How do I deal with potty training?

I was once on a train from London to Brighton; in the seats across from me was a small family, looked like a mother, father, grandmother and the cutest, wide eyed little girl. It looked like they were on a day trip, they were surrounded by back packs and shopping bags. They spoke in a language foreign to me but the tone and rhythm of family chatter was instantly recognisable as was the sense of urgency as without warning they began changing seats and clawing through their bags. Eventually the father let out an exclamation of triumph and held a potty aloft, within seconds the girl was stripped and seated and her carers clapped as she relieved herself in the aisle. It was a bit gross but also very impressive, the commitment to her training but also her ability to perform under pressure. This is the kind of mindset that get’s toilet training completed swiftly, to prioritise poop above all else.

But not all of us have time to dedicate to the ones and twos even though it’s high on a lot of parental agendas. Research suggests that children are now getting toilet trained almost two years later than they were fifty years ago. Don’t listen to your elders, this is not because parents today are too indulgent it’s because parents across the ages have opted for the easy life. Fifty years ago, nappies meant leaks, washing, drying and discomfort for all parties, now nappies are so hi tech it’s sometimes hard to tell if anything has happened. Additionally, the increase in working mothers (Yay!) means that there is often less time to dedicate to training and time is really all you need. So you need to work out how you prefer to spend your time.

Are you a hincher? Do you like to clean little and often, do you enjoy dedicating a particular night to your favourite hobby? Is your Christmas shopping finished by November? You are a slow and steady trainer. Introduce the potty gently, leave it in the bathroom, real casual and start some conversations about how cool potty time is. Offer your child frequent opportunities to sit on the pot and throw a parade if anything, anything at all happens in there. Hope that the kid catches on that nappy poops are a lot less fun.

Do you prefer to wait until your house resembles a jumble sale before deep cleaning? Did you binge watch the latest season of Orange is the New Black? Do you end up buying birthday presents because you forgot to post a card? You need the potty boot camp. Three to four days with a free bottom and a lot of disinfectant is generally enough to get your child down with the programme.
Summer is the season for washing soiled clothes, so choose your weapon wisely. Remember the vast majority of children are potty trained by four – all you need is time.

1 comment

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