At the beginning of February, we begun our potty training rollercoaster and I’ve been wanting to share what I’ve learnt from it all. But every time I sit down to write it, I wonder if we’ll enter a regression and I’ll feel like a real fraud for sharing my ‘tips’….because I guess that’s just it, these aren’t really tips. More so just a few things I’ve picked up along the way as I’m so aware that every child is different and responds differently to potty training.
Follow Their Lead
You’ve heard it time and time again, but it couldn’t have been truer for us. Emma is very determined and independent but above all I knew the start of potty training would have to be her idea. The big switch for us was when we was at a friend’s house and insisted on going to the toilet while he used the potty…perhaps it was the visualisation she needed but ever since, she insisted she does not wear nappies any more.
It’s Not Always ‘Done’ in 3 Days
Months ago, before we were anywhere close to potty training – a few people told me that when they are ready, potty training only takes three days. So when Emma showed interest in using the potty, we’d have accidents and the three days past…into a week…and I started to feel so disheartened. Maybe she wasn’t ready after all? Was I pushing her too hard?
At this stage, I was completely doubting myself and turned to our key worker at nursery to see if maybe we should put it on hold for a while. But she reassured me that some children just take a little longer to make potty training second nature to them. I’m really glad I had that reassurance as eventually Emma did get there and I would definitely have been tempted to put it on hold!
Bumps in the Road
I’m not the greatest at staying calm at the best of times, but that’s really what is needed. We had accidents and some days I completely ran out of the 17 pairs of knickers we had bought for Emma’s day-to-day. But taking a deep breath and reminding myself that she is learning, that this is a skill – was a big help for me.
Some days were tougher than others and also I found nursery was a tougher setting for her to feel comfortable asking to go to the toilet, as a particularly shy girl. But eventually she got there and something ‘clicked’.
As well as being patient along the way, it was so heartening to hear other mums tell me that regressions are totally normal and sometimes occur for a variety of reasons. For Emma, we had a couple because we encouraged her to use the toilet and I don’t think she was ready. It was good to just follow her lead again, and go back to the potty until she was ready.
At this time, I worried quite a lot about us effectively taking a step backwards with toilet training, but it was almost as though she needed to take a step backwards to go forwards and I just made sure I had plenty of spare pants and leggings to hand. I didn’t realise it at the time, but her regression was part of the learning process and something she had to do to figure it all out.
I’ve also filmed a little chatty video about our experience of potty training and would love you to have a watch and see what you think! Do you have any top tips that helped your child?