I often get asked when I am going to potty train James and the answer I have been giving is over the summer holidays, when the groups aren’t running and we can be at home. The truth is that I don’t know if he will actually be ready by then but I think the summer is an ideal time to give it a go. James doesn’t ask for many things, so I am not sure why I think he would be able to tell me if he needs the toilet. The only thing he really asks for is Peppa Pig on the TV and even when I say to him to tell me when he wants a drink, he rarely does and will wait to be offered.
In preparation for potty training I have bought him a book about two children learning to use the potty. We have read it a number of times but I am not sure he has much of a clue about what is happening in the book. He understands what a nappy is, and what the potty is but I am not sure he realises he needs to learn to use a potty / toilet. We have also had a potty in our bathroom for months now, as I thought it would be good for James to become familiar with it. Although I have managed to get him to sit on it, which is great because I did have a fear that he would refuse, he prefers to use the potty as something to stand in, or to put toys in, not really its intended use.
The idea of cleaning out a potty fills me with dread and I am not exactly clear on the most hygenic way to do this, as to me it all seems pretty gross. I have bought children’s trainer seats for the toilets in our house and am actually hoping he will use the toilet more than the potty, mainly for my own convenience and hygiene reasons. After seeing friends children using a Potette I am thinking of buying one for James to use when we are out and about, rather than having to worry about finding a toilet for him, especially as not all public toilets are that clean.
At James’ two year review the health visitor seemed quite keen for us to start potty training as soon as possible. I questioned this and asked how am I meant to potty train a child that doesn’t tell me that he needs to go to the toilet? Her response was that you can train children that can’t speak to potty train, to which I just thought maybe you can but it will be a lot harder and take a lot longer to do. We were also advised that when we start to train him to stick to it rather than stopping and starting. Parents are often told not to leave it too late, which to me is bizarre because surely the later you leave it the easier it is, as the child will have better understanding. There is social pressure to not leave it too late because people do judge when your child is still in nappies when they look a little older.
To me I see potty training as a big inconvenience. Currently we are lucky in that James rarely poos anywhere other than our house, which makes nappies convenient because I rarely have to change them when we are out. The last time I changed his nappy in public was when we were on holiday last year and we had already checked out of our room ready to fly home. The changing table at the hotel toilets was in an entrance between the male and female toilets, which is great so dad’s can change nappies too but it also meant that there was a lot of people coming past to get into the toilets. James was acting as though I was trying to murder him in full view of everyone, and as it was hot I could feel myself getting hotter and hotter in this enclosed space with numerous people judging me and my uncooperative child. James isn’t fond of having his nappy changed unless there is something to distract him, like watching the iPad, so to make it easy for myself I let him watch the iPad everytime.
I think nappies must be the most uncomfortable thing to wear, especially on warm days when they are full of poo, but James doesn’t seemed bothered by this at all and will happily sit in his own poo until I smell it and change him. You would think he would want to tell me so he can be changed, but he always seems far more interested in playing, and a nappy change is inconvenient to him.
Not much has been easy with James – so I am hoping that just maybe potty training will be. PLEASE let potty training be a breeze. I doubt it will be so please let me know if you have any amazing tips. I’m not really into reading parenting books because I think every child is different and what applies to one may not apply to another so I tend to just go with the flow with James. I have however read the NHS guidelines to potty training and to be honest a lot of it is common sense.