Updated: Nov 3, 2019
You've been asking me for a while now what my potty station looks like and how we can use a potty together with the pull-ups (any clothing item that requires pulling up and down, such as training pants, leggings, knickers, baggy pants, shorts etc) to support development, so here it is:
This is an old version from last year when we were using cloth nappies.
Here's a version with cloth training pants
Here's a version with underwear
Here's what ours pretty much looks like now most of our wipes are in the wash or at the big toilet. Those who know us know we barely have any space to put the potty on the floor due to our current beyond tiny house living, so here's a nice shot outside.
WHAT'S THERE AND WHY?
- A waterproof potty mat (click here to grab one) These are great to use as change mats from birth, for nappy free naps, for night sleeps when you're using cloth nappies, in the car or pram as liners in case of misses and so on.
I've designed them with squares and bright colours so that we can use them to play games. Many people suggest bringing props/toys to the potty, personally I'm a fan of using 'real life' items and making up songs and games together. Read on for some game ideas.
- Cloth pocket nappy, put together ready to go For a while we had cloth training pants as well, then instead of nappies Then we transitioned to cloth training pants and knickers Now we don't have anything as she goes to her drawer to get clean undies or leggings.
We have two types, a square blue version and a large purple/pink version. When she was little we used one for poos and one for wees, when she began walking she would bring me one of the cloths to tell me whether she was going to do a poo or a wee.
- Face washers
They're here so that she knows where they are when she wants to clean something around the house. TIPS AND TRICKS: The high-back potties are great as soon as your baby is able to sit independently. LO had hers from 3 1/2 months.
TOP HAT POTTY
Before that you can use a top hat potty or a little bucket, so that you can hold your LO over in the classic EC hold and can easily toilet them even while breastfeeding. (I have tried to find a biodegradable top hat potty in Australia and cannot find one).
HIGH BACK POTTY:
We have two potties at home, the high back $5 kmart option (I bought on impulse before discovering that a company was making biodegradable potties, sadly I have tried to hunt down a biodegradable Australian-made potty since and it seems that the company that manufactured them has closed and all of their stockists are sold out, check your local BSS pages for second-hand where you can. The local op-shops have some great finds too!)
TRAVEL POTTY We also have a pre-loved Potette Plus with a silicone reusable liner. This one converts to a toilet seat reducer as well and is that we used when traveling and came in the car of us while LO was still in training.
Teaching your baby simple signs based on the Auslan key words allows them to communicate their needs with you before they are verbal.
A baby friendly version of this is to tap yourself instead of swishing your fingers.
A baby friendly version of this is to tap the palm of the hand.
GAME IDEAS ON THE POTTY -
Sing about what you're doing. Narrate whatever is occurring and do it in song. Sing about and touch body parts, remembering to include "left" and "right". Use a clean wipe to put on body parts and sing them, do it to your child and to yourself so they get to feel and see. LAYING DOWN CHANGES/TOP HAT POTTY -
Make "psss" sound when you see them doing a wee or have already weed. Make "pfff" or "pbbbbb" sounds when they are doing a poo or have already pooed.
GETTING DRESSED -
From birth give them the chance to use their bodies as best they can instead of forcing them through clothing. Put their head in the t-shirt, playing peek-a-boo. Get them to "tickle" your fingers when putting their "right hand" and "left hand" through the sleeves. Play "where are your toes" when getting their feet through the leg holes.
STAND UP CHANGES - Getting them to hold on to something (wall or you) get them to "step in with" their "left foot," "step in with" their "right foot," as well as "step out." Encourage them to "pull up" or "pull down" their pants/shorts/skirt etc. Give them time to attempt it themselves.
When they are very little (from as soon as they can reach towards things) offer them two items at a time to choose from such as two t-shirts or two pairs of pants.
When they are mobile create a Montessori inspired wardrobe allowing them to access and choose their clothing when they want to.
Here's our first attempt inspired by our lovely friend Naomi and her creation for her daughter.
Second attempt I put hooks and a dowel underneath a shelf, this worked better for us as LO likes to take the coat hangers off/pull on them.
At our last house the wardrobe became a features in her play space.
WHERE TO SET UP?
We have two set-ups around the house, one about halfway from the furthest point of the house to the toilet, and the other near the play room door which gets moved to the bedroom in the evening. Here you can see the large waterproof bed rug I've made, similar to the potty rugs but they're great for co-sleeping, these are available by custom order at the moment, please get in touch if you'd like one.
Is there somewhere that you often get a lot of misses? Try setting up a station there. TO CARRY OR ASSIST?
Encourage your crawling or walking child to get themselves to the potty and then help them on and off if they need it.
Try to limit carrying them to the potty unless it's urgent and you've half caught a miss! This allows them to figure out how long it takes them to get to the potty and gives them more autonomy over the process.
That's all for now, thank you for reading! Please feel welcome to comment with your questions or connect with us on social media. I'd love to see your potty station, so share a photo on Instagram or Facebook and remember to tag us @consciousparentingmovement or #consciousparentingmovement Are you part of the CPM online circle? Please feel welcome to join us there for more indepth discussions.