Since my son is now fully toilet trained or something like that. I feel I can safely weigh in as a leading expert in the field.
Not really. He is in pants during the day though and I am very glad not to be changing nappies anymore and in the interest of sharing so someone might hear and find it useful I am sharing my experiences. I know there are hundreds of resources out there for doing it right but this is what worked for me, or really just what I did.
I started my son’s training at around 5 months of age. Encouraged by the wonderful women that I was lucky enough to be grouped with as my mothers group. They suggested familiarising your child with the potty and or toilet as soon as they were able to sit by themselves. I didn’t quite make it into that bracket, I was left saying a bit of the why did no one tell me but I think I did start pretty early anyway.
So when it came time to put him on the toilet for real, he was no stranger to it and had none of the fear that some parents report. We were also able to go straight to the toilet without making a detour at potty-ville. This may of course have more to do with his devil may care attitude to life but it may also have something to do with the familiarity.
He also always had a very distinctive face that he pulled when “things” were going on. So knowing when to get him onto the toilet was never an issue for me. My biggest challenge was getting him to sit there long enough so that things could happen while he was there so I could say “TaDaa” and encourage more of the same behavior.
Fortunately the iPhone proved the key to solving this particular problem. And so my son was reliably doing the deed on the toilet from about 20 months of age. Still wearing nappies but he would ask to go to the toilet when he needed to “go”.
We did a weekend toilet training intensive on the Easter weekend, which was 5 days pretty much just at home, no nappies with 2 parents to clean up the spills – much more user-friendly than doing it alone! And since then we’ve been in big boy pants full time.
My top tips:
- Familiarise your child with the toilet/potty by putting them on long before you expect them to use it properly or consistently, 5 mins a day for example.
- Give them something to do while they are there so that they can “accidentally” do what they are intended to do.
- When they are ready do a few days nappy-free around the house so you’re able to get a routine of toileting going.
- Expect a lot of accidents and be ready to clean up a lot of mess!