Having recently been through this with one gorgeous girl, Sarah is currently tackling the joys of potty training with her second, Eliza! She has kindly written up her wisdom to share with us. My approach to potty training thus far has been denial. But as we’ve just had the big T.W.O. it’s time to stop pretending. This sh*t is getting real. Literally.

Potty training from Sarah Boud

Potty training can be quite a stressful time for a lot of parents, but it’s the last big hurdle from baby to child.

How do you know when your child is ready? Well, they’ll tell you! They’ll start pointing at the toilet, watching what you’re doing, pulling down or taking off their nappies. The big thing is don’t rush it. It can take much longer if you do. Huggies has come up with a list of signs of readiness to potty train and your child needs to be doing at least three:

  1. Your child stays dry for two hours or more at a time, or is dry after a daytime nap.
  2. Your child tells you in words or by behaviour that wearing a wet nappy is uncomfortable, and needs changing.
  3. Your child asks to use the potty or the toilet.
  4. You usually know when your child is likely to have a poo.
  5. Your child asks to wear potty training pants or normal underwear.
  6. Your child can understand and follow simple instructions, like ‘bring me the potty, please’.
  7. Your child can show in behaviour, or can use words, to let you know they need a wee or a poo.
  8. Your child can put on some of their clothes on unaided.

I think it’s quite useful! You should also trust your gut instinct too!

Boys vs Girls

Boys notoriously take longer than girls. You might expect a girl to start anywhere from 20 months to three years and a boy from two and a bit to four (as a generalisation, obviously there are exceptions.)

What do I need?

Well, pants, kitchen towel and a cleaning spray of some kind! Make sure your child is included when you get their pants as it really helps for them to engage. You can buy potty training pants that have a bit of toweling inside, but we didn’t really get on with them.

Loo seat vs potty

Anything else is up to you. You don’t even need a potty! My eldest went straight to using the loo. We had a fab loo seat that is part of the main toilet seat and folds down. She just wanted to be like me. I’m now potty training my second daughter and she is using the potty, more because she doesn’t want to miss what her sister is doing.

Pull ups?

I found pull up nappies great, but they’re not essential. If you go on lots of trips, you might decide to get a Potette Plus – it’s like a potty with a sanitary pad inside so it soaks up the wee and you can just throw it away.

I’m ready! What next?

Well, that’s where it gets harder. Most children will wee quite happily, but poo takes longer. However, many children are quite regular – both my daughters would poo like clockwork – after breakfast and dinner, so I could just take their nappies off when they said wee and let them run around naked. For some strange reason, children think they need to be completely naked to pee! I found it quite frustrating but it’s another phase.

It’s definitely easier when they’re a bit older because you can ask them to sit on the loo before you go out or eat and they’ll understand. They might not want to, but I just made sure I left plenty of time and said that we weren’t leaving / eating until they had sat on the loo!

I think the most important things to remember are to listen to your child – if they say ‘wee now!’, they can’t hold it in, so go with it!

Don’t rush

They might not be ready and it can make the whole process take longer. My eldest just wasn’t interested until she was two and a half, but then she was dry day and night within two weeks!

Don’t scold

And finally don’t make them feel bad if they have an accident. It will always be at the worst time, but they didn’t do it on purpose!

Good luck!

Sarah, mum to Ava and Eliza

Potty training - 7 key ways to help you prepare! http://mumsdays.com/potty-training/

Thanks Sarah!

You may also like these articles from Sarah… BLW, Bottle Feeding – the Guilt, Baby Bond – when it doesn’t go to plan