If you are of a sensitive disposition I warn you this post contains talk of bodily functions!
I have just started potty training number 4 and despite the fact that I have just had to pick up a massive poo from my back garden I remain hopeful that this will be the end of nappies for our family. I shan’t be sad to wave them goodbye despite a 7 year relationship. This is one break up I am very much looking forward to. There is just this potty training hurdle to surmount before that is reality. I have realised over the years that potty training is one of those things that people gloss over – you know like the fact that child birth really is rather ouchy. Maybe they wince slightly so you know it wasn’t fun, but they don’t tell you why. I am no sugar coater so here are the things that someone should tell you about potty training.
- There are no prizes for potty training early. There is not even a dairylea triangle given out for this so I wouldn’t do it. If you want my advice; when you think they are ready give it another few months…
- This is not really a great opportunity to bond with your little (although you will spend most of time sitting on the floor next to them whilst you all wait it out on the potty). So if you can outsource it then do. I know friends who have taken time off work to potty train. I say if you work maybe start at the weekend and then hand over to nursery! If you are a SAHM then it is all on you so get the rubber gloves at the ready and prepare yourself!
- If your Little has never been bothered by sitting in a dirty nappy get ready for a battle of wills! If they don’t care that they are dirty or wet this process is likely to be a longer mission
- You know the lovely trip to the shop to buy pants, that books advise, well whatever your Little picks buy extras. If you have followed advice point one you may need less, but if you have been swayed by the fact that everyone in christendom, well at least your NCT group, has already started potty training then you will need lots of pants.
- In my experience 3 day potty training is the dream and not, as books would have you believe, the norm. I have four kids and have done the same with each one. Only one of them trained in 3 days. He was nearly 3 as I had delayed due to having the twins – see point one delaying made all the difference
- Being ready is not just having a potty and a book – you need to be cardio ready… get ready to run at great speed, jumping obstacles (toys, chairs in cafes, other small children at playgroups and steps) whilst carrying a small human. You need to be able to grab a child, run and simultaneously start pulling down pants at the mention of the phrase ‘wee wee’ in order to avoid puddles or worse…
- At some point they will wee in a public place and it will be embarrassing. One of mine once did a great big wee in the middle of a shoe shop all over shoes I was yet to purchase – on a positive note that did save me from the purchasing decision
- It is a messy business. There is no way you will escape potty training without wee or poo on the floor. If you have white carpets you might want to plan for that in advance.
- There is a strong possibility that you will make up a song or rhyme to coax excrement out of your Little. I don’t know why, but it happens to the best of us. Mine goes a little something like this and before you ask yes I am a lyrical genius and of course you may borrow it…
- You are going to get irritated. Especially when they seem to have cracked it and you risk a trip in the buggy without a waterproof pad under them and they decide to regress! You will have to fake not being bothered even though you feel like screaming.
- You will get very very excited if a poo or a wee lands in the potty. You may not believe it now, but you will probably be inclined to do a victory dance
- Once it is done you will feel like you climbed Everest! You will want to give yourself a high five. No matter how great your professional accomplishments are nailing potty training feels like a bigger win!
- All the signs the books tell you about are great, but a fleeting glimpse of a sign is not enough for this to work quickly. Ready (to be 3 day trained) is, in my opinion, demanding to use the potty and pulling down own nappy to do business in potty almost every time rather than showing a vague interest.
- You will crack it. No matter how long it takes until the point where you can stop asking ‘do you need a wee’ or reminding ‘if you need a wee wee the potty is over there’ your little will get it. There are very few teenagers rocking around in nappies as far as I can tell.
So that’s it 14 truths about potty training. Now I have to dash as she just said ‘Wee Wee’….