My girl is now just over 21 months and we have just had our first potty training success! I was planning on launching a full on potty training mission when the weather gets a bit warmer, but my girl decided she wanted to use the potty on her own.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not a professional potty trainer. I am just a first time mom that also has no clue how to go about these things! But I thought I would share with you what I did and how it all worked out for us, maybe you can try the same method or get some ideas.
Potty training has been something I have been looking forward to for a very long time, as I am sure you are too! I am just tired of changing nappies, especially those poo ones! For the last few months I have not been actively trying to potty train her, I have just tried to show her what I am doing and hoping that something will sink in at some stage. So for the last few months every time I went to the toilet I took her with me and told her what I was doing. This wasn’t always a pleasant exercise having someone intrude on my private bathroom activities and sometimes it was awful. She often wanted to get so close to look that her head was just almost in the toilet while I was busy. If she couldn’t see properly she would take my knees and pull them further apart so she could get in closer.
Then there were the few occasions where she was quite insistent she wanted to wipe MY bum and threw a tantrum when I wouldn’t let her.
The first time I asked her to come with me when I did a no 2 was disturbing yet funny at the same time. As she realised what I was doing she got angry – VERY angry and started shouting at me. I am not quite sure why she got so upset, then again I suppose I wouldn’t enjoy being trapped in the bathroom with someone else while they were making a poop!
The next thing I did was buy her some panties. This did not go down well and still for some reason she doesn’t want to wear panties. She was however taking her pants and nappy off every chance she got and after a few times of the nappy coming off it wouldn’t re-stick properly which started getting very expensive and irritating – a perfectly good nappy being thrown away after a few minutes of wearing it. So once again I changed my tactic and bought her the Pampers Girls pull down nappies which she was very pleased with.
I bought her a potty which she would sit on for literally 2 seconds and jump up and walk away, she would also pack her toys in the potty or wear it as a hat which I found very irritating. So I went back to the shops and found a baby toilet seat at the Crazy Store which fits over the toilet. This she really enjoyed and would bother me all day and evening to go “wee on toilet”.
This was another annoying and draining exercise because she was only concerned with sitting on the toilet and wiping herself with toilet paper. At one sitting she would devour almost half a roll of toilet paper with glee, “wiping” and putting it in the toilet. If I tried to stop her before she felt she was done she would throw a tantrum and although I don’t usually allow her to just throw a tantrum and get away with things I also did not want in any way make going to the toilet an unpleasant experience for her. So she got free reign and wasted toilet paper at a furious pace.
And of course each time the nappy and pants came off she didn’t want to put them back on which would result in at least 10 mins of me (5 months pregnant) running around the house trying to catch a pants-less toddler so she didn’t freeze to death.
Eventually she started also taking off her pants and nappy and sitting on the potty a bit longer, but this took a long time. Then yesterday out of the blue she made a wee in the potty. We didn’t even realise she had done it because she constantly strips and climbs on the potty and says “wee” so we didn’t really take any notice.
This time she got off the potty and tipped all the wee out on to the floor in front of us and then with a worried look said “oopsie, mess!”. This was of course greeted by cheers and mad clapping by my husband and myself. She was so pleased with herself and loved the attention. A few minutes later she had stripped again and was back on the potty trying her best to squeeze another few drops out for us.
She was successful and once again poured it onto the floor for us. Another huge round of applause from us. Then quick as a flash she took my drying cloth off the kitchen counter to wipe herself as there was no toilet paper close at hand.
My gorgeous little girl spent most of the day stripping and trying her best to produce something for us again until later in the afternoon she produced a poop in the potty, once again to praise and clapping. Her Ouma came around in the late afternoon and she really tried her best to produce something for her too, she spent a lot of time on the potty huffing and puffing and pulling faces, but unfortunately I think she must have been all pooped out by that time.
Like I said I am no expert, but I do think the trick is to just be patient and let them do it when they are ready – let your toddler lead the way. Show them what you are doing and let them experiment with the toilet and potty, let them “wipe” and flush the toilet. Maybe also stock up on toilet paper!