Potty Training

I feel like potty training is one of the major events in the first few years of your child’s life, and now we’re dry in the daytime with our oldest, I thought I’d share some of my thoughts and how we went about it.

My first, and most important, piece of advice for anyone who’s nearing the stage is don’t rush it. I truly believe some parents make it 100x harder for themselves by trying to do it before their child is ready and therefore it takes months and months rather than weeks or even days.

Listen to your child: it could be they wake up on their second birthday totally ready to ditch the nappies, but they might be closer to four before they’re ready. In my mind, the only deadline was Alexandra going to school this September as I knew she needed to be dry by then. But other than I didn’t feel any pressure at all, even though many of her friends had started training before us.

Even if they’re not ready, you can still start introducing the idea slowly. For a while, we had a potty around in the lounge, and we talked a fair amount about potty training, being in big girl pants etc. Alexandra had even done a few wees in the potty.

For a couple of weeks, she was asking to use the toilet at nursery – I think partly because most of the children in her room were already potty trained and she probably wondered what she was missing out on when they all trekked to the toilet at certain times in the day! Then over one weekend she asked repeatedly to use the potty or toilet at our house, so we felt like the time was right to try.

On the Monday, I just asked her casually if she wanted to wear big girl pants to nursery, she said yes, so that was that. At first we would offer a sticker as a reward if she did a wee in the potty, and nursery were doing the same so that was good to have the consistency across both places.

We had a few accidents that first week, and poos were an issue until one day she did one on the toilet and that was that, she’s not had a poo accident since (we’re about two/three months into the process now I think! I have totally lost track of time). We do still have some wee accidents, mostly when she is totally engrossed in whatever she is doing, but they are few and far between.

After a couple of weeks, she stopped using the potty and wanted to use the toilet instead, which although it’s a bit of a faff as we don’t have a loo downstairs, is fine! Most of the time now she asks when she needs to go, rather than us having to constantly ask every five minutes!

She’s still in pull ups overnight (although when she’s awake in the evening or morning she asks for the toilet even if she’s in pull ups). Everything I’ve read suggests night-time dryness depends on the release of a hormone so we will wait until her nappy is consistently dry in the morning before we even attempt to get rid of the pull ups altogether. Again, I really don’t feel like there’s any rush!

Most of the time, you refine things you’ve done for the second time round, but I have to say I will probably do the same process for Max when the time comes. I think he may be earlier to train than Alexandra as he is already starting to tell us when he’s done or is about to do a poo, something she never did until way past her third birthday. But I will totally let him take the lead and go for it when he’s ready, as it wasn’t nearly as stressful as I thought it was going to be!

Harriet, Alexandra and Max x

Baby 2: 16 Months Old

A whole month has gone by and I haven’t even got round to writing anything on here. Max is 16 months old today and life is as hectic as ever (plus I’ve kind of been prioritising watching Love Island!).

  • Teeth: 12 now with just the canines and back molars to come through.
  • Walking: Walking fairly steadily now and trying to run all the time!
  • Toys: His absolute favourite thing to do at the moment is to play football or throwing a ball around. He’s utterly obsessed and if I had to take away all his toys and leave him with just one, it’d definitely be a ball.
  • Food: Still haven’t trialled dairy or soya again but eating LOTS apart from those two things.
  • Routine: We’re just in the process of dropping down from two naps to one – although I always find that drop awkward because you can either stick with a morning nap and then they’re tired and cranky in the afternoon, or do the opposite, or do what we’re doing and try and do a middle-of-the-day nap, which then messes with lunchtime!
  • Sleep: Last month has been tough. He did not like the heatwave. He did not like his teeth coming through. He did not want to be apart from us overnight. He also was going through a developmental leap I think. Hurrah for caffeine.
  • Speech: He’s started ‘talking’ a lot more. 95 per cent of it isn’t understandable but he’s definitely trying to tell us stuff! The other day he did say ‘hi Alex’ which I was super impressed by (well Ali rather than Alex but that’s how his cousin says it too!).
  • Size: A few people have commented this month that he’s got much bigger! I haven’t had him weighed (Last time I took them to baby clinic there was an hour-long wait and he’ll get done at the hospital in October for his next appointment anyway), but the amount he’s eating he should actually be about 30 stone by now.
  • Sister: Now he can hit back there are lots more squabbles! They absolutely adore each other and play so nicely sometimes, but other times it’s like a wrestling zone and I’m sure it’ll get worse over time!

By my update next month he’ll have done his settling in sessions at nursery. Eek!

Harriet, Alexandra and Max x

Using Their Images

There seems to be a lot of hoo-ha at the moment surrounding people using images of their children. It’s more specifically around the ‘influencers’ who include pictures and videos of family life, and a lot of the time benefit from freebies or even sponsorship by doing so.

But it does get you thinking about your own approach to your children’s privacy. We have always been fairly open about what we share on social media and I clearly have no problem with images of my children being online. If they turn round to me when they’re older and decide they don’t want any more images of them put out there, then I would be more than happy to comply with their requests. Or once they’re old enough to decide which images or videos they do, and don’t, want online then again that’d be something I’d leave up to them to decide.

I have a lot of respect for people who choose to keep their children completely off Facebook or Instagram – I think if that works for your family then it’s a really honourable thing to do when you must be tempted to pop up a cute snap from time to time! But for me personally, I think providing you’re not silly with it then it’s also fine to make the decision – as we have – to share images of our children.

I also wonder where people have complete blanket bans on their child appearing on social media, how that’s adhered to when they’re out in public. I know I try and be vigilant about what (or who) is in the background of any pictures I take at soft play or baby groups. Not so much on my Facebook as that’s private, but on my public Instagram I try and pop an emoji over the faces of any children who happen to be running around in the background of pictures I’ve taken. But I’d imagine many others wouldn’t even think twice about putting the picture up without checking if there are any identifiable faces in it?

As I mentioned before, I do think it’s important to have certain limits when it comes to posting images of child. For example I’ve never taken, yet alone shared, a picture of my children naked. You’ll find ones of them in their nappy or in the bath where only their top halves are visible. But I do cringe a bit when I see totally naked pictures of babies on social media.

For me though, sharing images of my children is a lovely way to share with family and friends who may not live round the corner and see them all the time – and getting Timehop notifications about what we were doing this time last year or the year before is really uplifting too.

I think it’ll be interesting as we go forward what our children decide for their own children – who will presumably be even more tech-reliant than we are!

Harriet, Alexandra and Max x

Baby 2 Has Arrived!

We are utterly delighted to say our darling baby boy Max Llewellyn Arturs was born on Sunday, March 26 (Mother’s Day) at 11.57am at 35+1 weighing 4lb 13.

Unfortunately he has been feeling poorly and is still in hospital but he is just utterly lovely with the longest fingers and skinniest legs I’ve ever seen. We are very in love with him already!

I will of course share his birth story and there’s also lots to talk about in terms of his stay on NICU so that will all be included. I’ve also got Alexandra’s 19 month update and hopefully soon once he’s home I can talk about life adjusting to being a mother of two under two.

Harriet, Alexandra and Max x