The Legend of the Potty

The Legend of the Potty

Once upon a time there was a toddler. And by midnight of his 18th month, his wise mother had shown him the way to becoming a noble knight. The toddler shunned the ways of his diaper, and used the glistening potty that the benevolent fairies had bestowed upon him on the night of his quick and pain-free birth.

Uh, yeah right. I hope you all know that every bit of that is a fairy tale. Not one bit is true. Okay? No matter what your parents or grandparents, or that random old lady you met at Waitrose said, most children are not potty-trained at 18 months. There are always going to be some exceptions, of course. But do not feel like you have to compete with those people.

Since my children are aged 6 1/2 and 2 1/2, friends with younger children often ask for advice. And regular readers of my blog will know that I am more than happy to offer advice. When Moozles was two, we tried to potty train her. The kid held her wee in all frickin’ day. She still drank normally, but her tummy would become distended until she relieved herself in her evening bath. After a couple of days, and much discussion, I knew that she wasn’t mentally ready to stop using nappies (though there were no physical issues).

When Moozles turned three, I told her she could wear nail polish if she used the potty. She used the toilet from that moment on. She was still quite anxious about the thought of doing poos in the toilet so we let her use a nappy when she slept at night (and this is when she would poo). She continued in her nighttime nappy until she was almost four. We then took away the nappy and spent a lot of time trying to ease her fears (we had to eventually give her some child-friendly laxatives as she refused to poo for over a week). It really taught me how emotional potty training can be for a child.

So here are some things to contemplate if you are feeling the pressure to potty-train:

1. The Signs – Yes, there are signs that tell you when your child is ready to use the potty. But some children exhibit all these signs and still aren’t ready. Potty training is physical and mental.

2. Genius – Your child’s ability to use a toilet early is not an indicator for future membership to MENSA. So if he/she is potty trained at two, don’t expect your child to be the next Steve Jobs.

3. The Elderly – You will get pressure from the older generation, be they health visitors, grandparents or random people you meet on the high street. Let’s be honest, they’re kinda old and forgetful. And they certainly don’t know your child as well as you do.

4. Wiping Wee – For me, my child being potty-trained doesn’t mean that I am cleaning up wee off the floor every day for months. I like my furniture urine-free. And changing sheets in the middle of the night isn’t my idea of fun. If you potty change too early, then there is a lot of wee clean-up. We potty-trained Moozles right after her third birthday. Apart from one accident at the nursery, her wee remained in the toilet.

5. Poo to Poo – Same as number four. Enough said.

6. Fancy Potty – There are a lot of potties to choose from. Moozles used the potty for about three days then went straight to a toilet training seat. Don’t be too caught up in finding the right potty, or buying a potty for every room. Again, if you want until your child is ready then it isn’t such a big deal.

And remember, you know your child better than anyone else. Do what is right for them. And if someone asks why your toddler isn’t potty trained, send them to me.

The Legend of the Potty


And then the fun began...

10 thoughts on “The Legend of the Potty

  1. He hee! Love this Elfa. Sooo true. We were the same with JJ – just waited til he actually turned three and showed an interest in wearing pants and he had remarkably few accidents and I cleaned up very little wee and no poo (thank god!). I can’t even really remember whether he used the potty or moved on to the loo quickly – it was pretty stress free and I certainly don’t regret waiting although there is definitely that bit when they are between 2.5 and 3 (ie now for you and me with Dubz & EJ!) that you start feeling slightly anxious when you see kids the same age who are obviously out of nappies but as you say, its not worth the energy!! Thanks for linking up to #thetruthabout hon Xx

  2. Ha! I am facing potty training with my daughter soon, and this post is bringing back all the memories of potty training my son. Gawd, it’s such a drag isn’t it! Thinking about it, having read this, I might just wait till summer. See what you’ve done? I’ll blame you when my daughter has a nappy strop. Great post. #thetruthabout

  3. Argh! We’re attempting to potty train the wee girl at the moment… It’s having it’s moments! The boys were a doddle, no trouble at all, after the first couple of days with the odd accident. So, this stubborn little girl is proving a challenge; especially as she’s fine *most* of the time, she just lulls us into a false sense of security and then decides she’s not going to bother for a day! I’m so glad this is the last time I’ll do it 🙂 #sharewithme

  4. My girls are almost 21 months and no where near being ready. They can’t properly communicate yet so that’s a big issue I think! I won’t be rushing anything. My son was really good at being trained so I think these ladies are going to prove very different!!

  5. I LOVE YOU. This is EXACTLY the post I needed to read right now!! My boys are 2 in a couple of weeks and for the last few months, my MIL and SIL have been banging on about how their children were all potty trained at 18 months and we should really start thinking about it soon…

    WHAT? The twins are not even aware they are pooing — when they are pooing — let alone able to tell me when they need to go!! I’ve been getting a bit stressed about it, due to the pressure I’ve been getting, but am just going to stick to my guns and do it when I feel they’re ready.

    Maybe when they’re 12? 😉 #TheTruthAbout

    Caro |

    1. Haha You do not want to be wiping a poo-filled bum at 12.

      I do not get the rush. People were always trying to rush me when my girl was little. I knew one mum who potty trained her son from the time he turned 18 months–it lasted an entire year. Why would anyone do that? I’m glad my post has helped. Stay strong hun!

  6. Haha I love your style of writing. I’ve not got kids yet so I have all this to look forward to 😉

  7. What a great post! I’ve potty trained 3 kids now and each has been very different. My eldest was dry day and night before she was 18 months. My son was almost 3 and trained at night a little later. My 3rd decided when she was 2 that she was done with nappies and she is now dry at night too. Each has done it at their own pace and I think thats the only way to do it x x x

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