Toilet Training a 2 & a half year old
So, nearly 3 weeks ago my, not so, little boy decided to take off his nappy and asked to use the potty. Well if that’s not a cue to start toilet training, I don’t know what is. So I quickly armed myself with all the tools required: Potty, toilet training seat (purchased for 50p at one of our Little Pickles Markets?), pull ups & pants. No-one told me I’d also need never ending patience, lots of stickers, reams of kitchen towel & tubs of bicarbonate of soda! I’m often very guilty of expecting too much of my toddler. He picks new things up very quickly on the whole so I tend to fall into the trap of thinking that he has a new task completely sussed & often forget to reassure him a few miles down the track. So after 2 weeks of very few accidents, using a ‘grown up’ toilet with ease & pull ups only at night, I smugly thought we’d cracked it.
How wrong I was.
2 days into the third week and we seem to have taken a large backwards step. After a completely dry weekend, we now seem to be experiencing several wee related accidents a day (poo is whole other story!); next to the potty, in the middle of the room and most upsettingly on the sofa, certainly anywhere but in the potty! Now, anyone who knows me, knows I’m not particularly house proud, it’s not horribly dirty or anything but I think the expression ‘lived in’ is the polite way of saying it’s not a show home. However, the faint smell of wee that now seems to permanently linger in my house is rather unpleasant. The sofa has taken the brunt of it today, hence the extensive use of kitchen roll to mop up and the bicarb to hopefully soak up the smell and work its magic (I’ll let you know if it works!).
I did remember not to get cross with him but did forget to say lots of encouraging words whilst wondering what it is that’s set him back from the amazing progress he’s made so far. Toilet training seems to be one of those major developmental milestones that we expect our children to master quickly and then be forever competent. Yet why would it be any different to learning to walk & talk? So with that in mind I reminded myself that tomorrow is another day & perhaps I will put up a reward chart even if it is only to remind myself to encourage, praise & reward my awesome little man who is undertaking this huge milestone in his toddler years.
My advice…be patient, sign up to anyone offering free pull up samples (they seem to be twice the price of normal nappies), don’t push it if it turns out they’re not quite ready, be prepared for accidents, take spares of everything everywhere you go & remember that this a big deal for them too!
Written by Emily G, Tidworth, Amesbury, Andover and Salisbury Market Organiser