Potty training, you’ll either love it or hate it, or fall somewhere in between. It’s a monumental milestone in your child’s development. Plus a milestone for you as well. Gone are the days of nappies, except for at night and during naps (if you’re lucky). However potty training isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. You may have a child who takes to it on the first day, or a child who needs 6 months to finally get there. Whatever. Your child will not be in nappies forever. If you’re in the grips of potty training (like me) here are just some of the realities of a c**p situation (pardon the pun) versus some of the expectations we would like to believe.
It will take 3 days
This is what everyone says. Spend 3 days at home and they will have cracked it. Wrong. It will take as long as it takes. We are now on Day 7, still having accidents, and still little understanding that she needs to pull her trousers and pants down to use the potty. If she is naked on the bottom half she’ll go, if she’s wearing clothes she’ll hold it until there’s a deluge.
Wait until they are ready
Are they ever ready? I thought my daughter was ready months ago. This is now our third attempt, and I was convinced she was ready, but now I’m not so sure. Potty or toilet training is just one of those things that you just have to start and be patient with. Like I said they will get there in the end.
All poos and wees will be done in the potty
Don’t count on it. You will get wees and poos that miss the potty, and land either side of it. You will have times when your toddler doesn’t make it to the potty, or decides to go for a poo in the toy box. Trust me this will happen, and you will spend time cleaning or scraping up poo or wee from around your home. It really is quite an unpleasant time for the both of you.
Let them pick the potty and the pants, and they will love potty training
We selected the potty and the pants for our daughter together, she wanted these hideous Peppa Pig pants. I told her to use the potty to avoid pooing and weeing on Peppa. Did that work? Hell no. She doesn’t care. If she needs to go, she will go, without the slightest worry that Peppa is going to get dirty. For me, themed pants and potty, really made little difference at all.
Leaving the house is fine
You will be willing your child to go to the potty or the toilet before you leave the house. However they won’t go. Fingers crossed you will make it to your destination and back again without an accident. If it happens, don’t worry about it, this is the reality of potty training. Just remember to take plenty of spare clothes, a towel, wipes, and a sane head with you to avoid muttering all the expletives under your breath.
You will feel genuinely happy and sane
After Day 3 of potty training, the reality is, is that you will start to feel like you are going mad. Having spent those vital 3 days in the house, watching your child’s bottom like a hawk, cleaning up poo and wee, and asking them every 5 minutes if they need to use the potty, you will start to feel like a mad person. At this point is it best to run the gauntlet and see if you can brave an hour or so at the park.
It’s all or nothing
Once you’re in it, the reality is that you have to keep going, and never revert back to nappies except for bedtime and nap time. Don’t stop as this will just confuse your child. Hopefully you’re not committing yourself to weeks of torture, and that they will finally get it. It’s a short term pain for a long term gain.
So for anyone who is in the depths of potty training (like me) keep going, don’t stop, and never revert back to nappies. I’ve learnt over the last seven days that it takes time. Your child might do really well one day, and then may refuse to sit on the potty the next. But don’t worry or stress about it. Soon you’ll have a child on your hands who wants to go to the toilet every 5 minutes making it impossible to leave the house.
How did you find potty training? What were your expectations versus the actual reality?