I’ve had lots of messages asking about potty training and how we went about it. I’m not sure when the “correct” time to officially class your child as “potty trained” is hence why I’d not yet shared this post! It’s been almost 3 weeks since Arjun last wore a nappy and there definitely is no going back now despite the odd accident!
Here’s a quick over view of where we are at:
1. He now 90% of the time tells us when he needs to go and often will go to the potty/toilet himself
2. His accidents are usually when he’s distracted where he sometimes needs to be reminded to go or if he’s had a particularly bad day e.g. missing his daddy
3. 90% of any accidents he does have are at nursery
4. He’s become so helpful and independent – If he pees in the potty, he likes to flush it down the toilet himself!
5. He pulls his own pants up and down
6. We managed a day trip to Birmingham without any accidents
7. We managed a whole weekend of wedding functions and a birthday party at a trampoline park without any accidents
8. He can now sleep the night without a nappy on and has gone from needing a wee as soon as he wakes up to now being able to hold it in for at least half an hour before going to the toilet by himself
To be honest, it was a dream both Preetam and I had to get Arjun potty trained before baby number 2 arrives – the thought of having to change 2 lots of nappies was not appealing! I didn’t think we’d actually be able to turn it around and make it a reality though!
He’s now 28 months old (almost 2 and a half) and is communicating more and more. We began the process while Arjun and I were still living at home and to say it was difficult is an understatement. There is so much change going on in Arjun’s life right now AND we don’t have a toilet downstairs. We placed a potty downstairs for when he needed to go.
To be completely honest, he has really excelled since we moved to my parent’s house – I guess the four extra pair of hands doesn’t go a miss! My dad in particular made it his mission to get Arjun off nappies and his patience and perseverance has definitely made a huge impact!
Here is how we approached potty training:
|4 months ago||Arjun would sometimes tell us when he’d done wee in his nappy. He often told us when he needed to poo.|
|3 months ago||We began with periods when at home or grandparents with pants on and placing him on the toilet using a trainer seat every 30 minutes. At bedtime or when out we would put a nappy on him.
We tried pull ups for a very short while and then decided against it. My sister is a nursery nurse and recommended we just stick to pants to avoid confusing him.
|2.5 months ago||I informed nursery that he was ready to start potty training while there too and stocked up on lots of pants and ensured he had several changes of clothes while there. He had several accidents while at nursery initially but soon got the gist of things by copying his buddies. We continued with pants at home after nursery but still put a nappy on him at bedtime or when out.|
|1.5 months ago||One evening, Arjun decided he didn’t want to wear a nappy to bed. We fought it as we were so tired from sleep regression and having to change wet bedding in the middle of the night didn’t seem like fun. We put a nappy on him while he slept. Big mistake on our part. When he woke, his nappy was dry. He was still having the odd accident (I’d say 1 every 2-3 days when at home).|
|1 month ago||We moved to my parent’s house a month ago and soon after decided to ditch the nappy all together about ten days ago. Initially we would have to place him on the toilet every 30 minutes or any time he woke from a nap or had just had fluid. We still remind him but now he is much better at telling us.|
|3 weeks ago||Arjun went out for the first time without a nappy on for 3 hours. I invested in a portable toilet seat for when we are out as I sensed he didn’t feel comfortable without.
We went cold turkey with the nappy and Arjun slept through the night without a nappy on and had no accidents. In the first week where we totally boycotted nappies, he had 1 accident during the night and 1 accident first thing in the morning when he’s woken up. Since then, he can now hold in his wee for up to half an hour after waking and goes to the toilet himself.
|2 weeks ago||We did a day trip to Birmingham on the Sunday without any accidents and he told us most times when he wanted to go. The remaining he went when we placed him on the toilet.
On the Monday, when he returned to nursery, he had a bit of a regressive day where he had four accidents during the day. He seemed to re-find his footing on Tuesday and touch wood things are back on track. Since then, we’ve had two accidents at home.
Since then, he’s had several trips out armed with his portable potty seat and is really comfortable going out in public. We managed a trip to the farm without any trouble too!
|This week||He managed a whole weekend of wedding functions and a trip to the trampoline park without any accidents. I was super proud of him!
He’s become as lot more proactive with going to the potty by himself now and they have also noticed his progress at nursery where he wants to clear up after himself by clearing his wee from the potty in to the toilet and flushing himself!
It’s now been almost 3 weeks since Arjun last wore a nappy. Has he had accidents? Yes. Have they been unbearable? No.
Here are our top potty training essentials:
1. Stock up on pants, cheap pants: We stocked up on Asda pants for nursery which are 7 pairs for £2.50. The “nicer” pairs, I picked up from Primark and the character ones (Paw Patrol) from B&M Stores.
2. A toilet trainer seat: if we had a toilet downstairs, we wouldn’t have bothered with a potty. We ensured there is a Tippitoes Toilet Trainer Seat for the upstairs toilet at our house and at both grandparents houses. They are brilliant, secure and reasonably priced.
3. Reward charts: we haven’t used a reward chart as such, but we did get reward stickers and Arjun sticks them on his bedroom wall (and then peels them off again!). They also use stickers at nursery. We got specific potty training reward stickers.
4. Potty: if like us you dont have a downstairs toilet, place a potty downstairs especially at the beginning to minimise accidents and so that your toddler always has access to a toilet. There are lots on the market however we opted for 99p ones from Home Bargains! When Arjun is in the garden, we also always place a potty for him outside so he can go himself if he needs to. The distance from our garden to the upstairs toilet is a fair bit for a small person!
5. Get a portable toilet seat for when out: they are brilliant and come with a little plastic case to keep them in. Our one fits in our Skip Hop rucksack. We went for the portable folding travel potty seat. I’d highly recommend it!
6. Bed mats or a mattress protector: for night time accidents without ruining your favourite mattress!
7. Get a little stool: so they can climb up and down themselves.
I’m definitely no expert and we clearly have a bit of a while to go but here are my top potty training tips:
1. Wait until your child is ready: We judged this by when Arjun could communicate and began telling us if he wanted a nappy change. I did attempt before this but struggled, its felt a little easier since he’s been on board. It also helps that his new nursery room has potty training facilities for consistency and also seeing other children sitting on the potty made him want to do it too.
2. Spare pants and a change of clothes when out: Just incase you have an accident!
3. Don’t be scared: What’s the worst that can happen?! They’ll have an accident! So what, change them!
4. Let them choose their pants: when home, we let Arjun choose which pants he’d like to wear. His favourites are the dinosaurs, footballs and Paw Patrol.
5. Wear pull up bottoms: such as jogging bottoms or leggings. Nothing too fussy so that they can pull their own bottoms up and down. Encourage them to be independent but always be there to offer a helping hand! I let Arjun wipe his bottom after going for a number 2, but will always do it for him after.
6. Boys and their bits: tell him to tuck it in unless you want an accident!
7. Plan your outings: ensure you place them on the toilet before you go out, as soon as you reach your destination, during your trip and as soon as you get home.
8. Routine: if you feed your child at the same time everyday, they will probably have a routine. Arjun poo’s before 10 after breakfast and around 4pm like clockwork most days.
9. Don’t use pull ups: it’s confusing for a child to distinguish between pull ups and a nappy. Arjun treated it the same as a nappy.
10. Go cold turkey on the nappy as soon as possible: keeping the nappy seemed to be confusing for Arjun and he’s done much better since we’ve given the nappy up.
11. Make toilet time fun: Arjun and I always have little conversations or sing songs when he’s on the toilet to make it more fun.
12. Praise praise praise: if he has an accident, I never tell him off (as difficult and frustrating as it can be at times!) – I’m pretty sure he’d prefer not to pee in his pants but it’s bound to happen! Instead I remind him of what we do. When he does go on the toilet, I give him lots of cuddles and praise. My dad also treated him to a present as he was so proud the first night he went without a nappy.
13. Follow your child’s lead: let them guide you. When Arjun told us he didn’t want a nappy on at night, we should have listened!
14. Remind them they are wearing pants: I especially do this during the night and when in the car!
15. Get everyone on board: it’s honestly been so much easier because I’ve had four extra pairs of hands to help me. I know this isn’t the usual family situation, but if you can get family members on board and set up for when you visit their homes, it’ll be a lot easier.
16. Get nursery on board: Arjun spends three full days there and although most of his accidents happen there, I’m grateful that they are persevering. It also helps as several other children in his room are also potty training.
17. Regular toilet time: although Arjun now tells us when he wants to go, we still ensure we place him on the toilet at least once an hour to remind him especially when he’s distracted.
I’d love to hear your potty training tips and any other advice!
For those mamas embarking on the same journey, good luck, be confident and don’t be scared!