My husband, Howard and I have been toilet training our son for quite a few months now. We started on the advice of our local Health Care Visitor who suggested it was time. Like most parents, with their first child, we did not have a clue when it came to teaching our child how to sit on a toilet. As a stay at home mum of one, I had no idea how to get my child to sit on a potty or even sit still for more than two minutes. At my son’s two and half year check I took direction from the HCV about where to start but that was it.
Suddenly, Ted turned three and I felt like we were no further forward with the training. A lot of people who I spoke with told me he would just ‘get it’ but personally I think he has already got it. However, we needed to find a way to use his new set of skills all the time and not just occasionally. Howard suggested that we buy a book to help us with our son. In all honesty, I’m not a huge fan of parenting books. I feel I should be listening to my own instincts and when I read too much information I tend to get confused and I feel very lost.
Although, on this occasion, all my instincts kept telling me were that he knew how to use the potty and toilet. I just needed to find a way to help him use them all of the time. So in the end I agreed and we bought Gina Ford’s ‘Potty Training in One Week’ from Amazon. So we started to use this book and it has helped us enormously. We have found it very useful and we have taken a number of ideas from it.
Firstly, we started with a Rewards Chart. (Please watch my Ted’s Rewards Chart for more details). In Gina’s book she explains that before a parent even considers potty taining a child should be able to do four things. Ted should be able to sit at the table and eat his dinner nicely, he should be able to dress himself, take direction from mummy or daddy and be able to tidy away his toys when instructed. All of these points we put on the chart plus a few extra that we felt Ted should be doing. The chart worked really well and it continues to work well today.
Once we implemented the chart after a couple of weeks we had a clear weekend and we decided to start the potty training. (Please see Potty Training Day One for more details). Gina suggests sitting a child on the potty every 15 minutes for 5 – 10 minutes on day one of potty training. I think it’s meant to give you an idea of when they need to go during the day.
Howard and I felt he had gone past this stage so we let go of this idea. We decided to let him guide us on when he needed the toilet. Or we asked him when we needed to go to the toilet if he would like to go with us. On day two we could no longer stay in the house as it was driving us all mad. So my husband took my son out in the morning and we all went out in the afternoon. (Please see Potty Training Day Two for more details). Ted did use the toilet three times while we were out. So he did really well but he also wet his pants while we were at home.
We have continued to use the book as I think it’s a brilliant guide but we have also been to see the HCV again this week. As parents we wanted to make sure we are heading in the right direction. The HCV was impressed with the progress we had made by using the book and she also had a few more suggestions for us.
Potty Training in One Week has been very useful for us and we continue to refer to the book. (Please see Potty Training The Conclusion for more details). The main points that helped us were that parents need to be ready to potty train as well as the child/children. If you have a stubborn child then bribery is often the best way. (We have used this lots as Ted tends to be very stubborn).
Also, we have been using a pillow or in our case tea towels, as a protective cushion for his car seat in case of accidents on long journeys. The book suggests using a pillow and a plastic bag as a cover for the car seat. We have used a few tea towels and put them inside a zip tie bag. Then we wrapped the zip tie bag in another tea towel. So far no accidents have occurred so I can not comment on whether it’s working or not.
The book is a quick, simple and easy to understand guide to potty training. It has very useful tips on what to do for the best. To be honest, I don’t think it has all the answers because every child is different and we all respond to situations differently. Although, I do believe it can be very helpful to a great number of people. Howard and I got what we needed from it as well as seeking advice from the HCV. I would give this book four and a half out of five. A brilliant read that has helped our son on the road to the toilet. Finally, we feel like we are getting further forward after reading this book.