I have a confession to make. My very first attempt at potty training was truly a disaster. My oldest son had just turned 2. I was determined to get him out of nappies and into big boy pants, despite the arrival of our second baby a few weeks earlier.
I totally bought into the "everyone else is potty training their 2 year old and so can I" story. I just went along with the crowd determined to prove that I was an awesome parent who had it all under control.
I didn’t stop to think about what was the perfect age to potty train and whether there were any medical side effect of potty training too early. I didn’t stop to think about whether my son was showing signs of potty training readiness. (OK, I thought about it and convinced myself he was). And I didn’t stop to think about our family circumstances and the fact that I had a 5 week old baby.
I just went straight ahead regardless.
Day 1 of My Potty Training Disaster
I remember that first day of potty training. I had carefully and clearly explained what we were going to do. He’s a bright child, I knew he understood.
I left him happily playing in the living room and popped up stairs to shower.
When I returned, I found him sitting in a pile of…Well, I’m sure you can image.
My friend texted me.
How’s the potty training going?
:( Ha. Ha!
A few days later we went to the zoo. A 2 hour drive away.
We arrived in triumph. Dry pants. Result!
:) We’re rocking this potty training lark! :)
Better get him to squeeze out a wee.
What do you do when your child refuses to even try?
I decided to feed the baby first. Galen played happily on the front seat. And forgot all about big boy pants and this potty training thing.
I never did manage to get the stain off the car seat. Years later, it was still there, taunting me. A daily reminder of my failed attempt to potty train my son.
Yep! I quickly realised that potty training a 2 year old AND breastfeeding a 2 month old was not a great idea. At least not for me.
I guess I learnt a few things which I’m happy to impart.
If you’re contemplating the giant step of potty training, I’d suggest being a bit more prepared than I was.
The Keys to A Successful First Day of Potty Training
- Do it at a good time. No new babies, no moving house, no big things happening in your life. Potty training is hard work for both you and your child.
- Block out a few days from your schedule. Potty training is hard enough without having to drag your child around social events. The best place to do it is at home, not the zoo.
- Different children take to it differently. Some children will potty train in a weekend, others need longer. To begin with, you don’t know which your child will be. Best to plan for longer and be happy that they train quicker than frustrated that they don’t live up to your expectations.
- Build up excitement. Potty training books, new pants, new potty. Hooray! How exciting!
- Be prepared for accidents and frustration. Most children will have several accidents before they get the hang of going in the potty.
- It’s normal for children to have a period of time when they regress too. They get bored of the whole “potty” thing. The excitement wears off. It’s much easier just to go in your pants. It’s what they’ve been doing for the last 2 or 3 years so who can blame them.
With my second son, there was no stress. I didn’t have to clear up any mess. It was fabulous.
Know what I did?
I sent him to nursery for a week and let them do it!