Saturday 27 October 2012

Potty Training Must-Haves

Not everything within this post is of an Eco-friendly nature but hopefully you will find some useful ideas to help you set off on your nappy free adventure.


As I write this post I know that the next phase my youngest and I are about to embark on is learning to use a potty and a toilet. Jess is now 22 months and is showing signs of being ready for her next adventure. A lot of parents dread this phase but if we can get our heads in the right space it can be less stressful than we imagine.

When I look back at potty training Sophia (although I really don’t like the phrase “potty training” – it’s more about learning that training), it all seemed to go relatively smoothly. I started her off in nappy pants which were a half way house between nappies and pants. At first I chose certain times to offer her the potty such as before her nap, after her nap, before her bath, after her bath, before bedtime etc. By starting gently it gave both her and I a base to build upon and we were able to create a routine together. We also had the security of the nappy pants being there as a back-up especially when we embarked on car journeys. Sophia embraced it well and I really don’t remember it being too stressful for us both. I remember vividly the day that her nursery teacher said to me that she felt Sophia was ready for just knickers / pants. She was just shy of 2 and a half. “Really?” I asked, “You’re sure?” I knew in my heart that she was ready for the next phase but was I? One thing that is key to positive and stress-free potty training is being in the right head space ourselves. A stressed and unsure parent is a stressed and unsure child.

For me being organised was key to everything running smoothly and something I found invaluable on this new journey. I’m a tad anal when it comes to being organised. Some may say slightly OCD ! Being organised helps me to cope in a world that I can rarely control these days. Children seem to do that; remove the ability to control everything. Relinquishing that control has been a steep learning curve for me as a Mum :0)

Along with being organised, there were a few items that really helped me back then and will definitely be making a re-appearance now that Jess is ready to embrace nappy-freedom. We’ve mentioned nappy pants. I use Naty Eco nappy pants but in my internet searches I’ve been pleased to find that there are also cloth versions as well. Some people go straight to pants, others try the “nappy free” approach at home. It all depends on your preference and how you started out initially. If you do decide to let your little one go “nappy free” at home there are some gorgeous leg warmers you can purchase by ‘My Little Legs’. They are very cute, come in a variety of designs and will keep your little one’s legs warm and toastie as they embark on their nappy free journey especially if you are starting now as the weather gets chilly.

A potty and a child’s toilet seat are a must. We have a Baby Bjorn with the inner bowl that you take out and place the contents in the toilet and flush away. We also have a padded child’s toilet seat that makes sure your little one doesn’t disappear down the toilet bowl! And, if you wish to be Eco friendly with your potty choice you can now get a Becopotty Eco-Friendly Biodegradable Potty. You use it as normal and when you have no need for it anymore, you bury it in the ground and return it to nature. How fabulous is that?

If we didn’t already have a potty, I would definitely be getting one of these.

Another must have item on the nappy free journey is a step. We invested in the Safety 1st Wooden 2-step Stool.

It is great for helping your little one reach the sink to wash their hands after they have been to the toilet but it’s also invaluable when your little one is sat on the toilet and doesn’t wish for their tiny legs to be dangling in limbo. Being in the right position when on the loo is very important, especially when going for a poo. And this step is made of wood which is a big plus for me.

The other must-haves for me are the “Cushie Traveler™” and the “Potette®”.

These have been life savers for me when out and about, especially when you get caught short and need to administer an emergency wee (not yourself of course, although the thought has crossed my mind when I’ve been desperate!) or you go into the public loos and find yourself unsure of placing your precious little one’s bottom on their less than savoury looking toilet seats. It certainly saves you having to complete the “hover your child above the toilet seat” move as well.

The Cushie Traveler™ is a folding padded seat that fits on most standard toilet seats and can be carried around in your change bag or in my case, my handbag. It is easy to wipe clean, has its own washable carry bag and is thickly padded so very comfortable to sit on. There are some who do not like the Cushie – see Amazon reviews. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I never found Sophia had any difficulty with it as long as I made sure I’d placed it on the toilet seat concerned properly. It has underside brackets too which keep the seat from sliding about.

And the Potette® & Potette Plus® is a must have too. You can use it folded out as a toilet seat or as a portable potty. It folds back down and fits into a convenient bag which you can place in your change bag or handbag. You buy separate liners which fit over the Potette® and collect the wee and poo as a normal potty would. They have an absorbent bit within the liner. The whole liner is then removed and can be tied up and disposed of when you get home. The Potette® liners I have are also biodegradable.

Oh and last but by no means least, maybe a book to help you on your new adventure as well. I like “The No-Cry Potty Training Solution” by Elizabeth Pantley. She has also written the “No-Cry Discipline Solution” and the “No-Cry Sleep Solution”. Her approach is gentle, realistic, practical and covers everything from; is your little one ready, bed wetting, to common toilet training problems.

So there you have it, a few ideas to help you on your way to Nappy Freedom ! Above all enjoy it. The more enjoyable and fun you can make it for you and your little one the more likely you are not to get too stressed out about the possible mishaps and  set-backs you may encounter along the way. Good luck. Or as they say in France, Bonne Chance!


Do you have any must-haves you couldn't / can't do without on your journey towards Nappy Freedom? I would love to hear your comments, so do please share :0) 


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