1 – The build up
This is key in my mind. Long before the actually training was underway we spoke about him going to the toilet, being a big boy like dada. While I would be filling the bath id let him sit on the toilet minus his nappy and often times he would go but not really realise what was going on. We bought a potty closer to the time and left it in the sitting room. At the start he firmly believed it was his new chair!! We kept explaining to him the purpose of it and he began to understand. My sister bought him a book called Pirate Pete which tells the story of Petes potty training. He loves his bed time story so this was a winner in the Mamma Fairy house.
2 – The supplies
I think in relation to the supplies side of potty training getting the child involved is crucial. We went together to Dunnes and he picked out the big boy pants he wanted. He also picked out the step for reaching as he calls it the “big toilet”. He picked out soft toilet wipes and a seat insert. Armed with his supplies he completely unprompted told the cashier he was a big boy now no more nappies. I took my cue from that and when we got home we “binned” the nappies. (Not really – my sister in law got them and the nappy bin, i didnt even know I needed such a thing until I had the boys see link for more details on best diaper pails!). By letting him get the supplies etc, it became his decision to ditch the nappies.
3 – The patience!!
Without question the hardest part of the entire potty training journey. You need patience and an abundance of it. What we did was spend three days almost entirely house bound minus nappies, trousers etc. Every 15 mins on the button I lifted him on the potty, explaining to him all the time what was happening. Day 2 was pretty much the same only I started noticing him sitting on the potty without me putting him there. Day 3 another big improvement he began to realise himself what was happening and would go without me lifting him. Remarkably on the night of day 3 we woke up and he was completely dry. We have not had one night accident since he started, if he needs to go during the night he calls us and we take him, no drama and straight back to sleep. During those first 3 days there were of course the odd accident but it is essential you do not give out to them for it, it’s a learning process and getting cross will only set them back.
One thing that I will say don’t try to train them too early my son was 2 months shy of his 3 birthday as I was waiting for him to be ready. Some of the cues I noticed were him asking to have his nappy changed, telling me he was dirty and asking more questions about the toilet. My own mother gave me a great tip and that was not to get him too used to using only the potty and only in a specific spot so once I felt he was established, I would take him to the “big toilet” or when he went to my mothers house she had a different potty. It meant he was comfortable going in any toilet as I have friends who need to take a potty with them anywhere they go!
Hopefully the above helps and let me know how you are getting on.