So after a fairly disastrous start to potty training, we’re now at day 3. Lots of friends have said that their kids were ‘dry’ by day 3. Not my kid. Oh no. It’s a good job I bought lots of those cute teeny tiny pants, which become less cute the more you see them covered in wee.

But, my various parenting books have comforting words for me;

“Toilet training is a complex skill…it’s no wonder many babies are still in diapers well into the third year.” say the Sears, who wrote ‘The Baby Book’ which is a huge tome with information and advice on practically everything.

I quite like their little list of “tools” that you will need for potty training:
  • Sense of humour
  • Endless patience
  • Creative marketing
  • Potty-chair
  • Training pants

It’s good to reminded to keep it exciting and positive, and golly gosh, are they right about the endless patience! I have a very quick temper, which flairs up at the first sign of insolence from both Archie Bear, and my unfortunate husband (sorry Daddy Bear, for the thousandth time), so I have to reign in my anger, and perhaps temporarily tattoo the following sentence onto both of my forearms, make it my phone background, and paint it all over the walls of our house;

“There is no place for punishment in toilet training, just as you wouldn’t scold the beginning walker for tripping.”

I also didn’t know that you needed a degree in marketing to have a successful toilet training experience. To help, I looked up some marketing tips online – anything to make having dry pants more appealing! Here’s a selection of what I found.

  • Use your surroundings – Get a little imaginative and think about how you can use your urban surroundings for potential marketing magic.

I’m not sure how I can use this tip at home and in regards to toilet training, but I imagine some creative use of exciting posters, maybe I could make the hallway into one big rewards chart?

caec5be358edcf23611f0e508799d34a I especially like this idea of drawing your own, and Archie Bear would definitely appreciate a train track chart. Now, can I find a piece of paper long enough to go along our hallway?

  • Get personal. One of the fastest techniques is to use somebody’s name. People love the sound of their name and pay attention when their name is used.

Not in Archie Bear’s case it seems. When I use his name, he can deliberately ignore me, turn away, run away, or make lots and lots of noise so he can’t actually hear me. I end up calling him silly names just so he laughs and turns to listen to me. Best so far have been Stinky Bum, Archie Parchie Poodle Pie (a reworking of one of my own nicknames from my youth – Jenny Penny Poodle Pie) and a stream of nonsense words and sounds that I won’t even try to type.

  • Have a contest. People love to win and have fun (this sounds right up Archie Bear’s street!) so have a contest that gives something valuable away and will create a buzz, drive people to your store, your website or your place of business (in our case, the bathroom!).

Hm. What does Archie Bear consider valuable? Chocolate. Sweets. Rice cakes. Basically any kind of favourite food. Or watching Paw Patrol on loop. But what kind of contest? A race to the potty? Musical potties? Is it unethical to bet your toddler that they can’t do more wees in the toilet than you in a day? Or that they can’t do a longer/quicker/bigger wee than their daddy?? Thinking cap on.