Gulp! It’s upon us. Potty training! Gah!
I’m in denial about this I think. I had hoped that one day Finn, now 2 and a half years old, would wake up and suddenly be able to control his ‘functions’ and I’d just pop on a pair of normal pants on him and that would be it.
Alas, when asked “have you done a poo poo” he still often says “no”. A few poos and pees on the kitchen floor later, and we are still at the beginning of our journey :-)
The great news is that he absolutely LOVES his potty. He sits on his plastic free throne proudly, whether or not he yet knows what he needs to do on it. It is an eKoala biodegradable bio-plastic potty. Biodegradable potties are nearly impossible to find in the UK, and so I am really pleased to have one, and to be able to sell them in my shop. We have a lovely green potty in the downstairs loo, and a beautiful purple one upstairs in his room.
In my efforts toward potty training with Finn, I thought that I would ask some parent friends how they’ve been getting on, and what advice they would give for positive potty training and what tips they have for plastic free potty training.
- “Buy a biodegradable bio-plastic potty”. Almost ALL potties that you find on the market at the moment are plastic. It is near impossible to find a biodegradable one in the UK at an affordable price, but here we have one! This revolutionizes the world of potties. No more traditional plastic: this potty is entirely made of BIOplastic, is the first 100% biodegradable potty and a real friend of our environment! eKoala bioplastic is made of renewable raw materials such as corn, beetroot and switchgrass. At first sight it is identical to traditional plastic. The only difference is its chemical composition, and it is completely non-toxic (no yucky BPA, no yucky phthalates). It comes in three really vibrant colour options, too - green, purple, and blue. What is absolutely lovely about this potty, too, is that it has a little flower seed hidden under the label which you can plant with your child. Fill the world with flowers!!
“He is desperate to not wear a nappy. But also tries to pull his willy off. A slight concern.”
- “Embrace the bare bum”. It was a common theme amongst my parent friends to take advantage the sunny summer months when potty training (and indeed the ‘lockdown’ months following the Coronavirus epidemic), so that they can be free from a nappy most of the day. “I would definitely say it’s a good idea to do in summer so they can be naked!”… “the warm weather helped as we could be naked outside”… In the great outdoors, you can avoid the clean up of any accidents, and therefore avoiding any further plastic waste from baby wipes or similar. You can see the wee wees as naturally nitrogenating the plants in your garden, without the need of shop-bought fertilisers in plastic packaging! Ha ha! Every little reduction in single use plastic helps!
“Remember to take the rugs up!”
- “Be toddler led”. There is a lot of pressure that builds up when you see other toddlers the same age as your child already potty-training, or indeed completely potty-trained. Certainly I know that my son is the last in the crew of babies born at the same time as him to potty train. I’m ok with that. “Wait until they are ready. Be toddler led, don’t be pressured by other parents saying their kids are already trained. They will bring it up when they are interested in it.” Also, a common theme seems to avoid ‘over-prompting’ of your toddler, as it becomes too much of a pressure.
“She genuinely had no idea she had done one and would swear blind she hadn’t. Just carried on playing. The potty training made her realise when she was actually doing it. She was so shocked when she first had a wee.”
“Try not to over prompt as it cause more stress and pressure...and LOTS of wine!”
4) “Buy loads and loads of pants”. Another common theme was the need to buy a whole stash of pants or knickers for your potty training toddler, to incentivise the training itself and to encourage the feeling of being “grown up”; “We did go for pants and made a big deal of having big boy pants and how grown up he was using big boys toilet”…. “I started with buying him new pants and made a big song and dance about how amazing the pants were. He really wanted to wear the pants. I told him he could wear them when he starts to use the potty.”… “Oh and for boys, buy boxers not pants… we had to reset my son as we tried pants, but they can get muscle memory and think it's a nappy, so he kept having accidents but the boxers work great!”
As I write I am trying to source some 100% organic cotton training pants / boxer shorts, which is actually quite a struggle as most pants come with synthetic materials (such as the synthetic elastic, or the packaging that they arrive in, or synthetic wadding on the inside of training pants). I will update this blog when I have managed to source some that will be available via my online Plastic Free Baby shop.
Good luck, everyone! Let me know how your potty training is going.
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