Potty training – are you listening?

I’ve been putting it off for months now, but it would seem that the time has come to get started with potty training.

Well, Nerys has basically started without me!

I was in the shower a few mornings ago and she came to tell me she’d done a wee.

So I tried to keep my voice calm as I cautiously asked her where she had done the wee, and she very proudly replied that she’d done it on the potty.  And sure enough, she’d taken it upon herself to go on the potty when she needed a wee.

And for the rest of the day she did the same thing.

And the day after.

The day after that her cousins came to visit and it was all too much fun, so the potty got mainly forgotten, and today she’s out with her grandparents so will most likely not ask to find a toilet when they’re out.  But I’m really curious to see what happens next week when we’ve not got much planned and I can focus on quietly encouraging her to keep going on the potty.

See, I’m quite laid back about potty training this time round.   There’s no great hurry for her to do it, and I remember how stressful it got at times when I was almost pushing Rhys to ‘get’ it when he was younger.

I learnt some key things from potty training him, which have stuck with me as I started to think about doing it with Nerys:

  • What until they’re ready.  Honestly, this has been my number one bit of advice up till now.  You can try potty training a child who’s not ready, but it will most likely be miserable for both of you.  Like all things, children learn to use the toilet in their own time.  Some are all sorted before they’re even two (which quite frankly is amazing to me!), but some take a lot longer to crack it.
  • Keep it relaxed.  Now, this kind of goes hand in hand with my first point, because I know how hard it is to keep relaxed about the fact that you’ve just cleaned up the 8th accident of the day!  But it’s so important that you don’t make potty training a stressful experience for your child.  And if you wait until they’re really ready, then I honestly think you won’t have as many accidents anyway, so it shouldn’t be all that stressful!
  • Go with what works for you and your child.  I didn’t use sticker charts with Rhys, because his issue wasn’t that he was resistant to using the potty, he just genuinely didn’t realise he needed to wee.  So for us, in the end, just waiting was the right thing to do.  For some children though, who know when they need to go, but are resisting sitting on the potty or the toilet, then sticker charts might work a treat!  Or, hey, literally give them a treat every time they go!  You know your child best, so find the method that works for you both, it might even be the promise of getting to wash their hands each time they go!

potty training


The number one thing I’ve learned in the process of potty training my daughter though, is how important it is to listen to what they’re telling you, and make sure you’re interpreting it right!

Nerys for the last few weeks has started saying, in an almost panicked voice, “I’m starting to wee!”

So I’ve been reassuring her that it’s ok, she’s wearing pull ups, it doesn’t matter.  Because I didn’t want her getting stressed by the idea of potty training, or having accidents.

What I’ve realised in the last few days though, is that what she actually means when she says this is, “I need a wee”

So she’ll suddenly blurt out, “I’m starting to wee”, but will actually then be able to make it all the way upstairs to the potty and calmly take her pull ups off, before she actually starts to wee.

Honestly, it was a bit of a revelation when I realised this!

She’d been trying to tell me for weeks that she wanted to use the potty, and that she knew she needed to go.  But because of the way she phrased it, I didn’t realise.

So, my newest, number one tip for parents thinking about potty training, is to pay attention to what your child is telling you, and don’t jump to conclusions about what they mean when they say something other than “I need a wee!”.


You Baby Me Mummy
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday


  1. Janine Dolan 19/08/2016 / 10:30 am

    It will all come together eventually. I started potty training my son when he was 3 years and 8 months. To some it might be late but to me it was the right time because he can be weird with things like this. It’s August now and I think we can finally say we are done. We had some incidents with number twos ending up in the pants but he got over that on our holidays. #thelist

    • This glorious life 22/08/2016 / 9:23 pm

      I think that’s great that you followed your son’s lead and waited till he was ready. It can be so stressful if you try and push it before they’re ready. x

  2. Jane Taylor 20/08/2016 / 10:21 pm

    Really balanced and well thought out advice. I agree that it’s important to wait until they seem ready. There seemed to be a lot of ‘competitive’ potty training when our girls were little. Thanks for sharing. #KCACOLS

  3. Mouse, Moo and Me Too 20/08/2016 / 10:27 pm

    Ah how fab! We tried it way before my eldest was ready, slogged it out for a few days and then went back to nappies. Waited for 6 months and she absolutely got it within a day, no accidents. 9 months on and we’re not dry at night yet which is going to be the next challenge I think. I’ve got about 6 night time nappies left and don’t want to buy another pack, eek! #KCACOLS

    • This glorious life 22/08/2016 / 9:20 pm

      I love that, they really do do it when they’re ready! Now night time is a different matter altogether, I know that can take much longer with some children. x

  4. Becky @ Educating Roversi 20/08/2016 / 10:47 pm

    Great tips! Mini R is just over two and I’m thinking about potty training. We have two pottys and he knows what they are for, he’s gone on them twice but then we went on holiday so I didn’t bother trying anything. I’m thinking I might try at Xmas if he’s ready. Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday. Xx

  5. OddHogg 20/08/2016 / 11:01 pm

    We’re well away from potty training – thank goodness! But my sister is doing it with her 3 and a half year old. They tried earlier, but he just wasnt ready. He also has his phrasing wrong and will tell you “I’ve done a poo poo” when he actually means he needs one and you’re to rush to the loo! That one took a while to work out! #kcacols

  6. Alice Nipper and Tyke 20/08/2016 / 11:05 pm

    Great advice – thank you. My daughter is very interested in the potty but I have put it off as we were going on holiday. Now we are home, I guess we might just have to bite the bullet and give it a try – no pressure though! Only because she seems so keen to sit on the potty! My attitude has definitely changed since she is my second. 🙂
    x Alice

    • This glorious life 22/08/2016 / 9:19 pm

      Haha, things really are different with your second aren’t they! Good luck with it! x

  7. TheIrishBabyFairy 21/08/2016 / 8:47 am

    That is fascinating, I’m a long way from the potty training stage yet but I love that your daughter just worked it out for herself and it really goes to show that they’ll do it when they are ready! Must remember this for future reference! #KCACOLS

    • This glorious life 22/08/2016 / 9:17 pm

      It was so unexpected after how things went with my son, I’m still really surprised by the whole thing! x

  8. Helen @ Little Owl Gift Baskets 21/08/2016 / 9:43 am

    Some great advice! I think we’re going to be doing this soon as my son’s showing some signs of being ready. I, however, am not ready as I also have a 3 week old baby! Well done to Nerys training herself though, clever girl! Xx #KCACOLS

    • This glorious life 22/08/2016 / 9:16 pm

      I’m so impressed with her! And if I were you I’d hold off a little bit, let things settle down with the new baby before you start. Congratulations by the way! x

  9. Topsy Turvy Tribe 21/08/2016 / 10:23 am

    We’re in the throws of potty training our 22month old, simply because we are in Spain, it’s hot and he can run around without a nappy on. We had 5 trips to the toilet for a poo poo this morning…thank goodness that wasn’t in a cloth nappy!! #KCACOLS

    • This glorious life 22/08/2016 / 9:08 pm

      Haha, sounds like fun! x

  10. Crummy Mummy 21/08/2016 / 1:12 pm

    Little B is coming up to two so it’s nearly time to think about it with him, although I’m expecting baby number three and they say not to do it six months either side of a new baby, so we’ll stick with nappies for now! ##KCACOLS

  11. The Mum Reviews 21/08/2016 / 4:34 pm

    Now that last bit is some sound advice. I hadn’t thought about that and I know I was quick to stress about accidents. I agree about waiting too. With my first we waited until he took an interest and I’m so glad we did. Although he regressed a bit after his baby brother came along! We’ve been keeping a potty around for said baby brother who is nearly two but going to wait until he is ready. #KCACOLS

    • This glorious life 22/08/2016 / 9:08 pm

      I think that really is the best approach, waiting until they’re really ready, saves so much stress! x

  12. The Speed Bump 21/08/2016 / 4:56 pm

    Great tips. I think SB is ready for potty training but I’m trying to delay it until I leave work in a couple of weeks so we can properly focus on it! #KCACOLS

    • This glorious life 22/08/2016 / 9:07 pm

      Sounds like a good plan, best to have a bit more time available before starting with it! x

  13. Themotherhub 21/08/2016 / 6:27 pm

    Am also training my second at the moment – a girl, and much different to her older brother. We waited longer with him and he got it much earlier . But am a firm believer in bribery for a successful poo in potty ! #kcacols

    • This glorious life 22/08/2016 / 9:06 pm

      Haha, I’m not above a bit of bribery should we need it at some point! x

  14. Kim 22/08/2016 / 12:37 am

    Great approach, sounds like you got it figured out! I hope I have the same patience with my son. I too am waiting until he is ready and not forcing it. Good luck 😊 #KCACOLS

  15. emma me and b 22/08/2016 / 6:10 pm

    aww bless, they amaze us sometimes don’t they! my son has been doing wees fine since may and hit and miss with poos. only this week do I feel he is starting to “get” it 🙂 well done Nerys! #KCACOLS

    • This glorious life 22/08/2016 / 9:05 pm

      It’s so funny how she just took it upon herself to do it, so different from Rhys! We are still waiting on poos though, I think that might take a little longer! x

  16. One Messy Mama 22/08/2016 / 7:22 pm

    I’m about to start with my last child! Fun times! #KCACOLS

  17. Emma Plus Three 22/08/2016 / 7:45 pm

    Potty training is so tough! Honestly, I hated it. I’m so glad we’re done with that phase now x #KCACOLS

  18. Sonia 22/08/2016 / 10:15 pm

    Totally agree that they need to be ready! My first was dry in the day by 23 months and at night by 2 1/2, the second not until she was 4! My third somewhere in the middle. My advice would be to dump the pull-ups during the day as soon as possible. I think I was a bit lazy with number 2 which was why she took so long- best to just go with pants and clear up the mess as it helps them feel it. If they aren’t ready, wait a month or two and try again. Your daughter sounds ready- good luck! #KCACOLS

  19. Davina 23/08/2016 / 7:34 pm

    Great advice! I found potty training so stressful the first time around and I don’t think it will be long before we need to start thinking about it with the little one… And I’m still just as stressed about it! Very silly really, because you’re absolutely right that kids pick up on their parents’ stress! #KCACOLS

    • This glorious life 26/08/2016 / 9:25 pm

      I do really think that if you wait until they’re properly ready then it’s nowhere near as stressful! x

  20. Rebecca 23/08/2016 / 9:37 pm

    We’re trying to potty train our eldest now. In all honesty I’d be laid back like you and let it happen but the hubby is pushing it because she starts a nursery next week and has to be potty trained. It’s not going to happen!! #KCACOLS

    • This glorious life 26/08/2016 / 9:24 pm

      That was the issue we had with my son, he was less than 2 weeks away from starting nursery class at school, and they wouldn’t take him if he wasn’t potty trained, but at that point something just magically clicked and he ‘got’ it. I really didn’t think it would happen though, which was quite stressful. This is a lovely change for me, being able to be relaxed about it with Nerys! x

  21. Jenn @ Mad Mommy 24/08/2016 / 4:36 am

    What works for one kid won’t work for the next. That is what my oldest two taught me. Waiting until they are ready is the best piece of advice I have ever gotten. #KCACOLS

    • This glorious life 26/08/2016 / 9:22 pm

      Oh yes, you can’t count on something working just because it worked with the first child, haha! x

  22. You Baby Me Mummy 24/08/2016 / 5:15 pm

    I was so lucky that Baby pretty much trained herself. Stickers helped. Thanks for linking up to #TheList xx

    • This glorious life 26/08/2016 / 9:20 pm

      It makes life so much easier when they just do it themselves! x

  23. Sarah @teammomlife 27/08/2016 / 3:21 am

    I feel like this post came at just the right time! I’ve been really stressing out about potty training lately but feel like maybe I should just wait until he is really ready. I think I have been trying to push it but maybe he just isn’t ready yet. #KCACOLS

    • This glorious life 28/08/2016 / 1:50 pm

      Oh I really hope this has helped! Honestly, the best thing you can do is wait until they’re really ready, it saves so much stress! x

  24. Rebecca Taylor 29/08/2016 / 6:03 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this. My little man is 23 months so I am starting to think about potty training but dreading it! He’s not showing any signs of being ready yet though if I am honest. This is a really helpful and reassuring post. Thank you. Sounds like your little girl is doing great! x #KCACOLS

    • This glorious life 01/09/2016 / 4:13 pm

      She’s doing so well, I’m a bit stunned and can’t take any credit for it, she’s done it all herself! All we’ve done is waited and followed her lead! x

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