Have you been through potty training, or are you about to? Enjoy this latest post from LadybirdMum, on the ups and downs of moving on from nappies…
Thanks to Ladybird I remember a particular flurry of excitement at Penguin HQ back in 2011, when Chris Evans recommended Pirate Pete’s Potty to his BBC Radio 2 listeners. Potty training was not on my radar then, but it struck me as Useful Information for the Future. Well, that time is now and I have much to thank Pirate Pete for, having embarked on potty training with my own little pirate, who began showing signs of being ready a few months ago.
*Disclaimer* – this post does not contain any graphic descriptions of the aforementioned potty training, so please feel free to continue . . .
I was quite anxious about this next big stage in Zach’s development. I ordered Pirate Pete’s Potty and Zach was very keen on it – especially the cheering button, a great idea. We introduced him to the potty and big boy pants (Thomas ones, of course). We talked to him about it all lots, and friends recommended Gina Ford’s Potty Training in One Week to me as well.
This is the first time I’ve used Gina, but if there was ever anything I wanted to try and achieve in a week, it’s potty training. One of her tips was to make a big star chart for encouragement, which I was going to do, until I spied an advert for the rather marvellous Penwizard’s personalised books, in which your child stars. Pirate Pete and Princess Polly are available in this range, complete with a personalised chart and stickers, and this seemed a brilliant idea all round.
The next step was to block out time to just stay at home and start training. It made sense to use one of my Thursdays and Fridays with Zach, leading into the weekend and then nursery could carry on where I had (hopefully) successfully left off. Gulp!
Zach’s personalised book, chart and stickers arrived a few days before P-Day and they delighted him; we were good to go, though I was a bundle of nerves.
Here are seven key things I learnt during our first week of potty training:
1. It can be upsetting for both you and your child. I was prepared for accidents, but I was not prepared for my child crying and begging me for a nappy at the point he was desperate for a wee, screaming that he was scared. I held my nerve, channelling Gina and Pirate Pete at the same time. It was very hard. Having an infected wisdom tooth at the same time doesn’t help either. Avoid at all costs.
2. The total joy you feel, when your child does a wee on the potty for the first time, is unimaginable beforehand. I was so proud and he was so proud of himself, it took all my restraint not to snap a pic of it and send it to Adam and my mum (you’re both welcome). The sticker chart is invaluable too; it’s so useful to have it as both incentive and reward.
3. The total frustration and despair you feel when your child then wees everywhere but the potty, for three straight days, is entirely imaginable because you are the parent of a toddler and these emotions are not new.
4. Speaking of accidents, my son is nearly three; nothing really grosses me out any more. Obviously, accidents are part of potty training, to be dealt with whilst reassuring your child it doesn’t matter. But it’s a good job I love that boy so very much, because only a parent could (literally) handle what I did on the second day and not ask for the nearest bucket to be passed. Sorry! That’s the closest to graphic detail we’ll get, promise.
5. When your child asks to sit ON THE TOILET, having declared for three days his fear of the potty, you will be simultaneously baffled and overjoyed that you followed Gina and bought the special little toilet seat. The joy will continue when they do a small wee and seem genuinely keen on the process of wiping, flushing, washing and drying hands.
6. This process will then be repeated. Again and again. Do not be fooled, the moment you say ‘We’ve done it twenty times, you can’t really need to go?!’ is the point at which they will wee on your socks.
7. If you are able to set aside that block of time for training, and then your child’s excellent nursery carries on the work, day seven of Gina’s plan should bring a major toileting triumph (it’s all about the number twos on the loo). You will feel overwhelmed with pride and so will they. You might also need to hold your nose whilst hugging them a lot.
So that’s a round-up of our early potty training experience, which is continuing well, with some accidents here and there. Oh and he did his first big wee standing up in the bath last night. Despite nothing like this occurring in his Pirate Zachary’s Potty book, he certainly gave himself a big cheer at the end!
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