My son is 3.5 years old and is not completely toilet trained yet. There, I said it.
We tried last summer when the weather was a “naked toddler in the garden” kind of heatwave but he just didn’t get it, refused to wee at all without a nappy and would hold it in for HOURS.
So we gave up over winter and are just starting to give it another go. We have had more success this time. So I thought I’d share some thoughts of potty training an ex-prem or any child with delays.
1. Don’t force it before they’re ready. That was our mistake last summer. It just upset him and it’s not healthy to hold your wee in for that long as he just wanted a nappy back on.
2. Buy a storybook about it. Jack really likes the Pirate Pete book. I believe there is a Princess Polly version too. Before we even did any training, we just sat him on the potty daily purely to read that book together as a learning exercise.
3. Pants with favourite tv characters on. He’s much more enthusiastic about pants when they have Duggee on!
4. Potty train in summer when you are in the garden a lot. It’s much better for him to have an accident on the grass than inside on the carpet!
5. Don’t make a fuss when they don’t make it in time. Just say “never mind, you’re still learning” and let that be it.
6. Tell the nursery so that they can get on board with you- and send extra clothes in the bag! (Send a reusable carrier for dirty clothes or they’ll use a planet-killing single use plastic nappy sack!)
7. Once they are even starting to get it, switch to pants full time during the day. Otherwise if you are putting nappies on for outings for safety they may get confused as to what they need to do. Be brave!
8. Understand that they may keep having poo accidents for a while after mastering wees. Its very common for poos to take longer to master. And Jack currently still wears nappies at night.
9. Let them go through the whole process with you. Instead of emptying the potty into the toilet yourself while they go off to play, let them press the flush lever and close the lid. This instills the proper protocol for going to the loo.
10. Reward chart. At first he got a star for just using the potty, then after a couple of weeks we switched to getting a star when he stays dry all day.
Is there anything I’ve missed or anything you found helpful? Let me know in the comments!