Thursday, 3 October 2013

Potty training... The simple and mess free way it worked for me!

Before I go any further I must emphasise that I am not expert in this field and I am not saying my way is the correct way however within 1 week my 2.5 year old boy was dry and a couple of weeks after that we conquered #2's. What I will say is that I did not have to scrub my carpet or furniture!

My mother had been telling me that the best time to train is in the summer as it's warmer which as it turns out is true... However I would say that I technically started training little T long before he even sat on a potty. He was given a book for his 2nd birthday back in April called Pirate Pete's Potty...

I started reading this book to him a couple of times a week and getting him to tell me the story as we go along. I didn't realise the benefit this would have a few months down the line as it means he sort of  knew the drill! 
When searching for the right potty I went online and had a google around coming across some pretty funky designs with buttons and noises etc but I ended up going for a simple blue 2 piece Mickey Mouse potty from Mothercare as Little T would have ended up spending more time pressing a pretend flush than sitting on the potty itself! 
At this point my son was around 2 years and 3 months... I knew he wasn't quite ready as he had never indicated his need to pee or even really referred to it. I was insistent that nobody get involved and confuse him until I knew he was ready (ie grandparents!). We had some holiday time booked away over the summer so I decided that I wouldn't even approach the subject with him until we are settled back home. 
Come first week of August (T-Minus 4 weeks before he starts a few mornings a week at nursery) and he was happily playing in the bath when he says "T do wee wee"... That was the break through moment when I thought "oh crap, I actually need to deal with this potty training thing, urgh!!) 

Things I bought that proved useful:

Simple blue Mickey Mouse potty (mothercare)
Simple blue Mickey Mouse toilet seat
Step stool for hand washing 
8 pairs of cotton underwear aged 2-3 as I was advised not to go for a small size that's hard for them to put on and off.
2 packs of Huggies Pull Ups

My memory at the best of times is pretty shocking so the first 4 days I made notes of every drop and plop that my son produced to get a rough idea of how frequently/infrequently he went.

I can say that the first 2 days I spent good chunks of the day in the bathroom with the potty in the middle of the room. I brought in a box of Duplo and a few cars in and as it was a super hot day he was just in a t-shirt and no bottoms. The floor is tiled so if he was to have an accident it's easy to clean (unlike my cream living room carpet!) however he never actually did make any mess, as the potty was right there it was a constant reminder. 

When we weren't in the bathroom I put him in pull ups which I called pants so he treated them like pants instead of nappies. The pull ups are great as they have the picture fading logo which indicates when wet. 

We had a sticker chart which he got to stick 1 sticker for a pee and 2 for a #2! It came in this little book:

I carried on this process for the whole week using only pull ups and the potty and watching as day by day he got dryer and dryer to the point where he was wearing the same pair of pull ups all day! At night we were using a regular nappy as being dry all night will take more time.

For week 2 I made the switch from pull ups all day to regular pants and only using pull ups when I knew he was going to take a nap or be in the car for a long time. He was quite happy to treat them like regular pants. I understand why some parents think that pull ups confuse the child but if you treat them like regular underwear so will they. When little T wet his pull ups I would explain to him that he did wee wee in his pants and not his potty and also emphasise that we now have to put on a clean new pair.

Out and about was my fear as I absolutely despise public toilets and avoid them at all costs - now I can't!! I bought this fantastic folding seat that completely covers the front half of the toilet and has handles to avoid any contact with a germ ridden public loo!

I bought it for £6.99 from Boots! 

My essential out and about kit consists of:

Foldable toilet seat
Hand sanitiser
Wet wipes
Spare pants

I taught little T to keep his hand so his head while I set up the folded seat and when I'm dressing him to avoid him touching anything - I'm crazy I know but some loos are truly horrendous!!!!

By week 3 (baring in mind he wasn't really having accidents past week 1) I then had the confidence to switch to regular pants full time with no use of pull ups. He started nursery a week after that and I was happy to tell them he is potty trained! Obviously with all the distractions at nursery he had a few accidents but now a month in I can rest assured the job is done! 

Good luck to all parents that have to go through this, whatever way works for you just go for it!!

Tiana xxx