Potty training: the reality of nappy-free!

So at 2 years 3 months we finally took the official plunge to go cold turkey with nappies during the daytime. We knew her routine was going to be the same for a few weeks and she was weeing in the potty several times a day, so a mutual decision with nursery meant we swapped her training nappies for real Big Girl Pants.

“She’s ready,” they said.
“Just take away the nappies,” they said.
“She’ll be absolutely fine,” they said.

Well they weren’t wrong, she has been absolutely fine. With just 2.5 accidents in 10 days (1. during nap time, 2. The world’s biggest poo, 0.5 a little dribble while pulling her pants down at the potty) we were told we should be pretty proud of her and it can take weeks to be like this. But what they didn’t tell us is that going nappy free is actually a little bit s**t!

1. The spontaneous adventures
Nothing can be spontaneous now. We have to ensure there are nearby toilets, she has been immediately before we leave the house, or we are in close proximity to the car to get to the potty. I’m sure it’ll get easier as my nerves relax, but if I’m not within a 2 min radius of a potty, I am a little jittery.

2. The “do you need a wee now”?
At least a hundred times a day. The question has now taken over from the daily number of times I have to say, “don’t do that, Lily”.

3. The poo
She hadn’t immediately realised she also needed to poo in the potty, so after a smug very first nappy free day, and she had not one accident all day, she presented me with the world’s biggest poo. 2 years of just wrapping it up in the nappy, and now I had to solve the logistics of clearing it up from her tiny Asda cotton knickers, without sending the s**t flying. The next 2 days consisted of launching her across to the potty at the first sign of the poo face, and since then she’s thankfully started taking herself, possibly to avoid being rocketed across the room. We have yet to overcome the poo-when-out scenario. I am actually afraid.

4. The journeys
I’ve invested in a pack of nappy pads, and have told her they’re a special cushion for her car seat and pram. It’s an hour journey between nursery and home, so one day I am pretty sure she wont make it, and I want to avoid the inevitable clearup operation. The reality is getting sideways glances from a van driver because you have a potty full of wee next to you in the passenger seat.

5. The nightimes
She now finds nappies uncomfortable so is often a bit stubborn about them going on at night. She has managed 4 dry nights but there is no way in hell I’m ready to deal with this transition yet!

6. The “quick wee”
There seems to be no such thing as a “quick wee”, so if you want to leave the house in a rush, make sure she gets on that potty at least 15 minutes before hand. She likes to sit there, sing a song (row your boat and wheels on the bus seem to be potty favourites), maybe dance, chat on her phone, read a story, rearrange her toys so they’re sitting next to her…

We even once had to have a baking tray involved at a perfect right angle to the side of the potty before she would pee. Don’t worry, I disinfected it.

It may be some kind of potty feng shui, but isn’t a help when you need to get every Postman Pat figurine lined up in height order against the radiator before she will use the potty, (battling on whether Mrs Goggins or Ted Glenn are taller is a huge issue when you least need it!) and you’re desperately trying to make it to work on time.

7. The baggage
As newborns, you find you’re carrying around the world in huge bags. It was a nice realisation to finally be making trips out with only a small bag with a couple of nappies and a pack of wet wipes, making adventures that little bit lighter. Some days I’d just slip a nappy and a snack into my handbag for even more streamlined daytrips. Now, I’m carrying around wet wipes, a bag full of knickers and spare trousers, a pack of disinfectant wipes, and a giant princess potty, that only just seems to fit under the pram. Once she’s more under control I’ll get her one of those toilet rings, but til then I’m back to being bag lady again.

8. The drinking
She loves her water but now I’m monitoring every sip!

9. The winter
Whose idea was it to go nappy free in winter?! Surely summer would’ve been a better idea with less clothes to deal with and more acceptable to whip the potty out in public without freezing her ass off during the second verse of row your boat!

10. The reality
The reality of nappy-free is balancing her on her potty in a public carpark, ensuring she squeezes the last drop out, despite disapproving onlookers.

The reality is worrying every time she excitably says “I did it mummy” when not in the near vicinity of a potty.

The reality is your child loudly congratulating you in public toilets for your own wee, in the same way as you praise her for her wee.

The reality is, despite the above, I am pretty proud of her. In just 10 days she has been at nursery 5 days, home 3 days, on 3 spontaneous adventures (including to the park), on many hour-long journeys, and even started at a new creche… and still has only had 2.5 accidents. We even made it to the theatre, and she happily peed in the potty before and after the show, while sitting by my feet in a public toilet!

Next week I’m due to take a long train journey with her, and head out with friends, so I am, being honest, pretty nervous. But for the past 10 days I can’t really complain as we have still managed to have all our normal fun adventures, and I’m proud of her, even if my blood pressure is at least 20bpm higher right now.

I’m just hoping the novelty wont wear off and she will keep on track, even though I know accidents are going to be normal. So if anyone has any more tips for managing long days out, particularly through the winter, then please let me know.

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