People say potty training is one of the most stressful parts of parenthood; so no wonder why I’ve been putting it off!
Dot is nearly 3.5years- so yes we are ‘late’ to the game I think. But our potty training journey actually started years ago! The summer after she was 1 Dot was regularly using the potty and doing a poo, but wees have always been elusive- at the end of that summer she suddenly lost interest.
I vowed not to start again until I thought she was ready; I thought she’d suddenly show an interest, but that didn’t happen. So on her turning 3 I thought I’d start to get the wheels in motion, toilet seats were purchased for each loo (Peppa Pig- in the hope of encouraging her), we slowly started to encourage her to use the loo- starting with morning, bath time and bedtime- but no luck and no interest.
As lockdown started I had every intention to start again and really ‘train’ her- but again I never really found the motivation.
But then one night I decided the next day was it- no more nappies!
That morning after removing Dots bedtime nappy I told her she’d be wearing pants (after all we’d been talking about pants/potties/potty books/songs for ages) …..
It lasted about an hour- with her screaming ‘ no thank you Mummy’ (she’s very polite) crying, shutting herself in her room and begging ‘put a nappy on please’. After that she calmed and I just let her wander nude (obviously at home and with summer weather) – soon afterwards she asked for pants.
Since then every morning she asks for her nappy off and to pick out some new pants and get dressed.
Our biggest surprise of potty training has been how quickly Dorothea was happy to leave the house with her ‘big girl’ pants on. Initially our plan was to only potty train at home- and wear pull ups when out, but Dot was super keen and kept with pants from day one.
I’ve been reassuring Dot about accidents; saying they are all part of learning- and if she has an accident she doesn’t get too upset.
It’s totally annoying; but we ask Dot is she needs the toilet every 20 mins, after the first few days you’ll start noticing cues. Dots cues are asking what’s happens if I have an accident’ and doing a little leg cross dance- we then get her to sit on the potty every 5-10 mins until she wees.
Dot loves her cheerleaders! Her grandparents know she’s potty training, encourage her and celebrate her successes. She therefore likes to excitedly FaceTime them when she does a wee or to show them her new pants. Toddlers just love yo be good at something and receive praise.
Tips for potty training a 3 year old:
- Get loads of pants! Toddlers love being picky/having a choice. We have about 15 pairs- H&M, peacocks and next offer good choice. It’s less pressure to wash everyday too.
- Dot prefers the mi potty as it’s taller than most (probably very relevant to those training older toddlers) and she says is comfier and shuns the others.
- Aqua wipes are great for accidents, potty wipe outs and bottom wiping.
- Get a stock of leggings- supermarket or preloved. In the early days we’d get through 3/4 a day.
- I can imagine warmer weather is much easier to train in, nudity and the garden have been big helpers.
- Reward charts and giving your child a goal seems to work really well (Dot really wanted the Ben and Holly castle)
- Patience – toddlers are very trying- and using the potty can be delaying tactics for all sorts- keep ya cool mama.
- After a week everything seems to smell of pee! If you have carpets then a stock of carpet freshener (make your own with baking soda and essential oils) is great- and maybe plan to hire a carpet cleaner when the job is done. (We have a vax so I’m planning a blitz when we get her dry)
So as a finish writing this blog we have been potty training for two weeks; we’ve been accident free for 6 days. I’m so proud of Dot and she’s proud of herself.
We still put bed Dot to bed in nappy pants; often in the morning she is dry anyway, and has already asked me when she can wear nappies to bed.
Wishing anyone luck starting potty training.