How not to potty train your child in twelve steps

Step 1 – Get really interested in elimination communication and start it with a wilful 17-month-old.

Step 2 – Get early success with lots of catches, followed by toddler running away from any receptacle you bring her way and insisting on wearing nappies.

Step 3 – Give up and put her back in nappies even though she, now at 18 months, tells you when she’s going to go and insists on being changed as soon as she’s been.

Step 4 – When she’s two, feel increasingly like she should be using the potty now seeing as she’s dry most nights and naps, and is showing lots of other “signs”.

Step 5 – Decide today is the day and spend the whole day coaxing her into sitting on the potty. You may have bribed her with juice. You aren’t proud. But hey, she goes six times in the potty!

Step 6 – Realise how idiotic it was to start potty training the day before she goes to the childminder.

Step 7 – The next day she’s with you, lose your cool internally, try hard to get her to try again and descend into offering stickers, juice and nail polish. Shame, shame, shame!

Step 8 – Decide you’re too tired for this and put her back in nappies.

Step 9 – Accept that she no longer wants to wear nappies in the house but will ask for one if she needs to go. Suggesting the potty will just invite a screamfest and you’re too tired for that too.

Step 10 – Wonder what the heck you’re doing. No matter what decision you make at this juncture, it won’t feel like the right thing.

Step 11 – Wonder if there is a “right” way to do this anyway.

Step 12 – Swear you’ll go for elimination communication earlier with the next one.

mother • freelance writer • home educator • #revillagingpodcast • breastfeeding counsellor • no dig farm • Trini in Cornwall [she/her]

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  • Haha! Yes this sounds very familiar! Iyla knew how to use a potty for wees and poos over a year ago but now she just doesn’t want to stop wearing nappies. This weather has helped as she has been nappy free in the garden but even though she did two wees in the potty yesterday, she also did four on the floor. And when I ask her if she needs a wee and wants to sit on the potty she starts insisting I put a nappy back on. I don’t want it to be stressful so I’m hoping she will just ask me to stop putting nappies on her one day, soon! x
    Mum2BabyInsomniac recently posted..How To Get Rid Of Cradle Cap

  • Ah potty training one of the most fun parts of parenting (NOT!). So for what it’s worth here’s how I did it.
    1.Wait until they are more than ready, as in very aware of when they need to go, and verbal enough to be able to negotiate.
    2. Offer a chocolate button each time they use the potty, possibly two for a poo, 1 for a week (and don’t ask about the time my eldest asked how many he got for a fart).
    3.Spend two full days not leaving the house properly focussing on the mission.
    4.Do not go back to nappies unless it becomes very clear that they are not ready, it just confuses the issue.
    You could also try my wee wee on the potty song for extra encouragement (go’s to come on and do the congo) tune.
    Purplemum recently posted..Review – Organix Goodies

  • It’s not been without accident but we let him say when he was ready. He announced one evening at aged 2 1/2 that he was ready and he did fantastically well off his own back but then baby brother and an international move throw things off. So we just used training pants and then 10 months later he woke up one morning and again announced he wanted to wear ordinary pants. The first three days we needed to pay careful attention. The first day was trips to teh toilet every 12 minutes (we had it timed!) to avoid accidnets but there after it was fine and while he can still forget while engrossed in a game or book we never really did the whole training thing. When he was ready he was ready. Yes all his friends had been trained in that time but with more stress and accidents still happened at the same level. He has had sleep apnea and night terrors which have an impact on night tiem dryness so if anyone is wrestling with night time issues see how they are sleeping.

  • We are having fun and games at our house with that. No matter how many times you ask Angelo if he want to go potty the answer is ‘no’ only to find him in a puddle 5 mins after or get whiff of something not at all pleasant. I didn’t think he was ready but the nursery told us he has been going potty for a month there so he was ready to come to nursery in big boy pants. He seems to there but at home relaxes and forget. Did not even think of bribing him as with him that’s a whole other pressure to deal with lol
    MsXpat recently posted..It’s a real social hub: Kiddicare Croydon

  • Seems like lots of people doing this at the moment. We hadn’t planned to but Matilda’s best friend turned up last week in pants and that was it!
    Took time for her to get it but now a week later feels like we’re pretty much there in the day time but still using nappies for sleeping.
    She won’t use the potty though, has to be the seat on the toilet 🙂
    The Fool recently posted..The animals cycled in 2 by 2