A month ago (after returning from holiday) I decided to bite the bullet and potty train Belle. She is 2 and she had all the signs. Can you believe she was dry on DAY 3 and has been ever since! We really were all amazed and I was so proud of our little munchkin. So I will share with you exactly what we did in hope of helping some others too. However all children are different so it is important to be patient and know they WILL get there eventually.
Signs your little one is ready for potty training may include:
1) Has regular bowel movements.
2) Has dry periods for at least 2 or 3 hours in the day (this shows the bladder muscles have developed enough).
3) Has words for her No.1's and No.2's.
4) May tell you when she has done something in her nappy.
5) Can walk and sit down,
6) Dislikes being in a dirty nappy.
7) Can pull her pants/trousers up and down,
Belle ticked all of these before training began except 6 and 7 but she mastered pulling her pants up and down instantly upon being shown.
How we did it:
1) I made sure Belle was familiar with her potty so we had it for quite a few months before undergoing potty training. This way she could play around on it now and then and she did a few successful wee wee's beforehand.
2) I made sure we had a few days that weren't busy so potty training would be less stressful and we had more time.
3) I took Belle out to pick her own pants. She chose some Minnie Mouse and Peppa Pig pants which she loved and she called them her 'big girl pants'.
4) No more nappies, no pull ups just pants from that Friday morning onwards.
5) Lots of praise and clapping when she was successful.
On day 1 we had 2 accidents. One of these was at the park and the other was only tiny when on her way running to the potty. I think they need accidents to realise their pants will get wet and that it's not nice. Belle kept saying 'oh dear mama, oh dear' so she knew she was meant to go on the potty. We put a nappy on her for night time and it was nearly dry in the morning.
On Day 2 when she woke up she told us she needed the potty and we couldn't believe it! Our little girl understood already? All day she only had a tiny drip/accident whilst she made her way to the potty and we also got her first successful No.2. She was VERY proud of herself for this and even wanted to call Grams and Papa to tell them! Also I have to mention how fantastic and brave my hubby was because it was Daddy Group on this day (Saturday) and he took her along (armed with a Carry Potty). She was fantastic and even used the 'big girls toilet' there.
On Day 3 she woke up completely dry! So she had held on all night again. We had playgroup and she was amazing, she went to the potty once whilst there and that really is the end of that. It has been 3/4 weeks now and she has been dry! She has had one accident since in the car, which she was quite distraught about but that really is it.
Final Tips: Some children will pick up on potty training quickly and others will want more time. Their own character plays a big role too I think. Praise is important as is patience. Don't force your child to sit on the potty and don't get cross for accidents, just be encouraging and say 'don't worry you can try again next time'. Make sure you buy a couple packs of pants so you aren't constantly washing in those first few days too :-)
Some Fantastic Potty Training Aids:
1) We bought Belle a few different potty training books in the weeks leading up to potty training and she definitely had a favourite which was called Princess Polly's Potty. She mentioned a few times in those 3 days how she was 'just like Polly now' and so this one I would definitely recommend for the girls.
2) My Carry Potty - This really has proved invaluable! We took this everywhere with us for the first 3 weeks, to friends houses, to the park, shopping...You name it we had it with us! It's leak-proof too so if you haven't anywhere to dispose then it is fantastic! I can't rave about it enough and Belle knew it was her little portable potty. These pictures were taken on Day 3 before leaving for Playgroup. Just look how proud she is!
I found it quite an emotional few days as I realised just how grown up and independent my little baby girl is becoming...how will I cope with school in a few years!?!
Good Luck to those embarking on this journey and if you have been through it how was your little one? Did you go cold turkey like us or did you use pull-ups or a different technique?