My toddler is 2 years and 8 months and he is finally toilet trained for day and night!!
I announced it on Facebook last week and I had a few people ask for the exact details of how it happened, and the whole process, so I thought I’d write it all out here.
We started many months ago, when the weather was warm. For an hour or so each day, we let him run around outside with no nappy on. He did wees everywhere! We would always point it out to him whenever he would do it, and we’d make a big positive fuss about it.
“Hey look what you did! You did a wee! Wow that’s what your wee looks like!”
Soon he was aware of what he was doing. And he started to tell us “I DID A WEE!” – but he’d tell us after the event occurred.
We’d always encourage him to wee in the potty, or sit on the potty to do the wee. It was all relaxed, fun and exciting.
But it went on for months. And many times it seemed totally pointless. He made such a mess everywhere! There were a lot of poo accidents too. Outside and inside the house. Argh.
I started to get grumpy every time he made a mess on the floor. Our “fuss” lost its positive chirp and took on an irritable edge. So soon he stopped telling me about his wees, and I would just “find” puddles on the floor.
And when I’m walking along, and slip over a puddle of wee, I yell something to the effect of “LIIIIIAM YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE DOING YOUR WEES IN THE POTTY NOT ON THE BLOODY FLOOR!!!!!!!!“
Which of course, didn’t really add any encouragement to the whole situation.
During that time, it was near the end of the year, I was a very busy with work, Christmas concerts, gift shopping, catching up with friends and general holiday preparations… we were out and about every single day, and I hardly had any time to give him his “wee practice” at home. He was in nappies a lot and his progress totally went backwards.
And of course, it was a cycle, the more mess he made, the more I’d just leave his nappy on, and the worse he’s get at controlling his wees and the more mess he’d make, which made me more stressed, and him more stressed…
Anyway, once the school holidays arrived, I was much more relaxed with our daily routines, the weather was warm, the kids played outside for HOURS… and we had lots and lots of “wee practice time” for Liam.
We offered Liam a little chocolate button every time he got a wee into the potty.
And with all the practice, very quickly he was great at sitting on the potty and doing a wee. We had a potty in the house and out of the house too. The kid got so much chocolate!
He still needed a nappy when we went away from the house and at night too.
A few weeks later, we went on holiday to visit my husband’s parents. It was a bit of a gamble, but we decided to take the potty and continue the potty training.
The car trip was going to be 8 hours, which meant he was going to be in a nappy all day, and we thought this factor would bring him backwards.
But for some reason, possibly the change in environment, a different looking toilet, the hint of Christmas around the corner, Liam decided he was now going to do all his wees and poos in the toilet.
And he has been 100% ever since! Day and night.
He does need help to climb onto the toilet. Which yes, is a little irritating when I have to attend to him 6-8 times a day, but the up side is fantastic!
He also wakes up 1 or 2 times a night, so I have to help him onto the toilet. Or sometimes he doesn’t need to go at all during the night.
So there you go.
In the end, I believe toilet training is a combination between the parent’s perseverance, positive training, and the child’s individual nature.
My other 2 children took slightly longer to get the hang of it.
They were both day-time toilet trained by the time they were 3 years old. One was night-time toilet trained by 4 years. But the other was such a deep sleeper, that it took till he was almost 5 years old.