Potty Training- The final countdown

img_8002If you remember back in November, 2017 Ava began telling us when she needed to go number 2’s instead of using her nappy- she was 1 and 3 months old! She got the hang of going number 2’s in the potty within a week with only a few accidents here and there over the course of the next year or so but number 1’s were not catching on at all. Every time we’d have a great few days in undies she would have a few major accidents and we would revert back to nappies- after a month or so we gave up altogether and went back to pull-ups full time with the hope of trying again after she turned 2. We tried stickers, chocolate, rewards- the whole kit and kaboodle!

While overseas last November (2018) we stayed with my husband’s father and step-mum, well they have 4 dogs who use the “potty” every few hours- they ring a bell hanging from a door and go outside. Ava quickly caught on to this and started telling us 99% of the time when she needed to use the bathroom for 1’s and 2’s! I couldn’t believe it.. Would you believe me if I told you that she only went through  roughly 25 pull ups in a 3 week period? I have those dogs to thank!

When we got back she came to me the next morning and said “no nappy, undies mumma”.. In December we had a few accidents but we haven’t had any since well before Christmas. We’ve been on adventures to the grocery store, the library, a restaurant, friends’ houses- not one accident! Another “baby” chapter has closed and it’s amazing but so so sad!!

My tip for nap times is to make sure your child goes to the toilet directly before nap time and directly after nap time. This has helped us to not have any accidents while she’s napping.

My top tips when potty training/thinking of starting potty training:

  1. Consider- is your child ready? We tried a few times and she just didn’t catch on. Instead of having accident after accident we decided to stop the process and start again in a few weeks.
  2. When they are getting the hang of using the toilet buy them some really cool undies- we went with Emma Wiggles ones, Moana ones and Minnie Mouse ones. It was such a novelty for her to wear them!
  3. When you start the process ask your child if they need to use the potty every 20-30 minutes. Sometimes they need a little coaxing or encouragement to recognise the urge to use the bathroom. After a few weeks though trust that their instinct has kicked in and lay off the hounding (ha- I think Ava was sick of people asking her constantly “do you need to go wee-wee!”
  4. Try not to stress too much- everything is washable!! I washed a couch cover, a car seat, undies, dresses- it’s all a huge learning curve for kids- approach every accident with lots of grace.
  5. Carry around an emergency bag- In the bag I keep the following 4 items: 1. A change of undies 2. A spare dress 3. A ziplock if the original clothing was dirtied and 4. a nappy (for emergencies).

At this stage we’re still using a nappy for nighttime’s as she still has a bottle. We’ve weaned her down to two bottles a day- we’ll be working on dropping the night time bottle in February/March.

I don’t have much of a recommendation by way or potty training charts or reward charts but hopefully there’s something in our experience that can help you along your journey!

Milestone Mission Potty

motherhood- great mountain top experiences & deep dark valleys.pngWe have friends that have one baby and friends who have four. Us first time mums over-worry and over-compensate we probably over-research too. I also self reflect when I’m around mum’s who have multiple children- observing how they discipline or how they manage multiple children. How do they split their time? Do I like the dynamics- are there things I can do better or implement with Ava? I self examine way too much but that’s something to explore another day and time.

Last week, on Thursday morning to be accurate I picked Ava up out of her crib around 7am, we brought her into our bed (like normal) while Greg went and made her up her bottle. Her and I lay staring at each other- sharing kisses and baby babble. We went through her morning ritual of asking where all the people were that she knows- papa, bubu, tutu, nanny.. they are constant questions throughout the day..

Greg brought her bottle up and she proceeded to drink most of it (like normal) but then she sat up, turned to me and said poo-poo.

Back-story we have been working on pointing out the potty to her. Telling her no more nappies.. poo poo goes in the toilet (she calls the toilet ‘toto’).

I put her down and we raced to the bathroom. I took her nappy off, put her on the potty and after about 10 seconds I saw the little trickle of wee going into the potty! This may be too much information but this is a parenting blog for goodness sake.. We yelled and celebrated- we shared multiple high fives.. Greg even got out of bed and gave her a few high-fives! Once she had finished I grabbed some toilet paper and just sat there looking at her partly because I didn’t know what to do- do I lean her forward and wipe, do I have her stand and wipe, what happens to the toilet paper- do I put it straight into the big toilet or teach her to put it in the potty.. so many questions…and I partly sat there startled that we had reached another milestone. I am seriously tearing up typing about this experience. We had, week after week, encouraged her to go to the potty and now that she had she had crossed into this new stage of independence. Our once little baby girl who couldn’t even hold her head up is going to the bathroom by herself!

When you are married you quickly form a rhythm and routine with your new spouse, with young children everything is new and exciting- new skills are learnt constantly, milestones are faced and conquered..what a journey it continues to be!

I have found motherhood to be full of great mountain top experiences of joy and proudness and at the same time deep dark valleys of fogginess and exhaustion. This balancing act, I’m sure, doesn’t get any easier as they grow, but boy do they grow and I am blessed to be able to watch that happen and be right alongside her for every experience!