Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Toilet training with child number 2!

As soon as the summer holidays began, one of our priorities was to begin toilet training our two and a half-year old daughter. We had been talking about it a lot with her, went out shopping to choose and buy a child's toilet seat and underwear and had read over and over the book, Princess Polly's Potty.

Our daughter was enthusiastic about the challenge, it helps that she always wants to do what her older brother does, including practical things like this. I decided to get started on a Friday - what was I thinking with three children including a young baby to tend to, alongside toilet training all by myself?! It was a rough start and I felt very disconcerted and began questioning whether she was in fact ready to move out of nappies.

Lamenting of the difficulties I was facing, somebody said to me when they were training their child, although they felt  he was ready, he still needed to have lots of accidents as part of his own learning process. Having successfully gone through the toilet training, I can say with hindsight that her statement is probably true of many children.

The initial accidents really are what helps the child associate (a) with (b) and recognise what they need to do. After the first day, the accidents got fewer and by Monday when we had plans for a day out with friends, my daughter did brilliantly, going when she needed and keeping underwear dry!

My eldest being a boy, I was a bit nervous about being out in public toilets or indeed out in a park or wherever with my daughter. It is so easy for a boy to go out in the open, nicely concealed behind a tree! A friend with two daughters recommended I got a Potette Plus. It's a very compact, easily portable potty or toilet trainer seat and we have used ours lots already, definitely a good purchase.

As for how we went about the toilet training, we followed the same principle as we had done last time with our son. Lots of drinks during the first couple of days, lots of reminding the child to tell you when they need the toilet (rather than asking them if they need it) and lots of positivity! One thing I did differently was to abandon the sticker chart I did last time for my son. I read somewhere recently where a mother felt that the child should just be happy to be able to use the toilet and that in itself should be the reward, not bribing them through stickers, sweet treats, toys or whatever. I thought that was a good point and had kept it at the back of my mind. I did give my daughter stickers for the first few days but didn't make a big deal out of the stickers themselves and soon stopped them.

It has been nearly four weeks since we swapped nappies for knickers and our daughter is doing well. Very occasionally she will be too wrapped up in what she is doing to remember to tell me in time but fortunately I can usually tell when she does need to go, which helps.

Have you gone through the toilet training stage recently with any of your children? Those of you with boys and girls, I would be interested to hear if you had a better or worse experience with one or the other. What is your approach to toilet training and any advice or tips to share?
photo credit


  1. Sounds like your daughter is doing really well! I don't blame you for ditching the stickers - looking back it all seems very try-hard and unnatural. With my daughter starting school this week and NOT getting a sticker like some of her friends in the next class, I know how devastating the withholding of a perceived reward can be.

    Each child is different and you seem very adept at adapting to your individual children's needs without getting hung up on what worked before. So well done, and keep up the good work.

    And that, I think, deserves a mummy sticker ;) xx

    1. What a kind comment, thank you! I have to confess, we have had a little regression since I wrote this post but that may make a new blog post of it's own! I think you are right about adapting to each individual child's needs - it is definitely clear to me that something that worked for my son is not necessarily going to work for my daughter. It can be hard to judge which approach to take always, but as ever, one tries one's best! xx


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