Potty Pressure


We’ve been counting down the days to the school holidays. Not only for the fact that being off work is brill, but because it seemed the perfect time to start potty training. Potty ready, big boy pants bought and a copy of Pirate Pete’s Potty and we were ready to go.

If you have seen any of my tweets over the past few days you’ll know it hasn’t exactly gone according to plan. In fact, it’s been a bloody disaster. To be honest, I’ve doubted a little that he was ready, but with my mother in law telling me how hubby’s sister was fully trained at 16 months I was started to feel a little bit under pressure.

O doesn’t seem to have the awareness of when he needs to go and this has been proved over the last couple of days. After 8 outfit changes on Monday and a flat out refusal to sit on his potty by the end of the day I was counting down the minutes until bedtime when I could legitimately stick his nappy back on (any ideas of tackling night time too were well and truly out of the window), put him to bed and reach for the wine!

A 5am wake up on Day 2 did not bode well. A grumpy tired toddler and a knackered mummy was not a good place to start. Even when I could get O to sit on the potty he wouldn’t do anything and within seconds of getting off would do a huge pee on the floor. There’s something a little heartbreaking about your tiny 2 year old telling you he’s too little for the potty yet!

Three pairs of pants later and after an increasingly desperate mum trying to bribe him with anything just to sit on his potty (I mean, who tries to bribe their son with breadsticks!!) we were both at breaking point. I was having flashbacks to the weaning stage when I sat bawling my eyes out because he wouldn’t eat my puréed avocado.

So f*ck it! Life’s too short to spend the summer holidays I’ve been so looking forward to trapped in the house for fear of accidents and with a traumatised toddler because his mum thinks he should be potty trained because a couple of her friends kids are.

Maybe I’m giving up too soon and maybe I’m taking the easy way out, but as his mum I feel he needs more time. His potty will still be hanging around, we’ll still be reading all about Pirate Pete, but I’ll take the pace a bit more from him and stop stressing us both out.

As they say, he’ll do it when he’s ready!

A huge thank you to the lovely ladies on Twitter and Instagram who have offered tips and advice, or just passed over some virtual wine. It’s all been very gratefully received!

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  1. July 29, 2014 / 8:57 pm

    I think you’re right Jo, it doesn’t sound like he’s going to ‘get it’ anytime soon so just enjoy your holidays! Like I said when I first tried with Lucas I don’t think we even lasted an hour as he was so hysterical, haha, I gave up very quickly but this time it is obvious he is ready, even though it is such hard work I kinda wish I could stick the nappy on and we could get out the house again. Keep enjoying that wine lovely, he’ll do it when he’s ready xx

  2. mumofthreeboys
    July 29, 2014 / 9:09 pm

    When I first started to potty train my LO I didn’t think he would ever get it but He did! Took a while and a lot of washing, when he’s ready he’ll let you know. Enjoy the summer x

  3. Notmyyearoff
    July 29, 2014 / 9:29 pm

    Yes eff it!! Excellent move. He will honestly get it when he’s good and ready and it will just click to him one day. They’re all different and it probably sounds frustrating right now (I know it was to me) but they do do it in their own time. I kept hearing stories of how x kid just went by themselves as soon as the nappy came off. Z just pissed everywhere except the potty and I thought I was going to lose my mind at first. I used to put the nappy back on at 6pm and just breathe a big sigh of relief. Granted it was over New Year too and so probably not the best time. Maybe just leave the potty in the bathroom or downstairs and don’t ask him. He may even surprise you. (Or kick it a bit first :))

  4. July 29, 2014 / 9:56 pm

    I’m with you all the way.

    N was dry at night at 2.5yo, but even though he’d wee on the potty/toilet before his bath for 6 months after that point, and could tick off all the checklists that suggested he was ready, emotionally and stubbornly he wasn’t contemplating it. We tried him just before Christmas (a month off 3y) as I thought I should show willing after Xmas before nursery started back. 6 days ok at home (except for poos), but 1 day back at nursery was a disaster and he’d gone through 5 sets of clothes by 11.30 and was getting stressed about the toilet. They said no, and I agreed. Back to pull ups – but he then wouldn’t sit on the loo or potty for a couple of months. Eventually he was back to morning and evening wees on the toilet, but still wouldn’t move to pants in the day or use the toilet in the day. Then at 3y 3m the day before Good Friday, he woke up and said he wanted pants. After 2 days of struggling with poos, it clicked and he’s been great since.

    I’m definitely an advocate of having a potty around the place, maybe start morning evenings as part of a routine like brushing teeth. But otherwise, it’s so much easier letting them decide to do it themselves.

  5. July 29, 2014 / 10:06 pm

    16 months???? Was three years before we got it sorted, and that’s even with the fact that girls are supposed to get the hang of it quicker…

  6. July 30, 2014 / 5:33 am

    It’s so hard isn’t it?! F was ‘done’ within a few days, but I don’t think S is going to be so easy. We tried her at 23 months but she wasn’t quite ‘getting it’ and my gut instinct told me she wasn’t ready. My Mum kept saying to persevere, but I didn’t want it to become stressful for all of us or to put her off going on the potty altogether. We#re think of trying again within the next couple of weeks, but I just HATE the thought of having to stay in/close to home during the summer holidays, when there is so much we want to be out and about doing. Nightmare! #sharewithme

  7. Iona@Redpeffer
    July 30, 2014 / 8:14 am

    We had that book-made no difference whatsoever! My son took ages, and I mean ages to get it. It was the bain of my life for months and months and if you’d told me in April this year that by the end of July he would be totally toilet trained, I’d not have believed you. But he is. He’s 3.5 and we’re totally out of daytime nappies and accidents. Hang in there-he will get it, honestly xx

  8. Mummy Tries
    July 30, 2014 / 8:42 am

    I think you’ve made the right decision. If he doesn’t ‘get it’ yet you will just be banging your head against the wall all day counting down the seconds until wine o’clock! I got caught up in potty pressure first time round but second and third will be entirely child led xx #sharewithme

  9. Caroline (Becoming a SAHM)
    July 30, 2014 / 8:47 am

    You know your son and if you feel he’s not ready then he’s not ready. I understand where you are coming from with the pressure, I don’t feel monkey is ready yet, and while I know summer is the best time to do it, I am determined not to give in to pressure and do it till I know he’s ready! Not worth all the stress and upset otherwise! Xx #sharewithme

  10. pottymouthedmummy
    July 30, 2014 / 1:00 pm

    Other people and their potty training jabs really wind me up. Advice is fab, but bragging is not helpful in anyway. My MIL is the same. Plonkers. You’ve definitely made the right choice lovely xxx

  11. July 30, 2014 / 5:24 pm

    I don’t think you’re giving up too soon at all, he clearly isn’t quite ready yet. There’s no way to know until you try, and try you have. So he needs a little more time, its not the end of the world. They are all different and their bodies work differently. From experience (3 now out of nappies) it is SO much easier to wait until they are truly ready x x x x

  12. Ideas4Dads (and Mums Too!)
    July 30, 2014 / 7:56 pm

    Im with you on this one. Life is just too short. We are currently potty training no2 and it was going ok until she laid a human sized turd and scared her. The other day I had to follow her up stairs literally catching crap as it fell out of her ass :-s

  13. July 31, 2014 / 3:58 pm

    Although my girls are teens now, I still remember this stage so clearly. My eldest was really tricky and she was 3 and a half before properly toilet trained. All my friends’ children were dry at least a year before and family berated me for ‘indulging her’!! With my second I refused to get stressed about it and left till she was almost three when she had decided it was time herself. I bought her some new underwear, encouraged her to use the toilet seat insert and step to make easier and that was it – easy. Trust your instinct as you know your own child better than anyone else. x
    Helen recently posted…Word of the Week: HaarMy Profile

  14. Jenny
    July 31, 2014 / 4:04 pm

    Virtual wine sending away! I had the same with buba and I left it a few months and tried again and he got it in a week. So maybe he really isn’t just ready. If you push too early you both will be miserable. I truly believe every kid is different and whether it’s at 12 months or 36 months as long as he is potty trained before school no one will remember or care in the end right? Less pressure and enjoy your summer holidays hun. I can relate I have blogged numerous times about potty training hell and then how we finally bribed our way through it the final time. lol Yes I know but it worked for us. Thank you for linking up to Share With Me I hope it gets smoother for you hunny. #sharewithme
    Jenny recently posted…Me & Mine {July}My Profile

  15. ameliaappletree
    August 1, 2014 / 10:26 am

    Good for you! Mine was about three when we finally got rid of the nappies and she never liked the potty, she went straight to the toilet! I had tried many times for about a year to get her potty trained and it finally happened just after the point where I decided to let her go at her own pace.
    We had the girl’s version of that book – “Princess Polly’s Potty” – and it worked wonders. It really made her enthusiastic to wear big girl pants.
    ameliaappletree recently posted…New Themes: Edin and EspressoMy Profile

  16. Pauline
    August 1, 2014 / 11:08 am

    Same situation with our son… Definitely agree with your choice!

  17. Michelle at Bod for tea
    August 6, 2014 / 5:21 am

    With Little Man turning two in November my thoughts have been turning to potty training again as he’s already taking himself off to ‘do the do’ and says ‘yes’ when I ask him if he’s pooed. But it’s frustrating for both of you if they’re not ready so good for you for taking a step back and giving him some more time. We had a false start with Curly Girl too I seem to remember but then I tackled it in one week over half term when she seemed ready and it went well. Enjoy the rest of your Summer! P.S. We had that book too – for girls – and it was an amazing help.

  18. Caroline
    June 30, 2015 / 5:30 pm

    Sympathy! As a mother and grandparent, and 30+ years as an early years teacher – don’t make a battle out of it, you are quite right to leave it till he’s ready. I have yet to see a five year old start school in nappies after all. People used to rush kids out of nappies because they had to wash them. Pull-ups make toddlerhood less stressful for parents and toddlers alike. When they have control, they use it. Boys in particular often get it when they can join in with a friend!
    Girls like the incentive of Disney Princess pants, or Peppa Pig…. (A common sight in nursery or reception to see girls showing each other what pants they have on that day!) so, enjoy the summer, ignore people who boast about early continence, and open a nice bottle once he’s in bed. Cheers!

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