As with most big milestones you hit with your child you are generally faced with a feeling of worry. I guess its the thought of entering unknown territory and to be honest, well I know with us a huge part of our parenting style is winging it! Potty training definitely falls into the things to be worried about category for me and I’m sure many other parents. However, I believe Potty training is 100% something you have to follow on you child's terms. It really is something you have to take your child's lead on and yes this happens at different stages. This is the first in my potty training series and I’m going to share with you the signs we noticed with Emelia indicating she could be ready to start. These have come from observing my own child and also speaking to other parents in their experiences on what to look out for. Again every child is different so you can not necessarily take it all as certain but there definitely seems to be common trends.
With Emelia, she has always been quite aware that she is wearing a nappy. When she was younger if she needed a nappy change she would get upset very quickly and if we were on a car journey and she began to get upset 9 times out of 10 it would be because she had just gone to the toilet. As Emelia has got older she has continued to communicate when her nappy is full and will show different signs for this.
When she needs to go she will hide (so whether this is a quite spot in the same room or if we are at home she will go to another room) and when she comes back she will have filled her nappy.
She will then stand beside me pointing at her nappy and grunts kinda saying I’ve finished ( she doesn’t talk much yet!) She will then walk through to her bedroom to be changed.
If she does happen to stay in the room, I have noticed that she will completely stop playing with her toys and focus her concentration on going to the toilet. This just shows her awareness in what she is doing.
We wasn’t 100% sure on how to head in to the direction of actual “training”. I think when you think about the process, you do see it as a quick training session over a couple of weeks and then the child is trained. I was very aware that this wouldn’t be the case as Emelia is still so young. It would be something that would happen over a period of time and she wouldn’t be wearing knickers full time in a couple of weeks time. However, with her awareness there was no point not starting as I felt this would hold her back. We could only try and it has been really positive.
I also think potty training is always seen as a scary thing people seem terrified of training their children and the washing, and poo and wee that go with it. Yes there is going to be an element of messiness involved but I don't think that much if your well prepared and equipped. And as a parent it really becomes something your not really phased with.
A starting point and few tips I found really helpful.
If your child is still quite young make sure they understand what poo and wee is. The likelihood is that you probably say “have you done a wee /poo” and then change their nappy so they probably do anyway.
Emelia often has nappy free time after dinner time, She would usually use her nappy at some point between dinner and bath time which is usually around 2 hrs, so before we would wait for her to use her nappy, remove it and then leave it off until after her bath. So instead of waiting for her to fill her nappy we started removing it straight away after dinner time, showing her that her nappy was not on any more and that if she needed to do a wee or poo she had to use her potty . To begin with she definitely understood that her nappy was off and I would continue to remind her of this, and sit her on the potty every 5 mins telling her that she needed to use her potty as her nappy wasn't on. Luckily for us our bathroom is right by our lounge so she, could carry on playing enjoying her before bedtime routine without being restricted to one room. She was never to keen to just sit on the potty so it was a case of teaching her to know when she was about to go and getting her to do it on the potty. This is where things get serious!
I’m not going to lie the first couple of times we missed ! But we didn’t tell her off, She knew 100% that she had missed and it needed to be done in the potty. I think at this point she was a little anxious of having an accident because her nappy wasn't on and so she was holding on for as long as possible, even running in circles but just couldn't quite grasp actually using the potty. That was day one! The next day she again continued playing stopped and realised she needed to wee, she began but stopped and I helped her onto the potty where she finished her wee. How she stopped mid flow I do not know ! and She was actually quite distraught that she hadn’t completely got to the potty in time proving that she is anxious of accidents. progress!
Since we have continued through the weeks with this she is completely well aware that if her nappy is off she must tell us or go to the bathroom (which she does) as I explained before I know it will be a slower progress but I feel her level of understanding with the toileting is really good for her age. I am very happy that she's aware of what she needs to do and I do think we will transition into getting her trained fully over the next few months. I would also like to just add that we are only doing a maximum of 1-2 hours of time a day using the potty so I am going to increase this so she will hopefully get more use to it. Again every child is different so we are working to Emelia's capabilities, but please if you have any questions or advice I would love to here from you !
The potty we have been using is the Nuby Tots Toilet and you can read my review here!