5 Things You Learn When Potty Training Your Toddler

Little girl on a potty with digital tablet
Little girl on a potty with digital tablet

Oh good, it's that time of life again, when you lock yourself inside the house and watch your child's crotch intently for the sole purpose of seeing if he's wet himself or not.

My daughter is three in August, and we've decided to try and potty train her because apparently we relish extra washing and the stress of seeing little wet patches dotted around the house. But we do it because we have to.

Here are five situations you will always find yourself in when potty training a toddler

One day can be good, the next...not so good.

You've cracked it! She's done three wees in her potty, and even let you know when she needed a number two. No accidents, no problems, and this potty training lark is a piece of cake. What's all the fuss about?

But then tomorrow comes, and your toddler starts by peeing on her own pillow, and it's all downhill from there. There's no logic to it, no reason, and it can be the most infuriating thing in the world.

You get far too excited when it works

Your next-door neighbours must think that you've won an Oscar, or scored the winning goal in the cup final. After all, all they can hear through the walls is high-pitched cheering and hollering that doesn't stop for five minutes.

In fact, all that's happened is that your toddler has done a wee on the potty, and you're dancing around the living room like a victorious boxer, punching the air and whooping in delight.


And then you ring your mum and post a Facebook update...because who doesn't want to know that your child has done a wee?


You're always worried there's a poo in your house

It's not all wet patches on the carpets, or a trail of dark material down their inner leg. Potty training means that you have to content with the occasional pair of Peppa Pig pants wrapped around a huge turd, like some kind of revolting dumpling.

This is disgusting enough as you retch into the air, making weird rasping noises whilst your toddler laughs and smears their hands all over their buttocks. But you can't help but wonder whether there's another poo in your house, hidden somewhere, just waiting for you to step in it, and so you spend the next 15 minutes snooping around like Inspector Gadget.

Your children will always go to the loo at the same time

Your daughter is in the hallway, waddling uncomfortably away from a sodden patch of carpet whilst looking at you as if the wee came as a complete surprise, and at the same time your four-year-old son is yelling at you from the bathroom to wipe his bottom.

Meanwhile, you're standing in the living room, not knowing which way to run, and wondering whether 'out of the door' is an option.

You become an expert at reading the signs

It's like you're Sherlock Holmes all of a sudden: from the other side of the room you can spot the tiniest change in your child's movements which might indicate that a little tsunami is on its way.

She stops mid-stride and leans forward slightly, or – in my daughter's case – starts walking with her ankles apart but her knees together, like a penguin. Either way, it's your cue to rush her to the nearest potty.

Does this sound horribly familiar? Any tips to share?