We ventured onto the Potty Train about 8 weeks ago and while it started off okay, we ended up putting on the brakes as Florence was just getting super stressed out and I figured she just wasn’t ready.
This time around I took a bit of a different approach, using a new reward system and not letting potty training interrupt our weekly routine. Florence is now dry through the day and mostly through the night so I thought I’d share a few things that I think were key to our success.
Okay, so before I drew up a quick Hey Duggee Potty Train chart and had some stickers on hand. However, she just wanted to put the characters on the train and use it as a game rather than understanding the reward part of it, so this time I decided to make things a lot more visual.
Instead of your usual reward chart, I went for plain and simple visual cues. I saved some clipart images of a cartoon poop and a yellow splash to symbolise wee, printed them out and popped them in a envelope file next to an empty jar. Basically every time Florence used the potty she got to put a wee or a poop in the jar! So simple, but she immediately grasped the concept and within about 5 minutes had already done her first wee on the potty. Once helped empty the potty and washed her hands, she got a sticker to wear on her t-shirt too. If your little one isn’t quite used to the concept of a reward chart, I would thoroughly recommend doing this!
Make a big deal of pants
It must be such a big change for little ones to go from safe bulky wee/poop catching nappies to knickers. We celebrated the arrival of pants in our house as though the Royals had come to stay. We now have a pants song, a pants dance and a morning pant choosing ritual.
Each time she needs a new pair on I give Florence the choice of which colour pants she’d like to wear that day. You can get a multi packs from Tesco or primary with all sorts of colours and patterns on and it just allows her to take a bit of ownership over the whole thing. Giving her the option to choose meant that she would be more conscious of wetting them.
Woo for wee & Party for Poop
So as well as the celebration of pants, we make a huge deal of every wee or poop on the potty with clapping and dancing and big kisses and cuddles.
Accidents are okay
Accidents are inevitable in the early days of potty training and can be extremely stressful for little one’s so it’s important not to get cross or tell them off if they don’t make it to the toilet or potty. On the first day of potty training this time around we got through 8 pairs of knickers. Instead of telling her off, I just gave her a cuddle and said something along the lines of ‘oopsie! Wee wee in your pants. Next time we’ll do a wee wee in your potty. Where do we do wee wees and poo poos?’ Don’t get me wrong, it can be stressful for us parents too, but it doesn’t last forever!
All or nothing
I made this mistake the last time around – switching between nappies and pants throughout the day. It must be so confusing for tots to differentiate between when it’s okay to ‘go’ without a potty / toilet and when it’s not. This time I put my own big girl pants on and braved every day without nappies, turning to pull ups only at bedtime. We carried on with days out and I just packed a bunch of changes of clothes with us in case of accidents. Within 7 days she was dry through the day. Another 3 days on she had her first completely dry night!
I’m so proud of Florence for absolutely acing potty training and I hope these top tips help you too. I think the most important thing to remember is that it’s totally okay to press pause if your little one doesn’t seem ready or is having a hard time getting to grips with the whole thing.