October, 2013

31 October


Week 3: Potty sliding, number twos and shops

TV presenter and mum Jenni Falconer

Jenni, her husband James and their two year old daughter Ella are taking the plunge and are embarking on a very public potty training.

Week 3:
Week three has been going very well, Ella has fully embraced using the potty and makes me take it everywhere.  On Sunday we went to a local pub for lunch, throughout the meal she announced that she needed a pee and we would walk to the toilet with the potty under one arm. To be honest, I think she enjoyed going to the loo like an adult and the attention she got as she didn’t always need to go.

Shop Squat
The most hilarious moment happened on one of our first outings to the shops since removing the nappies. Ella squatted in the middle of the shop and shouted at the top of her little voice ‘Mummy Poo’.  She of course doesn’t yet realise adults don’t discuss these things, but I found it adorable. The only problem was that I was unprepared, although she was wearing her Dry Like Me pad, I didn’t have the potty or a change of clothes, luckily we got home in 15 minutes and disaster was averted.

Jenni Falconer-BLOG1

Potty Sliding
Ella has also developed an ingenious method of moving around on her potty. She was sitting on the potty in the downstairs toilet with her tennis racket and ball, she hit the ball and it went all the way down the corridor to the front door. Instead of finishing what she was doing and then getting the ball, she simply slid all the way to the front door, picked up the tennis ball and slid back to the toilet. She loves sliding round the house on her potty – it is very funny.

Number 2s
It took a few days but Ella managed a number two in the potty, her first one was with my mum and the second one was with the babysitter. I was starting to think that she didn’t want to go in front of me, but in the end she did and I was strangely proud and gave her a high five!

Learning to recognise the signals
Looking back on last week, it has taken about five days to trust her when she tells us she needs the loo and now the majority of the time she actually has to go. We have only had one accident since my last blog and it was my fault, I was on the phone and didn’t hear Ella say that she needed to go and she had an accident whilst I was on the phone.




Out and about
We went swimming the other day and I decided not to risk it and put a swimming nappy on her as I just couldn’t cope if she went in the pool. During the lesson she said ‘Mummy, pee pee pee’, she wouldn’t go in her nappy and wanted to use the toilet which was great. I bought a portable toilet seat which goes on the top of an adult toilet and she managed to hold it in until I got her to the toilet but went almost immediately so she really has progressed with learning how to hold her pee. She is beginning to prefer the portable toilet seat to her potty as she loves flushing the loo.

She is now wearing the original Dry Like Me potty training pads which are slightly thinner than the Dry Like Me Early Days and she isn’t treating these as a nappy at all and I feel this has really helped with her progress. The next issue I have is that I don’t know when to take the pads off, she has had a really good couple of days, but I don’t want to take them off too early.

Pat on the back
My mum left last week and I had to work one evening so had to get a babysitter in. She is also a nursery teacher and she thought Ella had picked up potty training really well, this filled me with pride that Ella is doing so well.  I just hope it continues to go well, I heard that it is very normal to have to take a step back during the potty training process, so I know I am not out of the woods yet.


24 October


Week 2: Accidents, Successes and Progress

TV presenter and mum Jenni Falconer

Jenni, her husband James and their two year old daughter Ella are taking the plunge and are embarking on a very public potty training.

Week 2:

Once Ella had recovered from her cold, the nappies came off last Saturday. I was prepared for the first couple of days to be difficult as I had spoken to my neighbours who have older children and they confirmed the first couple of days can be quite tricky (and messy) for both the parents and the child.

At first poor Ella just couldn’t understand why we were doing it. She definitely didn’t understand what to do. I then became worried that we were doing it too soon; even though we had talked about it with Ella last week it seemed that she missed the security of her nappy.




Unsurprisingly, Ella had a lot of accidents on Saturday, she got through quite a few pairs of big girl knickers and one pair even went into the bin.  There were even a number of outfit changes. By bedtime on Saturday, both mother and daughter were knackered and Ella fell straight asleep in her night-time nappy.

Sunday continued to be much of the same. I have to admit I don’t think I appreciated how time consuming potty training would be. Ella has been very clingy and wanting her mummy, which is understandable when she is experiencing change. James has been very supportive and kept telling me that I was doing a great job and now that we have started it was important to keep going. Whenever I wavered, he quoted the ‘How to Potty Train’ book to give me encouragement which was sweet.

The Dry Like Me pads have been a good half way house, at first Ella thought the pads were a type of nappy and therefore felt normal and comfortable. A number of her pees were absorbed by the pads. However, on one occasion the pad couldn’t hold all the pee (as they are not designed to hold a full pee, as that would be a nappy!) and Ella was very stressed out, she didn’t want anyone to change her and was ashamed of what had happened.

I was amazed that my two-year-old daughter could feel such an emotion and felt bad for her, but had to keep telling myself that accidents are all part of her learning when she needs the loo.   I just kept saying to her it’s ok, you will do it right next time and then she did.




Thankfully, Monday was a different story, Ella had put all the pieces of the puzzle together and she understood what needed to be done. She started telling me when she needed a pee and now goes over to her potty and sits down. She doesn’t always go and sometimes sits there for up to 20 minutes but she is starting to understand the signals her body make when she needs the loo.

Ella likes to move her potty around with her so she doesn’t miss out on anything and also so she doesn’t have to run too far when she needs a wee. She prefers the plain potty downstairs as she thinks the duck potty is a toy and not a place for pee! We only had one accident on Monday.

Tuesday was even better with no accidents at all. We introduced high fives and chocolate buttons as rewards, she gets one chocolate button for a pee and two chocolate buttons for a poo – Ella is yet to receive two chocolate buttons at once as no number twos have happened in the potty yet. She must be holding in her number twos as she does them first thing in her night-time nappy.

James is now away for ten days and it is great that my mum has been able to come to stay, she has been doing a grand job whilst I have been out at work. It really is an all-consuming part of parenting and I am very grateful that my mum can spare her time to help me with Ella.

It was a tough week, but looking back we have made huge progress and I feel we have turned a massive corner and I mustn’t be tempted to put the nappy back on.



15 October


The nappies are off!

TV presenter and mum Jenni Falconer

Jenni, her husband James and their two year old daughter Ella are taking the plunge and are embarking on a very public potty training.

The six weekly blogs will bring potty training to life through the eyes of a busy working celebrity mum, following the peaks and troughs of what is an eventful, humorous, and sometimes stressful episode for parents and children alike.

Jenni Falconer, aged 37, is a broadcaster and presenter best known for TV shows such as This Morning and National Lottery Live. The Scottish presenter married actor James Midgley in 2010, Ella is their first child.


Week 1:

The time has finally come to begin potty training with Ella, I gladly agreed to pen the potty training blog some time ago, but now that it is here I confess I am quite nervous. I think the nerves come from wanting to make it as smooth a process for Ella as possible. Truth be told, whilst both James and I are keen to get Ella out of nappies, we are slightly reluctant as this means that our baby is really growing up!

Getting Ready:
From reading the How to Potty Train book, week 1 is all about preparation, which is really about ensuring that Ella is ready, but as busy working parents we have had to make sure that we are ready as well. The book is fantastic and I would recommend it to anyone embarking on potty training in the next few months, it is full of great advice, handy tips and signs to look out for during the whole process.


Helpfully, James is jetting off to the States for work next week. To say he is washing his hands of potty training would be a bit harsh, but the timing is a little suspect. To be honest it’s an exciting project that he’s directing and he can’t really turn it down in favour of a spot of potty training, so it looks like he’s off the hook…but until then, he’s getting involved as much as possible!

Stepping into the breach in his absence next week are my mum and dad who are visiting from Glasgow and will be spending ten days with me. This is really helpful as it gives me flexibility, if something comes up with work I know Ella will be in good hands. I understand potty training can be a bit stressful so I want Ella to be surrounded by people she knows well as we start to introduce changes into her routine.

First, let’s get through week one….the ‘preparation week’ and for this I have pretty much cleared the decks as much as I can in terms of work. I am helping out on the Heart FM London Breakfast Show with Jamie and Emma Monday to Friday this week. I have been out and about giving prizes to listeners all across London but the early starts mean I am normally back by 9am so it is great to know that James and my mum will be at home with Ella.


Is Ella ready?
In terms of gauging whether Ella is ready, she has started telling me that she has gone for a wee, which is not something she did before. At the weekend we bought her a new duck potty; it has a lid like a proper toilet and quacks every time something goes in the bowl. We are yet to put the batteries in so it isn’t quacking yet. Ella has been sitting on the potty with her nappies on with a wet wipes in one hand and a nappy in the other.

When I pointed out that she doesn’t need to wear her nappy on the potty she didn’t seem at all happy and says she needs her nappy (at least that’s what we think she’s saying!). So I have been asking her whether our dog Alfie, a puggle, wears nappies or her favourite toys like Minnie Mouse wears nappies (this is what the potty training book advised). She says yes, but after a bit of ‘to-ing and fro-ing’ she eventually concedes that they don’t actually wear nappies. Although she does occasionally try to put a nappy on some of her toys so I think we have still got a bit of a way to go.

As she is only just two she can’t fully converse but she knows exactly what we are saying. We have been reading ‘Poppy and Pablo’s Big Routine’ in the ‘How to Potty Train’ book which has helped explain the first steps of potty training. This means when we were in the bathroom and I ask her where does Ella go, she understands and points at her potty and I ask where do mummy and daddy go, she points at the toilet so she really does understand and I am confident that she is ready.

Next Steps:
I had planned to remove the nappies today, but she has had a cold and is a bit under the weather, so I am going to wait until she is feeling better, I don’t want her to feel like we are rushing it. Once she feels better we will take them off and see how it goes (eek!). I have completely cleared my diary at the weekend so even if it takes all week for her to fully recover, things can officially commence on Saturday!

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