We were in the throws of summer and so a lot of nappy free garden time seem the best option to start potty training.
We together brought an IKEA potty and stall. Brought a selection of potty training books, a sticker book and some lovely Frozen knickers!
On our first morning we had lots of excited sitting on the potty, an accident and a success! We even had a poo on the potty. But after a nappy wearing nap we got a bit carried away with our new toy boat, made from a cardboard box. We had an accident in the boat, the boat had to go outside, the toddler was distraught.
This was the first set back, we then had tears every time we went on the potty, tears at accidents and cries for her 'wee wee' boat which could not be calmed or stopped. We went back into nappies.
We had this a few times, the 'wee wee' boat was heard about a lot, and shared with a lot of people. It really had affected her. I reminded myself L had only just turned 2. That potty training happens between 2 and 3 and that I didn't want to rush her or have potty training be a distressing thing. So every time we had a set back which was due to stress, which was caused by screams and refusals to wee or poo for long stretches of time, we went back to nappies and waited for the next sign to try again.
There seems to be a big pressure on children to be potty trained early. 2 seems to be the age to have girls especially potty trained. Boys are allowed a bit more ley way. I don't think this is fair on small children. And it could be dangerous.
We had one attempt which was partially successful, we had mornings or afternoons with no accidents, but the absence of accidents was because L was holding onto her wees for the entire time. She was in pain and needed to wee but wouldn't let it out unless she was in a nappy. So again we went back to nappies.
A month ago we went away with our NCT besties. A few of L's friends are potty trained. L saw her friend G, a girl and her friends O and J, both boys, use the potty. She talked to G about big girl knickers. L was impressed.
The day after we returned L asked for knickers.
We had the potty ready. And when L needed to go, she went, on the potty, no screaming, no dramas. She sat on the potty for a while watching Thomas on Amazon Prime. She did a poo, on the potty, I even did the true parenting cliché of sending a picture to Daddy Morkus.
It seemed that what L needed was time. She needed to be listened to when she was saying she wasn't ready, she needed time to experiment and try, but then be fine to go back. We followed L, it wasn't without worry, it wasn't without doubt but it has taught me a great deal about parenting a toddler.
Following them and listening to their queues is just as important as listening to the queues of a newborn. They can tell us what they need and how they are feeling if we can step back and listen, watch and talk.
In my times of worry I did consult ERIC a charity to support parents with potty training. They have lots of helpful advice and have a support line. We also used the Poo Land app from the NHS.
Now that L is potty trained for wees and we have gotten through the rough patch getting there I am worried less about the poo backward step we have taken. L now is not pooing on the potty and is using times when she has a nappy on, post nap and in the morning, to poo. But we will get there, L will let us know when she is ready. And if not, we have access to great support.