Potty Training an almost 3 year old

The school holidays saw me potty training E. I finally had to bite the bullet and get it done. To be fair, I could - and should - have done it much sooner. When T was a couple of months old she was showing a lot of interest in the potty and had even used it a few times before having a bath but I just didn't feel up to juggling potty training with sleepless nights and a newborn.  It then got put back further with moving and not wanting to throw too many new things at her and completely upsetting the apple cart. 

I had been trying to prepare her for it for a couple of months. Both myself and her teachers at nursery have been talking to her about using the potty and the 'big girl's toilet'. She had been showing a lot of interest in everyone else using them but none for herself. Nonetheless, with the summer holidays upon us it was the perfect time to crack it. 

We had a potty in the bathroom for some time... She knew what it was, what it was for and would sometimes sit on it. Each time she had a bath I would ask her to sit on it, sometimes she would, sometimes she wouldn't. As well as that, we had been popping knickers over her nappy so she got used to wearing them. We also had a couple of story books on the theme that we had been reading to her.  

We invested in a reusable sticker chart and that went on the wall the morning we started, telling her that every time she did a wee in the potty she could have a sticker and once the chart was full she could have a little present.  In the first few days we also gave her a chocolate button each time she did it as well!

potty training, reward chart

I won't lie. The first few days were incredibly hard work and I honestly didn't think I had the patience to do it. E was very upset at the thought of not having a nappy and it took some persuasion for her to use the potty. The first morning alone we went through something like 6 or 7 pairs of knickers. Day 2 was a little better as was day 3. By day 4 she was dry and completely on the ball with when she needed to go for a wee.  We invested in some pull ups for her so that if we went out we both had peace of mind but she hasn't really needed them. 

A few weeks on she's done brilliantly with it all and after those first few days, I've been surprised (and very proud!) at just how well she has done. We've not had any accidents since that first week and she has been more relaxed about using the potty. Not only that, but if we're out and she needs to go, so long as I hold on to her, she's happy to use the toilet too. I thought nap times (if and when she has one!) might take longer to master but we've had no worries there either. We haven't attempted to get her dry at night just yet (and probably won't for a little while longer) but she's getting better and better all the time.

Incase its of help, here is a list of what we invested in before starting: 

2 pottys (1 for upstairs, 1 for down)

Toilet training seat
Reusable sticker chart
Chocolate buttons
A treat (for when the chart is full - E had a book)
Toddler toilet wipes
Pull ups

The only problem we have had, really, is that T wants to use the potty! If I could read all her signs as to when needs, or has gone to the loo, that would be fine, I would potty train her too, but I don't think she's quite ready. In the meantime, she's quite happy sitting on the potty (or toilet, with the training seat) and making a "sssssss" sound, pretending she's having a wee! I must say, its all been rather nice only having one set of nappies to change during the day too! 

I think potty training will always be one of those things you dread having to do but once its done, it makes life so much easier and you wonder what the worry was for!  

How did you approach potty training? Please feel free to share in the comments, especially if it might help make it easier when its T's turn!

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