Toilet learning – Phase two

As mentioned in my last post, I’ve started phase two of toilet learning with Havvie. She has been using the potty confidently for poos for more than 2 months. She has also started walking and was pretty steady on her feet for about 2 weeks so I knew it was time to get rid of nappies during her waking hours.

I updated my prepared environment by replacing nappies with underwear. The rest of the basket remained the same as phase one. If you’ve read my previous post, about our dressing area, you’ll know that as soon as I put the underwear out for her in her basket she proceeded to try and put them on after using the potty. That’s literally how we got started.


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I started on a day where I was going to be at home full time with her on a consecutive series of days. Most critically, I also made sure I was on the same page with my husband and had prepared him and our home so we were ready for accidents. Here’s how it went:

  • Day 1 – She was doing all the wees in her underwear. I took her to the potty now and then but it was hit and miss. The crucial part was that I sat on her potty even after she had gone and then calmly explained to her what had happened and changed her.
  • Day 2 – Everytime she did a wee in her underwear, she looked down. The recognition that she was going in her underwear was starting. I took her to the potty with 50% success. It was purely guesswork at this point.
  • Day 3 – I started to understand her body’s rhythms and when she was likely to go after drinking water. It was usually first thing in the morning, after her afternoon nap and 30 mins after having water. She would go in her underwear but tell me straight after and start taking her underwear off so she could get changed.
  • Day 4 – She started to recognise while she was going as opposed to after. So when she signalled that she needed the potty, she would hold and sit down on the potty and then do the rest. We were down to 1 to 2 accidents.
  • Day 5 – She had started to tell me before she needed to go. I was still picking her up and taking her to the potty.
  • Day 6 – She told me before she needed to go every single time. We would calmly walk together to the potty, take off her underwear and she would sit. There were no accidents.

That’s really it. Since that time we’ve been in underwear full time and she’s basically accident free besides the odd one here and there when she’s really engrossed in play. These have also generally been when she’s with a different caregiver.


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I also want to point out, during the 6 days, we went out for 2 to 3 hours at a time on 2 different occasions and she was with her grandma on one of the days while I went to work. Since the 6 days we’ve attended a wedding, been to church and been out of the house for 6+ hours at a time. I’ve always taken a travel potty with me to be prepared for these occasions.

Overall it’s been quite easy and Havvie and I are quietly confident whenever we step out of the house. I feel Havvie has lead the way entirely and I’m very happy she’s taken such great strides towards independence. To be clear, I still expect accidents but they are just part of the learning process.

The final phase for us is to remove nappies during sleep. I’ve waited until she wakes up dry consistently after her sleeps. This happens about 5 days in a week, so I’ve written a post about this phase a lot sooner than I thought.

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