I need to be honest with you all and I don’t want you to be mad with me, but potty training was easy for me. I know you might be sat there right now with a 2 year old who refuses to sit on the toilet or keeps having accidents asking, “What? Easy? Yeah right” but it really was. Don’t worry, I didn’t get a completely free ride. I might have had it easy with Alfie, but I have been in the childcare profession for a good six years so have gone through potty training a fair few times and yes, there have been struggles.
I really feel that I learnt from my years of trying to potty train children and with a little help from my mum, who had done it three times before, Alfie was potty trained pretty seamlessly. I had a plan of how I was going to potty train Alfie before he was even born, too soon you say? No it’s really not. The sooner you think about it the more ready you will be when the time comes, the sooner you think of a plan of action the better you will feel when you decide to take the massive leap and potty train your little one.
So, it started for me and Alfie at only 4 months old and, trust me, it couldn’t have come sooner. I was always planning on starting by holding Alfie over the potty at 4 months old and the day I did it was a sigh of relief for me and Alfie. Alfie, as you have heard in one of my previous posts, suffered from really bad colic, so point blank refused to drink anything other than milk and was a hungry baby. At 4 months old I had to put him on food and yes, it made him constipated straight away and the nappy being there wasn’t helping. So, I decided to try holding him over a potty with a little bit of hot water in it, the hot water helps because the steam helps to ease their bum and surely enough he went to the toilet with ease and he was so happy.
So, every nappy change and every time he looked like he was trying to poo I put him on the potty. It was really easy. It didn’t bother Alfie at all because at that age they don’t have a good enough memory to realise that this is something different or scary to them. He loved going on the potty. The only problem I had was when I went to get him weighed and the health visitor used to shout at me, telling me that I was training myself not Alfie. I really don’t understand that comment still to this day, as I don’t know why me trying to potty train my son was resulting in my training myself or what I was training myself to do.
It went really well and at 6 month of age Alfie had stopped pooing in his nappy. Obviously, at this stage he couldn’t talk so he use to signal to me by straining a little and waving his hands about like a mad man when he needed the toilet. I really think if I hadn’t put him on the toilet that day when he was 4 months old I would be sitting here today with a child who would be scared to poo. I carried on putting Alfie on the potty every time I changed his nappy and I put him in pull ups in between nappy times to try to help him to gain the bladder control. Soon he stopped needing nappies at all.
At 10 months old Alfie started to walk and started to say a few words, one of which was “poo”, which I quickly worked out meant he needed the toilet. At 11 months I brought Alfie his first pair of big boy pants because he started to have dry nappies and that was it, he got a big boy toilet seat for the big boy toilet a few weeks later and he was over the moon. The first 2 weeks of being in big boys pants wasn’t easy, as you can imagine it’s warmer in nappy’s so when we went outside we had an accident and when we were too busy playing we had an accident. Every time he had an accident he would be mortified, he hated the feel of being all wet and he also felt sad that he hadn’t made it to the toilet. I honestly do believe though that children experiencing wet clothes after having an accident helps them to understand that they have to do it in the toilet. By his first birthday Alfie had been dry through the day for 2 weeks and I was so proud of him.
Now I’m really not rubbing this in, I promise you, but soon after we started to focus on ensuring Alfie go through the night dry. I would put Alfie on the toilet just before bed and he was dry in his nappy through the night at one and half. So off came his nappy, on went his mattress protector and his big boy panties and off we went. He has had a few accidents, I’m not going to lie, and it’s not as easy as when they have an accident in the day. You will be pleased to hear the night Alfie has accidents he wakes up and stays awake for a good 2-3 hours, but this is due to having to change him, clean him down and change all his bedding. It is bound to wake him up. Now at nearly 3 years old he rarely has accidents at night, I cant actually remember the last time he did, although I have probably jinxed myself there, haven’t I?
I’m so glad I did what I did with Alfie and started at such a young age because like I said, he now knows nothing different. He doesn’t remember wearing a nappy and going to the toilet is normal for him. He does ask me sometimes why other children wear nappies and he doesn’t, but I don’t think for one minute that is because he’s sad he doesn’t. I just think it is his curiosity. It probably confuses him why they wouldn’t use the toilet. The funny thing is, I went back to the health visitor for Alfie’s two year check and they asked about my plans for potty training. When I informed them that Alfie was out of nappies at the age of one the health visitor sat there and congratulated me on what an amazing job I had done. This obviously made me laugh due to the comment I got from her when he was just 6 months old.
But, for all of you going through the dreaded potty training please believe me it won’t last forever. They will get it one day, don’t rush them and make sure they know that you’re proud of them at every stage. Even just sitting on the potty for the first time, act as if they have just won a gold medal at the Olympics because trust me it will be so strange for them to get their head around. As for the dreaded potty training, I don’t think it is dreaded and I would do it the same if I ever have more children as I did with Alfie.