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Help! How do I potty train without staying in all day??

(31 Posts)
violetlights Wed 30-Jul-14 13:58:06

My 21 month old DS might be ready for potty training. (I'd like to try before DS2 is born in Oct). BUT...

I don't know what I'm doing! sad How do you actually potty train? Rush them over to a potty whenever they start peeing / pooping? Rush the potty over to them?

I was going to buy Gina Ford's book but apparently it advocates staying in for a week. shock Another suggests the child spends most of the day on the potty waiting for something to happen. Neither approach would suit us. We live in a small flat and he would go mad if we stayed in all day. We are generally at home 6am-9.30am, 12-1pm, 5.30-7pm . (I could try staying in all afternoon, but I'm thinking his grumpiness wouldn't help...?)

Anyone got any ideas? And what do I need? One potty? A potty for every room? Do you wipe their bottom with baby wipes or toilet paper? Where do you put the used wipes / toilet paper? Are training pants a good idea? What's the best way to get poop off a sofa/carpet??! (We live in a rental property!!) Can I stick to nappies when we're out in the playgrounds? Can I use a nappy for nap time?

If anyone's got a "Toilet Training Plan for Dummies" I would be very very grateful.

walde Wed 30-Jul-14 14:01:27

We've just done potty training using the Gina Ford book and it was pretty successful. She actually suggests staying in for the first 3days before going on little trips out and building up. If you want to get it done quick then I would suggest sucking it up and stayiby watching Cbeebies. It's not for long and once they're reliable you can get back to normal.

Middleagedmotheroftwo Wed 30-Jul-14 14:05:47

I think you have to find a time when you can stay in for several days in a row.

walde Wed 30-Jul-14 14:06:03

We had a potty upstairs and one downstairs.
Nappy on at naptime (until we realised she was acactually dry for naps)
Bottom wiped with toilet roll and into bin except for more tricky poos that get a baby wipe and intonation bin.
No nappy during the day so accidents will happen.
We haven't had accidents on the furniture but used steam mop for floor accidents.
Big cushion for her to sit in on sofa just in case.
The Gina Ford book is good and covers all this.

walde Wed 30-Jul-14 14:08:50

We use pull ups at bedtime but haven't used them at all in the dayttime. From day 1 of potty training she's been in pants all day and gas accepted that.
Pull ups have been good for bedtime as she calls them big girl nappies, so we don't have the confusion over "nappies are for babies, oh except at bedtime"

OutragedFromLeeds Wed 30-Jul-14 14:10:29

First of all, breathe....relax.

Staying in is helpful for the first couple of days because if you're out and about he'll be distracted by other things. You need don't need to stay in all day, but I would do as little as possible just for a day or two. It is also good to encourage them to sit on the potty a fair bit, just to increase the chances of a happy accident and to give them plenty of opportunity to go in the potty. Lots and lots of reading whilst on the potty, watching cbeebies, colouring etc.

On the first couple of days you need to sit them on the potty, then just offer the potty regularly but don't sit him on it if he doesn't need it, then wait for him to ask you. If he's ready you'll be done within two weeks.

You probably need two potties, one in the bathroom and one to move from room to room/keep in the car etc. Wipe his bottom with wipes and put them in a nappy sack or tissue and flush it. Within a week or two you can switch to the toilet.

Pull-Ups can be useful if he is keen to be dry, but are useless with a child who isn't bothered. Nappies are fine at nap time and bed time, but DO NOT use them during the day as it's too confusing.

Try and be sure he is ready before you start because going back and forth between nappies and potty training is the worst thing and will make it a longer, more stressful process in the long term.

micah Wed 30-Jul-14 14:11:38


Wait until the child is so ready he trains himself. It might mean waiting a little longer, but ime if you start training early they just take longer to get it, so are reliably dry around the same time anyway. The ability to hold it while you find a loo is the most important.

Nappies are far, far easier than wet pants, accidents, and stress about finding a loo everywhere.

I left mine until one day she said she needed a wee. Took her to the toilet, and indeed she did. Into pants and that was it. While some of my friends whose children had been "trained" 6 months earlier were still carrying potties and employing the "follow child round and try and catch it" method.

21 months is very early. Don't be surprised if he isn't ready.

OutragedFromLeeds Wed 30-Jul-14 14:12:58

I agree that the GF book is quite good. It's a little extreme like all her books, but if you relax the routines to suit you, it's a good starting point.

walde Wed 30-Jul-14 14:14:53

Once you get started you'll soon spot the signs they're about to go (holding their bottom, dancing about, looking pensive) then you whizz them to potty. After a few goes they get the hang of what to do and they will start going themselves...hopefully!
Lots of rewards helps! Bribery all the way. We had stickers, chocolate raisins and when her interest waned, a big tub of sweeties that she carried around looking longingly at. We had a lot of wees when they were on offer!

Fairywhitebear Wed 30-Jul-14 14:15:31

Micah What age did you do it?

my DD is 20 months. Sometimes I think she's ready (and would love her to be because I have another baby!) but in all honesty, I know she isn't really.

Buttercup27 Wed 30-Jul-14 14:19:56

I agree with*micah*. 21 months is really young to be thinking of toilet training unless they are showing signs of being ready E.G. dry nappies for long periods of time followed by very full nappy (shows they can hold it) not liking being wet, telling you if they are wet or soiled, telling you if they need a wee.
Good luck.

Bunbaker Wed 30-Jul-14 14:23:01

I'm with micah on this. I tried with DD when she was a similar age and she just wasn't ready. I tried again when she was about two and a half and we cracked it in three days.

And yes, we stayed in. I don't see how you can do it when out and about. But I didn't find staying in for three days in bad weather a hardship anyway.

micah Wed 30-Jul-14 14:43:15

she was 2.5. I hadn't really thought of potty training, and she wasn't really verbal at that age anyway. We were in her dance class and she just said she wanted a wee. That was it. I think for a week we did choc buttons until I was confident she had the hang.

Never stayed in, just took her to the toilet before we went out. Then I knew I'd have time to get where we were going, and to find a toilet once there. She never used the potty, never held her bum, but could wee when I asked then hold it long enough until I asked again...

Same with DC2, but she was a bit older- nearer 3.

OneLittleToddleTerror Wed 30-Jul-14 14:51:28

Agree about letting it be child led. DD told me she wanted pants when she is just over 2. We didn't have to stay in. None of that Gina Ford stuff. She sorted herself in the weekend. We did let her wander around home with big girl pants for a while. But she understood she needs to wear nappies going out. Then one weekend she just clicked.

Also don't bank on having it sorted before October. You will be better off with nappies. They regress badly with big life changes. DD was potty trained for half a year before she moved up to preschool in the new year. During the entire Christmas period she forgotten how to use the potty/toilet. She only came right about a week after reschool. Therefore I think there is a high chance your son will regress at such a young age with a new baby.

FlipFlopWaddle Wed 30-Jul-14 14:53:18

I trained dd1 at 19mo and dd2 at 22mo and I'm sorry but staying in is par for the course! I tried to go out whilst doing dd1 and it was far too stressful so I learnt from my mistake and only went out in the first week for the school run with dd2 (and that was stressful enough!).

My tips would be to invest in a potty for upstairs and downstairs, as well as toddler seats for your toilet(s), and a portable potty (we've got a Potette Plus) for going out. Use toilet paper unless it's a real poonami and then it can be flushed. We used stickers as a reward. She went straight into knickers (training ones first), initially back into nappies for naps but she wakes up dry now so I don't bother. Keep him naked for the first few days to make things easier. Try him on the toilet too early on so it's easier when you're out of the house. We used a cloth changing mat in the car seat and pushchair because that's easier to wash.

Good luck, I hated potty training grin

violetlights Wed 30-Jul-14 15:05:17

Brilliant! Thanks all! smile

I'll buy GF as it looks like she's got a lot of good tips. Just nervous about staying in as he's never done it except when very poorly... I'll give it a try.

And thanks for the warnings about it being early. I was concerned about that but he's been saying for months, "pooping" when he's pooping and asking to "change the nappy". (He literally tried to rip off his pooey nappy last week... all kinds of gross). He's also dry for long periods and after naps. Don't want to go back and forth so will see what he's like over the next month or so. If he's continuing in the same vein, I think I'll give it a go anyway...

violetlights Wed 30-Jul-14 15:09:05

OneLittleToddleTerror - thanks I just missed your post there. Thanks, I'll bear that in mind. We're moving house too so maybe I need to reconsider.

walde Wed 30-Jul-14 15:12:01

Eek, moving house and baby might be a bit much. When are you moving?

FairlyUseless Wed 30-Jul-14 15:13:13

I'm wholeheartedly with micah. I was constantly being told I should train ds but I knew he wasn't ready. One day he did the same. Asked to wear big boy pants. We had 2 accidents. He did it himself, wees and poos. He was almost 3.

Dont train because you think you should - your setting yourselves up for disaster!

PickleSarnie Wed 30-Jul-14 15:17:51

Same as fairy. My DS was 2 years and 9 months when he just decided he didn't want to wear nappies. We didn't do anything. He did it by himself. By waiting a bit longer you might save any need to "train".

violetlights Wed 30-Jul-14 15:24:05

walde moving in a couple of weeks. But only downstairs to an apartment he knows. Hopefully not too much should change for him apart from an extra bedroom to play in!

FairyUseless - I don't THINK I'd be training him because I think I should. He's very interested in the potty and toilet and seems to show a lot of the signs. The other day he sat on a potty (not ours) did a very humourous 'straining' expression (fully clothed though). Saying that, I'm sure I am influenced by people's stories of toilet training under 2, especially as we live in a multicultural area where lots of people come from countries which potty train VERY VERY young (under 12 months) due to no washing machines or disposables etc.

OneLittleToddleTerror Wed 30-Jul-14 15:29:53

Oh that toilet training under 1? My mum did it with me and brother. It is nothing it cracked up to be. She didn't go out for ages because we can't hold anyway. If you wait long enough they will have much better control of bladder so they can hold until you find a toilet.

I didn't bother with a potty going out either. At over 2 they can easily sit up in the adult toilets. And my DD is tiny (25 centile girl).

Bunbaker Wed 30-Jul-14 16:20:29

MIL claimed that SIL was potty trained by 13 months. I didn't believe her and she maintained that she did, but that SIL still had lots of accidents. In my book that isn't fully potty trained. When DD was potty trained at 2 1/2 she didn't have any accidents because she was ready, SIL wasn't.

Besides, DD wasn't even walking at 13 months so it was unrealistic to expect her to be potty trained.

caughtupinthismoment Thu 31-Jul-14 11:52:29

Ive just started potty training this week and in all honesty dont know what to do. My Daughter is 2 and a half but is quite stubborn and doesnt talk yet only a few words and phrases so it a guessing game. Ive tried bare bottom but with a carpets its a nightmare. Ive tried knickers but shes going through loads and the washer is always on. pullups she just thinks is a nappy. any advice?

Bluemummy88 Thu 31-Jul-14 12:02:45

You have to remember each child is different and only potty train if you think they're ready for it - not because you've another baby on the way and it would suit you. I know that sounds harsh but it will be better in the long run. DS1 managed it in a day at 2 years 6months and never had accidents (smarties given every time he used potty for a week, Thomas the Tank pants that he loved so much he didn't want to spoil). I was smug mummy until DS2 insisted on pooing in his pants off and on for what seemed liked months when he was dry! Good luck - remember that they do get it eventually!!

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