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A year ago, almost to the day, I wrote a blog called “Potty Training Envy” and I rambled on how hard it had been after two failed attempts at potty training Ari. I felt defeated, and flat, like a failure, that I didn’t have the tolerance to keep trying with him, keep mopping up those puddles and what?… hang in there until he eventually did a poo on the floor? No, no, no, I don’t have pets because I don’t want to find poo surprises, that’s kind of like a Kinder Surprise, only instead of the toy inside the brown egg-shaped chocolate, there’s poo. The only surprise is that you find it via sniff or slipping on it. Jury is still out on whether a poo nugget on the floor is better than a poo nugget in the undies… Lucky (or not) for me the only two poo accidents we ever had were once outside and once in the shower (shudder*). I found myself wasting many little undies as I threw them straight into the bin with whatever residue the nuggets had left behind. It took us multiple chocolate rewards/bribery to get that boy to do number 2’s in the toilet and not his undies, he actually still tries his luck after he goes, “Mum, I  did a MASSIVE kaka (poo). Are you really proud of me? Can I have a MASSIVE reward?” It’s the cutest thing.

Well my son is finally potty trained and after all those days/weeks of hard work when he wasn’t ready I was pleasantly surprised when we tried about 6 months ago (aged 2.5 years old), on a whim, and he just GOT IT. I can’t even remember what made me try again, but I think it was as I cleared out more things from the garage after our move into our new home and I found his potty. We had two potty’s, one was the type that goes on the floor, just from Ikea, and no matter how many Elsa, Frozen stickers we put on it, he was not having a bar of it. The other potty was one of those seats that sat over your actual toilet seat and has a step in front, so I popped it on the toilet and zoned back into the mentality of “make sure you tell mummy when you need to wee” and then taking him every 30 minutes anyway. I don’t think I even expected it to work this time, I just thought let’s see what happens, and it did! He was doing his business in the toilet (insert Sing Hallelujah music here). Naturally we had a few accidental tinkles here and there, mainly when his mummy, forgot to remind him. Slowly, asking him every half an hour, became asking every hour, then every 2 hours, then before we went somewhere and when we got there, etc. I think it’s almost trial an error as when to stop asking so frequently and you wait for an accident, then realise, yup, ok so that time was too long.

Ari has always been a great sleeper (knock on wood, spit for luck, throw some salt over my shoulder so I don’t jinx that) but he’s three and still has his nap after lunch. He sleeps about 1.5-2 hrs and when we began toilet training, I was popping him back into a nappy before he went down, but asking him to go to the toilet first. He was in BabyLove Nappy pants from before we started training so he was already accustomed to pulling the nappy down the same way as you would undies, I think that helped a lot when the time came. After about a week of midday naps and waking up with a dry nappy I stopped putting them on him and just let him sleep in his undies. I was nervous the first few times, but super excited when he didn’t have any accidents. I have actually started Ambrosia in the same pull-ups already, as the child, a.k.a Houdini, just wants to stand during changes. She refuses to lie down for me to put a regular nappy on her anymore. She tends to mimic her big brother a lot (good and bad things) and I have a strong feeling she will potty train a lot sooner than he did, but I am absolutely not ready for that yet.

Ambrosia A.K.A Houdini George

With his night-time sleeps, Ari was always waking up with a very full nappy, so I was extremely nervous to try going all night without one. I actually lay a folded towel across his bed between the sheet and the mattress protector the first week as I was nervous he was going to wet his new (expensive) mattress and I was going to have to burn it. Or WORSE! What if he pooped the bed? I would definitely have to burn it then, maybe even the whole house. I didn’t know about this back then, but recently discovered Baby Love have a special nappy pant for bed time and over night. So I highly recommend for all other parents out there going through the bed wetting/toilet training experience to grab a pack and give them a go. They are called Sleepy Nights and have been specifically developed for overnight, to be comfy under pyjamas and not bulky like regular nappies. They are also super absorbent and have enhanced leg and waist leakage protection which reduces the likelihood of your child waking up wet in the night, although I was totally prepared for this to happen, but lets face it, none likes changing bed sheets in the middle of the night. I have a pack and have been trailing them on Ambrosia as she is showing interest in going to the toilet like her big brother already.

Ari has always had a very established bedtime routine, and he’s a creature of habit (like his mother). After a few nights of slotting in a wee between brushing his teeth and his bed time story, he got used to the idea and it became a part of his routine. When he woke up in the mornings, I would take him straight to the toilet, then let him watch cartoons in my bed while attempted to score a few extra z’s before his sister woke up. These times, where I was being lazy, were the only times he wet his nappy. I think it was about 2 weeks before I braved it and waved goodbye to ALL ZEE NAPPIEZ IN ZE WORLD. My sweet, darling, amazing child, had no accidents in bed, EVER! Ok, that’s a lie, he did wet himself one night when we went away, but I attribute this to the fact that I put him in a sleeping bag because it was freezing where we were staying, so maybe he confused the thickness of the sleeping bag with a nappy and felt it was ok to wee. Other than that no accidents. I actually still remember the first time he came to our room at 4am, yes he completely scared the crap out of us (I’m surprised neither of us had an accident in the bed that night) but we were so proud of him for waking up and coming to tell us he needed to go to the toilet. We made such a big deal out of it, that he was really excited to do it again and again, until of course, it was no longer fun for us.

So that is our success story. I didn’t post about it for ages because I was almost positive it was too good to be true and it wasn’t going to “stick” AGAIN. I honestly don’t know if the fact that I was so nonchalant about the whole process this last time, attributed to its success, or whether he was simply “ready”. Maybe it was the new house, maybe he was excited to have his own toilet and was no longer afraid of it, maybe he realised his sister was a baby and only babies wear nappies, I have no idea. The only advise I have to give is RELAX! I read about 3 day potty training techniques, language to use and rewards etc. but that just stressed me (and probably him) out, making the disappointment when we failed greater. I’m going to sound like a broken record but each child is different, we tried and failed 3 times but are completely nappy free now, around the clock, at 3 years old. Others potty trained a lot younger, yet still wear nappies over night at 5 or 6 years old. Whatever works for you and however long it takes just remember, they will get there in the end and that will mean another person leaving you skiddies in the toilet for you to scrub. #mumlife

Thanks for reading. Love Zoe xoxo