Our Suggestions for Stress-Free Potty ‘Training’

Whether due to a stroke of luck or because we did things just right, our just-turned two-year-old is potty trained!

I’ve worked in several nurseries and witnessed/been part of some of the horrors of potty training, so I knew that those techniques were not what I wanted for my daughter. I’m not saying that our method is fool-proof, but if you’re looking for somewhere to start, I do have a little experience that I’m going to share in this post.

I read something recently that said children shouldn’t have to be ‘trained’ to use the potty, they’ll do it when they’re ready – I mean, I don’t know any adults who are still in Pampers and crying at the sight of the toilet. Because we try to keep things as simple and stress-free as possible, the idea of just leaving Thalia to it massively appealed to me.

So that’s what we did. Covid-19 came around, we purchased a potty, left Thalia naked from the bottom down, and just left her to it…and it worked!

What do you need for potty training?

2 months of confinement
A potty

...all jokes aside, covid lockdown gave us the perfect opportunity to dive into life with a potty. If we hadn’t been put into confinement I imagine we would have been using nappies for at least a few more months. I have also heard that 72 hours inside the house is the perfect amount of time for successful potty training, but I’m yet to test that theory.

How do you know when your toddler is ready for potty training?

Here are the general guidelines for how to know whether your toddler is ready and maybe interested in potty training, they will generally:

Stay dry during naps
Show interest in the toilet
Dislike being in a wet/dirty nappy – one thing that Thalia literally could not have cared less about!

We bought the first potty that we came across after the confinement announcement and put it right in the middle of the living room. We sat Thalia on it, told her to do a wee, and got one better! I’ll leave that to the imagination… As you can imagine, we erupted in celebration, had a dance, and left Thalia naked from the bottom-down for the next week.

Since then we’ve had two teeny accidents mostly due to Thalia not wanting to leave me alone whilst I had a shower, obviously. The little lady was in nappies at nighttime for the first month or so, but with only 3 wet night nappies right at the start of the process, we’ve given those up too!! She’s a literal hero. She’s even been waking us (us meaning my partner, win) up in the night to take her to the potty. AH, my heart bursts just writing that, she’s so damn cute.

Tips for potty training

Dedicate a few days to staying inside the house.
Keep it fun, congratulate them just for sitting on the potty – they don’t have to do anything.
Put the potty in a social area until they’re used to using it. You can always take it to the bathroom with you for a shared-experience if you feel like it.
Free the bottom! We kept Thalia half-naked for at least a week, use socks and dresses/longer tops for more warmth.
Don’t put pressure on them – suggest the potty but don’t sit them on it unless they ask or look interested.
Let them flush the contents down the toilet – it’s all part of the fun. Thalia shouts ‘GOODBYE CACA’ as a ritual.

If you’re considering potty training, I hope that this post has helped a little, or at least given you a few ideas!

By Keira Leane Shepherd
Reproduced with kind permission

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