Three weeks ago we entered the murky world of toilet training and we’d been told all the horror stories and we were prepared for the worst, at least we thought we were.
This is quite a long blog … so keep with me if you want to see what’s it’s been like toilet training my 2 and a half year old boy Leo. I promise that it’s worth the read.
I’d read some things about what to do, what not to do, how to reward, how to encourage him … to be honest it was an absolute minefield & there is so much conflicting information but we went for it anyway with all this info in the back of my mind and my plan was just to pick out and use bits of it once we worked out what Leo had in mind!
We had planned to do this back in April, but I was far too ill with my pregnancy and I was in bed an awful lot and I didn’t think it was fair to leave it for Dan to do pretty much on his own, that would have been far too stressful and unfair on him.
To be honest, I’m glad we didn’t as I think this was the perfect time to start with Leo, at 2 years and 5 months, he was showing all the signs. Uncomfortable in his nappy when wet, pulling at his pants and telling us that he was doing a wee in his nappy.
For many months Leo has been following us into the bathroom and shouting “wee wee” whilst we were in there, so he had worked out what the bathroom is used for at this point – so this was a good start.
So, we stocked up on underpants, wipes, stickers and made sure we had something to clean the carpet with 😂.
Lessons we learnt in just the first day ￼🙈
1) You need far more underpants than you could ever anticipate (cue last minute trip to the supermarket)
2) Daddy needs to learn not to tickle Leo and make him laugh during this process (wet floor incident)
3) Do not purchase a variation of cartoon characters on underpants because when you put one on – they want another character on within minutes (Totally went wrong mixing paw patrol with diggers and monsters and animals)
4) Don’t underestimate your child actually liking sitting on the potty – this afternoon must have resulted in at least 15 sessions on the potty just because he discovered he got to pull his underpants up and down if he sat there … resulting in absolutely nothing in the potty at all. ￼
All in all, a pretty successful day ending in Leo realising that he knows when he’s going to need a wee and rushing for the potty… oh and an underpant wash cycle …
The following days ….
The next three days were spent with at least one of us at home with Leo as we had decided he needed to be able to tell us properly without all the extra visits to the toilet, that he needed to go before we ventured out.
These three days then consisted of us being up and down, up and down I don’t know how many times with false alarms with him.
Many times he’d sit on the potty for a
micro second and then say “done!” – it actually drove us a little mad but you can’t not risk letting him go on the potty because that will be the one time that it ends up all over you sofa!
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After about 5 days, we stopped having as many false alarms which was great and probably half of the times he said he needed to go, we actually got something in the potty. By this day we had gone down from about 15 pairs of underpants a day in the first 3 days to about 3 a day, so actually very quickly he stopped dribbling in his pants, which was great for our washing machine as I think it had gotten fed up of being on and wanted to go on strike.
Day 6 … new territory … an outside trip!!! We hadn’t planned this, it just happened to be that I needed to go to hospital to have an ANTI D injection (for those of you that have been lucky enough not to need this during pregnancy, it as an awful injection that can make your arm go really numb and heavy) so Dan & Leo came with me then I didn’t have to drive back with a dodgy arm. So off we went, bag packed with lots of spare clothes & underpants and a thin towel laid on Leo’s car seat; just in case. 20 minutes to the hospital, no accidents and three times whilst I was in my appointment Leo told Dan he needed a wee …..Dan took him to a public toilet all three times and twice he did nothing, but the third time he did 😀😀 success! So it sounds like we are doing well, which we are but keep reading as we had a very public incident that will make you either laugh or cringe!
Very quickly Leo was happy doing number ones and numbers twos in the potty and he’d also taken to liking going on the actual toilet in the bathroom (with one of the toddler seats hooked over the top). Although we have had to be very strict that he only flushed the loo when he had actually deposited something in there as we discovered that he kept asking to sit on it and jumping off within a couple of minutes because he liked to watched the water spinning around the toilet and saying bye bye to it! Cute the first few times, but not the twentieth false alarm – especially when mummy is heavily pregnant and is suffering from Sciatica and SPD!
Hand washing he likes to do anyway as we’ve already got him used to doing that a long time ago. He’s quite happy to hop off the toilet, flush it, put some squirty soap on and then dry his hands on the towel. In fact, he’s a bit fussy and doesn’t like not to dry his hands!!!
So fast forward quite a few days and he’s doing really well, asking us to go for a wee wee or a poo poo and most of the time he was spot on and he needed to go! I did keep wondering how we were going to get around he fact that he liked to take his shoes, socks, trousers and underpants off if he went to the toilet – how was this going to work in the outside world? Hmmm …. to be honest, he eventually got bored and this habit dwindled away.
My friend Sarah (hi Sarah) recommended a specific potty to us , check it out here on Argos, it’s great for travelling about with as it has a lid on and a lock so you can keep hold of what you need to until you can dispose of it! Again, Leo took to it really well and decided he liked to carry it around. I’d already decided that Leo wasn’t just going to tell me that he needed a wee there and then so I would have to get the potty out there and then in the middle of a shop or restaurant, I personally think that you might as well teach them properly all in one go and that includes teaching them that they may have to hold on for a few minutes until you get to a bathroom. So even though, we had this Potty with us, we made him come to the public toilets with us and then he’d decide whether to hop on a toilet or use his potty in the toilets – and it’s worked!
For anyone who knows my local Tesco (if you don’t, it’s a double story superstore) twice in the past week Leo has let us get all the way upstairs and to the back and then told us he needs a wee and we have to come all the way back down, leave the trolley with security and nip into the front of the store to let him have a wee; but he’s told us and got there with no accidents.
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Let’s talk about accidents. Well actually, rewards first. So if Leo got to the potty on time and did something, he got a sticker of his choice and we just used the side of the door in the living room so we could watch them build up – three weeks in though and he’s now no longer interested in getting them.
Accidents, we’ve obviously had a few – but not actually as many as we had expected. Apart from the first few days when he would wee right through his clothes, most have been missed potty pee and if a bit ends up on the floor, he really doesn’t like it when that happens, he gets upset.
Then we had the park incident.
He’d been absolutely brilliant, so Leo and I had gone over to our friends in Didsbury whilst Dan painted the nursery and we decided to go to park. For around an hour in my friend’s house, Leo kept going to the potty and saying he needed a number 2 … but it never appeared. I decided that we couldn’t just stay in all day waiting, so we decided to risk it at the park. We walked around and everything was going well until about 30 minutes in and he shot me a look from the top of the slide and shouted “poooooo” and it was extremely obvious what he was doing with the face he was pulling and I could just not get to him on time. In just those few seconds, he had completely filled his pants and it was all over his legs. What was I to do? I had absolutely no choice but to strip him there and then, there was absolutely no chance that I was going to be able to get him in anywhere without getting myself covered in, well, you know what! So I stripped him, his trousers went into a carrier bag, I actually threw his underpants away in another bag into the bin as I could not face the drive home confined in a car space with that smell, half a packet of wipes later, underpants in the bin and new trousers on – off he went. Phew – could’ve been worse…. It was though, it got worse! Much worse 😂. Within 10 minutes, he did the exact same thing again – he was obviously too excited to be on the park and that was more important than finishing his toilet episode! Cue a repeat of stripping and cleaning and him running back off. 5 minutes later …. AGAIN! You honestly could not have written it and by this point I was actually laughing. What was the point in getting angry or mad ? It wasn’t Leo’s fault and I couldn’t do anythin to stop it. The only difference this time is that I had ran out of wipes and out of trousers 🙈! Luckily my friend had some wipes on her and I had one pair of underpants left … this whole hilarious situation led to Leo walking to the car looking like someone out of The Village People – take a look below 😂
Luckily, it was a warm day, our car was only a few minute walk away and my friend was up for a laugh 😀! I can honestly say that there really is no point in getting stressed out, it’s going to happen & probably in one of the most inconvenient places ever possible! Other mums in the park were just smiling and laughing with me as we just got on with it.
I wasn’t worrying about what anyone was else was thinking about what must have looked like some bizarre comedy sketch because Leo was my priority to get him clean, comfortable and warm again.
There’s absolutely no point in judging other people when you see someone in this situation because you’ve probably already been in it yourself OR you will one day be in it yourself! At least my friend got to see what’s likely to come in 12 months with her son, haha!
So now, we are just over three weeks in and he’s pretty much cracked it. Don’t get me wrong, he’s still having the odd accident here and there – this seems to be when he is excited or really distracted and waits until the last minute to tell us – more so with me because I take longer to get him to be potty as I can’t walk very fast at the moment; but we are pretty much on only 1 pair of underpants a day now 😀!
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And, as an extra bonus, he’s unintentionally pretty much gone dry during the nighttime too. We have stopped him drinking after 6pm and he’s in bed around 7pm and sleeps for about 12 hours and comes running in every morning saying “wee wee” and off he hops straight onto the toilet for a wee. I have put an absorbent sheet on his bed and swapped him to the nighttime pants, which if he wet himself, it would wake him up as he’d be uncomfortable, but so far, no nighttime issues!
So what are my top tips?
1. Don’t stress out about it, there is absolutely no point as it won’t work.
2. Don’t show any anger or disappointment if there are any accidents. We just said “oopsy daisy” or “oh no, you missed, it doesn’t matter, we’ll clean it up” and this has seemed to work. If you get distressed so will your child.
3. If you have a room with no carpet – base your Potty in there as it’s far easier for Operation Clean Up!
4. Have different potty/toilet options if you can – I think this is why it didn’t bother Leo when he needed to go into public loos. We had a normal potty at home, another one in the bathroom that he can use as a step too but this one plays music 🎶 when he did a wee in it and the carry potty – as well as him being able to use the big boy toilet.
5. Definitely invest in stickers as a reward, I know some people have used sweets but we prefer the sticker method. (He also gets a big hi 5 when he wees and this makes him really happy)
6. Underpants – Do not underestimate how many underpants that you will get through in those first few days, hence our emergency dash to the supermarket after getting through 15 pairs on the first day!
7. When you do venture out, don’t forget your potty and lots of spare clothes.
8. Stock up on plenty of wipes and take them EVERYWHERE with you.
9. Big hugs if they get upset when they have an accident.
10. Don’t be embarrassed if what happened to me in the park happens to you, it’s inevitable – it will 🙈. Just get on with it, clean up and start again!
So that’s it, our toilet training journey in just 3 weeks! I’m sure by the time baby arrives he will be an expert and that was the plan, to get him trained now before baby comes into the equation!
I hope you’ve picked a few tips up and Good Luck with your toilet training journey if you’re just starting! I promise, it’s not as bad as some make it out to be xxx
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