Yup. I’m aware I’ve already shared my potty training disasters with you. Sorry about that, but as any blogger will know, I have to work with what I have. And what I currently have in abundance are stories about wee.
It’s generally going quite well. Relatively speaking. We are pretty much home and dry… Today we had to dash into a McDonalds on very short notice for a McWee and it might have been just a teensy bit late (for her, not me) but we are definitely on the home stretch.
So now, I want to be smug while I still can, and thus I offer you my actual, genuine top tips for potty training. Real ones, I promise.
So you were potty trained out of the womb and you have a whole room full of potties thanks to well-meaning relatives, your kid is nearly three and of course the entire NCT group have been out of nappies forever?
…So? It’s not a competition, right?
Now I’m not advocating putting it off if indeed they are ready, and certainly you need to get around to this well before they’re at school, but there is no need to steam ahead because you think they should be ready. We tried at Christmas, after the big one had just turned two. It was fairly successful in that she could hold in her wee for a few hours and generally do it on or at least near a potty, if one happened to be close.
What she couldn’t do was remove her own clothing 100% of the time. With a sleep-fighting baby to get down for a nap twice a day, sometimes I couldn’t be there to help her and this did not end well.
So we just gave up. Pretended the last week hadn’t happened, back into nappies. Best decision we could have made. Fast forward six months and within a few days, she was virtually accident free.
2) Do it in the summer
Naked bums mean less washing – hurrah! – and being outside means less reasons to crack out this bad boy
(and FYI cleaning your carpets in the winter is a bloody stupid idea, as they NEVER DRY and then smell of wet dog for weeks).
3) Get the right equipment
Singing potties are all well and good until the batteries start to go and they start singing in the middle of the night. This happened a long time before attempt number two at potty training and we never bothered to replace them.
However you really should get yourself one of these.
I don’t know how people coped before this, I really don’t. Behold, the Potette Plus travel potty.
Not much to look at maybe, but this will be your best buddy in the potty training jungle. A potty and toilet seat in one, and small enough to put in a change bag.
You can use liners (which are basically plastic bags) but don’t bother; they are insanely expensive. Make your own from a supermarket plastic bag (make sure it’s one without holes in it…) and cheap maternity towels.
Pro tip: Don’t leave bags of wee in the car on hot days.
All the experts advise against it, presumably in case you end up with a teenager who will only go for a wee for Smarties, but if you ever want to leave the house on time at some point you may have to crack out the chocolate. Peppa Pig sticker books are all well and good but when it comes to persuading a toddler to wee on demand they just don’t have the power of sweets.
5. Get ready to chat about poo
You will spend an inordinate amount of time discussing bodily functions, so just ready yourself for that; it’s unavoidable. If you haven’t yet read ‘Poo Goes Home to Pooland’ you have a delight in store. The episode of ‘Get Well Soon’ with Dr Ranj singing about how to do a poo is a masterpiece.
I’m too bloody good to you; here you go. Enjoy:
6. Forget about dignity
It is totally acceptable for a toddler to talk at length about weeing and pooing in public and that includes public toilets. MUMMY ARE YOU HAVING A WEE? MUMMY IT’S A BIG WEE WEE! IS IT A POO?
7. Get some Nora Knickers
Otherwise known as the humble Huggies pull-up. So-called because they have Princess Aurora (aka Sleeping Beauty) on them and the toddler couldn’t say Aurora so called her Nora, which is a very fitting name for a beautiful princess.
A lot of people experienced in the art of potty training will tell you not to use pull ups during the day as they are similar to nappies and confusing for them, but now she is trained they’re not a bad idea for long journeys just in case we can’t stop in the middle of the motorway on demand, as has been known to happen. Car seat covers are not as easily removable (or, more accurately, put-back-onable) as they really ought to be.
And even though she is now dry most nights, at the moment she still gets her Nora knickers on at bedtime*. I love our bunkbeds, but changing sheets is a pain in the arse.
Last week it all took a bit of a turn towards the unknown when I went in to check on the sleeping Whingelets and found a cheeky toddler bottom sticking out of the covers (chilly!) and, upon inspection, her Nora knickers discarded on the floor. That night, like two nappy-toting ninjas, my husband and I got her out of bed, popped on a new one and placed her back into the top bunk without even waking her.
8) Give soft play a wide berth
For reasons that are outlined here.