My Top Potty Training Tips!

During a Twitter conversation today I gave a few of my own personal tips
 so decided to share them with you guys too!

The first thing I will say, and here's the nursery nurse coming out in me, is that potty training is only going to work if both YOU and your child are ready in my 12+ years of nursery nursing I've come across everything, only potty training at nursery in the hope they will 'just get it' is never ever going to work, only wearing pants for half a day I don't think works either, not in my experience (which I would say is professional experience). Also stopping, starting, stopping and starting won't work either, I mean if you start and stop for a valid reason then fair enough but I've had parents stop potty training because 'they keep weting themselves' well yes, you have to expect accidents to happen, they are inevitable. If you think you are going to get your toddler trained with no accidents then you shouldn't start potty training at all because YOU aren't ready! (sorry to sound harsh, but that's the reality of it!!)

Now going back to when Jenson wasn't quite 2, but was showing an interest in the potty, we have always had one so it wasn't ever seen as 'scary', so I decided to roll with it and we went shopping together and bought lots of pants all that he had chosen (there's my third tip right there! I'll pinpoint them at the end for you). Then the next day we put the pants on and went about our day he didn't have 1 accident...put he didn't go potty (or toilet) either, he held it ALL day, the next morning his pull up was so full I'm not sure how it didn't burst! We changed him and put his pants on...he got so very distressed that my gut instinct told me this wasn't the time for him, it wasn't worth him getting so upset over,  he was inconsolable at the word 'pants' that I just couldn't do it.  So we packed our pants away and went back to Pull Ups.

Now I'd not given potty training much of a thought, I was pregnant with Elsie and suffered SPD so wasn't really the right time to start it, we waited until just after Xmas, when I decided that now was the time that he needed to be potty trained and I had done with Ellie, a whole 7 years ago, we were going cold turkey all put one of the pull up's was used and he knew that he was going to be wearing pants. 

We put his pants on and it was a 'pants and t-shirt day', for quick access to the potty, we got a novelty kitchen timer from Poundland and set it for every 30 minutes, when he would sit on the potty for however long he needed to, after he had finished we went from there because sometimes he would sit for 15 minutes, other times just 15 seconds! By lunchtime he still hadn't had a wee and it was now nap time, he went to sleep with his pants on and woke up 1.5 hrs later dry (phew!) he sat on the potty and we looked at a book to relax him, he did his 1st ever wee on the potty...cue very happy mummy and I randomly started singing a very silly song and we all (Evie included) high fived each other and danced around whilst singing our potty song (ever so kindly demonstrated by Ellie!!!), I also gave him one of his favourite treats, as a well done treat! The afternoon didn't go quite as well...lots of accidents but also a couple of times on the potty, each time we did our potty song, high-fived each other and he had a chocolate Matchmaker! 
That night bedtime, no pull up, I dreaded it but got ready for a night of waking up a few times with a wet and upset Jenson. But to my surprise it didn't happen, well I checked on him before bed and he was wet but without making a fuss we changed him and the bed clothes and tried again on the potty (nothing) and back to bed, but he didn't wake up again until morning when he was dry, I kept going to check him and was surprised each time! This was our only nighttime accident, and since we potty trained in January, to date he has probably had 1 accident during the night.

The next couple of days it got better and better, and on day 4 we had our first day of no accidents, I was amazed at how quickly he had picked it up, so we started wearing trousers, I opted for jogging bottoms so easy for him to pull up and down when needed, day 5 came and he had a couple of accidents as he didn't get quick enough with his trouser's on, but after that day 6, was dry all day and all night and he has been ever since!

Edit: I have since used these exact same tips with Evie and Elsie, and both were dry DAY AND NIGHT within 5 days.

So in a quick fire list here are my top tips:
  • Make sure you yourself are ready, mentally, it could be a tough couple of days, it might be a tough couple of weeks but you will get there!
  • Expect accidents...this isn't a clean experince! 
  • Use your gut instinct.
  • Go 'cold turkey', I personally think it just confuses them to go from pants to nappies/pull ups and back to pants again. If they need to go out in the puhchair or carseat sit them on a folded up old towel or potty training mats to soak any accidents up. 
  • We have a no drinks after 6 o clock rule (our bedtime is 7 o clock)
  • Take your little one out with you to buy, potty's, toilet seats and pants oh and socks, everyone forgets socks!!
  • Find something to remind you both that it is potty time! Aim for 30 minutes time intervals and let them sit as long as the want. There are lots of apps available for this but I found them all a bit rubbish so we opted for a fun chicken timer.
  • Make it fun! for us it was the silly potty song along with silly dancing and high fives!
  • Reward when they get it right, for us it was chocolate with Jenson and Evie and marshmallows and Smarties with Elsie, You might choose stickers, marbles a small car, I don't now whatever works for you as a family I suppose!
  • Don't fuss when they have an accident just deal with calmly: ''oh never mind lets get you cleaned up, its no big deal, it will clean''
  • One thing I didn't mention above was to purchase some bed mats that soak up the wee without it getting to the mattresses, we used these for everything sitting on the sofa, in his car seat everything they are invaluable if you don't want to scrubbing at everything!
Potty Training Essentials.

1. Potty (of course!)
2. LOTS of pants!
3. LOTS of spare trousers
4. A pretty bag to store wipes and pants
5. Toilet wipes
6. Stash of treats
7. Potty training mats

I think that is it, my top potty training tips and essentials, my way. It may not work for you but it has had 100% success rate with my children and with the Mummys and Daddys that listened to me as a professional!

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