We are currently in the process of toilet training with our now 3-year-old. We introduced a potty when she was around 2 years. It has taken a lot longer than expected and we have had many setbacks. I had tried whilst I was still pregnant with our second in the hopes of having only one child in nappies but that idea quickly went out the window, she just wasn’t ready yet.

When we finally started, it took some time for her to get used to the idea. There were many accidents and clothing changes. It’s pretty frustrating at times, more so now, because she understands the concept of it. She’s so stubborn about it and refuses to go at times.

There were a few incidents at the beginning, she did the right thing and sat on the potty to wee. She had been wearing undies and pants, but instead of taking them off or asking for help, she sat straight on the potty and weed through them. It was a case of well, she partly did the right thing so you can’t exactly tell her she did wrong because she did a wee on the potty.I simply had to explain to her that she is a “good girl” for weeing on the potty but next time you need to take your pants off first!

Then there’s the question of what to do once you start them in undies/jocks. They’re doing good at home but we haven’t been out anywhere yet. So, do I leave her in undies and hope for the best or do I put a nappy on for the car trip and for outside trips?

Everything I read about toilet training stated once they are in undies swapping between nappies and undies during the day isn’t recommended because it can set them back in progress. So simply making sure, they use the potty/toilet before leaving the house and then taking them again when you reach your destination is the way to go.

But what if you have an extra-long drive that won’t necessarily have toilet stops or places to stop for a toilet break? We encountered this dilemma a couple of times when going to visit my partners. My Mum’s place is about a 2-hour drive from our home. In that instance, we decided to put a nappy on “just in case” and made her go to the toilet before getting into the car. On the way, I asked her if she needed to go so we could find somewhere to stop which we did and luckily, all went well that day.

Then there’s the time that they aren’t at home with you. If they go somewhere else, like my daughter goes to my Mum’s for the day, so I have to explain the routine with her and make sure she followed it to keep everything as normal as possible.

Now, we’re hopefully almost done. She’s still been having the odd accident where she wets herself simply because she just holds on until she can’t anymore. Or she is too busy playing to come and tell me she needs to go. But we are pretty much done with wee training, during the day anyway.

But pooing is another story, she refuses to it on the toilet and it is so frustrating especially when she knows where she’s meant to do it. You can straight up ask her where she needs to go for wee and poo and she will tell you on the toilet but she will only poo in her undies.

Unfortunately for me, that means a lot of rinsing and soaking of undies and sometimes pants. I have even thrown out undies because it was that much of a mess that there was no saving them. She was doing so well and telling me when she had to go and finally starting to poo on the toilet but then out of nowhere she just decided to go back out and just stop using the toilet all together.

That’s when I thought to myself enough is enough. We need to get this sorted asap. I do not want 3 kids in nappies and she knows what she’s doing is wrong. She knows what she’s supposed to do and she can start doing it and we can get this over with.

I had a big talk with her and have had to resort to threats of no birthday presents, no friends over to play and no going to her nannies or Pa’s until she sorts herself out. I also had to bring in the naughty chair. But as harsh as it sounds it is actually starting to work.

We are still having poo problems but the wee accidents have almost stopped. Thank God! We are actually getting somewhere after all this time!

I am really just hoping to at least be done with daytime toilet training by the time this baby comes. Then next would be the night time training. It would be so amazing if she was totally toilet trained by the time our 3rd arrives but that’s pretty wishful thinking.

At least when her sister starts, I have an idea of what I’m doing. I guess that’s the best way to look at it, which I’m hoping to start when summer time comes around as she is already showing interest in the toilet/potty.

She loves to run around naked so I keep promising her once it’s warmer she can be naked as long as she likes. I am just hoping that she will be easier to teach than her sister.

So for anyone else going through the toilet training stage. Remember every child is different and not everything that works for one child will work for another. Don’t compare your children to your friend’s’ kids and don’t pressure them to start or to do it straight away. It takes time and a lot of patience which I know isn’t always easy.


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