early potty training

* Affiliate links included in this post.

 

If you are looking for early potty training tips then you have come to the right place!

 

Here’s how I potty trained my daughter at 18 months old.

 

When I tell people that my daughter was toilet trained at 18 months (and had her officially out of night nappies before 2 and a half) they think I am either crazy or lying.

Or potentially both – a crazy liar for telling such a big, fat, crazy lie.

 

But that is very much the truth.

 

My firstborn daughter started wearing her cute My Little Pony undies at 18 months.

This coincidentally coincided with the end of November and a few days before summer officially began here in Australia. Perfect timing for toilet training!

 

Early potty training
My daughter at 18 months with her beloved cousin

 

Did I ever expect to have a child toilet trained at that age?

 

ABSOLUTELY NO WAY!

The idea of toilet training had never even crossed my mind before that point in time.

However the local childhood nurse planted the seed in my head when I casually asked the question about toilet training at her 18 month check.

“So when exactly are we supposed to start that?” I asked the nurse, at the end of my daughter’s assessment.

 

If she had said at age three, I would have believed her. That was how clueless I was when it came to toilet training.

Instead she looked at my daughter, a smart little chatterbox, who had just blitzed her gross and fine motor checks, and said “I think she could start now.”

And just like that I was toilet training an 18 month-old.

 

HERE’S THE BIGGEST THING I DISCOVERED ABOUT TOILET TRAINING

 

It isn’t just about the kid being ready. THE PARENT NEEDS TO BE READY TOO.

For example, before I go into the finer details of how I toilet-trained my 18 month old, I would like to point out that I do have a second child and no, he wasn’t toilet trained at 18 months too (in fact, he was just starting to walk then).

Instead he was toilet trained by 2.5 years, which is around the average age.

 

But I have a confession to make.

 

Just before my son turned 2 (another summer birthday baby), he started showing interest in toilet training but ME, nay, I wasn’t ready for that yet.

What can I say? I was a SABOTEUR (hint: a person who knowingly engages in sabotage).

I MYSELF wasn’t ready to be racing around to find a toilet whilst out at the zoo.

I MYSELF wasn’t ready to be stressed about him potentially have an accident and cleaning it up.

I MYSELF loved the convenience of nappies (sad but true).

Instead I ignored all the obvious signs and his interest in moving out of nappies and kept it going a little longer than I should have.

 

Bad mommy moment I know.

 

But hey, maybe that’s just second child stuff.  Toilet training just didn’t SUIT me that summer with my second child.

 

Here’s the truth:

 

Toilet training works best when both the mom and the child are READY at the same time.

Or even better, when the child is ready, ideally the mom should GET HERSELF READY TOO.

LIKE PRONTO.

GO GET YOURSELF DRESSED AND JUMP STRAIGHT INTO THAT FUN TOILET-TRAINING ADVENTURE WITH YOUR CHILD.

BECAUSE THE RIDE WILL BE SO MUCH EASIER WHEN THE TIMING IS RIGHT FOR YOUR CHILD.

(But if you don’t get up, don’t stress. Who am I to judge? I missed myself that ride the first time round with my son.)

 

And that brings me back to my 18 month old firstborn…

 

First time round I had no idea what toilet-training involved.

When the clinic nurse suggested I start toilet training I went straight to the shops and bought my daughter the smallest undies I could find (which were STILL MASSIVE on her).

I ordered two portable potties (one to keep in the car and one to keep at home) and another foldable toilet seat  THAT WAS JUST THE BEST (see links below) and suddenly, just like that, I was toilet training my child.

 

It was surprisingly A LOT easier than I expected it to be. 

 

Reason why?

 

My daughter had an older cousin who was 2.5 years older than her and she was obsessed with Lily. If Lily wore undies, my daughter wanted to wear undies.

If Lily used the big girl’s toilet, my daughter wanted to use the big girl’s toilet.

That summer the girls spent the summer by each other’s sides and it was easy enough to encourage my daughter to go to the toilet rather than use a nappy.

 

 

My daughter with her big cousin

 

 

What am I talking about? My daughter INSISTED that she use the big girl’s toilet like her cousin.

 

I remember a few days after she began wearing undies, we were at the shops and she had pull-ups on JUST IN CASE (I was still worried about accidents in those first few weeks).

It shames me to remember that there was this most incredible closing down sale going on at the shops – the sort where you literally fill your trolley up with things that are 80-90% off.

My daughter was with me and she said she had to go to the toilet but I told her that it’s okay; she had her pull-ups on. Hint, hint.

So I thought “cool, I can keep on shopping now!” But guess what?

My daughter didn’t want to use that pull-up; she held on FOR AGES until she was almost ready to explode and she made me leave that sale and trolley to take her to the toilet.

 

Lesson learned: you HAVE to be ALL IN when it comes to toilet training – either that or much  quicker at shopping.

 

When your child is genuinely ready to begin the process is so much easier for the both of you. 

I always say my daughter pretty much trained herself because she had an iron-clad bladder and iron-strong will.

 

Right time, right place.

 

Something just clicked in her head that weeing was for the toilet and not for nappies anymore because in her head SHE WAS A BIG GIRL.

And even though I kept a pull-up on during the nights (because I couldn’t bear the thought of waking up in the middle of the night to change wet sheets) more often than not my daughter was totally dry in the morning.

 

I realize now my daughter was a freak of nature to be toilet trained so young. She is a rarity and not the norm.

 

early potty training
Yep – that’s my daughter with her super big girl undies on!

 

When I had my second child, the thought did not enter my head to try to toilet train my son that young again.

 

He instead started to show interest in toilet training just before he turned two but alas I wasn’t consistent enough to follow through with it at the time.

This in hindsight was a big mistake.

 

Here’s my personal opinion about toilet training:

 

When your child is ready for toilet training (that is, they show you signs that they are ready) you NEED TO STOP AND LISTEN.

If you don’t listen and instead opt to IGNORE THE SIGNALS, this sends your child a weird and wrong message that they are then forced to try to process.

 

Imagine what your child is thinking:

 

I NEED TO DO A WEE AND I SHOULD USE THE POTTY

 

EXCEPT MOM IS NOT OFFERING ME THE POTTY

 

OR SHE GETS ANGRY WHEN I WANT TO GO BUT I HAVE AN ACCIDENT BEFORE I MAKE IT TO THE POTTY

 

In their head your child starts to think it’s just easier to use their nappy.

That’s what mommy wants, right?

No upset mommy scrubbing away at the carpet.

No more stopping and racing to find a toilet on a long car trip.

 

You get the gist, right?

 

If your child shows you signs of wanting to toilet train and you miss the boat, then you may potentially have a harder time toilet training later on because your child not only has to retrain their BODY but their BRAIN too.

 

Toilet training is a bit like putting a kid to sleep.

 

The optimal time to get your child to bed is as soon as they FIRST show signs of getting tired.

Catch them at the right time and it’s a breeze.

If you leave it too long however, it’s both a nightmare and a battle to get an overtired, crabby, kid to sleep.

Have you been there before? I definitely have!

 

All in all, there is NO RIGHT OR WRONG AGE TO TOILET-TRAIN YOUR CHILD.

 

You need to simply keep an eye on whether your child is showing interest in giving it a go.

I promise you, if I didn’t go to that 18 month check and that clinic nurse didn’t suggest introducing toilet-training to my daughter at that age, I would have NEVER, EVER given it a go.

I didn’t even know it was possible for kids to be toilet trained at 18 months.

 

FINAL POINTS:

 

Trust your motherly instincts when it comes to toilet-training. YOU HONESTLY KNOW BEST!

Be flexible.

Your child may be ready at 18 months, 24 months or 36 months – each child has their own timeline to follow in life.

Finally, be willing also to show your child patience, love, and understanding during this tricky period. They will prosper more with your guidance and support and it will be worth it in the end!

 

 

TOOLS THAT HELPED ME POTTY TRAIN MY KIDS

 

OUR HOME POTTY – MY SIZE TRAINING POTTY WITH FLUSHING SOUNDS 

 

 

CLICK HERE TO CHECK IT OUT

 

 

OUR CAR POTTY – SUMMER LIL’ LOO POTTY WITH REMOVABLE POT FOR QUICK AND EASY CLEAN UP 

 

 

CLICK HERE TO CHECK IT OUT

 

 

A TODDLER STOOL TO HELP KIDDIE REACH THE TOILET

 

 

CLICK HERE TO CHECK IT OUT

 

 

 

FOR KIDS WHO NEED ADDITIONAL SUPPORT

 

(My son has a neuro-muscular disability so this device offered him more balance and stability)

 

CLICK HERE TO CHECK IT OUT

 

 

PLUS OUR ABSOLUTE FAVORITE PORTABLE TOILET SEAT FOR OUTINGS

 

Mommy’s Helper Cushie Traveler

 

 

CLICK HERE TO CHECK IT OUT

 

 

For the record we didn’t go anywhere without this portable toilet seat!  It’s compact, super soft and comfortable and comes with its own carry bag.

P.S.

I’m surprised to see that this doesn’t have five star reviews as we couldn’t survive potty training without this item.

It seems some of the complaints are due to it not suiting elongated toilet seats (while our home toilet is the standard-sized, normal round sort) or support for heavier weights (perhaps older children, while my daughter was young and my son used it just fine when older.) At less than $10 it is still definitely a bargain and worth trying in our opinion.

 

OTHERWISE YOU CAN CHECK THE CURRENT TOP-RATED NEWER DESIGN FOR A PORTABLE TOILET SEAT

 

 

Gimars Travel Toilet Seat

 

CLICK HERE TO CHECK IT OUT

 

(It also comes in PINK and BLUE)

 

Wishing you the best of luck during your own child’s potty training journey!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *