You know it's toilet training time when your wee darling proudly presents you with a used diaper and says 'Yucky!'
So your little one takes off their nappy, realising it has done its purpose and they're not very comfortable. You have probably had 'discussions' about this, for example, "Let's change your pants" and 'Oh, that's better, isn't it?", so by now you will have your own words for wet and dirty nappies.
There is no 'right' age for potty training or time for the child to 'get it right'.
There are all kinds of thoughts on this, but here's what worked for me.
A Good Place to Start
Stock up on undies.
If you can, start potty training in warm weather.
Your wee person can pee outside if urgent
Washed underwear will dry quicker
Bodies won't get cold
Overall, it's a much easier time to deal with 'accidents' and there will be a lot of them.
Keep in mind that little ones need to get used to the feeling of wanting to go to the potty – that is feeling the urge and working out how long it will take to get to the toilet or potty and learning to 'hold on' until they get there. They're learning to control an instinctive thing and how to use muscles in a new way.
If babe is not telling you when they need to go to the toilet, chances are there are too many things to do, see, experience... everything is new and exciting to bother about a little thing like going on the potty.
Sometime after breakfast, put babe on the potty. For the first few times, my lot went on with their nappy on positioned where we could see each other, usually in a doorway as I'd carry on doing stuff like cleaning etc.
Carry on normally, chat, sing – this is a natural process so no pressure. The time limit is determined by babe.
What do you mean you need to sit still?
Babe needs to get used to the idea of staying in one place to do the business. All the things they want to do or do impulsively will need to wait.
Leave the potty somewhere where they can sit on it whenever they like. When babe gets on the potty by themselves say something like "What a good idea that is!" or "Yay!"
The potty experience may be harrowing for you at times. but keep it from becoming a traumatic or negative experience to babe.
After a wet or dirty nap, and before putting on a new diaper, put babe on the potty and say something like "the potty is good to pee in" to strengthen the association between nappy and potty.
Anything in the potty deserves high praise of your babe. The same is true if there is nothing in potty, but babe tried.
By now you probably know when to expect babe will want to poo. Whip that diaper off and get the potty out.
When there have been a few successful times in a row, move the potty into the bathroom.
Kids go and go and go, until they're exhausted – you see it when they can sleep anywhere and in the oddest positions. So your darling is not lazy if they have an accident; 9 times out of 10 it will be because they're just sooo tired.
Time on the Potty
It is lonely on the potty if you're a babe and you've been there by yourself for five seconds, so hang about. Mums, take a book or clean the bathroom while you're there, because it does get boring.
Inwardly, I would roll my eyes, sigh and put on a smile, but it's so funny how proud you feel when babe 'gets it'. You think babe is a genius and you think yourself a good mother/teacher.
As with anything new... it requires practice, repetition and time.
When my daughter started daycare, I spent a lot of time trying to find the right fit for her and our family. I did a lot of research and asked a lot of questions. Over and over again though, the answer to my question would come back the same, "she'll be fine."
I want hours upon hours of delicious sleep followed by hot cups of tea, reading my book and nothingness. But I'll have to get up now to comfort, feed, clean, dress, entertain, love, laugh, play, and repeat.