Firstly, I must acknowledge my absence from the blogging world recently. Who knew that keeping two children alive would be so blooming time consuming?! As my ability to shower/and or function seems to be slowly returning, I’m hoping this also means that my ability to blog successfully will also be returning. But it is only Monday and there’s nothing like a week of parenting to knock the enthusiasm right out of you. So, I guess what I’m saying is, hang on in there, pretty please, with a cherry on top, I’ll be back up to full speed very soon.
In the mean time…
Let’s talk about my current cause of mid-week drinking…f-ing, sodding, potty training.
I mean, when it works you feel like you could achieve anything in life, but when it doesn’t, I honestly consider selling my children.
It started off so well, I was even a little smug at how well Poppy took to it. No accidents at all, not one! My child is a genius, I thought, huzzah! Then, after about a week of blissful smugness, my false sense of security crumbled. Every single flipping time I asked she would say “NO! Not today Mummy” then wee all over the floor a matter of minutes later. FFS!
Okay, don’t lose your sh*t, we just need to switch things up a bit, we can do this.
So I introduced incentives…a star chart! Everyone loves stars. Look at all those glistening beautiful stars. Pat on the back Mummy, this is what great parenting looks like. Immediate success and even going to the loo on the potty without my prompting. Thank goodness, totally nailed it this time. NOT. One week of perfection then I became the one who was more excited about sparkly stars and so back to wonderful golden pools of surprise and damp smelly clothing we went.
Since then we have tried all manner of bribery, some working for a short while and others for longer – stickers, star charts, dried fruit, Haribo (don’t judge, I was desperate!), mini smarties and chocolate. The potty has become my bosom buddy and has accompanied us on all kinds of trips – boats, fields, sides of the road, play dates, soft play, national trust houses etc etc. We’ve had some successes and some failures. And my oh my we’ve hit rock bottom during the off days – wee in a whole tub of toys, wee in Felix’s carry cot, poo in the middle of the play area in amongst a load of toys, poo on the snug floor, wee on the snug floor, wee on the snug rug, wee and poo on the kitchen floor during a fun episode of ‘lets empty the contents of Mummy’s purse on to the floor and then clean everything with wee’, seriously, I kid you not. A personal low point for me was wee in the car seat. Do you know how many wee-capturing compartments are hidden within a car seat? Millions!!!! It took sooo long to get it all clean and sort of smelling fresh again.
But, I would tentatively say that the balance is swinging in favour of the better days and would put this down to a few things –
- Consistency, patience and perseverance on my part and trying to never get complaisant (read lazy) as that is always when accidents have happened.
- Not getting angry. After long wee-soaked days I have let my temper get the better of me so can tell you first hand, this just does not work. Instead what has had the most impact is reminding her of the reward that she’s missed out on by not doing her wee/poo in the loo or on the potty. I’ve even put the reward in the bin in front of her which might sound particularly cruel but when your child is so incentive driven it really works.
- The right kit. Anything that reduces the stress factor when accidents happens is worth every penny.
- Praising for successes and glossing over and moving on from the failures.
The survival kit
Carseat Protector, a literal sanity saver – Long journeys and potty training just do not mix well. Bambella make absorbent seat liners in a fab range of designs to make life so much easier. Since having ours we have had one accident and didn’t have any wee transference to the actual seat. Once washed the liner dried super fast too. Love that it can be used in the pushchair too.
The bribery essential – The one thing that has remained a firm favourite for Poppy is Urban Fruit Strawberry! They’re just baked fruit so I don’t feel quite so guilty about offering them up as bribery. We get ours from Sainsbury’s.
Loo seat and step – I bought a super cheap un-fitted seat to start with but every time Poppy tried to get on to the loo by herself the seat would shift and she’d end up in a pickle. After that we tried the Pourty Flexi-Fit Toilet Trainer seat which has been brilliant and has meant that Poppy now feels confident enough to get up on to the loo without me being around which means less accidents! Hurrah!
Waterproof bedding – We now have a dry napper (if that’s even a phrase?) but to get to that point we went through a hell of a lot of sheets, mainly as Poppy used weeing in the bed as an attention seeking thing. To combat this I layered up four pairs of waterproof sheet then normal sheet so that each time she had an accident I could remove the sheets with as little hassle and faff as possible and remove the attention from her. To my surprise it actually worked!
Last but not least…
A little luxury for you – My husband bought me some ridiculously expensive hand soap and each time I have to clear up one of Poppy’s accidents I use the soap to clean my hands. Might sound silly but that little treat makes me feel so much better about life after feeling like my child’s personal toilet attendant.
Our potty training journey is far from over. As I’ve been writing this post Poppy has done a wee on the potty but poo on the floor! I mean seriously.
How are your potty training journeys going? Any advice? Would love to know what you found useful.