Wong Mei Lin, mum to John, 4, and Megan, 7
“Timing is everything. I waited until around their third birthday. We’d had a potty in the corner for a while, without it being a big deal. But I knew Meg was ready when I was pregnant with John. I was rushing to the toilet with morning sickness and Meg said she wanted to get on instead!
“With John, we waited until we went on holiday. We took his diaper off on the beach and kept nipping up to the toilet. He wanted to pee standing up, like Daddy, so I left them to it! He very much enjoyed learning how to aim!
“The first time John peed in the potty, we all clapped and cheered. He was so thrilled, he twirled his diaper around his head, shouted ‘Yippee!’ and hurled it into the air.”
Tania Fong made a chart for her 3-year-old girl, Molly
“I had one line for a ‘Pee Triumph’ and another for a ‘Hip Hip Poo-ray!’. It amused visitors, anyway.”
Carol Michaels, mum to Owen, 3
Oliver got the hang of peeing in the potty pretty quickly, but when he needed a poop, he’d panic and demand a diaper. It just seemed to freak him out somehow. It took a couple of weeks more for me to coax him into doing a poop on the potty, but he gradually got used to the new sensation.”
Fariza Ahmad had her daughter Suri, 3½, potty trained at 2½ years
“When she was 3, Suri told me she didn’t want diapers for bed because she was a big girl. But we had a few accidents, usually when she’d had a late drink. Now, we don’t give her anything after 7pm, so we know that she’ll be dry at night. To begin with, we used to get her up for a pee when we went to bed, but now she gets up on her own.”
Did You Know?
If your child regresses to night- or day-time wetting after being reliably dry for some time, it is usually a sign of anxiety. This typically happens when your tot gets upset, such as the arrival of a new baby or when she starts nursery.
If your little one achieves bladder and bowel control late, chances are, you or your husband were potty-trained late too, since a delay in acquiring control is often hereditary.
It’s best to stay home as much as you can for the first week or so of potty training, but the time will come when you have to leave the house. Make sure your tot uses the potty before you go. And take along an “accident kit” - spare clothes, wipes, paper towels for mopping up, and plastic bags for rubbish.
Try using the potty for bowel movements first - your tot will probably achieve bowel control earlier, as it’s much easier to “hold on” with a full rectum than with a full bladder.