It has been a while since I posted about Potty Training so I thought it was about time that I did a bit of an update and shared my learning from what will be my last EVER round of Potty Training. I can hardly believe I am finally in a position to even write that. Oh the relief!!
I have shared my top tips for potty training before, but this last time round was the one destined to break me!! I followed all my rules and still it was hard work and took ages. It reminded me of when I trained my eldest son and it took months and months to really be able to say that he was potty trained. I had planned to train my twins at the same time, but it became clear very quickly that one of them just was not ready so taking my own advice I stopped and went back to pull ups. I fully advocate getting to when you think they are showing signs of being ready and then wait a few more months. With my 2nd son I waited until he was pulling down his pull up and sitting on the potty regularly and training him was really very easy. I did want to do the same with the twins, but to be honest being so close to have no more nappies and with a holiday coming up (somewhere that nappies cost a fortune) I just didn’t want to have to pack all those nappies too. So I didn’t quite take my own advice and I waited until she was showing ready signs, but then didn’t do the extra wait.
I knew it would take longer with her especially as her speech is slightly delayed, but I didn’t realise how resistant she would be. Now when I say resistant I don’t mean that she didn’t want to do it or was upset / stressed about it as then I would have stopped. Potty training is just not worth anyone getting stressed about and certainly not a toddler. She wasn’t at all stressed or sad though; she just didn’t care if she was wet or dirty. She actually found it very funny when she wet and came to tell me with a big smile on her face and often a giggle too. Honestly I think she would have happily walked around all day in her wet things. I was about to throw in the towel and quit, but then I remembered I had been there before…. My eldest son was exactly the same. He just didn’t give a rats about having done a wee in fact he often relished in the fact . As I thought about this more I realised another similarity between them and that is that neither ever really cried when their nappies were dirty. My other children had a specific cry which I could recongise for when they had done a poo, but the two children who were harder to potty train did not have that. This might just be a coincidence, but if you are finding it difficult to potty train your child maybe think back to when they were a baby… I also didn’t give up (although I really really wanted to) because although she was having lots of accidents it was evident that she did know when she needed to go to the loo as there were the same physical cues of pulling at the bottom of her trousers or holding herself every time. The gap in between needing to go also showed me that physically she was in the right place and wasn’t still doing the virtually constant little tinkles that babies do. She also told me sometimes when she needed to go, but didn’t then make any effort to get there so unless I sprinted like Linford Christie there was no way we were making it to the loo in time.. Finally if asked she would tell you that she wore big girl pants and did her wees in the potty. She was proud (even though she wasn’t actually doing it most of the time) and I didn’t want to take that away from her.
Anyway that all showed me that she was ready, but perhaps not that willing and so I decided to continue on with no nappies and basically just try to keep calm, mop up the mess and get on with it. For the next few weeks it was like two steps forward and three steps back. We had days where she was completely dry and then others when I could have sworn someone turned on a water fountain in the house. Let’s just say it is lucky that the carpets are old and need replacing!
Over the weekend we had one dreadful day where I don’t think anything ended up anywhere other than on the floor and then snap it was like something clicked. It has been getting better and better all week and then today…… Today she stopped playing at a playgroup and ran over to me to tell me she needed a wee and then ran to the toilet. She did it twice there and then once when we were having lunch later. I was sloghtly in disbelief the first time and then I actually wanted to cry a little bit. I have been changing nappies since 2011. Non stop nappies for 7 years and honestly I have had enough of the yuck!! So although I know she will still have accidents it feels like we have turned a corner and that this might be my last potty training post EVER!! I’m so excited and I just can’t hide it (are you humming that tune now?!)
Final Top Tip
In all my ups and downs with potty training I think the most useful thing that I have learnt is: