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Real Life Story: Time To Try Potty Training!

08/06/2010 14:08 | Updated 22 May 2015

This week we talked to Cardiff mum Nicola Bedford about potty training her daughter...

That's a nice photo of Scarlett on the beach!

She likes being outdoors. Also helping me to clean, she's not a big toy player so is happier when doing something grown up. Especially now she's a big girl.

Yes, she's growing up! And so you decided to start potty training recently. Did you look for any signs that she was ready?

There were no real signs as such, I just figured that as she was two and a half it was time to try. She did tell me she was weeing a lot beforehand but it was never consistent.

The catalyst was her best friend in nursery wearing 'big girl knickers' and Scarlett wanted to be just like her. In for a penny and all that...

Did anyone pressure you to start sooner?

My family thought it was about time I at least tried her as 'you were dry before your second birthday' - they seemed to forget that we were in terry nappies and probably desperately uncomfortable!

Did you read any books or ask anyone for advice before starting?

Potty training was the one thing I didn't research thoroughly before doing, I had done way too much child-related reading over the years and I figured it was a fairly straightforward case of incentivising her and rewarding her when she did it.

She does go to nursery full time and so was taken to the toilets every time the other children were - I do think that helped in her realising that it was a normal thing to do and that everybody did it. Oh and she also watched me weeing a lot beforehand and I would run through the list of people that also did wees and poos!

I didn't read any books but a few people recommended the Gina Ford potty training one. I vowed that if attempt number one was a disaster then I would get this for the next go.

What did you do to introduce the idea to Scarlett?

I basically asked her did she want to be like Isobel (her best friend) and wear big girl knickers, she said she did and so I got the knickers out and we played around with them the night before - decided which ones she wanted to wear and made a massive fuss of the whole thing.

When she woke up the following morning I was the most over zealous, excited mum ever and every second word was related to the whole event.

Does she like her potty?

We had a bog standard pink potty for a while (months in fact) but she used it to carry things in and she has only ever did a wee in it once. We went straight to the toilet instead and I bought a Princess padded seat so she didn't feel as though her bum was in freefall!

How did it go?

Days one, two and three were all at nursery and were a massive non starter. Day one I think she went through six pairs of trousers before I realised my schoolgirl error, and so on Day two, she went in a skirt and socks. As gross as it may sound, she had a fair few accidents but all of them were directed to the floor. Thus saving my washing machine from dying from overuse!

There were also a few incidents we like to call Pooey Pants episodes (PP) but we prefer to forget those - mainly because we panicked and flushed the knickers as we didn't know what else to do with them (naughty, I know!)!!

On Day four it was the weekend and I was fully prepared to abandon ship but I swore I'd give it a week, at least. And she woke up and it was like it clicked and she asked to use the toilet and she was doing wee after wee... She is a dab hand at the weeing, she still has the odd PP incident but it's only been two weeks. She tends to wait until she has her 'sleeptime nappy' on before doing them now so we'll have to tackle that.

But really, after a week she was doing all her wees on the toilet.

It sounds like it is going quite well then.

Yes. She has the odd accident in nursery but it's all been very successful really!

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