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How we potty trained our 1 year old!

Potty training our 1 year old was so much easier than we thought it would be! 🙌

We had been told by so many people that you couldn’t potty train young, boys were harder to ‘train’, the mess was disgusting and that it was the most stressful thing of parenting!

That couldn’t have been further from the truth, but I believe the biggest thing that changes yours and your child’s experience with potty learning is your attitude going in to it! We decided it was going to be a positive experience before we started… and then it was!

Some good news for anyone thinking of potty learning: you absolutely CAN train boys, babies from any age, and it can be a positive easy experience with the right mindset full of patience and understanding!

* Be consistent with not using nappies. We told Zach one morning that now he was 18 months old he didn’t have to wear nappies any more (much to his excitement as he hated nappy changes). And since that day he has never worn a nappy, even when it would have been more convenient for us or when we KNEW he would wet his pants. As we knew this would just confuse him, and I believe allowing him to wet himself helped him to understand his bodily functions and why he had to use the toilet now. The exception to this is that he still wore nappy pants at night time for a few months until we were confident he was consciously aware of going to the toilet and had good bladder control for longer periods of time.

* We never used rewards or punishment. No sticker charts, chocolates or sweeties, or presents for using the potty. Also no shaming, shouting or naughty corners etc when he had an accident. We simply made it a matter of fact thing like it is for us as adults, when you need the toilet you use the potty and that’s as simple as it is and that accidents aren’t a bad thing it’s just part of the process of learning.

* We’ve never put loads of pressure on him to use the potty. It’s been in our house for many months before we officially potty trained so he was used to it when the time came. We always asked him if he wanted to use it and then LISTENED to him. If he said yes, great, we would help him use the potty if he needed us. If no, then that was that and we went about our day. If he had an accident then it helped him learn that he should have gone to the toilet to avoid getting wet and uncomfortable , but that he always has the choice to use it. Now he has great confidence over his bodily functions and his independence and choice in using the toilet. He knows the routine of trousers down, toilet, wipe, flush, hands wash & dry and will quite happily complete this by himself.

*We didn’t set a deadline at all for him to ‘complete’ potty training. There’s so many videos and blogs about POTTY TRAIN YOUR TODDLER IN 2 DAYS. Let me tell you the stress involved with that is just not worth it for most parents and children. Not saying it absolutely cannot be done quickly , but we found not having a deadline just took the pressure away and made it a much more relaxed experience for us all. For us, I’d say the majority of the hard work was done within the first 2 weeks but he would still have the odd accident up until about 6 months of potty learning. Even now, he has the occasional accident in his car seat… something we are noticing now he is starting to realise he needs to go to toilet before a car journey as we can’t always just pull over when he needs a wee!

*For about the first 2 months of potty learning, we pretty much kept Zach naked from the waist down every time we were in the house. This just made it easier for us to notice when he was doing, or was about to do, a wee or poo and then we could quickly direct him over to the potty. Eventually he got to the stage where he was let out a tiny bit on the floor, notice, and then run over to his potty. And then gradually this worked up to having enough bodily awareness to realise he needed a wee soon with enough time to get to a toilet, pull his trousers down and do his business!

So overall potty learning has been a really positive experience for us and Zach. I’m super proud of my boy for how well he has took to it and I love even more that he is proud of himself! If your thinking of potty training your little one, be courageous and go for it. Make sure you are in the right positive mindset, be consistent and always try to sympathise with their point of view. And if it all fails, don’t stress it! There’s no reason you can’t abandon it and come back to it in a few months when you are both ready again, take it slow and easy and I’m sure you will have a toileting toddler very soon! (hurray for no longer scraping pooey cloth nappies 😂❤️)

These are some of the products we have used (and loved!) to aid in Zach's potty training journey:

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This has been Zachs go to potty since he started potty training. I think he likes this one as it seems the most comfortable of the ones we have tried because of the curved design. I also really love how easy it is to empty and clean in comparison to other brands due to the shape. Its also been great for potty training at a younger age as its small enough for a 1 year old to sit with their feet on the floor. Others we had tried (such as the mini toilet replica ones) were too big and bulk for a younger shorter baby and Zachs legs would dangle and I could tell he was really uncomfortable, its only since hes turned 2 years old that he seems to be happier in these bigger designs.

This has been a lifesaver for us! It was amazing during the early days of potty training as we could take it everywhere with us. Its discreet enough to look like a fun bag for your toddler rather than a potty and its so light that even Zach could carry it along at a year old! Its been super handy when he first started using a potty as we didn't have to worry where the closest toilet was (when you first start training, your little one will probably give you seconds warning or nothing at all so you have to be super quick!) I also love that it seals shut so you can carry around the potty when they are finished until you can find somewhere to empty it, and we've never had any leaks! Now that Zach can hold his bladder for a couple hours, we can usually plan proper toilet breaks so dont have to carry this with us, HOWEVER we still keep this in the car as a back up incase we go hiking etc and there is no toilet or for long car journeys!

This has also been a favourite of Zachs. He would get so excited to use 'the big toilet'! This is a real luxury seat if there ever was one, its padded, soft and comfortable. Its got handles either side so they can support themselves and was a good size for a younger toddler. Zach would get all set up and comfy on here and settle in with a good book!! The only down side to this was that it took a little longer to set up as we didn't keep it on the toilet permanently so it definitely wasn't for surprise or emergency wees!!

A folding step stool is a must if you have a younger toddler potty training. We only have a small bathroom so we loved that it would fold out the way (however it was a little difficult for Zach to unfold when he was younger so we did have to help him). Its really stable and will hold an adults weight perfectly fine. We've used it to help climb up to use the big toilet independently and also so he can reach the sink to wash his hands afterwards.

An extender for your tap/faucet so your toddler can reach the water to wash their hands. A must have if you are trying to teach your child independence during potty learning. These are on the cheaper side, so they are not the most sturdiest of products. A couple of times Zach has ripped it off and we've had to set it back up but its really easy to fit back on. If you really wanted a more quality product you can definitely spend a little more and get a more permanent type/brand, but it wasn't high on our priorities as this cheaper one still works fine!

Reusable Wipes are something that we used before potty training as Zach has always been in cloth nappies! We've always loved the Muslinz brand as we've found them to be much larger and more absorbent. Its crazy how much cleaner it is when they poo on their potty compared to in a nappy, but you still obviously have a little clean up to do! Reusable Wipes are so much softer than disposables (not to mention having no chemicals in them) and do a much better/quicker job at cleaning their bums. We found Zach would really protest to us using toilet paper but was quite happy to let us use these reusable wipes.

Another purchase that we made for our cloth nappies but are now being repurposed for potty training. Wet bags are fantastic for on the go when they have an accident! You can keep spare clothes in the one section and then put any wet/soiled clothes into the other section until you can take them home to wash. This particular brand has been great as the bags are sturdy, with good zips. They had held in the wetness with no leaks and contained all the smells. We have tried cheaper versions in the past, but had problems with zips breaking, leaks and smells so you definitely get what you pay for when it comes to wet bags!

For the most part we have used normal pants for Zach. However, we did buy one pack of potty training pants which have a light layer of absorbency. We found these just gave us a little bit of piece of mind when he might have had an accident in an awkward place, e.g. at our friends wedding! The little bit of absorbency meant that a small accident would be contained instead of wetting through to his clothes, our clothes and the floor.... its amazing how much wee can come out of such a small child!! But unlike a nappy, it didn't wick away the moisture so it still allowed Zach to feel the wetness so that he could understand when he had had an accident.

1 comment



Thankyou!! Just bought the travel potty and the wet bags for on the go - such a great idea!!

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