Let me say at the outset that of the 4 children I have only 1 ever used a potty (and that was standing up!) and so for me this is more about toilet training.
The standing up child was my first, a boy, and perhaps that is why I encouraged (some may say forced) my others to go straight from Pull-ups to the toilet. He used to like to wee into his potty from a distance, great fun for him but as you can imagine it necessitated large parts of the floor surrounding the potty to be smothered in towels at all times as his aim was far from accurate!
Toilet training for me went a bit like this ….
1) Weeks in advance: when at home (probably not when out or at other people’s houses) announce loudly that Mummy needs a wee and that she is going to do it on the toilet.
2) Spend weeks leaving the bathroom door wide open to enable small people to watch you in action.
3) Positively discourage hands going into the toilet bowl whilst having a wee but positively encourage inspection of said wee wee and much celebration of the successful completion of the event.
4) Purchase colourful big boy/big girl pants
5) Purchase small step (probably invite personalization with stickers) and a tiny bottom toilet seat.
5) Offer up said pants to be worn on a day when there are no visitors, no necessity to leave the house and mummy has had a good night’s sleep and is not at all tired and grumpy.
6) Remind yourself that this may well be a long and frustrating day but you will not get frustrated regardless of how many ‘oh well, never mind’ accidents there may be.
7) As you are looking for as many successful trips to the loo as possible then lots of drinks are also important.
8) Begin …..
9) Be vigilant; is your child fiddling with their pants, hopping about or keeping looking down? All may be signs that a wee is imminent. Avoid the temptation to ask ‘ do you need a wee wee’ every 5 mins but stay alert and avoid leaving them alone if possible.
10) When the big moment arrives and positive confirmation of the need to wee is given, rush to the toilet, remove special pants, encourage the child to mount the carefully placed step and then turn to sit their tiny bottom onto the tiny bottom seat. They may want to hold onto the seat, they almost certainly will want to watch the event and once completed encourage a shake or a wipe and then dismount prior to a hand wash and putting back on of pants.
11) Celebrate all successful outputs however modest. Phone grandma, phone Daddy at work, ceremoniously place a smiley face on the reward chart, do a celebratory dance, eat a specially selected biscuit ….
12) Repeat steps 5-12 over and over again!
Woohoo – another milestone successfully reached.
We have linked to a couple of other articles below which you may find helpful, one from the NHS and the other from the NCT giving helpful suggestions on how to help your toddler hit this milestone!