Ever since Freya turned two the thought of potty training has been looming like a dark Dettol cloud on our horizon. I’ve heard the horror stories and I have an inkling they’re just the tip of a wee wee iceberg for my little family. My daughter is one for routine; she knows how she likes things to be done and she doesn’t like change. From pureed to proper dinners, formula milk to cow’s milk, bottle to sippy cup – each small stage of progression has been met with protest. So I decided this time my technique would be full-proof, well-researched and…confident. I turned to Gina Ford and Jo Frost. Both promise we can do this in one week. And one week we shall! Plus or minus a few. Because before Christmas I sat down to read their books, Potty Training In One Week by Gina Ford (Vermillion, £6.99) and Jo Frost’s Confident Toddler Care (Orion, £16.99) and realised that although perhaps potty training can potentially be done in one week, you have to do your prep first.
Here’s my shopping list:
8 pairs of knickers – I bought pink briefs from Mothercare
2 identical potties – I bought the Princess Potty from John Lewis
Child’s toilet-seat/booster step – John Lewis Soft Trainer Seat
A cushion for travelling – (Gina’s tip is to remove the inner and put a carrier bag around it for accidents)
Story books – I’ve bought Princess Polly’s Potty by Andrea Pinnington – Chris Evans famously raved about the boy version (Pirate Pete’s Potty) and caused it to sell out.
Travel Potty – Babyway travel Potty
Star chart for progress
A bucket filled with detergent for wet knickers to be popped in.
Clothes which are easily removed – no dungarees!
And a bumper sized bottle of disinfectant for the floor…
But the most important thing, according to the experts, is for your toddler to be ready. The biggest reason for us postponing potty training in December was that I just didn’t feel Freya was able to understand the concept of being a big girl and how she is growing up and developing and that it’s a good thing. Now she does, she also knows when she has done a poo or a wee, she goes for several hours at a time with a dry nappy and she understands and (some of the time) listens to me when I explain things to her. She now sits and looks through a book, plays a game or watches television for between five and ten minutes at a time. Gina Ford says all of these are signs that she is ready.
For the last couple of weeks we’ve been talking Freya through our own toilet activity, helping her to understand the concepts of wet and dry (Gina’s tip is to offer her both wet and dry hand towels so she learns the difference). And now, Dettol in hand and rugs rolled up, I prepare for Potty Training Day One!