We introduced a potty at Christmas time. He’ll sit on it and do his thing (if he needs to go) and for a long while now he’s been informing me each time something happens in his nappy.
Our potty-usage has been a sparse, ‘when we remember’ type of thing. Since Christmas I had attempted several times to try a nappy-free day only to put him in a nappy half way through the day when we’ve needed to pop out, or I’d make a real effort one day to keep him out of nappies only to plonk him in one the next day because I couldn’t be bothered…. which probably isn’t the best practice in terms of sending Arlo mixed signals about when he should and shouldn’t be telling me he needs the potty.
So, over February half term when Arlo’s usual classes weren’t on and we had a clear week with no plans, I figured this was a good opportunity to have a quiet week at home and dedicate our time to some proper nappy-free days.
It was utterly boring feeling like I had to watch him like a hawk, forgetting to watch him like a hawk and getting weed on, and saying “Do you need the potty? Are you sure you don’t need the potty??” every half an hour.
We were doing pretty well as long as I remembered to plonk him on the potty every 45 minutes. But the idea is that he takes the initiative to tell me he needs to go, so I stopped automatically putting him on the potty and let him have a few accidents to see if this would trigger the lightbulb moment in his head. By the end of the week ( I think we did 6 days), it still hadn’t clicked, and if I left him to his own devices, he’d just wee wherever he was without any thought to what he was doing.
The sticker chart did not spark his interest. Sam would come home from work every day and count the stars with Arlo (he was under strict instructions to make a massive deal out of the sticker chart), but Arlo really couldn’t have cared less. He’s a chocolate man, not a stickers man. But we made the decision not to reward with chocolate as we have enough trouble already with Arlo’s demands for snacks and treats.
I bought pull-ups for nap times/sleeping and followed the advice to only refer to them as ‘pants’. Arlo sussed this one out straight away and said “Yes, these are my nappy-pants”.
He has his big-boy Thomas the Tank Engine pants, which were exciting at first, but after a while he started asking for a nappy instead.
I don’t see the point in pushing potty-training. I know that it will be a much simpler process once he’s ready, and I don’t think he’s quite ready yet. I also think that potty training doesn’t necessarily need to be a sudden move, but can work as a gradual process – it must be pretty odd to be suddenly told “Now you wee here and not here”, when for the past two years he’s not even had to think about it at all.
So the nappies are back on again, although we’re still ‘practising’ by having a nappy-free morning here and there when we have no plans to go out. At least it saves a few nappies here and there (the cost of size 5 and 6 nappies is hideous!).