Mellow Mummy: Potty Training, The Final Frontier : Taking life as it comes...

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Potty Training, The Final Frontier

That's it, I think we've finally cracked it! We have been an accident-free household for a whole week now. Phew.

I'll admit that it has taken far longer than I had hoped to get Lara through potty training but a few weeks ago we reached a turning point and then last week another milestone that I think was the secret of our success.

About 1 month ago Lara started to refuse to wear a nappy. At night Lara was happy to wear a pull-up (aka bedtime pants in our house) but during the day she would insist on wake-up pants! This presented me with a few issues because although she knew what she was doing, Lara consistently had accidents when in the car or when driving. We went with it and thanks to the little toilet-training pads from Dry Like Me (panty liners for toddlers) I was given the confidence I needed to let her go nappy-free when Lara was out and about in the car or tired in the afternoons and evenings. I also invested in a piddle pad for the car-seat to protect against the occasional, inevitable accident.

Our second milestone was actually initiated by the staff at nursery. They asked us to bring home Lara's potty because she was more than happy using the toilet and found that she only insisted on using the potty when a new member of staff was taking her to the toilet. We took this as a prompt to remove the potty from home and this seems to have been the final deciding factor. Hiding the potty forced Lara to walk all the way to the bathroom if she needed to go. We had been finding that Lara would go and fetch her potty, place it down in front of the TV or by her book and then get distracted before wetting herself centimetres from the potty. We hid the potty and the accidents magically stopped.

This weekend we managed a 2 hour car journey to Butlins, a weekend away and a 2 hour car journey home. Perfect.

And so (assuming we really have met the goal) it's time to share my Mellow Mummy top tips for potty training.

  • Potty training in the summer so they can run around outside is a myth. We started in July and now it's December and I can tell you now that Lara is not running amok naked in the garden

  • Have confidence in your child and they will surprise you.

  • Give them whatever gadgets or tools they need to gain their own confidence. When we started we found Bambino Mio potty training pants to help Lara as they felt like pants but offered a little protection if accidents happened. Dry Like Me toilet training pads helped in the later stages to offer the same kind of confidence but with REAL pants.

  • Don't expect your child to get it straight away

  • Offer encouragement (and bribes) freely.

  • We've tried and loved different types of potties such as the Pourty Potty (nursery particularly liked this) and the Becopotty but in the end, the potty Lara (and Mummy and Daddy) got on with best was a dead simple, traditional potty with high sides and a nice big bowl from Bambino Mio

  • Hide the potty when the time is right!

  • If you have a carpet you love, now is the right time to invest in a carpet-cleaner!

It does seem rather depressing that no sooner have I got Lara out of nappies I now have to start thinking about lifting my stash of reusable nappies out of the loft and seeing if I can bring them back to life for baby number two!
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