Now closed: share your potty training stories and win £100 of Random House books.

(61 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 07-Jul-14 16:15:15

It's Prince George's first birthday on 22 July and author Nicholas Allan has made ready for the occasion with his hilarious book The Prince and the Potty.

To celebrate, we're offering you the chance to win £100 worth of Random House children's books. To be in with a chance to win simply share your potty training stories with us - we want to hear everything from your trusty tactics to the wacky methods you tried and tested. Was it a gleaming success or a downright disaster? We want to know.

We'll select our favourite story and ten runner's up who will receive all of Nicholas Allan's Royal Reads books. So, if you've got some cracking tales to divulge or some valuable techniques to share, post away - we're looking forward to this one! Here's more info about the book and the competition.

This competition is sponsored by Random House books

sharond101 Mon 07-Jul-14 17:41:43

We are in the middle if potty training D's who let's out a beaming scream of "look at the size if that!" every time he does a poo in the potty!

BlizzardInWales Mon 07-Jul-14 19:20:52

My son, who is two, insists on being read stories on the toilet and will sit for ages telling you he is certainly not done! He also yells "plop!" Loudly for each and every poo and asks me if I am pooing every time I go to the loo, loudly, and in public.

Today my newborn daughter poo'd all down my front and over my legs and socks. This was in front of the health visitor. My son exclaimed "wow! Mummy that's a lot of poo, toilet?" I think he wanted to have a go on the toilet to see if he could beat her on quantity... He gave it a good go too!

lottietiger Mon 07-Jul-14 19:23:47

My little boy insists on reading zigby and the ant invaders on the toilet, no other book will do. Then we all have to wave goodbye to Mr Brown as I flush and it wizzes out of sightsmile

The only way we could get our daughter to stay sitting on the potty for any length of time was to read book after book to her - we've never read so many books as when we were potty training! It got results though, and also meant we had lots of extra reading time, bonus!

ShayT Mon 07-Jul-14 23:57:33

Best advice I have is let them wear undies. Once they figure out that they have leakage they will want to go potty.

nerysw Tue 08-Jul-14 06:46:32

I've been through it twice, had to examine poos in the potty to see what animal they looked like, watched my son sit for hours on his potty watching telly and gone through soooo many stickers as rewards. When we went to stay at the in-laws last year we forgot to take a potty so I had to make a mad dash round a town in Kent and finally got a hideous car shaped potty to solve the problem. My son loved it!

babyowl Tue 08-Jul-14 10:12:27

Regarding potty training, the general idea I got from a mixture of reading around & my own experience was:

You can start training from when your child is around 2yrs+ onwards in 3 separate stages of wee, poo & night-time. BUT it has to be in your child’s own time & comfort zone otherwise you set both yourself & your child back.

Steps you can take in preparation for potty training include:
1) Having a potty around and occasionally reading your child books featuring the potty/toilet.
A couple of our favourites were:
a) "Who's in the Loo?" by Jeanne-Willis & Adrian Reynolds
b) "Have You Seen My Potty" by Mij Kelly & Mary McQuilan

2) Taking your child shopping for their own Disney/animals/cars/whatever-themed underwear which they can try wearing them instead of nappies for short periods of time when you don't mind the risk of toileting accidents.
(NB. Pull-up pants aren’t great as they don’t let them feel the wet.)

3) If your kid goes to nursery/child minder, it’s worth trying to engage their co-operation with potty training (and/or at least warning them that toileting accidents will start happening.)

4) It may be slightly easier to get potty training going in the spring/summer months and/or when your child sees other friends at nursery/childminder going to the toilet. Plus in the hot weather, your child may find underwear more comfortable than nappies to wear.

5) Get used to carrying around spare knickers & tights/trousers + socks + a spare plastic bag (e.g. supermarket vegetable bags are great & lightweight) wherever you go just to be on the safe side.

6) Praise your child for using the toilet and also trying to go to the toilet (especially before going out, etc). Better an empty visit than a visit that is too late.

Above all remember that as frustrating as it is, don’t freak or get mad when toileting accidents happen. This is NOT NICE for your child. They are only just learning after all and making mistakes (even lots of them) is part of learning.

mamato3luvleys Tue 08-Jul-14 14:52:16

It was 9 year ago now when I was potty training my first son but every time he used it he used to quickly jump off it and tip out whatever he had just done! It was a good job we had wooden flooring which I have again in this house as I am starting to get my 15 month old son used to the potty but have my flash wipes handy for any mis -haps!! smile

WowOoo Tue 08-Jul-14 15:08:44

It was relatively easy for my two boys as I left it quite late with both of them. After lots of talking and reading with them about it, I waited until i was sure they were ready.

We used a star chart to show progress and bought them some small treats.

I know some people will disagree, but allowing your child do a poo in a potty in the middle of a playgroup is not the way I'd do it.
I've witnessed this by two different mums on separate occasions. Yes, there were facilities very near. It really put me off my coffee and biscuits!

andywedge Tue 08-Jul-14 18:09:44

Get a book called 'Potty Poo Poo Wee Wee' it's fantastic and a great way to teach the kids to learn how to use a potty in a funny way. My little girl now thinks she is the baby dinosaur in the book

ThemisA Tue 08-Jul-14 19:07:56

Before I had my son I was a Nanny and successfully potty trained many children - I waited until they were developmentally ready and keen to give it a go. Lots of praise for trying and I tried to make it fun by reading to them if they needed a distraction. Some children need little incentive but for others I used star charts with a little treat when they had five stars or they could save up for a bigger treat at 10. It was, however, a whole different story with one child who just couldn't get used to going to the loo without a nappy and it took many months before we had success - it later turned out that he was on the autistic spectrum which explains why he found it so hard to change from a nappy, standing up, to sitting on a potty without a nappy. Sometimes one just has to be patient, creative or give it a rest for a while. I just want to reassure parents that some children are easy to train (I did one in a day) and others take much longer, it isn't always anything you are doing wrong. I found it important to make sure the child was ready and excited about moving onto this next stage. I also need to be in a positive frame of mind and able to clear up any accidents with minimal fuss. It is not a competition so who cares if other people's children have mastered it and yours have not, we all make it in the end!

tamalyn1 Tue 08-Jul-14 19:45:49

while potty training my middle son, we noticed if he wore pants of any kind he would wee in them, so the trick was to not wear anything! unfortunately my younger son was in and out of hospital at the time, so we put my son in a long tshirt and carried the potty everywhere we went, it took about 10 days but hes been dry ever since lol patience is the key!!

Kikaninchen Tue 08-Jul-14 19:56:30

My daughter used to get stage fright in toilets outside the home, she was worried she was going to fall in. I used to have to carry an enormous plastic training seat round with me wherever we went for months otherwise she wouldn't go when we were out - she wouldn't use the folding travel one I bought.

twinklenic Tue 08-Jul-14 20:45:23

My older two children are 12 months 3 weeks apart and i was finding potty training my eldest (my son) really difficult, he was extremely lazy with it, but as soon as my middle child started potty training (my daughter) he suddenly did it too , it was like he didnt want to be beaten by her

catkind Tue 08-Jul-14 21:02:07

We started potty training DD by accident at 3-4 months when we half-heartedly sat her on her brother's potty in the hope of getting a urine sample, and she immediately did a big pee. Remember how little babies always pee just when you're taking their nappy off to change them? Well, that instinct, transferred to a potty. From there we just kept offering a potty at nappy changes (when convenient for us) until DD started asking for it. By 1 year most pees and poos were going in the potty and she was dry most nights.

Probably the slowest potty training ever as we didn't take her out of nappies completely till 2.2. But mess free, stress free, bribery free, and so much easier than potty training DS at 3 years+.

ktmd Tue 08-Jul-14 21:22:50

I was potty training my son in the summer and he was running round with no pants on. Next thing he slid down the slide....pooing as he went. It caused great hilarity, but I had to clean him and the slide.

mcgintys Tue 08-Jul-14 21:25:36

When we were potty training my youngest we used to play with bubbles whilst she was sitting on the potty. she would sit and blow bubbles and this occupied her and we never had to wait long for her to have done her business.

BeCool Tue 08-Jul-14 21:27:17

Make a huge fuss of buying new knickers.

Result in potty = chocolate button. Just for a week.

Don't be afraid to skip the potty and go straight to the loo. My 2 weren't keen on potty at all and preferred using loo. Yay!

pfcpompeysarah Tue 08-Jul-14 21:44:55

Despite having a potty in the room wherever we were in the house, my son always used to go into the hallway and do it for some reason, drove me MAD!!

lhlee62 Tue 08-Jul-14 21:51:25

Bribery and loads of Peppa Pig on the TV! I found some reward charts in the reduced aisle in the supermarket, only 18p so she gets a sticker every time she uses the potty. I also got her some pretty knickers, but so far we have opted for the bare bottom approach, luckily it has been warm and we haven't had any reason to leave the house.

It's been a bit hit and miss and the worse incident (she pooed, stood in it, then walked around the house, sat on the sofas (with a dirty bum!) and sat on the sofa cushions!!!) luckily I was out of the house so daddy had to deal with it grin

barker99 Tue 08-Jul-14 22:07:27

So far my daughter thinks the potty is a ride on toy. I'm not even daring to take the nappies off again

kateandme Wed 09-Jul-14 02:06:34

mine went through a stage of thinking anything of the bowled shape would then be used as a potty,simply right why wouldnt we all think this!!
it came to a all new "oh no!!" when he started doing it in bowls.bird baths.and he then when told not to proceeded to ask wherever we were whether any of the bowl shapes we saw were pottys or not.

Chopstheduck Wed 09-Jul-14 06:19:01

Three of mine were very easy to train, but then dt1 was a nightmare. He refused to poo anywhere but his pants. I never did find out while this was, but he would hold until he was as far away from a toilet as he possibly could before unleashing his bowels into his clothes. Lovely long walks to the park, plonk him on a swing, and he would unleash the poo! Thankfully he did eventually start using the loo, thought wet night times are still another matter!

DrFunkesFamilyBandSolution Wed 09-Jul-14 06:27:59

I've had the potty since ds1 was one, he started paying attention to it when he was 1& a half, we only got him out of daytime nappies at 2 & he's been back in them whenever he's ill, aside from one time he had cold, and I wiped his nose whilst e was on the toilet & now he's convinced he needs one tissue for his nose & one for his wee every damn time!
I did start trying EC with ds2 but a mixture of two 18m apart and being pregnant again means We'll wait!

dragon60 Wed 09-Jul-14 20:59:54

Simple bribery, sorry reward system, worked a treat. Started off with a new dinosaur every time there was a success on the potty, (which resulted in going from absolutly no interest and permanently wet pants to using it correctly in the one day) and now we are down to a dinosaur if he gets himself on the potty unaided. Jonnah is now the proud owner of many, many dinosaurs. I would recommend a bulk buy!

HappyMum4 Wed 09-Jul-14 22:34:23

We adopted the potty training dance for our four, each time they scored a hit, we all went crazy dancing around the room, and they found it such fun they kept wanting to do it over and over again! I also once broke my toe kicking their potty across the bathroom floor!

JoCar72 Thu 10-Jul-14 13:44:55

Haven't started yet but hopefully it wont be long. It's great to read everyone's stories and pick up essential advice. I think reading between the lines it's all about patience and willpower. After facing daily nappies it wont be too hard...will it? ;)

cacakariel Thu 10-Jul-14 19:11:20

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Amez2012 Thu 10-Jul-14 20:39:56

My daughter loves the noise it makes - she says tinkle tinkle when she hears it go in!

EvilHerbivore Thu 10-Jul-14 20:54:17

We didn't use a potty either, just went straight onto the loo with a insert seat at the beginning although he stopped using that after 6 weeks or so, we also did loads of other things mentioned on here - "special" pants with his favourite characters on, stickers and loads of praise if he went, a present when he got 10 stickers, setting an alarm on my phone as a reminder to go every 20 minutes or so in the first few days and mainly leaving it until he was ready, "late" by some peoples book (just turned 3) but he cracked it in a week or so with few accidents and little stress really

hutchy73 Fri 11-Jul-14 22:41:56

My son was sticker mad so we had a sticker chart- the only problem was he was almost straining to go on his potty just to get a sticker!

Fairylea Fri 11-Jul-14 22:46:23

I think more than anything it's important to have a potty available at all times. .. when dd was training I'd left her for all of 10 minutes while I hung out some washing and returned to find she'd done a poo and proudly and carefully placed it across (as it wouldn't fit in) the top of a dainty China dolls tea set cup she'd been playing with as she clearly thought it would do as a make shift potty!

So cute. And gross.

She's 11 now and I still love to remind her of that story smile

LEE88 Sun 13-Jul-14 16:07:22

My little boy hated his potty and wanted to use the toilet so to help his aim I would scrunch up little bits of toilet paper for him to shoot the "aliens", although one time I had dropped a piece on the floor and before I noticed my little one was peeing all over the floor saying "look Mummy I got the alien that was trying to escape" lol.

stephgr Mon 14-Jul-14 22:36:42

I got my children to decorate their potties with stickers and so on which made them really keen to use the potties

MiaSparrow Mon 14-Jul-14 22:41:27

DD beat us to it: she just woke up one morning when she was 2.5 and announced "Mummy, I don't wear nappies anymore!" She was dry in three days flat. We hadn't even bought her any knickers and the potty training book that I'd ordered arrived the following week, only to go straight to the charity shop. I'm SO glad we waited and that she initiated it. I think it made all our lives a whole lot easier. grin

onestepbeyond Mon 14-Jul-14 22:53:28

I potty trained dd1 at 2yrs old, she wasn't interested in starcharts and i didn'y want to use food as a bribe so I invented the happy dance! (you basically stick your bum out and wriggle around!). Everytime she successfully used the potty or toilet we did the happy dance, I have happy danced in carparks, shopping centres, laybys and even a grave yard!!

UWLMW Mon 14-Jul-14 23:21:47

My eldest was 2 years and 1 month old when my second baby was born and I thought I had him potty trained.
My new health visitor came round to visit new baby for the first time and I proudly told her about our success and how it had been 2 days since the eldest had an the twenty minutes she was there he had 3 accidents and not a single drop in the potty. I was left a bit red faced and I'm sure she thought I was either deranged or deluded!!

MadMonkeys Wed 16-Jul-14 09:42:16

DD1 refused to wear pants when we tried the first time at 2years 6 months. I didn't push it. Then a month before DD2 was due she announced she wanted to wear her pants (at 2 years 8 months) - she was dry in the daytime after just one week. She's a determined little girl, she will do it in her time or not at all!

IncaAztec Wed 16-Jul-14 20:36:19

My only success with potty training was setting an alarm every 30 mins to start with as a toilet alarm. I would then ask if she needed the toilet and take if necessary. I then stretched this out to 45 mins then an hour until she remembered by herself. She is now dry and seldom has accidents. Won't work for all, but worth a try!

glmcall123 Thu 17-Jul-14 13:41:22

My son was quick to learn how to use the potty but the new found freedom from nappies gave him the idea of marking his territory, i.e weeing on anything that was his. It was a month of hell before we managed to stop him.

purpleskull Fri 18-Jul-14 06:52:58

My daughter decided to start potty training herself by peeing in her bucket of lego. I was impressed with her but wished she'd emptied out the lego first, haha :D

sarah3875 Fri 18-Jul-14 16:31:18

I found doing it in the summer months with my youngest much easier. They can run around the house/garden with pants and no trousers whilst they get the hang of it. x

JWalker23 Fri 18-Jul-14 22:00:17

Not yet at the stage of potty training but most of these comments have been so useful, guess you just have to have patients like everything else and go at the speed your child is working at smile

Mink35 Sat 19-Jul-14 19:38:20

My son was virtually potty trained then we decided to spend a day at banger-racing (my husband and friends used to compete at the time and we went up in a big group of people). Whilst up there he naturally wanted the loo but the portaloos were disgusting and he wouldn't use them so hubby showed him how to pee up something... in this case the car tyre (banger!).

Unfortunately for days afterwards he refused to use the potty/toilet and only wanted to pee up the car!

ikkle87 Sat 19-Jul-14 21:54:37

We are trying to go at my sons pace, he doesn't talk and isn't able to tell us when he needs a wee or poop. Instead he does a wee in his nappy and then will strip off take his own nappy off and go sit on the potty and clap his hands as if to say well done. It's not quite right but small steps smile

AnotherStitchInTime Sat 19-Jul-14 22:06:15

With dd1 we used to tell a story about the poos going to poo-land and the wees going to wee-wee land. Now she tells it to dd2 who is 2.5 and just showing an interest in the toilet, she likes to flush the toilet for me and say bye, bye wee wee.

Do day and night together. Have never understood why people train kids to be dry during the day but not the night at the same time. Did this with 2 of 3 DCs and worked fine.

Lydia30 Sat 19-Jul-14 22:47:41

I've never used an actual potty. All 3 of my children and 2 of my Grandchildren whom I've brought up, all used a children's toilet seat. I found it so much more convenient

snare Sun 20-Jul-14 07:53:05

I did potty training with mine in the summer so that we could start it in the garden without them wearing pants and they then got the idea smile

WarmHugs Sun 20-Jul-14 12:03:31

I potty trained both of mine at 2.3, despite them not showing any of the "signs". I cancelled our plans for the week, and had lots of activities to keep us busy at home. When they woke, I told them that they were a big boy/girl, and they could wear special undies/knickers.

Day 1 - all wees/poos on the carpet
Day 2 - some on the carpet/some in the potty. Lots of excitement and praise.
Day 3 - Nearly all in the potty
Day 4 - no accidents, and they have both been the same since.

No fuss, no messing, no dramas.

I did invest in a great carpet cleaner though!

clairewilko29 Sun 20-Jul-14 16:44:54

my first son Connor (now 9) was potty trained for me!!! he was in hospital for 6 months as he had a trachostomy so nurses helped me train him a lot!! he couldnt talk or cry and had to sign to me that he needed to go, a lot of hard work but he did it!! my second son kian (now 6) was a different story we struggled a lot and he started nursery still in nappies, in the end i threw all of his nappies away and dealt with the wet bedding, he was trained within about 3 weeks

Tonkatol Sun 20-Jul-14 18:14:41

Like every other stage of development, your child can't/won't do it until they are ready! I have been through it with 4 children of my own and with several other children when I was a childminder and those that have been the quickest and easiest to train have been the ones who have led the training. When beginning, it is definitely worth setting aside a few days to stay at home so that the potty/toilet is at hand whenever needed. After that, if the child isn't ready, rather than everyone getting stressed and upset, leave it for a couple of weeks and try again.

Snowfedup Sun 20-Jul-14 18:31:21

The book we had for my ds showed a drawing of a little boy bent over showing where poo came from. I used to have to rush ds past every full length mirror we came across for months as he was slightly obsessed with pulling his sorts down and turning round to examine exactly where his poo came from and also not averse to shouting excitedly to strangers to come and see too blush

Think I will be looking for a new book for ds2 !

grannybiker Sun 20-Jul-14 21:36:40

Youngest really isn't keen to get this potty-training underway. We leave her nappy off, but she's hidden a stash around so just puts one on when she wants a wee!

BayeauxT Sun 20-Jul-14 22:23:01

We had introduced DD2 to a potty when she was about 2. She knew what it was for but just wasn't interested and we didn't really push it. A few months before her 3rd birthday, I was struck down by some sort of flu; I remember lying in bed feeling like death when DD2 marched in and said "I'm a big girl now, I don't need a nappy anymore", and so her potty training began! We did a reward chart for her and it took just a few days, with maybe two accidents in all.

KateOxford Wed 23-Jul-14 23:08:16

When I started potty training my son, aged 3, I made the mistake of always prompting him to use the toilet, about every hour I would ask him to do a wee. I then realised that he was going on demand rather than feeling the need to go for a wee. The best way we learnt was that when he got up in the morning he could usually feel the sensation of really needing a wee so that was how he learnt what it felt like and when he needed to go to the toilet. I should have been braver and worried about the floors less as I think he would have got the hang of it sooner if I had left him to it and not prompted him to go to the toilet so much. As a friend said to me on the subject of me staying home to potty train him- whats the worst that can happen, he will wet himself, so take a spare set (or 2 or 3!) of clothes out with you and do what you would normally do. Poo however was quite a different story, whilst he learnt weeing in the toilet he wouldn't poo in the toilet, so we had soiled pants to clean up at Birdland, Blenheim Palace and Cotswold Farm Park to name but a few. Then one day it just clicked and he did a poo in the toilet - hooray. My tips would be to let the child take control and learn to realise when they need to go, I feel its good to ask them every so often like before you leave the house but not be obsessive about it, go everywhere prepared; hand gel, baby wipes, nappy bags, spare pants and clothes (even top half!), travel potty and praise the child when they do well. I had to take a break from typing this as my son called from his bed with wet pants, this Summer holidays I am trying to night time train him without pull ups/nappies at bedtime as about 6 nights out of 7 he was waking up dry and was often waking to go for a wee in the night. This time it would be easy for me to say he's trained and wake him up or 'lift' him for a wee in the night however, I learnt from my last mistake that this is cheating and we might have several loads of washing a week but we will get there in the end and as is obvious this is the weather for doing lots (and lots) of washing. My son has a few coins to put in his money box if he manages a dry night which is my saving from not buying the pull ups and he is saving up to buy some Lego.

Goodidea80 Fri 25-Jul-14 16:21:42

I have just started potty training my 2 and half year old. I thought it would be a great idea to do it while the weather is warm, as he can run around outside without clothes on. The first few days have been quite successful and he even used the potty once without any prompting! That was until yesterday when I found him rubbing his bottom on my 8 month DD head. Needless to say I told him this was not appropriate behaviour. This was not the worst of it though, as I picked up daughter I thought she had pooped in her nappy only to realise no, but that my son had left a little pellet of poo in her hair! I hope that this will be the only time I have to wash her brother's poo out of her hair!

NataliaMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 31-Jul-14 09:26:55

Thank you for all these hilarious stories and for all the handy tips, we had much fun reading through them. We've now selected our runners-up who will receive all of Nicholas Allan's Royal Reads. They are:


Congrats to you all, we really hope you enjoy your books. Now for the winner of the £100 worth of Random House children's books...

Congratulations kateandme, you're our winner!

I will PM you all for your details soon grin

Many thanks to all who took part x

Genesgirl Fri 01-Aug-14 23:51:52

Don't get distracted during potty training! My DS1 age around 2 and 3/4 was doing well with potty training and I was quietly patting myself on the back with how well it was going (rare as I had few moments like this at the time!) as I also had a demanding, high maintenance DS2 of 6 months. I was half way up stairs to empty said potty when some workmen came to fix Sky arial (I think). Left potty to deal with them. One was in hall near potty, I was in the other room talking to other man as he worked. Came back to hall, potty empty. Thanked second man for emptying potty, thinking it was strange thing to do but kind of him - was massively sleep deprived at the time so anything made sense! He says 'Oh I didn't, saw your dog eating it, I thought it was her dog bowl'....Yuk but story always makes me smile :-)

Alidoll Wed 06-Aug-14 09:38:32

Best advice - don't try to rush it. They'll get there eventually and will only pick up on your frustration leading to tears (on both sides!).

Relax and go with the flow (excuse the pun!) and keep a sense of humour. There WILL be accidents, it IS yucky but once they are wearing big girl / boy pants the accidents will slowly reduce...

And yes, you DO have to examine every poo they do for ages and exclaim how brilliant they are (while wondering how someone so small can produce something as smelly and as big as THAT!!)

Good luck!

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