54/365 – Potty training: when and how?

Potty training is a topic that has occupied mind space with me for a while now.  Some of Little Bean’s friends started potty training a few months ago and so far so good.  I had always had it planned in my mind that I would attempt potty training with her last summer when we were at the mid-point house.  We knew that we would be there for about 6 months until our new house was built and the whole of the downstairs was laminate or tiled floors and had a downstairs toilet – all perfect for little accidents.  But as it turned out, I was pregnant with Beanie Boy and the Health Visitor advised against potty training when we would be moving house twice and with a new baby on the way so I pushed the thought out of my mind.  There was one day when we were at a play date with Cafebebe and Little Miss and the girls were playing outside in water buckets.  We had taken their nappies off whilst they were running around and Little Bean actually came to me and said that she needed the toilet before doing a wee on the patio.  I was really surprised that she had told me because I really didn’t think she seemed to know when she was doing anything.

We already have a potty which she chose herself and sits in her bathroom so that she can sit on it before her bath in an evening.  She sits on it, say “ah there you go, I’ve done a wee wee” but all that’s there to see is fresh air!

For a time when friends would visit with their little girls who are potty trained, she would ask me after they had left if she could do a wee on the toilet.  I asked if she wanted to go on the toilet or the potty and she said, toilet.  But the minute she sat on it (on a kiddie seat) she freaked out and hasn’t asked again since.

When she does a pooh, she will happily sit in it until I catch a whiff of it and take her to change her nappy.  She will never come and tell me that she has done it or ask me to change her nappy unless she is about to sit down to eat her dinner.

I have read various articles about when is the right time to potty train and one pointer that often crops up is whether your child ‘hides’ away to do their business.  Little Bean has never done this at all, she doesn’t mind standing in the middle of the room grunting and groaning her way through it.

So my question is, when should I think about starting to potty train her?  She will be 3 years old in June, she has started pre-school and yet she seems to show no interest in being a ‘big girl’ at all, even though she tells me at every opportunity that she is a big girl now.

And my second question is, what is the best approach to potty training?  Cold turkey, pull-ups??????  Decisions, decisions, decisions?????

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7 Comments

  1. Pingback: Birth 2 School » Blog Archive » Potty training: when and how? « deepinmummymatters.com
  2. Sarah
    February 24, 2011 / 3:25 pm

    H is now toilet trained and it was so much easier than with B so here’s some tips…..
    Don’t rush her, with B I wanted her dry at 18 months and tried so hard it took months, whilst with H I waited and was advised to not do it before 2 and half years. She hit that age in Jan and we cracked it in a weekend. She still has her odd accidents and mainly with poo’s but on the whole she has done really well.
    Pull ups for both mine didn’t work – too absorbant so in effect much like a nappy.
    I bought training pants which are absorbant but keep a bit of moisture near the skin so they know they are wet – I didn’t use them because H wanted Peppa Pig knickers and that was her incentive!!! These might work for Little Bean if she is not fully recognaiseing when she has done something yet?
    I made a big thing about what knickers she could have and she loved that.
    As for the whole sitting on the loo/potty, that will come when she is ready, H was exactly the same and only when she was ready would she sit on a potty!
    There is no secret formula, but it’s the only bit of being a parent that I hate so I really sympathise with you! Just try not to worry, I think guidelines are that when they start their funded preschool, which will be september, they should be almost or completely dry in the day – but to be honest, she will probably be ready over night and you will be surprised!!!Ccheck with your nursery on their guidelines as that’s just what I was told way back when it was Bethany going through it all!!!
    And honestly, the best bit of advise is relax, I guarentee she won’t be in nappies forever so what really is the worry if she is few months behind others? With B I couldn’t grasp that but with H I have just let her take the lead with all her developmental stages and it has been so much more relaxed!!
    Hope that helps a bit!!!

    • mummymatters
      February 28, 2011 / 10:30 pm

      Well done H, one weekend wow I’m jealous! Little Bean is nearly 3 and though I don’t want to put pressure on her I am keen to get her dry sooner rather than later. I wasn’t keen on the idea of pull ups so I’m going to try to give them a miss if I can.

      Easter holidays are my aim, I’m hoping that if we have a special “mummy/daughter day” to go shopping for special big girl pants then maybe it will get her excited about the idea too.

      I shall keep you posted xx

  3. February 24, 2011 / 7:15 pm

    As I’m sure you’ve seen on twitter, I am getting to this point with The Boy. He does know when he’s going though & does tell me. I’m not going to push him as he is still young (20 months). One thing I will do though is use pants not pull-ups. I think they need to feel the difference amd know that the safety-net has gone.

    • mummymatters
      February 28, 2011 / 10:25 pm

      I think The Boy is doing a fab job, especially for his age – I don’t think you’ll be having many problems with him xx

  4. mumtoc
    February 25, 2011 / 9:34 pm

    We’ve now successfully (finger crossed!) mastered potty training with C. I first tried in August last year (when he was 2 years 2 months). I carried on for about 4 weeks but was constantly asking him every 20 minutes or so if he wanted a wee. It made it so stressful, and I honestly think they pick up on that. In the end I remembered that I had said to myself before I had begun, that if it didn’t work, I would revert back to nappies, which I did.

    I then felt a bit guilty, but as time went by I realised how stressed I got with the situation and realised that I had done the best thing.

    The next opportunity came one Saturday afternoon a couple of weeks ago. I had been reminding C that a very good friend of his from our toddler group was now wearing “big boy pants”, and he too could be like his friend!!

    I had my “stash” of pants from last time (Toy Story, Thomas the Tank Engine, Rory the Racing Car etc), so knew he had plenty to pick from. (Which he does enjoy doing every morning – and somtimes even changes them 3 times a day when he gets and opportunity to pop upstairs!)

    Anyway, on that particular Saturday afternoon C had done quite a messy number 2 – so I suggested to my husband to try the potty with him that afternoon and all day tomorrow as we hadn’t planned to go anywhere – and that was it – he has been brilliant ever since!

    The only slight difficulty was getting him to do number 2’s on the potty or toilet, so I introduced a sticker chart and bought some “special” stickers which I kept separate from his normal everyday stickers.

    He now gets to put one of his “special” stickers on his chart every time he does a number 2 on the potty or toilet.

    I kind of had an idea that he might be ready as he used to go and stand in the same corner of the living room when he did his number 2’s.

    I agree that you will know yourself when LB is ready, and don’t beat yourself up about it. It is definitely more benefical to you and her to make sure you will have time to concentrate on helping her understand the progression from nappies. It may also dawn on her now she is attending her “little school” regularly and possibly seeing the other children toddling off to their toilets. Maybe you could ask the staff there to lightheartedly ask LB to come along with the other children when they go to use the loo, to see if she fancies having a go herself?

    Anything is worth a try!

    Keep me posted.

    • mummymatters
      February 28, 2011 / 10:21 pm

      Well done C, very proud of you clever boy!!! I think I might try her in the Easter holidays when she is at home for a period of time and see how things go. We’ll have a trip to the shops and get her some pretty big girl pants and I definitely like the sticker chart idea as she LOVES stickers!! Will let you know how it goes xx

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