Yesterday marked one week of full time potty training for us. Lylah is 2 and 3 months (nearly), and we felt like she was more than ready. My nan has always told me that most kids are ready around the age of 2 and 3 months, which is very specific, but seemed to be right in our case.
We probably could have started a little while back, but when you’re a working mummy, juggling a toddler, a job, pregnancy and twenty million other things, with your child being transported all over the place for various childcare, there isn’t enough consistency in their daily routines to get it done properly.
In my opinion, there is no right age, or right way to toilet/potty train. The strongest sign for me was that Lylah started to tell us, not all the time, but she did enjoy the occasional sit on the loo, so we didn’t want to miss the wee wee boat.
I’ve got some friends who started this process months ago, and some who haven’t started yet, some who went straight to loo, and some who didn’t. The truth is, that you HAVE to not only work out what’s best for your child’s life, but also for yours. For me, I wanted the ‘training’ experience for Lylah to be one on one with me, taking her through the process, and doing it in a short time. In order to do this, Lylah needed to be able to communicate effectively for the task, be able to follow simple instructions, and do little things like pull down her own pants and trousers.
I’m not a follower nor a fan of Gina Ford usually, but her book, potty training in one week, makes a lot of good points. I followed it pretty much to the tee, and (I think) I can safely say, that after one week, Lylah is pretty much there. Yes, she will have accidents, like two days ago when she hid inside her wardrobe and wee’d on her shoes, and there will be times when she just doesn’t make it in time, but on the whole, she’s telling me when she needs it, and against Gina’s advice, we’ve even ventured out a bit this week, and Lylah has been fine and kept up the good work.
Poos are a little more difficult, and it’s hilarious how your child finally sitting down and producing one outside of a nappy can make you feel immensely proud. It’s also brilliant how talking about weeing and pooing all the time makes you slightly obsessed about the subject. Our group of mummy friends are sharing pictures and stories of our potty training progress, a true, stick together approach to the task!
The first morning was a complete disaster. I was keeping a log (tee hee) of Lylah’s movements, and after her first accident, Chris completed the log with the line “complete failure in the lounge as Lylah wee’d all over the sofa” (on towels might I add, I’m not that stupid). I was so disheartened by three accidents in a row plus a poo in her brand new sparkly pants, that I rang my mum and told her I didn’t think Lylah was ready. I was taking her to to the toilet every half an hour, which Lylah hated. My mum made the good point that training her should be about her telling me when she needs to go, and she needs to have accidents to realise this. So I chilled out a bit, and by tea time, she was telling me. After 2 days we had 3 days straight where she was completely dry, including an afternoon at my mums. We’ve had the odd accident since, it’s only been a week after all, and I’m sure there are many to come, but I’m incredibly proud of our little girl.
I was petrified to start this process, the whole thing seemed completely mind baffling not to say stressful, but now we’re past the starting post, I am confident that my little girl has turned a corner and is going strong. My best piece of advice is to listen to your child, watch for when they’re ready, and don’t be disheartened if they’re not. It’s not a race, let them lead you and let nature take its course.