I remember when I first began toilet training Madi when I was pregnant with Max, everyone told me to get her up to scratch by the time a newborn was around so I didn’t have to try and juggle a baby and toilet training.

Luckily Madi didn’t take too long and although we did try everything to get her on the loo and gave up after being unsuccessful, in the end it only took buying a pair of Dora the Explorer undies for her to decide she knew what she was doing. Job done.

Well, for the most part. I can’t tell you how many pairs of undies I chucked out purely because they weren’t worth salvaging from the most impressive skiddies that I had ever seen.

Fast forward a few years and it is Max’s turn.
Let’s set the scene: his dad and I aren’t together, Max lives with 2 females most of the time (at that stage!) and we both sit down to pee - how the fuck am I going to teach him to pee standing up? The only time he saw someone standing up was when he was with his dad but that was only every couple of days.
(*parenting schedule has changed to 50/50 and at the time when Max was toilet training he was 70/30)


The beginning…
I took Max to the shops and let him choose his potty. Of course he chose the nosiest Paw Patrol get up that has wheels and a padded seat (side note: why don’t they exist on adult toilets?). We sat it right next to the big people toilet in the kids bathroom (which was the main toilet as my ensuite was MY ensuite but really wasn’t my ensuite because obviously nothing is just mine) and hoped for the best.
Max would sit down on his potty when Madi or I would go to the loo and sometimes attempt to take his own nappy off when he needed to wee, however that was about it for a while. Honestly, I put it down to laziness because he was so content shitting and peeing in his pants, so why the hell would you just give that up? This is when I realised that after attempting to toilet train two children, here’s the golden nugget:

Toddlers are stubborn buggers, so just stop forcing them. When they’re ready to do big people wees, they’ll do them.

Things to remember when toilet training:

  • They’ll do it when they’re ready

  • You are their biggest influence - so take them to the loo with you so they can see what needs to be done

  • Keep some wet wipes next to the loo as an option for wiping

  • When they by themselves to attempt it, go with them and pretend you’re going to the loo

  • Boys: let them learn by sitting first and eventually with influence they’ll learn to stand

  • Again I cannot stress enough, DON’T FORCE THEM

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Max has been nailing the toilet thing for a while now and it feels like a blur. Right now while I write this he just asked me to look at his big poo and is now hitting me with his undies. This is my reality now.


To continue our journey…
Max was a sit down wee man for a while until he started staying with his dad more. His dad is your standard Aussie bloke, so the way I found out Max could do stand up wees was true to his dad’s personality and something that we both laughed about when it happened.

Max came home one day and says to me, “Mummy, I go outside and do bush wees” then heads out the back door to the garden, drops his dacks and does a stand up wee. He gave it a shake, put his pants back on and job was done. I was not expecting it, absolutely lost the plot and cried hysterically with laughter and text his dad straight away, still laughing.

He was now officially a stand up wee man.

Good job kiddo!

If I have one last tip to share: stock up on napisan and jocks.
Sometimes they just aren’t worth saving.

MotherhoodLauren Patterson