No Nappy Weekend - When to change the method


Do you remember when you learned to ride a bike? I had a second hand Rally 20 red bike that we got from my neighbour across the rode. It didn't have trainer wheels so I stood on the fence, hoisted myself on to the bike seat and pushed off trying to pedal as quickly as I could along the grass curb.

Did I fall over...yes

Did I say to Dad "I need some trainer wheels" (aka my comfort zone)? yes

Did he put some on? no

Why - because he knew that I could never learn to balance if I had trainer wheels on. He knew I would have accidents but if I persevered I would eventually learn a new habit that meant I could have more fun and get around (eventually to buy the 1 cent lollies from the dairy).

I found the first day of toilet training very exhausting. I had a tantruming toddler who had lots of accidents and had to use all my powers of negotiation to get him to the toilet. I started second guessing myself and wondering what I was doing wrong. Had I made the right decision to start on this journey of change?

But I persevered. I knew if I had to physically pick him up to take him to the toilet and he had a tantrum that he was in no state to release wees. 

I found it really helpful to remain calm and not take it personally if he had an accident. Him wetting his underwear was not a reflection of my parenting prowess. He was just learning what to do.

It is going to take time to break the nappy habit and just like learning to ride a bike there will be times when they can wee by themselves, then they might hit the "speed wobbles" and other times when they feel tired and can't be bothered. 

Take heart perseverance and consistency is the key. So if you are feeling like it is not working then take a breath, stop for a moment and celebrate the little steps that your child has made today in the right direction. Then keep going. It will be worth it!

If your child is showing that they can hold on to wees for 1 hour or more then it is time to transition to a different method of building toilet visits into their everyday routine. Instead of using the timer to signal it is time to go, use triggers such as transitions. Have a read of the second gear method in the Potty Talk book for more detail.

Take away for today

Compile a list of transitions that happen each day that you can tie toilet visits into. If you are toilet training with a partner then together sit down and discuss when you are going to encourage your child to use the toilet. If needed record and place a list on the fridge so you are consistent.

ie brush teeth, eating times, bath time, sleep time, going out.

 Happy toilet training,

Laura