It’s happening! Sophia is toilet training! Sophia has used the toilet on and off for a while now but as some of you may know we see a speech and language therapist so it’s been a struggle for her to communicate when she needed to use either the potty or the toilet. I will do a future post on our journey with Sophia’s speech. Suddenly Sophia’s speech has come on leap and bounds for her so I decided with it being the summer holidays to try and finally try to conquer the world of toilet training. I remember when all the other children Sophia’s age were potty training and I was so frustrated with myself when Sophia just wasn’t getting it. Was I doing it wrong? No I wasn’t, She just wasn’t ready. I’m fully aware some children are potty trained super early and have been dry for well over two years, I’m fully aware that most children have been rattling off full sentences since they escaped from the womb (or so some mothers will lead you to believe). What about children who are behind? I could never really find anyone with the same issues as us. I could however find plenty of posts where other parents called mothers “lazy mums” and then rambled off about how fabulous their children were and how they were born potty trained. I have also had the visits from the Health Visitor who one minute tells me to go it, then has a moment of realization that perhaps Sophia isn’t ready and to wait but then calls me a week later to see how the toilet training is going. Considering she usually calls me daughter by the wrong name I’m sure you as a parent can understand why her forever changing advice usually goes in one ear and out the other.
My advice parent to parent, mum to mum is do what you feel is best for your child. Don’t beat yourself up if they aren’t ticking those silly little boxes that try to tell you what age your child should be doing things. It will happen and you will know when the time is right. I tried toilet training Sophia for a couple of weeks and in true toddler fashion she was happy to sit in wet and dirty pants and gave zero hints as to when she needed to go. It wasn’t the right time! Guess what!? We are only day three into this attempt and yes we have had accidents but we have also had moments of success that literally leave me dancing and cheering like a crazy lady. Sophia is telling me when she needs the toilet, she’s acknowledging when she has had an accident and doesn’t like it, Sophia is cheering and clapping when she gets to the toilet on time and this time round just has a completely different vibe.
When it is time for you to start toilet training I really think preparation is key. Speak to your child about it, I kept mentioning that we would be wearing big girl pants soon and would be more vocal about when I needed the toilet, I think my partner wondered why I kept announcing when I needed a wee wee really loudly. I also had a book left out that was about potty training, Sophia wasn’t really interested in it but what she was interested in was toilet training songs on YouTube although make sure you watch them from start to finish before hand because some of the videos can be super weird. I bought waterproof disposable mats from Asda, they are perfect for keeping our fabric sofa safe from any accidents and she’s actually started moving it with her when she decides to sit elsewhere. PANTS! You can never have too many pants, I stocked up in supermarkets and Primark. Sophia came to pick some so she has her favorite characters, Peppa Pig, Minnie Mouse and even some with cats. I find it’s great to encourage her by saying “now let’s try to not get Peppa Pig wet!” Especially with her lack of speech, it’s just something Sophia can relate to.
When accidents do happen and of course they will happen I tried a couple of different approaches. The first was letting her know that it’s ok, accidents happen but let’s try and get it in the toilet next time. The second approach was me showing Sophia the wet pants and saying “eww not nice the pants are wet”. This was great because she can see my facial expressions and she’s started to imitate me when she does have an accident and is now in more of a hurry to get cleaned up. I make sure I praise her when she does make it to the toilet but I also praise her when she has an accident on the way to the bathroom. As long as Sophia gives me the signal that she needs to go I make sure she knows she’s done well by letting me know, even if we miss the toilet by only a split second. I made a simple sticker chart and broke it up by rewarding Sophia a treat for every 5th sticker she gets. On her 25th sticker we are going to have a day out to our local fun fair and on the 50th sticker Sophia will get her balance bike (it’s something I’ve been meaning to get her).
So there we have it! That is our approach to toilet training and remember it’s not a race, your doing the best you can and your mini me will give you the signals to let you know when they are ready!
Happy Potty training!