My son was ready before two; he showed a lot of interest in my toilet habits (a bit like my cat who insists on sitting on my lap whilst I go for a wee).
We were on track. I was so proud, he poo'd and wee'd in his potty - a few accidents here and there but it started VERY well.
There was mainly a cheeky poo in the trouser leg whilst playing with his trains, or a nice 'present' after his bath and clapping himself for his achievement on the mat rather than a nappy. Well, what can you say?!
We also had the standard floaters in the bath, and me fishing them out with his £1.99 stacking cups (best purchase ever).
Then it all went HORRIBLY wrong.
My son, Albie, 2, suffered from horrendous constipation - screaming and crying through a poo, rushing to the furthest corner of the house if he ever felt the rumble of potential movement.
It then got the point of refusing to push and holding his toilet movements in.
Three to four days later he'd have a temperature, be irascible, refusing to eat - I can only imagine how I'd feel if I was clogged up, but for a little baby - it's far more traumatic.
Picture this; It got to the point when I saw him bend over and go bright red, I’d end up throwing him onto the floor and having to manipulate (pull) the poo out of him, then after the hard bit would follow a few days of 'slurry'.
It was so heart-breaking to see - we realised then we had a problem, and he associated the potty with pain.
Now, he has to take a poo softener almost every day to help him go; Movical is prescribed by the doctor and is an osmotic laxative for chronic constipation. It relieves constipation because it causes the water it is taken with to be retained in the bowel, which help soften the stools and make it easier to pass them.
So we're at a very tricky point. He's just starting pre-school (and meant to be fully dry) and I'm sure I'll be frowned upon for my ‘poor’ job.
So, we started our potty training journey again with Huggies® Pull Ups® and are using their six step potty training success guide.
Step One - Readiness
Check if your little one is ready. You'll know. They'll start to tell you if their wee'ing or need a poo. Do not base your decision on age.
My little one started telling me quite early, but we're at a stage now where I have to ask him.
A small percentage of children are fully trained before 24 months old, but most make the leap around their third. Girls seem to be much easier to train than boys (we've seen in my NCT circle this) due to the sitting down aspect, but if you are worried and they get to 3 and there's nothing and no signs - visit your GP.
Visit this helpful link below for the 8 signs of readiness.
Step Two - Say goodbye to nappies, hello to Huggies
Whether you go straight to pants, and probably experience a lot of accidents and washing, or opt for the Huggies option - this is your imperative step two.
We were provided with big boy pants, Huggies Pull-Ups Day Time and Huggies Night Time, rewards such as stickers and toys, a couple of potties dotted about, a few bathroom toys for use while waiting on the potty for the magic to happen.
Huggies Pull-Ups teach little one that they are making the step to a big kid, and have boy and girl Disney designs to help make potty training fun.
What's great about them is they have the right amount of protection to manage accidents whilst your little one is getting the hang of things, and they have soft, stretchy sides to enable them to be pulled up and down easily like normal pants. Reseal able sides help make them easier to remove in the case of BIGGER accidents, which we're all so familiar with....
Step Three - Start Practising
For us, it's differentiating the difference between being naked and wearing pull ups/pants and the fact you need to pull them down in order to do your wares and obviously being naked is just a mad sprint to the potty.
Practise certainly makes perfect. I guess it's like driving a car (which I still can't do) and it's being aware to go, pulling down pants and bottoms, sitting on the potty, washing hands - there's a lot to remember.
Try to make potty time fun, like we do - and turn all the mini activities into a game, praise where due, or my tip - keep highlighting the fact my little one is such a 'big boy' and clever. Although the other day he didn't want to do something so he became a 'big boy, little boy, big boy'. Ok.
As part of our kit, Huggies sent us stickers, a potty which plays music. Whenever he wees into it, it plays the Lambada in an odd birthday card tinny kind of tune (you know the ones that blast into happy birthday when you open them).
So we've just opted for the simple praise, a sticker for a number two (which really hasn't happened very often of late) he's so frightened to go - that he'd rather do it into his pull-up and sit in it, than alert me and have to sit on the toilet/potty and push it out. Luckily I now know the sign to look out for; him lying on his front and/or hiding under a table, in a corner so I whip him onto the potty, but it doesn't always work...
Step Four - Learn from Wet to Dry
This is probably the hardest part.
If you're my son, you'll be happy to hide the fact there's a nugget in your pants in order to get out of being changed/touched, sat on the potty.
Wee's - we've mustered very well, and the easiness of the pull-up has helped him make the transition into pants very quickly. However, the step backwards is, overnight we put on the night-time Huggies, because I know at some point in the night/early hours of the morning the inevitable poo will start making its way down the colon ready for his 'regular man' morning poop.
As with everything with children, routine is key.
Teaching them the difference between wet and dry and showing them they have wee'd in their pants and it's much better to do it in the potty - and being dry is best is a way of helping them understand the end achievement.
We play the pour the wee/poo down the toilet and my little one gets to flush it down - games, fun, routine - for us, it's the most important thing to make a child feel confident about their wee and poo achievements.
Step Five - Be Consistent 24/7
We're just getting to this stage - wee's, we've mustered. We do our last wee before bedtime, but I'm just that little bit frightened to leave him completely pant/Huggie-free due to impending poos.
I actually forgot to put a Huggies Pull-Up on a few weeks back, and heard shuffling about upstairs. I ran up thinking he may be being naughty and not in bed, but the clever little bean had got up, found his potty and done a poo on it!
The nerve pathways between the bladder and the brain must grow strong enough to awaken a child from a deep sleep (gluten regularly does this to me) but not only that, your little one has to be alert enough to haul themselves out of bed to get to the loo before the inevitable accident.
To help with potty training success, it's best to take a consistent and relaxed approach. Accidents are very normal - so they should be handled patiently, and with support. Not like me last night going mad because the potty was near him yet he decided to have an accident all over my cow hide carpet.
Step Six - Keep up the Good Work!
We're Stuck between the first four steps at the moment, we have good and bad days, but every child is different when it comes to potty training.
It could be the fact my son goes to his nanny and grandad who have always been consistent and great when it comes to his toilet movements. But then as a single mum he seems to play me up and push my buttons, and may have a slightly different routine at his fathers (despite me drumming in what needs to be done).
The main thing for rewarding good work is praise. I find this every day in work - when I get praise I'm buzzing. I want to do more and achieve more. So I can only hope this is the same with my toddler.
The Huggies six steps guide advises to not just yell out 'wow, clever, great job!' etc, but to make an observation about the skill your child just demonstrated. Perhaps, 'Well done, you held your wee so you made it to the toilet." or "You pulled your trousers/pants down all on your own."
Finding the right praise is a great way of being respectful of your child's growing up and independence without any pressure from your end.
, by Babyurbeautiful