Potty training. Ugh. I remember my cousin saying potty training was her least favourite phase of motherhood, and I totally get it now. We tried Harper at 22 months as she was showing signs of readiness, and again at 25 months. Both times were a disaster and I found myself so stressed and anxious. Our house is mainly carpet and I was scrubbing wee smells out of the floor for weeks that followed. So we held off until she was 2 years and 9 months – she was potty trained within a week and had minimal accidents, it was definitely a case of waiting until she was totally ready.
1. A Reward System
Kids love rewards. We opted for this hot air balloon reward jar for Harper. She got a star every time she did a wee or a poo on the potty or toilet, and when it was filled she got a treat. We filled the jar about three times, and then we weaned it to just poops as after a week she was still finding doing these on the potty tricky (she would cry and ask for a nappy when she needed to go). After a few days she totally got it, and after just 5 days or potty training didn’t have a single accident.
2. Potty training pants
We were gifted these pants from Bambino Mio, and I have since bought a second pack as I liked them so much. These are great for catching a little accident, and better for the environment than pull-ups. They aren’t absorbent enough to catch a full wee, but in the first few days she wouldn’t sometimes start to wee and then stop herself and tell me she needed to use the potty – they did stop any leakages of this into her leggings / onto my carpet!
3. A fairy door
Harper was very reluctant to give potty training a go. We really felt like she was ready as she would tell us when she was filling her nappy, so we decided she needed a gentle push. We set up a fairy door outside Harper’s bedroom and made a really exciting deal out of it. We explained to Harper that the fairies wanted to take her nappies away to give them to the babies that needed them, and that they would leave her a treat to say thank you. We got Harper to put her nappies there before bed (putting her in a “big girl pull up”) and when she awoke in the morning they had left her a small gift. A few times during our potty training week she asked for a nappy, and we reminded her that she had given them to the fairies – a response that she was completely fine with.
4. A potty and a toilet seat
Pretty self explanatory and no photo needed!
5. Princess Polly
I found this gem on YouTube when searching for potty videos. Harper loved it! Princess Polly wants to stop wearing knickers and it sets out a little story of her choosing her big girl knickers / a potty right up to being fully potty trained.
6. Poo Goes to Pooland
Harper had a harder time doing poos on the potty or toilet. She would hold them in, and for a few nights did them in her pull-up at bedtime. My friend who is a health visitor recommended this online PDF story and Harper loved it. In fact, she didn’t have any poop accidents after we spent some time reading it! It is honestly one of the strangest kids stories I have read, but it did the trick!
Thanks for reading – I hope this has been helpful to support your own potty-journey! Let me know your top tips in the comments.