Steve and I had big plans for the Christmas break but it had nothing to do with parties, trips away or gifts… we were preparing ourselves for toddler toilet training. We’ve always made the toilet and potty a part of his daily life but we were quite relaxed about the whole thing, we just trusted in an “open door policy” and encouraged conversations about it. With the warm summer weather, Aidan’s increased interest in the potty and extra time on our hands it seemed like the perfect time… and (thankfully) we were right.
Some of you might remember that we practiced Elimination Communication (EC) when Aidan was younger (Potty Time / Potty Update) with varying degrees of success. I really wasn’t prepared for the time and patience it would take in all honesty, I was just an optimistic, over enthusiastic new Mumma. I wouldn’t say the practice was a waste of time, we all learnt a lot and I guarantee 100% that it had a positive effect resulting in a seamless transition and I would do it again if we were lucky enough to have another child.
A few things have made toilet training easier, for example his Lattsam Potty ($4.99) from Ikea has been the best purchase as it’s made from a seamless mould making it simple to wipe clean, it looks exactly the same as when I bought it over two years ago. The potty is lightweight but quite sturdy and doesn’t tip over even when Aidan leans over whilst sitting. He likes to have a rug under his feet so I bought an extra bathmat (Target, incase you were wondering) just for him. It’s great for isolating any accidents and I can just pop it in the washing machine rather than continually mopping the floor. The Forsiktig Stool ($6.99) is a great height for Aidan to stand up at the toilet and wee like Dadda or to climb onto the toilet lid to flush away his poos.
This toilet training business is messy but over time we’ve figured out a way to streamline our defence and keep some order to our bathroom. Flushable wipes are brilliant (Kleenex) as they’re softer than paper, one wipe and you’re done. We ran out today so they’re not in the photo but they are an integral part. When he does a poo I can wipe his bum and then just pop the dirty wipe straight in the toilet. Once Aidan is clean he helps me tip the potty contents into the toilet and I wipe down the potty with a flushable bathroom cleaner wipe (Aldi), pop that in the toilet too and then Aidan climbs up and flushes it. No stinky wipes sitting in the bin is a win in any book. Aidan then gets a tiny pump of hand sanitizer and off he goes to play again.
Only designated bathtub toys are allowed in the bathroom, all others (including books) are banned… lets just say I learnt the hard way. I thought it would be difficult but I stood my ground and now Aidan knows, even when he takes himself to the bathroom that he doesn’t take toys with him. As always there is an exception to the rule and that comes by way of a reward. I’d like you to meet “Tops” one of many “Potty Dinosaurs” about our house… let me explain.
We hit a roadblock with toilet training, he knew ‘what’ he had to do and ‘when’ but didn’t feel compelled to seek out the potty, he was getting lazy, what he needed was a reward system. I didn’t want to use food as a reward and he had the memory of a goldfish when it came to stickers. I needed something that he would adore and strive for, something that was cheap and that whenever he saw it he would feel proud and be reminded that he may have to ‘go’. I’d bought a packet of 12 tiny plastic dinosaurs to put in the cupboard for some more terrarium craft on a rainy day and thought maybe, just maybe, they would be the perfect reward… turns out I was right.
Worked like a charm. We started off with one dinosaur every time he did a big wee on the potty (trickles didn’t count), after three days he had it down pat so we upped our game. Aidan would get one dinosaur if he went to the potty all morning with no accidents. We did that for a couple of days and he was disappointed he didn’t get one on the first day but it made him try harder on the second day. In less than three days he was dry all day and using the potty, only wearing a nappy when sleeping or out and about in public.
He still wasn’t doing a poo on the potty so we upped our game again, one dinosaur for every poo on the potty. After two days with no new dinosaurs he earnt his first “poo dinosaur” and he was so proud of himself, he showed anyone and everyone including the elderly neighbours and the lady at the post office, even taking it to Grandma & Grandpa’s house. Since then all poo’s have been on the potty… all of them! Steve ordered a bag of 72 tiny dinosaurs off Amazon for $7 to restock our stash so I think we’ll be set for awhile.
I’d taken a photo of the new dinosaurs on my phone when they arrived and Aidan loved the picture so I printed it out on the computer and popped it in an old Ikea square frame and hung it by his bed. Turns out it was an accidentally-awesome idea. Today as we lay in bed reading getting ready for his nap he turned to me, pointed at the picture and said “I have sleep, no accidents Mumma, take off nappy?” and I said “Yes, OK if you like. You’re going to have a sleep and try not to have any accidents and then as soon as you wake up we’ll go to the potty.” He just nodded and said “No accidents.” and we continued reading. It took me completely by surprise. After he fell asleep I popped back into his room and put a thick towel underneath him for my own piece of mind (it’s raining today so not great for laundry) then crossed my fingers and let him be.
We only have two potty orientated books, “Potty Animals” a gift from Capricorn Link which has a range of different animals illustrating bad bathroom manners and how to have good manners instead. It’s awesome, frank and a firm favourite. The other is “When it’s time for Bed” a book I picked up at an Op Shop and is perfect in it’s simplicity. With very few words and clear pictures the little baby and it’s stuffed toy friends all follow the bedtime routine of packing away toys, having a bath, brushing teeth, going potty etc together. It’s great for crazy evenings to remind him he has things to do and that we need his help to do them.
Sometimes there is a downside to being sent products to trial, sometimes you fall in love with them like I did with Burts Bees Baby Bee. I’ve mentioned it here and there on the blog but I thought I’d show you what’s on Aidan’s grooming shelf.
- Baby Bee Buttermilk Lotion – Every night after his shower he has a dreamy massage, he loves them.
- Baby Bee Dusting Powder – Best. Smell. Ever. Seriously, he can stink but this makes him smell like heaven.
- Baby Bee Diaper Ointment – Thick like Sudocream but way better, I get his daycare to use this instead if needed.
- Baby Bee Apricot Baby Oil – Great if he’s been out in the sun or water most of the day.
- Lucas Paw Paw Ointment – My “cure-all” for cuts, grazes, pimples, chaffing etc. I have it stashed all over the house.
- Bonjella Teething Gel – Haven’t had to use it in a while but I always have some handy.
- Euky Bear Inhalant – Teamed with the vapouriser it’s our first attack on the sniffles.
- Stingoze – When he gets bitten by mozzies he has an allergic reaction and the liquid medication only does so much.
- Original Mineral No Knott (not shown, left it in the bathroom) – Everyday he gets a spritz to sort out his ‘do’.
- Comb – To “Get Handsome” as Aidan says.
Our power bill got too high to keep using the Bum Genius cloth nappies so we switched to disposables awhile ago. I thought we’d just switch during winter but even during summer the hot washes were killing us especially as he started to mirror our diet. I’ve begged the home owners to install solar but to no avail. We use the Aldi “Mamia” range including the fragrance free wipes and pull-ups and so far we haven’t had a problem. He can sleep through from 8pm-7am with no leaks although the last couple of weeks he’ll occasionally call out at midnight and ask for a nappy change because he doesn’t like the feel of it and despite how tired I am when he does it I know it’s a good sign.
Aidan woke from his nap completely dry and Steve took him bleary-eyed to the potty where he did an epic wee and then a few high-fives later there was shouting coming from down the hall “No accidents, I did it!!!“. I may or may not have cried a little. Steve and I locked eyes on one another and just smiled knowingly, another step forward and we’d made it together. After all the celebrating he popped on his new jocks. Steve and I took him to BigW to pick them out yesterday. I’d bought some for him ages ago but he refused to wear them for some reason. Out of all the designs, colours and disney characters he chose a pack of five black jocks with colourful elastic waist bands from Rio.
In his eyes they’re awesome and he loves picking which colour he’s going to wear. I like them because he can easily get them on and off by himself, they’re black, don’t cost the earth and he finally likes wearing jocks. His tallboy is currently being fixed and all his clothes are in open shelving so he has easy access to everything. Everyday he picks out his own outfit and now it’s even more exciting as there is one more thing he can select.
Tiny little dinosaurs are slowly spreading throughout the house. You can find them in bookshelves, by the tv, napping on pillows, along the hallway and on windowsills. Sometimes he forgets where he puts them and then, quite by accident, he’ll stumble upon one and squeal with delight and rush up and show me… then toddle off and go to the potty. Steve and I are immensely proud of him and show it with every high-five, happy dance and “WooHoo!!!”. We still have a long way to go on this toilet training journey, we have to tackle being nappy free in public, keep his new teachers at daycare up to date and eventually no nappies at night but we’ll get there when he’s ready.
This feels like the longest post I’ve ever written and I think it’s because I’ve had so much to share but had a few frustrations with the process (blogging about Aidan, not potty training) and had to push through and deal with them before I could feel comfortable enough to publish his personal stories again. There were so many moments and thoughts I could have posted last year but didn’t and now I regret that I don’t have them to look back on. I won’t write a lot but a bit more than none, I’ll eventually find the right balance. Now that it’s done I feel parts of the old me creeping back into my writing… and I like it.
Please Note: This is not a sponsored post. All gifts have been declared within the post and I was not required to link to them in any way, I just love the products and wanted to share as they are relevant to the content discussed.