Mellow Mummy: Potty Training The Mellow Way - An Update : Taking life as it comes...

Monday, 13 June 2011

Potty Training The Mellow Way - An Update

A few weeks ago I hosted a potty training carnival here on Mellow Mummy. At the time, I had little of my own to share other than reviews of potties that Lara had 'tried' to use. Now our attempts at potty training have stepped up a gear so I'm sharing our progress for the Going Potty carnival at Mummy Mishaps.

As you may know, I started offering Lara a potty to sit on when she was about 13 months old. We have had a potty in the bathroom, the nursery and the living room ever since. It's there, we talk about it but we never forced the issue. Before a bath Lara would occasionally sit on it, only very rarely was this successful.

Two weeks ago I felt compelled to step it up a gear. Lara's communication has come on so much that I had vaguely been considering it for a couple of weeks and then, when one of the other children at her swimming lesson turned up one week fully toilet trained, I decided it was time. I know, as the Mellow Mummy I shouldn't feel pressured into these things but you can't help it. With summer just around the corner, the time felt right. Lots of chances (weather permitting) to play outside and not worry about accidents.

potty training

I bought a packet of stickers and a bag of giant chocolate buttons and then one weekend I plonked Lara down onto the potty at nappy-change time and tried to explain the concept of bribery!

We've done this every evening after work for a fortnight, and when we can over the weekends. After about two days we started getting successes and Lara's face would break into a great big beaming smile when she realised what she had done. An even bigger smile when she got her chocolate.

Then we started getting brave and removing the nappy for that period of time between getting home from nursery/work and going to bed. This hasn't proved to be a great success. Lara still, after a fortnight, can't really tell me when something is about to happen and so it always ends with a puddle on the living room floor. I think Lara understands now though that a wee on the carpet doesn't deserve chocolate, or a sticker on her chart.

Over the weekend she managed to use the potty on demand several times - one time even in front of her Nanny and Grandad (I don't know who was more excited, Lara or Nanny?). On Monday Lara told everyone at nursery that she didn't want to do wee wees in her nappy and even asked to sit on the toilet (something she outright refused to do at home until this point). In the evening, after a very stressful bedtime, we heard Lara running around upstairs - we went up to find her without her nappy on, searching for the potty. The very first time she had been able to successfully anticpate her need to use it. It filled me with an overwhelming sense of pride that only a potty-training parent can understand.

And so, with a matter of days before Lara's 2nd birthday, I don't think she will be out of nappies before she turns two but I think we're making good steps. I'm not in a rush, it will take as long as it takes - days, weeks or months. For us, potty training has been and will continue to be all about slowly building up a habit (and if you're Lara, its all about the chocolate).

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