As many of you will know, in the Summer holidays I braved the very important stage known as 'potty training'. Not me, The Boy! I've been trained for 33 years and aside from the odd Tena Lady moment, I'm doing well thanks!

Earlier today, whilst shopping in Cardiff, The Boy announced that he needed to go to the toilet. We were standing in the shoe department of Next at the time, on our way to buy him a new Winter coat. I about turned and asked the assistant if they had one. Of course not, they are a clothes shop. I knew that expecting him to last the five minutes to the nearest one was unfair and so basically asked if I could use a cubicle in their changing rooms.

She looked at me, aghast!

I stopped, pointed to The Boy and then explained that I had a travel potty, everything would be perfectly hygienic and he was desperate. Thank you Next for letting me use the changing rooms! And thank you Potette for creating your travel potty in the first place!

And based on that, I thought I'd share my must-haves for potty-training your infant:

Seriously, you will find potty-training a whole lot easier with a potty that is easily cleaned. I found that I'd collected a lot of potties ready for training, and this is the only one that he really liked. The other 'standard' potty has gone to my mum's for use there.

  • A Potette

This marvellous little travel-potty has saved our bacon so many times that we've almost got enough for a pig of our own! The Potette Plus (which is what we have) can be used either as a portable potty with specially designed bags (absorbent pad at the base to soak up the urine), or the legs can be folded out to be used a loo-seat.

Much better than Andrex ones, they are thick and soft. They also only cost 40p a pack so are really good value. The best bit though is that they have a really strong apple smell to them, which is useful for 'special' occasions!

  • Pampers Easy-up Pants

These are called 'special car pants' or 'special sleep pants' in our house. I won't let them be referred to as a nappy, they are pants. We use them on two occasions: long-distance travel or at night-time. Never during the day!

I have never used a pull-up during the day (unless on a journey) and wouldn't recommend it. In my personal opinion (which anyone is perfectly entitled to ignore), little ones need to feel that they have wet to know the results of what's just happened. I can still picture The Boy's face on the first two days of potty training, when he wet for the first few times. Complete bafflement as to why he was wet, and then gradual realisation of why.

at home. I know! Trust me, after four days I was rocking with cabin-fever, but I truly believe that me staying in for a week and being obsessed paying complete attention to his toileting signals, and always being near a potty/toilet helped him to train so quickly. However, I also think that the fact that we sat The Boy on the potty at every nappy change for months beforehand helped. When the time came, he knew what to do with it.

Within a month, he was using the toilet. I feel it's absolute nonsense that you have to retrain them to use a toilet if you've used a potty. Maybe we were just lucky, but he just used it. He switches between the two, but now takes himself to the toilet. He positions his step, stands on it, pulls his trousers and pants down, sits on, goes, wipes, climbs down, pulls his pants and trousers up, gets down from the step, repositions it, climbs up and washes his hands. I just need to dry them for him because he can't manage!

  • Chocolate and frappucinos

'nuff said!

 I am not professing to be the font of all knowledge here and I don't intend to offend anyone or make them anxious. One of the best tips I read that if you are not ready, then don't attempt it because you will hinder your child's progression. I also believe that once you start, you can't go back because it just confuses them. I was lucky to have the summer holidays to train him, and he was pretty much done within a fortnight, although we still had the odd accident for a few weeks after. It's now two months on, and he is amazing. We have had one accident in the past few weeks, which I think is pretty good going. We both worked really hard, and as a result we got there.

Good luck to all those going potty!

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  1. Pippa Ainsworth says

    Thanks so much for this, I'm starting to think about the dreaded potty training with my boy. You have some really useful tips here and we may certainly be investing in a potette, it looks really handy.

  2. says

    Thanks for this! Little miss is starting to show interest so I'm hoping my time off at Christmas will be long enough and she'll be ready so she can learn that week. I'll be back to re-read this when the time comes!

  3. Jenny Paulin says

    Thismis ruddy brilliant because I was going to ask twitter which potty/potties they recommended. This is so useful – thank you for putting it together and well done to you both again for being quite brilliant :)

  4. says

    You have been so lucky. Noah has completely regressed and we have had to really go back to basics. It has been an attention thing and a play off being a baby and big boy but I feel I have neglected him in all senses by having the twins for potty training. I have to say I am so anxious about training the twins. But well done you and especially well done The Boy. :)

  5. says

    These are brilliant tips, I will come back to this when Baby Boy is ready to be potty trained. I love the idea of using cubicle especially when the alternative would have been a very close call to the nearest loo!! And Tesco apple smelling wipes?? Must check it out!

  6. says

    I wish it was all so straightforward as this! I think they also have to want to be potty trained…unfortunately I don't have a willing participant – buy hey ho hopefully he'll be out of nappies by the time he starts school !!
    Some great tips though.

  7. says

    Wish I'd read this post a year ago when it would have been useful. Unquestionably the most well-researched and thorough piece I've ever read on the subject, though. Really useful for other parents of youngies.

  8. circus mum says

    We tried and failed the first attempt, Princess just wasn't ready. Second time round she just went with it and was dry within a few weeks.
    Very well written post, it took me many parenting forums and childcare websites to find out and collate the information you have nicely provided for us on one succinct post!

  9. says

    This is all great advice. Although I'm hoping to be at least a year away from potty training I'm sure I will be coming back to this post! I'm hoping to get JW sorted next Summer when he's just turned 2 (probably the same time and age as The Boy) but I can see that JW is already aware of what he's doing, he now goes and hides in the corner when he knows he's about to poo! x

  10. Jennie @ Edspire says

    Great advice and great product recommendations. We are still a way off this stage but will keep your post saved for when the time comes. I did not know you could get travel potties – genius idea x

  11. says

    What a great post on potty training. Too late for me but it *almost* made me want another so I could give toilet training TheBoyAndMe style!

  12. Mum2Four says

    I have to say the best piece of advice I was given was to wait until the child showed an interest.

    I followed this advice and from the day that both Eldest Son & Daughter declared they didn't want to wear a nappy (2 1/2 years in both cases) they were completely dry day & night.

    Hopefully Youngest Son will be the same!


  1. […] shall be making good use of this brilliant list of all the things you need for potty training from The Boy and Me; a list which includes 'one to two weeks at home'!  It's ok […]

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