Crevette was completely out of nappies just after he was two. The fact he had been wearing washable nappies made the transition to underwear much easier. Washable nappies are less comfortable than disposable nappies when wet, so he understood pretty quickly that underwear and using the potty were much nicer than nappies. Easy peasy!
Beanie was a whole different story. After a positive first experience, I thought I knew what I was doing and took my little lady out of nappies around her 2nd birthday. It was not a smooth ride, let me tell you. I am not going to expand on that, but believe you me, a fair few pairs of knickers were thrown away in the process… there might even have been a puddle of urine or two in town. It took a good couple more years before she managed to stay dry during the day. Nights are still a work in progress.
Following all that, potty training Jumpy was not really on the cards. I just thought I would give myself plenty of time to start thinking about it. She started talking about using the toilet about six months ago, but I ignored her plea. I know, I know, listen to your child and all that… You know what? You have to choose your battles.
Although Jumpy was ready, I was not. Life was too busy. Wriggly was not sleeping, I was at work, I had just started to take blogging seriously, Beanie still had little accidents, the washing pile never seemed to diminish no matter how many loads I was going through each day and the mere thought of potty training horrified me to say the least.
She kept asking and asking, so before our holidays, we went shopping for ‘big girl’ pants and she was very excited. When we arrived in France this summer, I simply took her nappies off and she used the toilet. It was not as simple and easy as that and there were a few leaks here and there, but she did a pretty good job.
At the moment, she is on and off in nappies or underwear and I am not worried. Neither am I stressing her about it. She will come out of nappies and use the potty eventually, right? Not being pushy or stressed about it seems to be the approach that works best in our house.
It would be presumptuous to tell you what to do and assume my method (i.e. having no method) is the one and only way to do things. However, looking back, although every child is different, here is what I have observed with my own children when they were ready for using the toilet.
5 signs your child is really ready for using the potty or toilet:
1- They start dressing and undressing themselves
2- Their nappies stay dry for longer periods of time than previously
3- They let you know they have just done a pee/poo in their nappy and want to get changed
4- They are interested in what goes on in the toilet
5- They can follow simple instructions and show an interest in being ‘a big boy/girl’
Jumpy was sent a couple of books recently, both on the theme of Growing up with Thomas. The first one, Thomas & Friends My Thomas Potty Book, explains the process of moving out of nappies and starting using the toilet. With bright visuals and simple text, it describes choosing suitable underwear, talks about the potty, little accidents and general hygiene associated with using the toilet.
The cherry on the cake for my little girl is the reward chart. She absolutely loves adding stickers to the chart (included with the book) when she uses the toilet, and we have now displayed the chart on the fridge so she can count her stickers.
The second book, Thomas & Friends Well Done Thomas, Activity Book, is a brilliant resource for pre-schoolers. It is full of simple activities to teach young children how to be nice little members of society by encouraging positive behaviour and I enjoy going through it with my little girl.
– I was compensated for this post.
– All opinions and photographs are my own.