Potty training is disgusting. Why am I writing about this? I think it's because I don't want to forget what to do should I need to go through it again!
I decided that the summer holidays would be the ideal opportunity to start as I'd be at home all day with only Honey to focus on. Day one was amazing, Honey spent the day wearing 'big girl pants' and a long vest top so she didn't have lots of layers to contend with. She received stickers left, right and centre and finished the day with only one puddle. Never one to believe these things are going to be so fast, I was fully expecting day two, which ended with 6 pairs of wet pants and almost a whole roll of kitchen paper used!
From there on, things steadily improved as Honey became more aware of how it felt to need to go. She revelled in her stickers and loved choosing which one to add to her chart and we also discovered that she really enjoyed washing her hands!
After a few days, we decided to go camping, which inevitably meant total abandonment of our normal routine but we decided to persevere! We took the Carry Potty everywhere with us and encouraged her to use it as she had been doing at home. There were only a couple of accidents that week, one of which is (touch wood) the only poo incident to date which happened because we let Honey play on an adventure playground well past bedtime. She 'forgot' she needed to stop playing in order to use her potty. That was super disgusting but luckily a trip to the shower block and a bin bag for her clothes meant that the ordeal was over quickly for everyone!
Anyway, I hope that I haven't put too many people off their food with this, it's an exciting time for a toddler and what feels like Honey's biggest milestone to date! Here are a few tips that might help if potty training is on the horizon for you, I am definitely not telling you that this is the only way to approach things, it's just what's worked for us.
1. Make time. I am lucky enough to have a long summer holiday which was perfect, but even a few focussed days will help your child start their potty training journey.
2. Shrug off accidents (this is harder when they happen later on as you're no longer expecting them so it is a bit annoying).
3. Throw away pants. We were lucky enough to be given lots of pants by a friend. They came with explicit instructions not to try and save them if they got messy while out and about!
4. Ask your child if they need to go... A lot! If they always say no at first, sit them on the potty anyway. You might feel like a nag but it's better (and more convenient) than the alternative.
5. Books make a difference. We read 'I Want My Potty', 'Princess Polly' and 'George and Holly and The Magic Carry Potty' at least 2000 times each but they definitely helped her understand and feel excited about this new adventure!
6. Don't be afraid to use pull-ups (or use up the last of your nappies) sometimes! At first, we carried on using these for naps, night times and soft play (I mean seriously, who wants to fish poo out of a ball pit) and now mainly use them at night or for long car journeys.
7. Keep it consistent. Make sure your husband/partner/childminder is aware of what's going on and (where possible) tries to follow the toilet time routines your child is getting used to. Even now, we send Honey's potty with her wherever she goes. She mainly prefers to use the toilet but if she's out and about and has the urge to go, at least she can ask rather than have an accident because she doesn't know where the loo is!
Honey wears... Owl top by Toby Tiger