Monday 1 February 2016

Potty training, ahoy!

So, a couple of months ago, Ethan came home from nursery talking non-stop about going potty. He'll be three at the start of May and we have been keen to take his lead when it comes to potty training, like all the other stages so far.

Some people seem to encourage potty training as soon as the candles on their little one's second birthday cake are blown out, and some nurseries seem to really push this agenda, but other reports suggest waiting until they're almost three is better in the long run.

Who knows, we just do what seems best for Ethan and go with the flow. So to speak.

We bought a potty, he used it first time and we were so proud. We thought we were on the cusp of potty training, and not just potty training - but potty training success, first time around.

Ethan then decided that he wasn't so interested after all, and stopped talking about it or showing an interest.

We've decided that we now have to try and bring the subject up with him and get things going as we know it can take some children a while to get the hang of, and it sounds like boys can often find it harder.

I remember reading Jocelyn's take on how she potty trained her son within a couple of dedicated days and found her Q&A session with a child expert useful reading for answering some of our questions.

From a few things I have read, and our general feeling on the subject, we're going to try the following approach.

* Be consistent with potty talk, so it becomes normal to Ethan, even if he doesn't want to try it for a while

* Not pressure him or make it seem too important - we know he doesn't like to be made to feel like he's forced to do something, and want to make sure he feels like he's made the decision

* Introduce pull-up pants first, so he can actually see a difference to his routine - I popped to Aldi this weekend as they have a baby and toddler event on and I've heard good things about their Mamia range and nappies, so stocked up on pull-up pants, plus the usual wipes, so we're good to go

* Make the potty seem fun and something we all want to do - we bought him the Thomas Railroad Rewards potty, which apparently whistles when a 'deposit' has been made, to celebrate their success!

* Ethan is currently a big fan of pirates (check our my husband's post over at The Working Dad all about the pirate related fun we've been having lately), so it was a no-brainer for him when choosing a potty training book. Pirate Pete's Potty, from Ladybird, is a simple tale designed to explain potty training to a child, with the option of pressing a button to hear a cheer once each page has been read. Ethan's already read it a few times and seems to understand the message, so this is staying near the bathroom as a reminder.

* Introduce a reward chart system - Ethan loves stickers, and this is something that the nursery do with him to encourage positive behaviours in general, so he's familiar with this and hopefully it will help him see the benefit

Jocelyn's son regressed shortly after seeming to have picked it all up, so taking a look at her tips on how to deal with this if it does happen has helped me to feel more prepared.

I'm sure that like with most things about being a parent, this stage is one that many fear but whilst there may be some slip ups, it's probably not as bad as you first expect it to be. Or at least I'm telling myself this now!

We have always listened and watched Ethan and been led by him as to when to introduce a change to his routine. I think we will need to be a bit more determined with this, but I'm sure he will get there in his own time.

I'd love to hear about your experiences or tips, if you want to share your advice or links below or tweet me.



  1. Thanks for the mentions here, so glad that my posts have helped you to feel more prepared. Sounds like you're all set now, hope it goes well x

    1. You're welcome, thank you for sharing!


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