Potty Training 101: Tips on how to get started

We weren't sure if Max was ready or not, but we figured it was worth a shot! With two in nappies, I felt as though I was drowning in them! Max turned 2 in May, so he's 2 and 4 months. There is no right time in my opinion. Do it when you feel is best.

So how did I start? Well, here's a few things to get you started.

1. Take out the potty and leave it in plain sight.
2. Speak to your child about it and start to read books together on the topic.
3. Offer praise and rewards.
4. Get Naked.
5. Stay indoors for as long as you can.

I'd been talking to Max for a few weeks beforehand. I had a toddler friendly potty training book which came with stickers and charts. He really enjoyed that initially. I had the potty out in the sitting room for weeks so he was used to the sight of it when we started. There were a few accidents on day one,  but nothing after that. The main thing is, if they have an accident, always put them on the potty straight away. It will emphasise the point to them, pee goes in the potty not on the floor.

The first day he was very resistant, he was definitely fearful of the change.

So, what to do?

- Read and talk. We spent ages reading about it together and talking about it. I'd bring it up in conversation. Try to normalise it for him.

- Get Naked. I allowed him to spend time naked. No pants, no bottoms. It's hard enough for them to manage without the added struggle of pulling up and down clothes.

- With boys I think it's easier if you just go with sitting on the potty initially,  especially when it's us the mamas doing the training. It's hard for us to show them how to manage standing up. Just make sure he gets used to pointing his penis in to the potty otherwise you'll have plenty of pee to clean.

- Praise. Praise. Praise. That's the main thing. Every time Max uses the potty, he'll come tell me he's done a "wee wee in the potty" and I'll pick him up in my arms, kiss him on the cheek and high five him. He still loves this 3 weeks on. Don't get me wrong, he loves the chocolate treats but he really responds to the physical contact and how verbal I am about how proud I am of him and what he's achieving.

We've been potty training Max a few weeks now and he still hasn't mastered the pants and pulling it up and down. He still thinks of them as nappies I think. So that's our next hurdle. But when we leave the house, he's very good at holding it and using the facilities wherever we are.

So while our journey is still ongoing, I'm delighted with how well he's doing and how fast he has taken to it.

Jessica O’Neill

Jessica O’Neill, 26 year old Mama to two under two and author of My Moo and Roo Blog. Currently on maternity leave, winging motherhood everyday.

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