Potty Training: More Tips & Tricks

A couple of month's back I shared a post all about potty training my toddler and the experiences I had / things I'd learnt  from it, as a mum. Fast forward to the present day and Arthur is completely potty trained and dry at night. It was a gradual process for us to get him to this point, so I wanted to share a few more learnings for any other parents currently potty training their toddlers...

Tips for no nappy at night time

Since my last update I'm pleased to say Arthur is now dry at night! If you're currently deciding whether to see if your toddler can make it through the night without an accident then my top tips are to:
1. Use a mattress protector.
2. Pop a towel under their sheet for extra protection.
3. Have spare sheets ready just in case they do have an accident and you need to change their bed in the middle of the night.
Arthur still often wakes up briefly in the night and needs settling back to sleep, so when we were first attempting no nappy at night time, I was actually sitting him on the potty when he woke up to prevent accidents. I'm surprised we even managed this as we were both zombie-like! This only went on for a few nights, before I realised he could go the whole night (providing he'd not drank loads before bedtime) and just use the potty when he first woke up in the morning instead.

Toddler potty poo trouble solution

I'm so going to have to delete this blog post before Arthur is old enough to read it but like many toddlers, Arthur had trouble pooing on the potty to start with. I'd go as far as saying he's always had a little trouble with pooing but nothing that has required any medical intervention or treatment! So obviously doing it on the potty has been a big thing for him and I feel like he was almost scared to do it and it was making him more and more uncomfortable.

It's taken a little time but I feel like we've finally cracked it, thanks to the help of a Playmobil elephant. Now, I know this sounds ridiculous...but hear me out? Basically, the elephant challenges him to a poo and not one to be beaten, he does one every time the elephant asks, without fail! Since I introduced this rather wacky but wonderful little ritual at potty time, he's been going so much more frequently. He's not had any tummy aches (as far as I'm aware), he's been far less bloated and so much more comfortable!

My point of sharing this was to hopefully help any other parents out there that may have a toddler that struggles to poo on the potty. If you introduce something fun (no matter how weird) and maybe even make it a bit of a funny challenge, it could encourage them to sit on the potty for longer and make them more willing to try. The more they do it, the more they'll get used to it and hopefully the easier it'll be come.

Other potty training tips:

Buy the next size up in underwear - I want to teach Arthur to pull his own boxers up and downbut he's been finding it difficult. He's still young so it's not a big problem but I decided to him the next size up in underwear (3-4 years), which isn't THAT much bigger but has allowed him to do it a little more easily. He still needs help but it's a case of the more he practices, the easier it'll become.

Always pack spares - I never leave the house without a spare pair of pants and bottoms for Arthur because even though he rarely has accidents (I can't even remember the last he had), you never know when they can get caught out! Which brings me onto my next point...

Ask when you're out - If we are in a new place or Arthur is involved in playing with his friends, I try and remember to ask him if he needs the toilet, in case he's distracted and not thinking about it.

Get them used to going to the toilet with other family members - I thought it was important that Arthur was as comfortable being taken to the toilet by other family members, as myself, as even though I'm usually with him, there are of course going to be times when he's being looked after by someone else. I also think doing this will hopefully help when he starts pre-school in September and I won't be there for those few hours.

Potty train when the time is right for YOU and YOUR TODDLER - I think parents sometimes feel a bit of pressure to get their toddlers potty trained ASAP. When I saw my health visitor, for Arthur's 2-2.5 year check, although polite and lovely, she insisted that NOW was the time to be potty training him or I might miss the boat, which made me feel like I had to start the very next day.

But with a weekend of outings planned and a lot of stuff going on, I decided it wasn't quite the right time and waited a week or two until we were BOTH ready to give it a go.

There's also no right or wrong way to do it - it's about finding what works for your toddler. Some kids are happy on the potty, others want to use the big toilet. Some kids do it straight away, others may take a bit longer. You'll just need to see what they're ready for and what they're comfortable with. It's a massive learning curve for them but easier if they are interested in doing it - which is why it's important to wait until they're ready and not feel the pressure, just because other mums may be potty training their kids earlier.

I'd also say that potty training probably won't turn out to be as bad as you might think. I was dreading it and so nervous about taking Arthur out without a nappy on but besides a few accidents (to be expected) and a massive-poo-in-my-hand situation (I'll just clarify that it was Arthur's poo and leave it at that) it's gone as well as it could and hasn't been half the battle I thought it'd be!

Megan x
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