For those who regularly read my blog, you’ll know Lamb is nearly 2 1/2 years old. We introduced the potty quite a while ago, getting him used to it being around and teaching him what it’s for. Every now an then we would say “would you like to go on the potty” and never expect him to say yes. This was just a way to get him used to hearing us ask him, and for him to understand why we were asking him.
He managed to use the potty a few months ago, which was very exciting. (Trust me, the first time your toddler wees on the potty, you’ll be jumping up and down and giving them high fives). For some reason Lamb stopped there. He lost interest and refused to use the potty again for a few months.
That was fine with us, we always said we wanted him trained by the age of 3, and would never force him. As you probably know (because I rant about it a lot), Lamb is an extremely fussy eater, in fact I call him a selective eater which is something I learned form an interview with Dr. Raj on This Morning (I’ll go into this further in a separate blog post). For that reason I never force anything with Lamb. I tried a forceful technique with getting him to eat and we got nowhere. Children can’t be forced. They need to do things in their own time and when they feel comfortable. Remember, every child is different so never compare them with other kids.
A couple of weeks ago I had a lovely surprise when I picked Lamb up from nursery. He had used the toilet! That’s right, not a potty, a toilet!! He had 2 stickers on his t-shirt as a reward. Lamb was so excited to tell me about it (especially about the stickers, he’s obsessed), which got me thinking. Introduce a reward chart.
Luckily I already had one at home that I picked up from the special buys at Aldi a while ago. I saw it and knew it would come in use in the future. I explained how it works to Lamb and he seemed really keen to get involved. He has a colour sticker for potty training, a colour for doing as he’s told and being good (this may sound a little vague but at the moment I’m struggling with him listening to me when we are on our own – again, that will be talked about in a separate blog post) and another sticker for eating.
The potty training at nursery continued to progress, the following day he used the toilet again, but sat on it 6 times in total! I was so happy. I knew this would give him that push he needs to use the potty at home.
The potty we are using is from Tesco. It’s a standard shape and size and can be bought from most places. I thought about looking into the ‘best’ potty’s on the market and innovative designs etc, but then thought, a potty is a potty and I don’t want to spend time on money on one that he might hate.
Luckily he likes his potty (he didn’t to begin with but I think that was because he was a little young to understand). Lamb is now using the potty a few times a week. This may not sound like a lot, but my technique is to go slowly and build up on using the potty every day. He has yet to wee on the toilet, but he often sits on it and pretends to go. He completely understands he can use “mummy’s toilet” if he wants to and has a training seat from OXO Tot (which is really good by the way).
Like I said earlier Lamb is 28 months, so approaching 2 1/2. I know there are parents out there that would have their children potty trained by this age, and some parents wait until they are 3. There is no right or wrong age, you need to work around your childs needs and how they feel about potty training. Personally, I’d like Lamb to be trained by the age of 3, and definitely by the time we have a second baby (I do not want to be buying 2 lots of nappies each week!)
After spending the last 6 months slowly introducing Lamb to the potty I have my own top tips if you are thinking of potty training your toddler.
- Introduce a potty earlier than you expect them to be trained by. 18 months is a good age. By this age they should be walking comfortably, communicating and able to understand how to sit on the potty.
- Take things slowly and expect delays with progress. You may have to take a few steps forward then one step back, but that’s all part of the big change they are going through.
- On hot days let your little one run around the garden without a nappy and have the potty close by to give to them if they need a wee.
- Encourage them to tell you when they need a wee wee or poo poo. Lamb is really good at telling us once he’s gone, but not necessarily before.
- Regularly ask them if they want to use the potty, even if you know they will say no. They might eventually say yes.
- Introduce a reward chart to encourage them to sit on the potty. Praise them for sitting on the potty, but only reward them if they actually use it. You don’t want to shoot yourself in the foot by giving them a sticker when they haven’t actually fulfilled the task.
- If you feel confident and your child has shown signs of using the potty, have plenty of nappy free time in the house. We find Lamb will eventually shout “oh no, wee wee!” and has no choice but to sit on the potty because he is so desperate. This has been a successful technique for us.
- Buy a toilet training seat like the one we have from OXO Tot (OXO Tot Sit Right Toilet Trainer Seat). Show them that sitting on the toilet is safe and comfortable. One day it will be time to train them on there too!
- Introduce pull up nappies to get them used to wearing pants. I have been trying out the Aldi Easy Pants as part of the Mamia Parent Panel and they are fab and excellent value.
- Finally, encourage family to potty train too. Make sure you have a spare potty at Grandma’s house or keep a spare in the car so you always have one with you. You need to teach them going on the potty doesn’t just happen at home. They need to learn to do it everywhere.
I hope this post have given you some good tips on potty training. It can be a slow process but if you positively encourage your toddler they will soon be doing it by themselves!
I’d love to know what tips you have with potty training and how you’re getting on with it.