Are you ready to get rid of nappies? Have you had enough of wiping your toddler’s bum and smelling every fart? GOOD. I was sick of it as well. I dreamed of the day my child will be potty trained and seen myself running on a field of daisies, smiling at the sun.
Well, that was about seven months and ten failed attempts ago.
I am not kidding at all. We started when she was over two years old and it was pretty soon very clear to me that she wasn’t ready at all. As soon as she had her nappy off she would just scream and ask for her “dry pants” – aka Pampers.
I bought so many pairs of fun underwear, pull ups, a potty and a matching toilet seat. I got them all and guess what: didn’t get to use them.
Moving on, I decided to take a break and try again another time.
Our second attempt finalised with my child screaming her head off and running around the house cause she doesn’t like the potty and she wants again her dry pants. So I took the decision of leaving it for another time again.
Fast forward to few weeks ago, here we are. My daughter turned three and she wasn’t potty trained. She has been moved to the preschool room in nursery and suddenly I felt a pressure on my shoulders. I had to do it. I had to potty train my girl as soon as possible.
The best I got was making her sit on the potty WITH HER CLOTHES ON and still demanding her nappy, this time using proper sentences sounding like this: “I don’t want to go potty!” “I want my dry pants mummy” “I don’t like potty” and so on.
Couple of weeks ago I left her in the house with no nappy and she weed all over my living room crying and refusing the potty or the toilet. Reading about it and talking to some other mums I decided to introduce the old fashioned BRIBE.
Well, that didn’t go well. Seems like my girl can’t be bribed. Trying to give her incentives or promising toys or sweets in exchange for a wee in the potty made things worse and she had a proper melt down only looking at the bloody potty. And there I was again defeated and in tears thinking what the hell am I doing wrong.
I left my daughter in her nappies for another week and then I decided to change my strategy. I took her to Boots and asked if she wants to choose her favourite potty and we went underwear shopping as well so she can get the ones she likes (and because the ones I bought were already small). We left with a Peppa potty and set of underwear feeling confident about the entire process.
On Sunday morning I showed her she only got three nappies left and told her they are the last ones and mummy will not buy any more. As I changed her I told her she got only two left and so on. On the last one I asked if she would like to keep it for night time so she won’t wet her bed. She agreed and we put underwear on.
That day was filled with lots of accidents (no successes actually) and numerous dettol sessions on my carpet and sofa.
As evening set in I felt again frustrated and defeated but determined to move on. So the next day when she woke up she remembered that she used the last nappy. I told her so as well and we went in the bedroom so she can choose her pair of underwear for the day. I downloaded a toddler game on my ipad and set her on the potty first thing. She was sipping her milk and told me: “No moe accidents mummy. That’s it. I am not scared anymore” while finally letting go and weeing in that stupid potty.
That was one of the happiest days I had in a while and I can say she was very proud and we had no accidents that day. I took her to nursery on Tuesday and Wednesday and she did very well.
However, number two took about three days and lots of orange juice, prune juice, mango, pears and water. She done it when she couldn’t hold it anymore and I was holding her hand telling her she can do it and she is a strong little girl and a winner.
It was a glorious moment that showed me how to potty train a toddler without going crazy.
CONCLUSION: be calm, let your child decide when he/she is ready, don’t force them and don’t scare them with threats, bribe if it works but most of all admit to yourself that every child is different, don’t compare one with another and most of all BE CALM. I felt so frustrated and angry at myself lately for failing as a mother by not being able to potty train her in record time like all other mums did (again, instamums lie through their teeth) and also because it brought my anxiety back to an insane level. My child got so scared of weeing that she wouldn’t let go even is she had a nappy on so I had to start backwards explaining to her it’s ok to wee in her nappy and taking it from there towards having accidents and being proud of her for doing a wee in the potty and later on in the toilet. I thought getting rid of the dummy was hard. That was a walk in the parc comparing to this.
POTTY TRAINING IS AS HARD AF