Potty training

Potty training – you CAN do it!

potty training

There comes a time in every little person’s life when they have to be potty trained – why this doesn’t happen naturally, who knows??? As with anything involving children, each child is different and so it is with potty training. When your child is showing signs of being ready to be potty trained, that is when you go for it and it doesn’t have to be a stressful event – you can make it happen within a week! There are many ways of potty training – it is up to you to find which one suits you and your child. Two popular methods are:

  • Training in sessions –

    with this method you let your child eat,drink and play as he normally does, but every 15 minutes put him on the potty. You chose a couple of hours in the morning and again in the afternoon to do this. At the end of the potty session, you go back to the nappy. Of course, if you go out for the day or go visiting you should have a spare potty in the car.


  • Running free! –

    this method is ideal for the warmer months where you let your toddler run around either naked or just with a T-shirt on. Because he is not wearing a nappy or any underwear he will have no place to pee or poop, but he needs to put it somewhere – ideally in the toilet!! Or in the potty. Once he has put it in the potty now you both have to have a good look at it (yuck..you even have to make like you are really enthusiastically describing how wonderful that poop is!). Then you make a big deal of the flushing, pointing at the water taking the poop away!


some parents advocate giving a reward like stickers, stamps on the hand, bubbles, or Smarties or taking the child out for a treat. This can motivate some children whilst others just need their parents singing their praises.

every time your child uses the potty, sing his praises, tell him what a big boy he is and ask relatives to make a fuss over his success as well. This has the effect of building your child’s self-esteem and children generally relish attention more than anything. But, a word of caution here….avoid overdoing the praise as if your child has an accident (and they usually will!) he may then feel very deflated at the lack of support. If he does have an accident it is important to reassure him that accidents do happen.


With all of that in mind, I want to tell you that I chucked all advice out of the window with my first born, who was one of those strong-willed little people!http://gofotolifestylenewbornphotography.co.za/strong-willed-child/ I knew he was ready, HE knew he was ready, but oh no, he had to do it HIS way! On the magic day, after many days of “priming” him, he was very thrilled to be wearing his “big boy” underpants and a T-shirt and he knew he had to tell me when he wanted to pee (he had an alarmingly extensive vocabulary despite being only 2 years old!). As every hour went by, I would ask him if he wanted the potty. No, was the answer. Each time. After about 6 hours of plying him with fruit juice he snuck behind our fridge (it had been pulled away from the wall as hubby was working on it) and boy, did my son let go! It sounded like Victoria Falls! I kid you not.


Well, I am ashamed to admit it, but I lost my cool as I KNEW that HE knew perfectly well what he was doing. So I threw all the advice from books out the window and pulled down his very wet underpants and smacked that little bottom (all the baby books said I should never smack!). From that moment on, he never, ever needed a nappy – he was potty trained for both pee and poop in that one smack, and from then on, even at night, he never had an accident!!!

It went much smoother with my second son, also at 2 years of age, maybe because he had an older brother to imitate. The only problem I had with him was although dry by day, he had to have nappies at night and it was MY fault. Why? Well, I knew he was a sound sleeper and so I double nappied him (I used towelling nappies) and as a result, he never FELT wet. Once the light bulb went on in my head, he and I agreed that as he was a big boy during the day, he could also manage for the night in his little underpants. The first night he did wet everywhere, but the discomfort woke him up and he then realized what it was all about, and that was the last time he wet at night!


So, whichever way you choose (and there is a lot of advice in books, magazines and the internet on how to potty train) when push comes to shove, only YOU the parent, will know a) when your child is ready and b) which is the best method to use for YOUR child. Always bear in mind that what works for one child, doesn’t necessarily work for another!!

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