticker charts etc. for rewards.
- If they do go through a regression, I found that firming up helped. I would sternly tell Jackson, whenever he had an accident, that I had to do more washing which was not fun.
Good luck to anyone starting or thinking about it.
Love Sophia xxx