Toilet Training the Toddler

So all of a sudden, one fine morning while preparing to go to school, my toddler at 2.5 years old proclaimed, “NO DIAPER!!”. I was stunned and I panicked. I was not prepared for this at all. I have not yet read up on any toilet training tips other than some of my friends’ sharing on facebook posts. Does this mean he was ready to be trained? I was not sure at that point in time. We were in a rush. And we decided, ok, just let him go without diapers to school. We kept telling him in the car, if you want to pee pee (this is the term they used in school), please tell Teacher A ok? This happened at 7:30am. At 9:05am, the daddy messaged me “He peed”. And then he was on diapers the rest of the day.

So well, after having one episode of that, I decided to read up more and find out more on WHEN I should toilet-train and HOW we can do that. I also started to shop for underwear for him. SO here are some tips and my experience as well on what we did.

1.Whenever possible, get them to remove their diaper to pee.
By the time he declared “NO DIAPER”, he was already peeing into the urinal or on the bathroom floor just before bath-time everyday. We didn’t know, but this process helped a lot in the toilet training process.

2. Let them tell you when they are ready. Do not force it.
So we started the process when he was 2 years 8 months old. 2 whole months after that fateful proclamation of “NO DIAPER” and a few instances after that of telling us to remove the diaper and that the diaper was wet. All these were hints that he was ready to be toilet trained. Basically that they were starting to dislike the feeling of wearing a diaper especially if the diaper was wet. If they prefer a diaper, just let them have the diaper and try again maybe a month later. If they are deterred by the process, it would be more difficult. Make the process fun! 🙂

3. Do a crash course
I am a FTWM. So at the max I would only have the weekend to train him. This was too short I felt so I took 2 days of leave and had a 4 day stretch to spend with him. I coincided this with a family staycation. We had to bring the kiddy urinal along.

4. Prepare goodies
When my friend advised me to do this, I had no idea what to pack in a goodie bag that my boy would like. I can’t think of presents small enough that I can give it to him every time he pees at the correct place. After thinking and searching, I found the perfect solution! Surprise Eggs by Kinder Surprise! My son was really into it and this made the perfect “goodie bag” for me! I found the surprise eggs at Valu$ shop for reaonable price! They are sold at Cold Storage as well but for more expensive. IMG_6255

5. Buy enough underwear/shorts
I prepared about 10 pieces of underwear and shorts for this entire process. It was barely sufficient. I had prepared less actually and went out to Mothercare to top up more. (BTW, I tried Carters/Oshkosh/Mothercare undies and I find Mothercare undies the most comfy!) His favourite shorts are the Panda Shorts from Taobao. I thank my dear friend Vryn for helping me with that!

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Here is him with his first surprise egg from mummy! He was wearing Carters undies here

6. Keep reminding
I kept telling my boy, if you want to xuxu/peepee, who do you tell? He will reply Mummy!, I will also keep asking “Do you want to xuxu?” On the first day, I think I kept asking him every about 15 mins. I also reminded him that if he peed in his urinal, he would get a surprise egg!

7. Encourage and Perservere
On day 1, even with the many reminders, he leaked in his pants. but once he leaked and I saw urine dripping out, I would rush him to the toilet to finish his business there. By the end of the first day, he could tell me he wanted to xuxu AFTER he leaked ALOT in his pants. But we will rush him to the toilet anyway. If he does continue peeing in the urinal, he will get the surprise egg. And lots of praises from the mummy.

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Tired from toilet training and loving his surprises from the surprise eggs so much he holds on to them at naptime.

By Day 2, for the first time, he managed to tell me he wanted to xuxu just after leaking a little in his underwear. That was progress. I think he was adjusting to the feeling of wanted to pee but didn’t know how to. So leaking a bit and feeling some wetness in his undies was his sign of needing to pee. This process continued. He would always leak a bit before he was able to tell us he needed to pee.  On day 5, he returned to school. First time away from mummy after being toilet-trained. We had pre-empted him to tell his Teacher A if he wanted to pee. We were nervous but went ahead to do so. And he was ok in school! It took a while for him to be able to tell us that he needed to pee without wetting his pants at all. About a week or so. He was toilet-trained because he would even tell us he needed to go to the toilet when he was at the swimming pool or when he was wearing a diaper getting ready for bed. But yay! After going through about 8 boxes of Kinder Surprise Eggs, he was toilet-trained! 🙂

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This was his prize for pee-ing in the urinal 🙂

Problems I faced:

  1. Initially he could only pee in urinals when we were out. I had to search for shopping centres with kiddy urinals to go to. I will update that list in another post. Good thing he managed to overcome this when we encouraged him to pee at other places like in the potty or the toiletbowl. That made going out easier.
  2. He still sleeps with a diaper (It’s been about 1 month since we started him on toilet-training). For both nap and bedtime. I’m not sure how to go about training this. Any suggestions? Naptime he sometimes have a dry diaper when he wakes up. For night time, his diaper is always soaked.
  3. He sometimes poops into the potty, but prefers to poop in his underwear. He tells us that he doesn’t want to poop in the potty. Any suggestions on this as well?
  4. He only tells daddy, mummy and teacher that he wants to pee. He had an accident and peed on the sofa once when it was just his granduncle and grandauntie alone with him at home. He knew them well but still does not tell. We had to tell him that they can also bring him to the toilet for him to be more comfortable telling them.

Any other tips for toilet training the little one? Please share here! 🙂

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11 thoughts on “Toilet Training the Toddler

  1. My eldest surprised me with her readiness. We had been seeding the idea, and encouraging her, then when she was 2 yrs 7 months she just declared that she wanted to wear underwear instead of diapers, and that was pretty much it! Very low incidence of accidents. And within a month she was diaper free at night too. 🙂 So I believe their willingness and readiness is key.

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  2. I agree with you, the kid needs to be prepped and all, but ultimately he/she will tell you when they are ready to start toilet-training. I started sharing books on potty training when my girl was 2.5 years old and she was ready at 3 years. I packed in lots of extra for her when she went to daycare and she was on her own by 3.5 years. Well done, mummy. You did well too!

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  3. A very good list of tips. I didn’t go through any special training process with Lil Pumpkin, as she took to going off diapers pretty fast and naturally but I agree that you shouldn’t rush the children to be off diapers at a certain age. When they are ready, they will be ready 🙂

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka

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  4. WOW! You took leave to toilet train him! Aren’t you good or what! hahah Kudos to your dedication =) My son toilet trained before he went N1. It is my most dreaded training ever. I really do not like toilet training and we gave him a reward chart in the loo everytime he pee without a diaper. It took many many accidents at home and in school too to get him to successfully pee in the toilet. However, at 3.5 years of age now, he still refuses to Poo in the potty. If he wants to go to the toilet, he needs us to change him into a diaper so he can do it comfortably! ahahaha I don’t know when to transit him. When he’s ready? Oh when might that be!

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  5. We didn’t exactly diaper-train our elder kid.. it was like one day he would tell us that he wants to peepee and he didn’t want to pee in his diapers. So we took that as a cue, and he just went ahead from there! He is still wearing diapers for his sleep though, not sure when he’ll grow out of it but we ain’t rushing him. 🙂

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  6. Toilet training requires so much patience and perseverance on the parents’ part. Thanks for this helpful list of tips! I’ll definitely refer to it when Buddy’s turn has come 😛

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