If you ask me, potty training is one of the most frustrating parts of raising children. Every time, I promise myself to keep my spirits up, but every single time, by the third day, my patience is at a minimum and I seriously want to put the nappy back on and forget about the whole thing completely. But miraculously, sticking to it seems to be the trick. After the third and fourth day things improve, and after the first week things really get a whole lot better. Generally, after 2 weeks, the child is potty trained, which means almost all of the wees and poos go in the potty, exception taken for the occasional accident of course. I just went through potty training with Ava, and I thought I would give you my tips and tricks now that I’m fresh off the battle field.
The day that we started, we took the nappy off when the child woke up in the morning. We put him/her on the potty, and continued to do this throughout the day with 15 minute intervals. Yes, the whole day! We sat next to the child to keep him on there for a bit (we read a book or showed things on the iPod — preferably about potty training and other children using the potty successfully). If the child happened to be lucky and used the potty successfully, we made it into a big deal. Applause and cheering from everybody was absolutely necessary! We trashed the wee in the wc together, we let the child flush, and waved bye bye. And of course, the child can then put a sticker on the reward sheet! Of course it’s absolutely normal that most of the times you have accidents. Ava had 3 stickers the first day (pretty good), 2 the next day (one for a poo), only one the third day (the worst day! So frustrating!) — and all the other wees (and poos!) ended up in her underwear. But, after that things get better and usually they start to get the hang of it. At that point the intervals become bigger, like 30 minutes, until they finally pull down their pants and wee in the potty as if they’ve done nothing else their entire life! With Ava, this happened after about a week, and after 2 weeks she was potty trained. She has now been potty trained for about a month, and she rarely has accidents. We take the portable potty with us whenever we go, and one or two spare outfits just in case, but we rarely have to use those! I know, the whole training sounds like a horrible affair, but now that it’s done, I’m so relieved that it’s over! Tell me — do you have any potty training tips? (Or if you’re thinking of potty training your children and have questions, let me know and we will try to answer them in the comments — we’re far from experts of course, but I know it can be so nice to just ask someone who has just gone through the process!)
Hi there, this was just what I was looking for. This is the 2nd attempt at potty training my son (my daughter got it in a few days, ,y son seems to be different). The first time we went for nearly a month but by the end of the month he’s reverted back to stage one again. We gave up and have started again today. He will go on the potty when he is placed on it with no problem. He never at any stage told us or indicated when he needed to go. My question is how can i encourage this. He needs to be able to ask to go before he starts nursery school after the summer. Any hints would be appreciated. Unfortunately we will be away at my parents for the whole summer so he will not be in his comfort zone. Many thanks
Hi Lesley, it seems that you’re doing great! I would just keep asking your son at regular intervals if he needs to use the potty, just to remind him, and I’m sure at some point he will start indicating he needs to go! Kids are so easily distracted (lego!), and then they forget about the whole potty until the exact moment they need to go. But they’ll learn, for sure! Good luck, and enjoy the summer at your parents’! xxx
thank you for your tips. we are now potty training our youngest( 2 and 3 months) she had been using the potty occasionally already since she saw her elder sister doing it all the time. since a few days it has been going really well. (thank god 🙂
I just wanted to add one thing, it’s best not to start potty training untill your child keeps his or her diaper dry for at least 2 hours. if they cannot do so, it’s a sign that they haven’t enough control over their pelvic muscles yet.
happy potty training!
Some wonderful tips here for when we will start potty training with our own little girl. And i think you are very brave for going cold turkey 🙂
I’ve just trained my son in may (he was 2 years and 4 month old) and it looked pretty much the same: 3 days of changing clothes all the time, and another 4 days a little better. After a week I forget that my son has ever worn nappies 🙂 it was such a relief I regretted I haven’t done it earlier.
He didn’t sit on potty every 15 minutes, rather every hour or 2. It was hard at the beginnig but now he always call me when he wants to sit on potty, I don’t have to watch him or even ask him.
One more advise: during first days my son also has wet socks and shoes and I didn’t have 10 pairs of them. Fortunately I’ve just bought him crocks and could just wipe them with paper.
Yes! I forgot to mention, but Crocs are great for potty training! Thanks for pointing that out! xxxx
I did exactly what you say Esther, I certainly agree earlier the better! I did Pelham when he was 2 and just went cold turkey, within two weeks all was over. I think when they are little they get more excited about the newness of it and even the ritual, Pelham didn’t like the potty so he had a little seat in the toilet with it’s own little hook etc. Pia potty trained herself at 19 months (very handy!), but again it proves that earlier you generally have less fuss as you say they don’t think as much and they don’t feel that you are just being super mean to them interrupting their lego building with putting them on the potty! Well done Ava (and you of course) x
Congratulations! Nappy free hurray!
On the subject of potty training: I was told not to potty train. I was very sceptical about this, having read a lot about it on blogs, but it worked! ( I couldn’t really potty train her on my own as she goes to a daycare center). My daughter went to the potty when she was ready (in March, she turned two in October). As long as she still had to wear nappies, she only did no 2 into the potty. She was allowed to go to daycare without a nappy in May. We took off her nappy and she went to the toilet. Hardly any accidents, no mess, no more potty, no treats. It was so easy, I still cannot believe it. I didn’t have to do anything. No sitting on the potty for a longer period of time. No hassle AT ALL! It worked so well for us I can just recommend it. I’m still surprised but happy.
This is surely helpful. I’m not sure what we’re doing, it’s our first potty training excercise coming up.
Our little girl (21 months) has been sitting on the potty before her bath time for a while, being rather successful lately and I’m trying to sit her on her potty every morning (which requires plenty of bribery or tricks (mommy’s gonna sit on your potty now – nooo, mommy, nooo, I will!), but has been rather successfull nonetheless). I do that because her diaper is dry almost every morning, which is totally surprising for me and makes me think whether we should go cold turkey all the way. Much more so because her diaper is dry for large chunks of time (an hour or even two) over the day too. I’m thinking about starting her off very soon (want to use up those diapers first :)), but I’m a little sceptic, because she’s really not happy about sitting on the potty most of the time and needs to be tricked or something, and I don’t want to push something too soon.
Also, I’m really fuzzled about night time. I’d rather have it all at once, but we still co-sleep and most nights (ok, every night) she crawls into our bed in the wee hours of the night, which would mean a lot of large wet sheets in case of an accident (not mentioning waking up to a little pool all over my legs and tummy). Should we first move her into her own bed for good (a few months down the road, I think, when we’re moving house) and then go diaper-less? Oh, I have so many questions, sorry for this looooong comment/whining/self-questioning.
I think you should begin potty training during the day and after a few weeks, if she is successful, I would try at night. I imagine (because we haven’t done it yet) night is more difficult, because the child is sleepy and you need to go and help him. When you sleep together it may be a little bit easier.
Yes, I wouldn’t worry about night time just yet. Maybe just start with day-time training, and it could even be half a year or a year later before you take the nappy off at nights too (this totally depends on the child by the way, some can do it after a week, some still need a nappy at nights when they’re 5 yo). You’ll notice that at some point the nappy is dry in the mornings, and by that time you can start leaving the nappy off at night too (you might want to purchase one of those waterproof mattress protectors by that time!). Good luck! x
I have to be honest and say that we are holding off as long as possible. II know my son is ready because he will go and use the potty if the mood takes him at bath time. He wakes up dry most days from nap time and has been dry a few time over night. I just cant face it because Im breastfeeding my youngest and know every time I sit to feed an accident will happen. I think that once weaning is well underway next month I will have to do it properlly!
I think that sounds like a plan! Anyway, they say it’s best not to implement too many changes on your child all at once, and it sounds like you had a baby not so long ago (congrats!!). So maybe best to wait until all is settled down before you start potty training. Good luck! xxx
I started the summer my daughter turned 2 with no interest. I tried star sticker boards, lollies, the works. After about 4 weeks of pull ups ‘she’ was ready. I took her to the toilet every 1/2 hour or so to get her used to it and it seemed to have worked. She has had a few accidents over the last few months though generally all good. They are children after all so accidents dont get yelled at though quickly cleaned and with a calm smile to ‘ tell mumma when you need to go’. It stressed me out at the start and i look back at it now and wonder why?
Wow, thank you for those tips. To us our son get potty trained during holidays when we had time and patience. The thing is, he is potty trained by day but he still has diapers when he sleeps… We are now waiting for dry nappies when he wakes up but it s getting long…
Yes, sometimes that can take a long time, especially for boys. Courtney wrote an article about that here, which generated some great comments which might be helpful to you: https://babyccinokids.com/blog/2011/07/08/bed-wetting/. Good luck!
any tips for potty-training if your child goes to day care? our teachers are great about encouraging the kids to sit on the potty at school but can’t give full/constant attention to each child. i’d like to start our two-year old now but between a month vacation coming up and then a full day care schedule, I am a bit flummoxed!
Hi Greer! Our day care follows the same potty training system as we do. They start with a few kids at the same time, so it’s a bit easier to manage. And they too take the children to the potty every 15 to 20 minutes the first days / week! Day care facilities should totally work with the parents about potty training, so I would just bring it up with them… It’s in the end also easier for them, once the child is potty trained!! Good luck!!! xxx