Potty training was one of my biggest worries with Amelie. When would we start it? How would I know when she was ready to potty train? How would I actually train her? What would happen if she had an accident when we were out? I had so many questions about potty training, but if you’re reading this and are about to start potty training and are wondering the same things my initial advice to you would be DON’T WORRY! (I’ll give more advice later).
I wrote about potty training a few months ago. Amelie was showing some signs that she was ready; she was looking a little uncomfortable in her nappies and started to suggest she wanted to wear underwear, but not all the time.
We tried the concept of using the potty with her but she didn’t want to use it all the time, so we stopped and decided to tackle it again in a few months.
Here we are a few months down the line from the first attempt and the start of us cracking the potty training came out of nowhere and was directed from Amelie. We have religiously been reading ‘Princess Polly Potty’ and one evening Amelie said to me “Mummy, no more nappies”. It was the eve of a weekend and before half term so I thought to myself, lets do this!
I found that there were lots of signs that Amelie was ready to potty train, which didn’t all happen at once but slowly over a few months I started to notice them.
Signs she was ready to potty train:
- she started to pull at her nappy when it was wet or she’d done a poo, she seemed uncomfortable
- she would run off and hide in the corner of the room and go very quiet to do a wee or a poo
- she started to come to the toilet with me ALL THE TIME
- her nappy was drier for longer
- she would tell me she wanted to be like Princess Polly in the potty book and use a potty
- she’d tell me she needed to go to the toilet (this only happened towards the end of the signs)
Things we have used to aid potty training
We have been thinking and trying to potty train Amelie for a good few months, so it has given me time to get lots of products in that would be helpful when training her. These are my top potty training buys:
Dry Like Me*
Dry Like me are a great (and award winning) invention. They essentially turn knickers or pants into training pants with a pad that you stick into the underwear. They catch wee’s and poo’s so for me they were a a fantastic one to try as I didn’t want to stay in the house all week to avoid potential accidents when out.
We didn’t use these all the time, I have read that you should try and let them get used to wearing underwear so we just used these when we went out in the first few days when I knew we would probably have accidents. They were put to the test on one trip and managed to catch nearly all of her wee, so I was impressed and it meant that it was only a quick change rather than a whole outfit change.
I would recommend these if you are in the early days of potty training and you think your little one will have lots of accidents. I personally didn’t want to stay in all week as it was a sunny half term so these gave me the confidence to still get out and about without the worry of accidents.
Trainer pants from Zoocchini*
These were another product that I put to the test when we were out and about in the initial potty training days. I am so glad she was wearing these on day 2 as I forgot the potty (bad mama) when we went out. Of course she needed to go to the toilet almost straight away! Luckily these caught the worst of the wee and it meant we could whip them off and carry on playing.
We loved the design of these training pants. Amelie was particularly taken by the colour (purple is her favourite) and the owl on the bottom was something we could talk about and made wearing them fun.
I’d definitely recommend these for outings alongside the ‘dry like me’ pads. Buying lots of pairs of training pads may become expensive, so mixing up the two up means you can have lots of pairs of underwear on hand alongside these.
We have two potty’s at home and the one we have preferred is the ‘pourty‘. Amelie says it feels comfortable and when you start having to transfer the contents into the toilet having one that goes easily in is a big thing! I’d definitely recommend this one for the home.
I have also been trying a travel potty, the potette, which is a folding potty for training on the go. I found this made life a lot easier when you’re having to carry around lots for two. I have only recently purchased this after having to carry a full sized potty around and can confirm it really is a lot easier!
How our week of potty training went…
I thought I would write a summary about how the week went in terms of accidents, how many times I washed the floor etc, just to give you an idea of what it has been like.
X8 pairs of knickers
x1 pair of training pants
x1 pair of shorts
x2 floor washes
Asked to use the potty x4 times
X2 pairs of knickers
x1 pair of training pants
x1 floor washes
Asked to use the potty most times (she couldn’t get there on time on a couple of occasions)
x2 pairs of knickers
I gave up washing the floor
Asked to use the potty other than once when she was too busy playing
x1 pair of knickers
As you can see it took us about three or four days to crack potty training. On the first day there was A LOT of washing as we tried to get her to remember to use the potty, but by day three and four she was starting to remember more, starting to get the potty without me asking or having to do it and would tell me all the time when she needed to go.
I noticed that the main times we would have accidents would be when she was really involved in an activity or tired, so I started to watch for these moments and then remind her.
We are now a week on and back at pre school, she has had two dry mornings there and has even used the toilet! I think doing the training on half term and really reminding her all the time worked for her and she seems much happier in knickers now rather than nappies.
My top tips
- Probably the most key – don’t feel the pressure to start potty training if you don’t think your child is ready. How many teenagers do you know who still wear nappies? None. I thought so. Your child will get there when they’re ready and with breastfeeding, weaning, walking, all children are different. So even if Danny down the road did it at 18 months there is no reason why yours should do it at the same time.
- If you start potty training and your child doesn’t seem ready, personally I’d say don’t push them. Stop and try again in a week or month. I’ve heard stories from friends who felt the pressure to potty train, struggled for weeks and then stopped only to try a few months later and cracked it in two days!
- Toddlers are creatures of habit, I have found with every big change that when I prepare Amelie she is a lot happier and easier to adjust. We found reading books about potty training really useful and it explained it in a fun and engaging way – she was also desperate to be like Princess Polly in her book.
- Buy yourself a potty for up and downstairs. When they first start training they can’t hold it for long and certainly not long enough for me to run up and down the stairs. Two potty’s has therefore been really essential.
- If you can potty train in the summer, do. Having to only worry about one layer has been really helpful. I’m sure it’s fine in winter but it’ll always be a slower undressing session when you have to unbutton a vest etc.
- It also helps to train in the summer as you can let them run around outside and just leave the potty there for them. You’ll hopefully have the accidents outside and away from your carpets/freshly washed floor!
- Don’t worry about getting out and about when you’re potty training. I still went out, even on day 1, I just took the potty with me and said the phrase ‘Amelie tell Mummy if you need a wee’ about 200 times.
- And on that note – don’t feel embarrassed to whip the potty out wherever you are. We had wee’s in a car park and on our village green. Everyone was really supportive. We’ve all had to be potty trained at some point.
In summary potty training really wasn’t as awful as I expected, but I think it was easier because I waited for Amelie to be 100% ready and listened to her cues rather than pushing her.
Are you about to start potty training or thinking about it? Did you find your toddler showed all the signs?
*We were kindly given the training pads and pants to try as part of our potty training adventure and blog. All views and opinions are 100% my own.