f you’ve not already experienced it, toilet training a boy is hard work. Toilet training (as we can’t really call it potty training) any child is hard work, although some do find it easier than others as with everything about children.
But N is finally in pants at the age of 3 years and 3 months.
I’ve found it the hardest thing on our parenting journey so far. Much harder than weaning which was a breeze with such a piggy child, harder than learning to deal with disgusting soiled nappies, and harder than comforting him when we had no idea what was wrong. The thought that it could carry on for a while is quite depressing, and as with most developmental things that N has done, I was quite happy to leave it until he was ready.
How did it happen for us?
You always hope that your child will wake up one day, know what to do, and do it all on their own. Or that you’ll be able to read a book and get all the answers (hopefully that the knowledge will transfer via ESP from you to your toddler). I like to follow processes, so a step by step guide was what I wanted. Gina Ford’s potty training in a week was duly bought and read, all the toilet training paraphernalia was purchased and ready. But obviously, despite all the preparation and the fact that N was ticking off all the steps on the ‘is your child ready to potty train’ checklist, he wasn’t having any of it.
We’ve ended up doing it in instalments by default, going from playing with the potty, talking about it, sitting on it, using it as part of a bathtime/bedtime routine and then morning routine. We tried the summer ‘let him run round naked’ idea, but that didn’t work as N looked at me in disgust when I suggested him just weeing outside if he needed to go…it didn’t seem to bother him sitting in a dirty or wet saggy nappy though!
Because I wanted to make a stab at toilet training him myself (to show willing) before nursery started back again, after Christmas I had a few days off so we tried it then. Everything was ok at home for 6 days (with a few accidents), but first day back at nursery was a disaster so it was recommended that he wasn’t ready for pants, stick with pull ups and we’d try again in a few weeks. After that he regressed and wouldn’t use the potty or toilet at all for a month or so, then gradually began to sit on it occasionally at nursery and use it at home again.
Then, the Thursday before Easter, N woke up and said he wanted to wear pants. In that moment all our plans for the Easter weekend went out of the window, but he’s been in pants since then, and is doing ok. Some days he’s totally dry, then he’ll have one day and one accident will seem to lead to more. But he’s not disheartened, now it’s the norm for him to wear pants, so hopefully it won’t be too long before he’s totally dry.
As we’ve been one of the last of our online birthboard friends to toilet train, as well as our NCT friends, and at nursery (where he was the only child on his days at nursery in nappies for a term or more), there’s been a bit of despair from me in how long it’s taken for him to come on board.
If you’re worried that your toddler is showing no interest, I have polled amongst my mum friends with children around N’s age and older, to find out what age their children were toilet trained.
Because this had started as a huge post, I’ve split it over 2. Watch out for my tips for toilet training boys tomorrow.
What age did your children move into pants? Did they use a potty or go straight to the toilet?
You can read part 2 My top 7 tips for toilet training boys here.
Why not take a look at these similar posts.