Potty training diary (day 1-5)

We decided it was time to begin potty training George. In the past we’ve tried to show George the potty and get him used to the idea. We know he’s ready for potty training because he can tell us when he’s pooed and also can do wee wees on demand when in the bath (lovely). We had already bought him a potty, but a friend suggested we get George to choose a potty himself. He chose a rather amazing dinosaur themed potty. We decided a good incentive for George would be a chocolate egg after every wee or poo. We also bought a really nice reward chart from Tesco and some stickers for George to put up. We also got George to pick out some pants from the shops for him to wear instead of his nappy.
Day 1

George managed a wee wee on the potty almost straight away. We are constantly asking him and reminding him he wasn’t wearing a nappy. He managed a few wees which made us cheer and we made a massive fuss. We also did a “I’ve done a wee wee dance and song”.

Day 2

Major progress already – George managed eight wees on the potty. He was particularly happy to get a chocolate egg after each wee. He did have a couple of small accidents, but quickly stopped weeing and realised something wasn’t quite right. We then put him on the potty and he start to wee again, which was fantastic.

Day 3

More progress made. George did his first poo, which was rather disgusting I have to say. He didn’t quite understand he needed to do it on the potty and pooed all over the floor. We stopped him mid poo and he did manage a bit more on the potty. We didn’t let on our horror that there was poo everywhere – in fact we gave him a big cheer. Cleaning up nappies is fine, but cleaning up poo from the floor is a quite unpleasant. We also have to open all the windows to get rid of the smell. Never mind, we will persevere.

Day 4

Day 4 was difficult because I’d planned to take George away to Legoland. I tried to get him to do a wee in the potty in the morning, but he wanted his nappy on and had a bit of a melt down. We’ve found transitioning to a pants is difficult in the morning because he is hungry. We tend to just whip it off and ignore him. The good news is he has also been asking to put his pants on, rather than be bare down below.

Day 5

George managed lots of wees on the potty, but amazingly Laura managed to convince him to do a poo on the potty all by himself. I was shocked by the size of his poo. How does someone so small produce such a big poo? Anyway, we flushed it down the toilet with George and made a huge fuss of him. He also got two chocolate eggs and two stickers on his reward chart.

After all the amazing progress, we’ve had to put potty training on hold. We’ve got new carpets and had to move out of our house for a few days in order from them to be fitted. This has meant three nights away from home and we didn’t want to potty train whilst we were away. We will start potty training again tomorrow. George is definitely ready and I’ll keep you up to date on the progress.

I took part in the Andrex word challenge

Andrex Washlets surveyed 2,000 British adults to analyse their conversation and found that nearly half of Brits (47%) shy away from having conversations about difficult subjects – more of us shy away from talking about bathroom habits than mental health and sex! The survey also found that women are generally much better at broaching difficult or embarrassing topics.

The video above is where I took part in the Andrex Washlets word challenge, against Denise from Snaffles’ Mummy.  Denise did a great job describing her words – sadly her webcam wasn’t working so we can’t see her. I did my best to describe the words and amazingly Denise understood exactly what I was describing and I won.


I wasn’t paid to take part in this challenge or to promote Andrex, but winners of the competition were offered a cash prize.



The joy of sleep

Over the past month or so George has slept very well. Occasionally he wakes asking for water, but that takes all of five minutes, as he will settle quickly and we can get back to sleep. Here are a few thoughts on what I think has helped:

  • George knows that he cannot come into our bed at night – under any circumstances. We have won this war and it took lots of discipline not to allow him into our bed, even when we were shattered
  • Our bedtime routine is consistent, but his bedtime varies depending on how tired he is
  • George has long naps during the day, which he now asks for and tells us when he is tired, but we still look for the telltale signs
  • We let George cry for around five minutes, listening for signs of distress. If he is crying softly then we don’t rush into his bedroom; he now settles himself after a short while (less than five minutes)

George now asks to go to sleep – this was unheard of six months ago. We’ve made fantastic progress on his sleeping and it seems to have really brought on his development. He is such a well behaved and happy boy – just a joy to be around. When he’s hungry or tired are the only times that changes.

The only downside of George asking to go to sleep is we don’t get to read to him at night. Instead we’re making sure he has a story before his morning nap. This is a good routine and habit to get into before his naps.

My message is simple; establish a routine and stick to it. You’ve got to be disciplined with yourself, in order to affect change.

A YouTube video that helped George brush his teeth

Over the past few months George has become increasingly difficult when it’s time to brush his teeth. Our solution was rather extreme in hindsight; we held his arms and brushed his teeth against his will. He would kick and scream and run around when it came time to brush his teeth. I was chatting to a colleague at work and asked how he was tackling the problem – his solution was a short video on YouTube. We tried it ourselves and George hasn’t resisted having his teeth brushed once. It’s an amazing transformation. The other good part about the video is you’re supposed to keep brushing until the video has ended, therefore brushing his teeth for the recommended amount of time. The video is extremely colourful and keeps George entertained whilst we brush all the hard to reach places. Credit to my friend, this has made our bedtime routine a lot less stressful.

When to go in to settle your child when they start to stir

Whenever George stirs (makes sounds like he’s going to wake up) we generally rush into his room in order to settle him back to sleep. However, after some research and talking to friends and family we realised that perhaps that wasn’t helping George. So we have experimented with leaving George for a minimum of five minutes before going in to settle him. That said, it’s important to listen for signs of distress. Last night George gave a very quiet cry, almost a half asleep cry. I decided to stand outside his room and listen, rather than rush in. He quickly settled himself back to sleep. We’ve now done this successfully twice. We’re still experimenting but so far George has slept through both of these nights.

Removing the side from a toddlers cot

We made the bold step to remove the side from George’s cot this week. We found that he was trying to climb out of his cot and we were worried this would lead to a nasty fall. However, since removing the side of the cot George has returned to his old sleeping habits. The night before last, George woke up every other hour. He didn’t get out of bed, but he cried and cried and wanted us to settle him. After five nights of little sleep we decided to put the side back on. Since doing so, George has slept better.

We will remove the side from his bed again soon, but perhaps we were a little premature. We think that George has gotten used to the side being on and therefore is scared when it’s off. This seems to make sense to me because he was crying loudly, but was clearly tired because he chose not to get out of his bed.

We also found that George was playing in his cot, climbing in bed himself and pulling his duvet over him. We thought this was a good sign, but at night time he really did revert back to the levels of sleep we were getting when he was a newborn.

Before we remove the side again I will do more research on techniques and knowing when is the right time. I’ll share my findings with you.

George’s sleeping routine on hold over Christmas

We’ve found it really difficult to get George to sleep over Christmas. He’s been very tired because of all the Christmas visits to family. He was too excited for a nap, despite our best efforts. He was then over tired and resisted going to bed. His bedtime was very late (9:30pm) and he was still waking at the normal time of 6:30am. After four days in the row, he reached melting down point one evening and was beside himself; screaming his head off. Luckily our neighbours were out.

George also woke in the night – he cried hysterically and because both Laura and I were shattered, we let George sleep in our bed. We’ve now got to break that habit, so sleep training resumes tonight.

Let the fun being, all over again.

George’s cough eased by magical Manuka honey

George has been coughing for the past four or five days. I was visiting the doctor anyway, so took George along with me to see if he had a chest infection. Luckily he was all clear and his cough was due to the common cold. His temperature was a little high, but nothing that caused concern. We gave him some Calpol and he settled down. However three hours after putting him down to sleep, he woke up because of a long bout of coughing. His cough sounded dry and unproductive. This caused him some distress and we tried more Calpol which he refused. The next day I did a little research after remembering my Dad used to give me ‘magic honey’ in the night if I had a dry cough. I went to my local Waitrose and bought this:

Manuka honey has anti-bacterial properties, but some of its benefits are not scientifically proven. Manuka honey has been tested on wounds and burns, with no statistically relevant results. That said, I know honey helps a cough and its a natural remedy, rather than something over the counter from the chemist. We gave George a teaspoon of honey 30 minutes after his dinner. I was astonished by the results – his cough subsided almost straight away and he seemed to loved the sweet taste asking for ‘more’. We have been giving him Manuka honey before bedtime and during the day if required. On the jar is says to only give 3 times per day, so we’re sticking to that recommendation.

Manuka honey tastes just like normal honey, but there is a slight taste of what I can only describe as eucalyptus. It’s not unpleasant and George seems to really enjoy it. At first he was a little suspicious, but I tasted a small bit first in order to encourage him. He now takes it without protest. In summary, if your toddler has a dry and tickly cough, then try Manuka honey. It’s rather expensive for honey, but worth every penny in my opinion.

When to stop sleep training

George has slept really well this week, but he has been poorly with a dry cough that has only just gone away. He woke because of his cough and I abandoned his sleep training routine and gave him lots of attention. In fact, one night he was struggling to settle because of his cough, so we bought him into our bed. I think there’s nothing wrong with breaking the routine if your child is in distress or unwell. Last night was another example; George started crying loudly around 1:30am and made it clear he wanted to be picked up. He then told me “in there” meaning “in our bedroom”. Laura and I agreed he needed to join us in our bed, because he seemed very frightened and scared. Perhaps he’d had a nightmare or night terror, which I’ve had a history of. The two previous nights George had slept through, from 8pm until 8am when I woke up late. I actually had to wake him up because he was in such a deep sleep. So the previous week has been quite indifferent.

Hopefully last night won’t result in a relapse of George crying hysterically and wanting to be in the bed with us. I’ll report back over the week and let you all know. But it might be back to the old technique once I’m sure he’s fully recovered from his cough.

Message to pass on is: if your son is unwell, then don’t be afraid to stop sleep training. You can always start again when they are back to full fitness.

A great nights sleep, needs a great nap in the day

George hasn’t been sleeping well – with a few nights in a row of waking up, albeit briefly. When I talked to Laura about it, the main reason that sprung to mind was he was starting to resist naps during the day. To confirm my theory, he slept through last night because he’d had a very long, two hour nap the day before.

It’s another reminder of what I already know; naps are extremely important and we need to find ways to make sure George naps well during the day to ensure a good nights sleep.

George has been having his naps later and later, probably because he’s now getting enough sleep through the night and not feeling tired until the afternoon. Researchers confirm what I already know that naps are important.

“Many young children today are not getting enough sleep, and for toddlers, daytime naps are one way of making sure their ‘sleep tanks’ are set to full each day,” she said. “This study shows insufficient sleep in the form of missing a nap taxes the way toddlers express different feelings, and, over time, may shape their developing emotional brains and put them at risk for lifelong, mood-related problems.” Source: University of Colorado
Now I’ve cracked the night time waking (George is easy to settle and soothe if he does wake up). I’m going to ask Laura to turn her attention to solve his day time naps. Hopefully he’ll get back into a consistent nap time routine, which will no doubt help his night time sleeping.