Your baby is growing up. You’ve outgrown the sleepless months at the beginning, the sub-lingual stage and maybe even the random screams. You’ve developed a system for dealing with the mess any child brings with it, and fallen into a pleasing routine allowing you to enjoy your stylish, lovely home despite the presence of a little rascal. Now looms a bigger hurdle than any of those already mentioned; it’s potty training time.
Parent after parent quakes in his or her proverbial boots at the idea of potty training, and coming as it does just as you come to grips with your life with baby, it is a cruel reminder of how hard it can be to keep your house looking lovely now that you’re no longer just a couple. Mental images of carpets, sofas and surfaces stained with vile secretions keep you from looking forward to the day when you won’t be up to your ears in nappies anymore, or tied to that bulky nappy bag. However, things needn’t be that dramatic and if you follow these tips you can retain your stylish, well-organised home in its current condition.
A relaxed attitude is very important to potty training. As such, if you’re sitting there worrying about your carpets and sofas, you’ll exude an air of tension that will make it a lot harder for your child to see the potty as a positive thing. Buy some sheets – second-hand if you want – to drape over the carpet and the furniture. Ensure the potty sits on the sheets so that any runoff can be brisky whisked away and thrown into the washing machine. Baby wipes may seem like an item you should be done with, but can be invaluable during potty training. First of all, they allow you to quickly and easily clean your toddler after a poo. Secondly, they are amazing for a quick cleanup. Your sofas and carpets can have a rapid scrub should they come into contact with any unmentionables, and you can worry about a deeper clean when your toddler is reliably going on the toilet as – if reached in time – you can take care of anything worrisome with baby wipes.
It may seem counter-intuitive to preserve your well-organised home by draping sheets all over it. Remove them when your toddler is in bed and you can relax in your home just the way you’ve come to know and love it. Ensuring you have a nice out-of-the-way place to store the potty – or keeping it in the bathroom or your child’s room at night – will allow you to retain that adult room for the evenings when you can enjoy your partner’s company and stop worrying about little weewees and pottying rewards.
Keep your baby in nappies at night until he or she is ready for night-time training, as you will otherwise expose their carpets and furniture to some bad situations! And remember, this too will pass. If you decide to tackle the potty once and for all, your life could be returning to normal within a week or so. While it will be a week of hard work, the return will be amazing and you won’t regret the work!