A few weeks ago I made the decision that Violet was ready to start potty training. She will be three in October and had been showing true signs that she knew what was happening with her body when she needed to wee and poo for a while now but just wasn’t progressing to the next step. She would often go off and find a corner when she needed to do a poo and hide out until she was finished and I wouldn’t realise until the smell hit me. I think this was my breaking point where I knew she was ready to take action and I just had to face it head on.
First of all I’d like to say I’m no expert on this potty training business, in actually fact I feel like I’m pretty crap at it so please take my words with a grain of salt and adapt it to what works for you.
This is what I did:
Step 1: Take away the nappies. This didn’t phase her at all because probably because most of the time she runs around the house/yard naked anyway but that’s totally ok because we live in Darwin and sometimes it’s the best way to keep cool.
Step 2: Take them to the toilet all the time. I probably started off at every half hour and then moved it back to an hour and it’s gotten longer and longer each time. I basically just got her to sit there and I would sit there with here and we would have a chat and just hang out for a bit, if she was in a bad mood and didn’t want a bar of it I would bring out the big guns and let her take the iPad in there. It’s all about finding an even playing field.
Step 3: Make a big deal out of it. Violet loved when we made a big deal out of it so that is what we did. Every time she did something in the toilet she would stand up and give us a big high five and next came..
Step 4: Bribery. Some of you may be against bribery but for those who are just run with it. I’m a fan of doing what works. I think it also helped a lot that we don’t usually have chocolate in our house so introducing something was a novelty around here really worked. We used chocolate money, it comes in all different sizes so you can choose what you negotiate with but for us Wee = 1 Poo = 2 and if the big kids were home from school they were also allowed to have chocolate so they would be super happy and give her a few high fives too.
To start with nothing really happened but then one day its like it just clicked. Most of the time she knows she knows to go to the toilet and will grab her bottom and run to the toilet. We have the toddler steps set up and I try and leave them set up for most of the day so she has the freedom to go off by herself.
I haven’t yet master the leaving the house in underwear yet but we are going to start doing this for small trips later in the week and will build up to the bigger ones. I have to say I am really impressed with Violet and myself, we still have days where we have one or two accidents but they are definitely getting further apart and I think that is pretty good for somebody who has no idea about potty training.
I’m a big believer in waiting until your child is ready so if you give it a go and doesn’t work either continue you with it in a non stressful way or just forget about it and try again in a few weeks/months when your child is ready. It’s all about trail and error and doing what works for the two of you.
So tell me what age were your kids potty trained and do you have any tried and tested potty training tips?
*disclaimer* Violet has also now been weaned off the chocolate and we have moved onto weekly awards like special trips to get a chocolate milk shake or a new creative play toys.