Having no younger siblings or cousins in my family, there were a few things which I never thought about when I was pregnant. I didn’t really know much about the process of weaning and had never even thought about the first black tarmac poo.
The thing I was most ignorant about though was potty training.
When I say ‘was’, I still don’t feel that knowledgeable.
And no matter how scary that first poo was (Daddy had the pleasure of changing that one, with a nurses help) or how daunting a task weaning seemed, neither of them looked quite as huge as the mountain of potty training.
So this is my diary to log my journey. It’s scary, and sees ankle-deep in wee and tiny pants.
Jay turned 2 in April and my approach to everything has always been to follow his lead – something I don’t plan to change when it comes to the potty. The problem is, how will I know when he is ready. He wouldn’t be able to necessarily articulate it in words because even he won’t know what he wants.
So step one in the journey is to arm myself with all the facts. From signs of readiness, ways to train - from following the child’s lead and slowly introducing them to this new concept to intensive training – and what kind of words and phrases to use so that I won’t get embarrassed in Asda. Most importantly I need to learn how to show other people (daddy and grandparents included) how to help with the process, so that we’re all on the same page and there is less chance of Jay getting confused.
A family friend gave me the Usborne parents guide to potty training not long after he was born and this is what I am delving in to for my first taste of the big PT.
I’ll be honest, and childish, and say that I like the font – it is so important in books not to make it look dry, even if the words are captivating. The funny little toddler pictures set me at ease that maybe it’s not going to be such a scary thing at all.
The first thing on my list to think about is names for all the *cough* ‘functions’. Jay has already got the handle on wee-wee, shouting it every time one of us is on the toilet, or he walks past the bathroom door. Just for simplicity, however vulgar some people might find it, poo is also going to be my word of choice. It’s the *coughcough* body parts that might be more difficult to name. I’ve decided on willy, bum and trumping for the other appropriate words that I wouldn’t mind using in public, quietly. Thank God I don’t have a girl. I still can’t think of a suitable name for a front bum. Next is to make sure that all grandparents and friends are up to date on our ‘chosen words’ so that Jay doesn’t get confused.
The next thing to learn is how to even know when Jay is ready.
Apparently this will include the following:
- Being able to follow simple instructions such as ‘go and fetch your shoes, please’. Can do when he chooses to. Typical toddler.
- Being dry for longer periods at a time. Erm, with the amount Jay drinks he’s always going to wee a lot, but he does seem to stay pretty dry over night and do what I call a ‘big wee’ at around 8 in the morning which will fill a whole nappy in one go. So let’s label this one as ‘needs more work’.
- Telling you when they’ve done a poo or wee. Sadly for potty training, I have one of those dirty boys who would probably sit in his own mess all day if he could get away with it.
- Telling you when they need a wee or poo. This can be hit and miss at the moment. He can pull on his nappy when he’s about to go. As his understanding gets greater by the day, I think this might be one of the biggest next steps.
- Showing interest in what goes on in the toilet. If Jay showed any more interested he’d have to sit on my knee while I went myself. I don’t think I’ve even been into the bathroom on my own in the last 9 months.
Step three added to my list I think will be introducing the potty itself. We did buy him one for Christmas but no matter how cute the monsters on it are, the big lip at the front is not very willy friendly and may have put him off slightly. He can point at it and say wee-wee so I guess that is a great start, so hopefully a more boy friendly potty will make great advances for him.
I don’t know if this is the same for every parent embarking on this journey, but I think just those few chapters were enough to make my head spin a little. I didn’t realise how much I took for granted being able to go to the toilet on my own.
So my checklist for this stage;
- Get him used to all bodily function words
- Get the grandparents used to the same words *childish snigger*
- Watch for advances in the above signs of training readiness
- Find a more boy friendly potty
- Move on to the next few chapters of my book
A step at a time for mums, nevermind the toddlers. Check back later to see what I achieve.