Monday, 6 April 2015

Potty Training a 2 year old

Hi guys,

I wanted to share with you our experiences of  potty training our little boy at 2 years old. Alfie is now 2 1/2 and completely dry day and night (I still do a little victory dance in my head)

I cant believe how easy it was. When I started researching, I found millions of posts and theories about how to potty train your toddler. Some were suggesting really extreme ideas of training within 3 days. Other posts were saying how stressful potty training was.

Now, we may have been really lucky and Alfie may have just taken to it really easily.

Alfie had been showing signs of "readiness" about 2 months before he turned 2, these included:

  • Constantly taking his nappy off - we had a naked toddler for quite some time.
  • He would follow us into the bathroom and was showing an interest in our toilet habits (TMI I know)
  • I noticed that his nappy was dry after a 2 hour nap so there was obvious increased bladder control. 
  • He didn't like being in a dirty nappy.
I know there are lots more signs of readiness but these were the ones that made me think that Alfie was ready for potty training. 

So about 2 months before he turned 2, I bought a potty and decided to give it a go. 

This resulted in a complete disaster, he was scared of the potty! We spent about 2 days with a naked toddler running round and trying to guess when he needed to go and then he was clearly anxious about sitting on the potty. 

So I stopped, I wasn't prepared to stress myself out and more importantly I didn't want him to be anxious about the whole concept. I must admit I was a little worried that potty training = stress. 

When Alfie turned 2, he had continued to show the same signs that he was ready and had also started to tell me that he was having a wee or a poo. So I decided to give it another go!

This time, I bought a new potty. The first one I bought was the really cheap old school ones pictured below and I think it was really uncomfortable for Alfie and that may have been why he didn't want to sit on it. Alfie is obsessed with cars and transport as you can see by his toddler car bedroom post so we found a car potty which is also pictured below. Alfie loved the new potty although it was difficult to explain that he couldn't "play" with it like his other cars. 

So I took his nappy off and put the potty in the room and asked him every 15 minutes if he needed a wee. I think this annoyed him more than anything so I left him to it. We did have an accident but this allowed me to explain that he needed to use the potty. I think this made him more aware and then he sat on the potty and did a tiny wee.

Mummy and Daddy started singing and dancing and telling him how clever he was, high five-ing him and generally really, really praising him. 

He was so excited by the praise that he got, he kept going back to his potty every couple of minutes and doing a little wee and then screaming 'I've done it' and Mummy and Daddy would dance and high five each time. We didn't need to use any incentive like chocolate, the praise was more than enough. We really did go crazy though with the praise. 

After that he spent about 2 days going to the potty constantly and I think we had 2 accidents but then he just got it and was running over to the potty and doing a wee. We never needed to prompt him or remind him. He was a little bit nervous about number 2 and we had to look for the 'poo face' and put him on the potty. He did seem a little anxious but again when he did a poo on the potty, we went crazy with the praise. Another 2 days of this and he was happily doing wee and poo on the potty with no prompting or accidents. 

We went and bought him big boy pants and pull ups for the night time. I was worried that going from being naked to putting pants on might result in more accidents but he just told me that he needed to wee and we went to the potty. He was still peeing in the night and again because of his love of cars we bought the Huggies pull ups.

That was it! I was so shocked at how easy it was and had been warned that I was in for a regression but touch wood this never happened. 

Since we started, I never put a nappy on him again. If we went out I would take the potty with me and he would be in pants. The only time he wore a nappy was at night. I then decided to introduce him to the BIG TOILET as it was a pain having to take a potty everywhere with me. I bought the toilet seat insert and a stool and after talking to him about the big boy toilet, we gave it a go and as soon as he did a wee on the toilet..... you guessed it we went crazy mad with the praise. We did this about 2 months after we started on the potty. 

6 months down the line and Alfie is 2 1/2 and is using the toilet and is even standing up like daddy to do a wee now. 

I was told that to train throughout the night, I would have to wake him during the night and take him to the toilet. Quite frankly there was no way I was going to do that, once you wake Alfie he is ready to play. So I was happy for him to wear a pull up at night for as long as necessary. All we did was take him for a wee just before bed. Initially he would wee during the night but about 3 months into potty training, he would wake up in the morning saying he needed a wee and his pull up was dry. I put his potty in our room at night so he could have  a wee in the morning. 

For the past 6 weeks, Alfie has been completely dry in the morning, he does need a wee first thing and occasionally wakes up in the night needing one but that's no bother. There was no waking up and nothing has been forced and its been completely stress free. 

I really do think if you wait until they are ready emotionally as well as physically. Alfie was showing all the physical signs before he was 2 but he wasn't ready emotionally. I think I could have persevered at that time but I think it would have been really stressful on us all. This way it was fun and easy and who doesn't want that for their little one.

If there are any questions please feel free to ask me. Like I said at the beginning this is what worked for us and may not suit every toddler but I hope it offers some help with potty training. 

Thanks guys
take care

Adele xxx

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