November, 2013

28 November
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Week 6: Family holiday

SQ
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 6: Disneyland Paris
We booked our trip to Disneyland Paris before we decided to potty train Ella, the timing probably isn’t perfect but Ella just couldn’t wait any longer to meet Minnie Mouse! Minnie is her favourite character and her favourite cuddle toy is a Minnie Mouse.

Our trip was certainly very interesting. It was the first time we travelled a really long way during potty training. We drove to Eurostar, spent two and half hours on the train, and arrived at the hotel with no accidents – how good is that!

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I actually packed a huge suitcase for all of us, which had a few clothes for James and I and then nearly the whole of Ella’s wardrobe, we didn’t use half of it in the end. James did say ‘how many accidents do you think she is going to have?’ I just wanted to be prepared.

Obviously Disneyland Paris was hugely exciting for Ella, but she was brilliant at telling us she needed a pee and the Dry Like Me pads were really handy. She did have one false alarm when we were queuing for the Mad Hatters ride and we left the queue and went to the toilets and nothing happened – so we had to queue up all over again – better safe than sorry though. My fear was that Ella having an accident on a ride and not being able to do anything until it stopped.

It was so amazing for her that she had some long naps during the day as we were up at 7/8am until 11pm as there was so much to do. One evening we were out for dinner and there were loads of children there, Ella was playing with some boys who were slightly older than her and one ran over to me and said ‘pooie’, Ella had gone but not even realised, very funny.

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We did have some confusing moments, Ella calls Minnie – Mimi; Mickey – Mick and Pluto – Pooh. It’s very cute but pretty confusing when she’s been potty training and suddenly screams ‘poo poo poo’. I get ready for action seeking out loos and getting a change of clothes out of the bag only to realise she has seen Pluto nearby.

Back home
Things have changed at home now, Ella is now much better with her ‘number twos’, but has had a few ‘number one’ accidents which haven’t been a problem for a couple of weeks. I think as our normal routine has resumed Ella is continuing to learn for herself her body’s signs that she needs to go to the loo. I do count myself lucky though as some of my friends have told me funny stories about what their children do and one of them keeps on pooing behind the sofa which is hilarious.

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I have now come to an end of my six week potty training blog and I am so proud of what Ella has achieved, she is going a bit back and forth in her successes at the moment, but she is going in the right direction. I think she has done brilliantly and there have been some very funny moments I can embarrass her with when she is older.

I have found writing the blog invaluable, it gave me strength to continue and not to back track or give in or say to myself that Ella isn’t ready. I think it has been really beneficial for Ella as if I hadn’t been doing the blog I might have been less committed, I found the support of the ‘How To Potty Train’ book and the Dry Like Me pads really ensured our successes. I hope my experiences and views have helped others not to panic and to keep going. It has been a great way for me to support Ella at this time in her life and I hope you have enjoyed it.

21 November
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Week 5: Distractions, inspiration and pride

SQ
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 5:
We have completely nailed number ones, however, numbers two seem to be a bit more difficult. Ella is able to say she is ready to go but then it happens so fast we don’t get to the toilet in time, I am sure that she will learn to understand what her body is doing before too long.

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Dry mornings
Ella is now waking up in the morning with a dry night time nappy. One night she woke up and came to find me to tell me she needed a wee – what progress! I didn’t want to wake her properly, so I took her to the toilet and she just sat there whilst she was peeing and cuddled me – it was so sweet. I think she might get up in the night and go by herself soon.

Daddy and naps
James was looking after Ella quite a lot this week and she did soil her pants a few times and he has come up with very funny way of dealing with the pants. He holds them in the toilet and flushes it so it washes everything away – the lengths someone will go to to avoid washing something – although it is a genius idea.

She has started to nap a bit more and I think I am going to start using a Dry Like Me night time pad as a nap doesn’t warrant a night time nappy but that would offer her some protection just in case – the dilemmas of potty training!

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Distractions
Ella needing a wee came in very handy the other day during a playdate. The kids were in the garden playing on the slide everyone was freezing but they wouldn’t come inside no matter what we said. It was only when Ella told James that she needed the loo, that we managed to get everyone inside.

Inspiration
Since we started potty training our friends have been really encouraged by the progress Ella has made, and a few have started with their children. A lot of people say that you should only potty train children in the summer but I think it really depends on whether your child is ready, if you think they are just go for it.

Pride
In the ‘How to Potty Train’ book, there is a lovely ‘officially being a star potty trainer’ certificate to give your children and I decided that it was time to give this to Ella, she loved it and was really pleased, it was lovely.

The three of us are off to Disneyland Paris this week so I am just hoping it is all is going to be ok, check in next week to see how we got on. The trip will really show us whether or not we have fully cracked potty training. I have to admit I look forward to the day I can leave the house without a load of spare clothes!

07 November
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Week 4: Two steps forward, one step back

SQ
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 4:
After thinking Ella and I had cracked it, this week has been more challenging. We have had a couple of problems with number twos…luckily both times we were at home. It’s a bit frustrating as I thought we were out of the woods and was hoping that Ella had made the transition out of nappies in record time. Although Ella is still very good at being aware of needing to go it is the number two’s seem to creep up on her.

After her few accidents we talked about what to do when she needs to go for a number two, I told her that she needs to shout ‘POO’ so we know to react quickly. I need to be more prepared and ready to drop everything and get Ella on the potty as quickly as possible but with minimal fuss.

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James returned from America this week and he was really impressed about how we were getting on, he really appreciates that I took potty training on and is very proud of Ella for making such fantastic progress.

Travel and False Alarms
Last time I mentioned we were going to a friend’s house which is about 1½ hours away, it all went well and there were no accidents in the car. When we got there we visited the toilet about 15 times, although she only actually ‘went’ three times. But it is better to be safe than sorry, especially when you are at someone else’s house.

The false alarms appear to be a combination of attention seeking and used strategically to get out of things out of she doesn’t want to do – for example eating food she doesn’t like. Although the other day, whilst we were having dinner she needed the toilet and saw nothing wrong in wanting to take her dinner with her to the toilet. Although I tried to point out that this wasn’t particularly hygienic, she insisted and promptly took her fish fingers with her!

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I haven’t yet worked out when it is a false alarm and I am not prepared to take the risk as I know she will call my bluff and I will be left with a mess to clean up.

Ella has had a few play dates in the last week and she isn’t as good as telling me she needs to go. I don’t know whether it is because she is having so much fun she forgets, or she’s distracted, or maybe even a bit embarrassed. Luckily, we didn’t have an accident but we had a number of close calls and dashes to the potty.

She did have one wee accident while she was napping, we didn’t know what to do as Ella isn’t really a big napper and we didn’t put a nappy on her on this occasion, but it isn’t a big deal as accidents are all part of the process.

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Now that I am in my fourth week I would just say to any parents who are deciding whether to start potty training to be brave and, if their children are showing the right signs, go for it. The first couple of days are really hard but persevere as it is worth it. There is no longer a stinky nappy bin and we are now saving a fortune on nappies, as we only need one nappy for night-time.

I have found the Dry Like Me pads brilliant, we used the Early Day pads for the first couple of days and since then have been using the Original Dry Like Me pads which have been key to Ella’s learning. We now just have to learn how to use the Night-time Dry Like Me pads, but that won’t be for another week or so.

On the whole she seems very proud of herself, as are James and I.

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