Kory totally took us by surprise and started using his potty over the weekend. The same potty that just a few weeks ago I couldn’t even get him to sit on! So I stopped trying to get him to use it and after everyone kept telling me ‘he will use the potty when he’s ready to’ I figured that’s what he’d do then. But I did wonder, how can a toddler decide when they’re ready to use the potty and how would I know when he’s ready? Well now I know what they meant when they said that. I’m no potty training expert but here’s what I think helped Kory and us to potty train him. I hope this blog post helps anyone who is wondering the same.
For a while now Kory has been watching me whenever I go to the toilet and looking very curious. So I’ve been explaining to him as best as I could why mummy uses a toilet, what happens when I do and what will happen when Kory is ready to use one too. I did this every time he came into the bathroom and wanted to crouch down in front of me when I was using the toilet. I think this definitely helped Kory to understand his body a bit more and what the potty is actually for, so if your child wants to watch you on the toilet and is curious just like Kory was, let them. Especially if it’s going to help them. There’s nothing weird about it, they are your child and you are their parent.
On Saturday, Kory did his first wee on the potty. I didn’t make him, say anything or even prompt him to use it. We have kept Kory’s potty beside the toilet in the bathroom hoping that when he does decide to use it, seeing us use the toilet would encourage him to by copying us and it just so happens that I was using the toilet myself at the time when Kory came in, looked at me and sat down to use the potty. (He already didn’t have pants or a nappy on as I was running him a bath.) I didn’t say anything to him because I didn’t want to make a big deal out of him sitting on it incase it made him get up but I noticed he was sitting for ages… When Kory finally stood up he pointed and showed me he’d had a wee! I couldn’t believe it! I sang the pee pee on the potty song for him and clapped my hands and now he keeps forcing wees out just to use the potty for a reaction! But at least he’s using the potty now.
Keeping the potty somewhere in your house, like the bathroom, to begin with will help your child to know where it is when it comes to them wanting to use it. I think keeping ours in the bathroom for Kory helped him because it’s been there for a while, he’s seen it every time he’s come into the bathroom so it was easy for him to find, it meant he could copy me or his dad if either of us was using the toilet and because we was right beside him this gave him the confidence he needed to use it. Once he’d used it a few times in the bathroom, I felt confident enough to be able to move his potty to other rooms in the house, like the living room if that’s where we were sitting, show him where his potty had been moved to, point and say ‘I’ve put your potty here now Kory if you want to use it’ just so that he knew where it was and that he’d continued to use it.
On Sunday we stayed home the whole day as the weather was rubbish outside, this meant that Kory was able to stay pantless the whole day which I think really helped him and again, he used the potty straight away and every time he did, me and his dad would jump up and clap our hands for him.
If you’re thinking of potty training your child, definitely spend a few days at home with them. That way you can keep their nappy off, there is no confusing them by putting a nappy on and off. If they are pantless it makes it so much easier for them to use the potty, there is no need for you to take any bottoms off, they are just free to use the potty when and if they feel like.
Of course Kory has had accidents, a few wees on the floor here and there and he did do a little poo on the landing upstairs as well but that was partially my fault because he’d followed me upstairs and I’d left the potty downstairs. After he’d pooed on the floor, Kory showed me what he’d done and he looked pretty upset about it but I just told him that it was okay and that next time he needs a poo, he is to do it on the potty because he is a big boy now and when we got downstairs he got straight on the potty and did a poo and a wee which I really wasn’t expecting because I know for children doing their first poo on the potty can be scary!
Potty training is hard work, not just for you but for your child too. It can be hard for them to remember to go and use the potty when they are nappy free and in the middle of playing. Accidents are going to happen, this is to be expected. Wees and poos on the floor can easily be cleaned up, it can be frustrating when accidents happen but it’s important to stay calm and reassure your child that it’s okay. You don’t want to make your child feel bad for having an accident. This could set them back or make them feel unsure about using the potty, they didn’t get yelled at when they used nappies. If they are having lots of accidents, put them a nappy back on and try potty training again later or on another day.
On Monday I took Kory to choose some underwear, I explained to him that because he is big now and he is using a potty, that he no longer needs to wear nappies during the day anymore. He chose some Paw Patrol underpants and was so excited when we got home and he tried them on.
I bought Kory the underpants as sort of a reward and hoped they would encourage him to keep using his potty but I didn’t buy him underpants until day 3 of potty training, I was worried if I put them on him sooner, that this may confuse him. This is entirely up to you but I personally think having your child nappy and pants free at home for the first few days is best.
We are now on day 4 of potty training and today was the first day I took Kory out of the house. We only went to my mum’s house who lives just round the corner from us and I brought his potty with us. I put a nappy on Kory whilst we walked round to my mums, he didn’t want me to but I explained to Kory that he might need the toilet on our way round and that there wouldn’t be one so he needed to wear a nappy so that he wouldn’t have an accident. Once we got to my mum’s house, the first thing I did was take Kory’s nappy and pants off. Put his potty down and showed him where it was and left him to it. And surely enough he used the potty twice at my mum’s house and we both jumped up and down for him!
If you have to take your child out, take your potty with you if you can. The more they get to use their potty, the more confident they will feel using it. By getting them to use their potty away from home, like a relatives house, they will become comfortable with using it anywhere.
So that’s our potty training journey so far. We’ve come a long way but we’ve still a long way to go. Here are some more pointers I personally found helped me:
- Praise Praise Praise. Whenever your child sits on the potty, even if they don’t do anything, as soon as they get up from the potty make sure you say something like ‘well done!’ or clap your hands for them. This will make them want to use the potty.
- Having some sort of reward system will really help. Every time your child does a wee or a poo on the potty, it helps to reward them so that they know they have done something good. A sticker chart or a treat of some sort. I am going to get Kory a sticker chart as he loves stickers and this will only encourage him to want to use the potty more.
- Make sure your child always has access to the potty at home to avoid accidents. Like when I brought Kory upstairs with me and left his potty downstairs, he was upset he had an accident and really it was my fault. If it helps, buy a potty for upstairs and downstairs if you don’t want to carry your potty around the house with you.
- Give your child reminders. Every so often ask them do they need a wee or a poo or do they need to use the potty. Don’t hound them but let them know they can use the potty whenever they feel they need to.
- My top tip is that your child will let you know when they are ready to potty train, it isn’t a race and there is no point in rushing them into it because they will only do it when they are ready to and trust me, you will know when they are. Here are some of the signs:
- They tell you that their nappy is wet or soiled.
- They seem interested in the potty or toilet.
- Can understand and follow basic instructions.
- They can tell you they would like to use the potty.
- Your child feels uncomfortable if their nappy is wet or soiled.
- They can stay dry for 2 hours or longer during the day.
- They can pull their own pants up and down without or with little help.
I hope anyone potty training their child or thinking of potty training their child finds this post to be helpful. In the meantime, I will keep you posted on how we’re getting on with potty training Kory…