20 July 2010

Potty Training... HELP!

A year ago, as Presley was approaching his second birthday, I started my preparations for potty training.

I bought potties, toddler toilet seats, toddler steps, a potette travel potty (with liners) and loads of pants. I got that Gina Ford book out of the library and completed her checklist of 'is your child ready?' questions. No was the answer, mostly.

The potties have sat in the lounge all that time, gathering dust. Every now and then the boys have sat on the potties, without nappies, more as a game than anything. The potties are as yet unchristened, but have been filled with all manner of toys.

It was the last toddler group today, so we've had in mind that now would be a good time to start the dreaded potty training. The idea being that we could live outside for a couple of weeks and any accidents would happen in the garden, where we have a hose. Sadly the hosepipe ban coincided with the Heavens opening and it has poured with rain everyday for what seems like forever.

We've been talking to Presley, now nearly three, about going without nappies and using the potty, or the toilet - like Mummy and Daddy. His response has always been 'not today'.

Apart from today.

*inset dramatic sound effect here*

Today Presley asked for his nappy to come off. He asked to do a wee on the toilet.

Holy moly.

We turned Andy's office upside down looking for the toddler toilet seat and the toddler step. We dusted then off and placed them in the downstairs loo. We all watched, wide-eyed, as Presley perched on his throne.

We waited, we encouraged. I nearly cried with disbelief and pride. My boy is growing up. Cash said he wanted a go next.  What? No! I can't cope with both of you needing the loo at the same time!

I think poor Presley got stage fright. There was no wee, although he did flush the loo twice and giggle hysterically as he got a wet bum. He clambered off and said 'no nappy now'.

I am so not ready for potty training. The pants are still in their packets, so I chickened out and told Presley that pull-ups were pants. He looked nervous so I told him it didn't matter if he did a wee because they were a bit like a nappy. I know, not my finest mummy moment.

He's now having a nap, in his 'pants'.

Someone help me! PLEASE!

My mind isn't functioning, I'm not well, I'm confused. I can't work what to do.

Seriously, what do I do at night? Do I put him in a nappy? Do I put him in pull-ups and leave a potty by his bed? Do I tell him to come and wake me up if he needs the loo in the night? I really don't know.

Argh, I suppose we should take the sides off his cot bed. Do we put a gate on his room or do we let him roam?


All advice gratefully received. What worked for you? HELP!



  1. Sandy, Can I send you a My Carry potty?

  2. Gosh - you know, I can't remember how we did this. I remember demonstrating with a stuffed monkey and a bunch of grapes what the potty was for (the grapes were poo) and Small Fry lookng at me as if I was insane. She was dry at night before she went on the potty during the day. I think that's unusual, but not unheard of. I also think boys are generally later, but get it quicker.

    With boys aren't you supposed to paint something on the bottom of the potty so they have something to aim at? Don't they do it standing up?

    Sorry. I have been no help whatsoever.

  3. I don't want to tell you that my little one was an amazing sleeper till she was toilet trained. Haven't had very many good night sleeps since then. LOL

    Although the other 4 were just fine.

    Make sure to keep money saved form nappies in a special mummy fund. :-)

  4. Oh - I remember buying chocolate buttons and bribing her. Every time she sat on the thing I gave her a button. I don't think that's a method Gina recommends... ;)

  5. Yeay for potty training!! Our 2 and a half year old spends the day in pants, and has a pull-up at night, no potty in his room. He seems to be reasonably ok but he still has a drink just before bed so we don't risk pants at night just yet. He calls us in the morning (and sometimes in the night) when he wants to pee. Admittedly I'm thinking about doing potty in the room, but don't fancy him doing it on his own in a half-sleepy state... ;o)

    GOOD LUCK!!! xxxx

  6. I went cold turkey in the house just underpants. i used pull ups if going out or for bed at night. We made sure he always went to the loo before bed. I never rushed H he led us and when he was ready it just happened. Night times took about a yr later but we got there in the end. Dont feel rushed just go wir=th the flow. we were ucky and only had a hanfull off accidents. Maybe cause we let H lead us.

  7. It is totally up to you. My sisters eldest two went dry 100% night and day from the get go. My two have taken their time. Do what you think is right.

  8. Chick wore knickers in the day and pull ups at night just in case! However once she was dry in the day, she stayed dry at night too!! You'll be fine hun....just go with whatever makes Presley happy! xx

  9. My mum potty trained my son in about three days, and I can but bow down to her focus because if it were up to me I'm sure he would still be in nappies.

    Basically, her method was like so:
    1. Become resigned to not leaving the house for several days and watch child like a hawk.

    2. Put him in cotton pants and trackies (for maximum speed of removal).

    3. Promise treat for every successful use of potty.

    4. When he has an accident don't change him immediately but let him clock the fact that he is wet, so he works out the connection between weeing and wet undies (he cannot feel the wetness through the nappy).

    5. Don't make a big deal about accidents but extravagantly praise and reward success. (My mum would give him a piece of chocolate for every succesful potty use).

    It was touch and go for a while there whether he would first reach childhood obesity or potty training, but it worked and he picked it up quite quickly.

    I put him in pull-ups for naps and the long night time sleep, but usually in the morning he's dry.

    Good luck.

  10. Good luck with it , it can be a long and unfun journey at time but they all get there .

    I still keep mines in nappies during the night at first , my eldest asked to stop wearing them a few weeks after stopping during the day and was fine . My dd2 who will be 4 in November has been out of nappies daily for a year now but still wears at night .

    We always do the bare bum thing at first , get them use to going that way then introduce underwear

  11. Jonno was hopeless at day time toilet trips because he was always so interested in everything (or convinced toys would suddenly disappear if he left them). He went off to day nursery with loads of changes of clothes, but we cracked it in the end.

    I put him in pull ups at night, but he was dry right from the start, so I abandoned them after a couple of weeks.

    Best advice I can give is go with what the kids want to do, remind if you have to and give plenty of praise.

    Good luck. xx

  12. First, accept that there will be lots of accidents. And my suggestion is to go cold turkey and only use underwear. Pullups are only confusing because sometimes they can pee themselves and sometimes they can't. There will be accidents but it was the only way the girl really got it. Finally, it is a process. Lots of back and forths.
    But you can do it!

  13. Don't ask me on the poos - see an early post of desperation that Potty Mummy (of course) helped wonders with.... her big tip that helped - let her choose her own potty (I know you've got all the stuff already but it really helped us...) as for the wees - we went holiday to a house with a downstairs loo and no carpets, took the nappies off and hoped. She cracked it in four days. (took six months for the other, but never mind). As for overnight, that happened at the same time as the poos and was absolutely her own decision. We lift her and she has a wee at about the time we go to bed, whatever time that is.... but I know lots of people who left nappies on for sleeping until 4 or even 5 so definitely don't worry about that one yet!

  14. Summer time is the best time - because the clothes dry faster and they wear fewer of them - all of which reduces the amount of washing.

    I would say trust your own judgement. I left the boys in nappies for naps and bedtime. They dropped the naps and after a few weeks of dry nappies that was that, all seemed to happen around the same time that they got the hang of it.

    I'd also say that on this thing I think Gina is right. Clear the schedules, put the pants on and don't look back. Then put aside the money spent on nappies for something lovely for you - because that'll keep you going in the dark moments. Oh, and don't have a dog on the prowl behind the unprotected toddler bottom - as that isn't for the fainthearted to witness. Good luck!!!

  15. This bit scared me too. Wee Z has been toilet trained since he was about 2 and a half. I recommend a toilet chart with stickers for successfully using the toilet. Plenty of praise too but don't make a fuss if an accident is had. I knew Wee Z was ready when he started taking a keen interest in the bowel movements of everyone in the house. I don't think it matters about teaching him to stand and pee unless he's taking a keen interest in Daddy doing it. I'd let him run about the house in actual pants so he can practise taking them down and going to the toilet. In terms of night time, unless he's waking dry in the morning I wouldn't bother stopping night nappies right away. Start on the day time and then work up to the night time. Wee Z is still in night nappies because I can't face having to wake him at 11 to take him for a wee! Bad mum! Good luck and keep us posted!

  16. Hi Sandy! Eliza had a nappy at night up until about 3 weeks ago when I just bit the bullet and ditched them. I pick her up and take her to the loo before I go to bed so she doesn't wet the bed, I also limit her milk before bed.

    In terms of the actual potty training, I was a bit more gentle than Gina I think It took a bit longer but was that's just how I wanted to do it and I think Eliza was happier too. That said I know people who've done it in a week no problem. I used pull-ups and just put her on the loo every couple of hours. Worked pretty well. Then we went to knickers. She had a few accidents but nothing too awful (nothing's too awful when you've been through childbirth is it?).

    Long and short is this. If you think they are ready then go for it. Use nappies at night otherwise it's very messy and you have to keep changing the beds.

    Summer's the ideal time.
    Good luck xx

  17. Sian, Yes, thank you. I'll let you know when it arrives x

    Jenn, you may not have helped with the potty training, but you've cheered me up no end with your monkey pooing grapes anecdote. Apparently they start off sitting down? I don't know. Chocolate buttons sounds like a good plan. I didn't get past the first chapter of Gina! :-)

    Susie, no, I didn't want to know that!! I like the idea of the special mumy fund! :-)

    Mocha Beanie Mummy, argh, yes, that was my worry with having a potty in the bedroom. I think we'll start with the daytime and stick to nappies at night for a while! x

    A and E Mummy, good advice. Yes, I'm letting P take the lead. He'll only do it when he's ready. x

  18. Mummy, I guess I'll just play it by ear, but I'm interested in how everyone else approached it! :-)

    Emma, so far what makes him happy is sitting on the potty - he spent the afternoon there. It's still not christened!! x

    Rainsinger, thank you so much for taking the time to comment so fully. I think this may be the approach to take, although I was hoping to go to the supermarket tomorrow. Presley caught me by surprise today, I don't have enough supplies to stay in for 3 days!! :-)

    Laura, great advice, thank you. I hadn't thought to treat day and night differently. You've saved me a lot of washing! x

    Sarah, thank you for the advice, that's the approach I'll use. I was all ready to give praise today, but still the potty remains unchristened! x

  19. Capital Mom, thank you for the support. Yes, I tried pull-ups today and they look and feel like a nappy. We'll have to see what tomorrow brings!

    Plan B, thank you. I'm so glad I asked these questions. Will definitely leave a nappy on at night. Sadly our house is fully carpeted (by the previous owners) and that includes the kitchen and the bathroom! x

    Pants With Names, thank all that is holy we don't have a dog! I didn't get much further than Gina's checklist, but going straight to pants seems to be the preferred option. I love the idea of buying something lovely for myself. When I gave up smoking I put £5 per day in a glass vase. I watched the cash mount up. Perhaps I should do that with the price of nappies! x

    Laura, thank you for the brilliant advice. P loves stickers. I'll have to try him and see whether he would rather have a sticker or a chocolate button when he uses the loo or the potty! x

    It's a Mummy's Life, I'd never heard about taking them to the loo when you go to bed. Yes yes yes to keeping nappies on at night! I wish it would stop raining, it is only summer here in theory! x

  20. I'm soooooo glad my girls are older :-)

    First of all, don't panic. If he wants to use the potty that's great, sounds like he might be ready. When my girls were potty training they wore pull-ups for a few days/weeks (can't remember) until they *knew* when they need the toilet, then just knickers during the day and pull-ups at night. Later when they were dry in their pull-ups inthe morning, meaning they were able to go through the night without a wee, I used nappy pads under their bed sheets until they were completely dry.

    Just be consistent otherwise he'll get confused. Decide on your plan and stick to it. Best of luck x

  21. Oh gosh, that was so long ago! I do remember we had pull ups at night time. Just be patient and consistent. And if you do take the rails down, put up a gate at his door. Because once they realize they can roam - they do. And you don't want him doing this while you are sleeping.

  22. Sorry if I duplicate, but so many comments so little time.

    Do not start with nights! My son was half a year later doing nights than days. I told him "seven dry nappies in a row, then you can leave 'em off."

    For the day, just do the pants and have the potty near. Then put him on there before and after sleep, before and after food, before and after each game, and in between roughly ever half hour. If you can spend the time in the garden or in a non-carpeted space, so much the better.

    You'll notice soon enough if he's not ready.

  23. I don't remember much about potty training anymore, which is surprising because it was so traumatic to me. I know for my son I threw Cheerios in the toilet so he had something to aim for. He's now 17 and still can't hit the bowl, but that's another story. My daughter, who is 7 now, never had accidents at night though I did use pull ups just in case. She got the pee part right away but the poo was another story altogether, and one I don't want to relive. I think you have to let them tell you when they are ready and follow their lead.

  24. Blimey considering it took me a year to get L toilet trained I can't remember that much. We did pants in the day, pull ups at night until she was confident enough to sleep without.

    I do remember that she was terrified of falling down the toilet though so we had a potty upstairs and one downstairs for quick access. Make them the same so they can't have a favourite or it'll be 'but I want the blue one!!'

    Good Luck! xx

  25. Woo well done grown up Presley!

    On the night issue, you might find it's taken out of your hands. Once it had 'clicked' with T and he used the potty/loo during the daytime it also clicked at night and although we put a nappy on for naptime and bedtime for a few days after almost a week of waking dry we ditched them (putting a protector over his mattress!) and he's never had an accident in the night. He was in a bed. We still have a baby monitor on with him as he has asthma and sometimes gets wheezy in the night so we just told him to shout for Mummy if he needed a wee and I'd put him on the potty. We left it in the room but felt it was a bit much to expect to do it himself in the dark. He's never woken for one, although sometimes if something else wakes him (if his sister makes too much noise) he gets up and has one.

    I have friends who have trained their children using pull-ups very succesfully (less chance of wet carpets too!) but we cold turkeyed into pants. By the end of day 3 he'd got it and has only had very occasional accidents since.

    We trained at 2y3m and he's a fairly small boy too. We found he couldn't get on and off the loo himself even with a step so had potties (one downstairs and one up) for quite a while. Now at 2y10m he can take himself to the loo (although he still needs help after poos), flush, wash hands and dress himself again afterwards. For some reason he likes to take his bottom clothes off entirely before getting on the toilet! It's taken a while to get here but it's a revelation, so much easier, especially with another child to look after at the same time. I think following their lead is the key, Presley will tell you what he wants to do!

    Good luck! x

  26. Oh, and we still sit down to wee. No idea when to change to standing up but if it aint broke ;-)

  27. Not Supermum, thank you for the advice. It's a bit of an anti-climax really as he decided he wanted a nappy on again today! Have bought mattress pads though, for when we eventually need them x

    Gigi, a gate at the door, yes that was my feeling! :-)

    Mwa, great advice, thank you. I had no idea night could take longer! :-)

    Jen, the bit about the Cheerios made me laugh. I can see him trying to fish them out of the bowl to eat them!! Yes, I'll definitely be led by him, he knows his own mind! :-)

    Liz, thank you. Luckily I bought two potties the same and a seat to stop him falling in the loo! x

    Sleepless Mum, thank you for the thoughtful advice. Your son did so well at that young age. I'm hoping that because P is nearly three that he will get it quickly! We still have monitors on the boys at night, just in case. Yes, he does tell me what he wants to do. sadly, today, he insisted on a nappy! x

  28. We used The Potty Boot Camp with my daughter. She loved the method of getting her to go potty, it didn't even seem like a chore. www.thepottybootcamp.com Goodluck!

  29. Niki, thank you, I'll look out for it :-)


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