Potty Training with Sam Faiers

Sam Faires

Potty Training Tips For Boys

I was lucky enough to be invited to help Sam Faiers and her toddler baby Paul set off on their potty training journey for Sam’s new series ‘’Sam and Billie Faiers the mummy diaries.’’

Once children emerge from the baby years Potty Training is a milestone that some parents worry and fear coming. There is no two ways about it potty training will be hard work. It requires attention and is a taught and learned experience. It is not going to happen spontaneously. Especially as these days nappies are so comfortable and absorbing.  It provides little incentive for children to potty train. It is very hard if not impossible to potty train in a Pull-Up. Sam is tackling this too with a very young baby (Gorgeous baby Rosie,) no easy task.

Change of Plans

It was a cold misty morning in January.  The call to action had happened quickly through Lauren at the Parenting Chapter. Obviously I jumped at the chance to help Sam potty train her young son Paul.  As a single mum of two children (13, and 10) I had some juggling of my own to do first. Needless to say as is absolutely typical best laid plans meant the filming was bought forward suddenly to the following day.  I had to find urgent assistance to get my children on the school bus, and myself on the motorway headed south to Potters Bar, potty training kit in tow!

The change of plans unsettled my ten year old.  I barely managed to exit the house on time and definitely not in the calm manner I had hoped! But that is the way of a working parent and uncertainly and chaos is almost guaranteed. Besides if I can’t talk about potty training now after ten years in the business, and a book about the subject then I might as well give up and go home.

The Journey

The brief was that Baby Paul (not such a baby he turned two in December) was ready to have a go at Potty Training.  However, Sam had not yet started the process. She had a very young baby Rosie in tow and I can only Marvel at how great they all looked.  Also, how calm Sam is while surrounded by strange visitors, cameras, and intrusions to her routine with baby Rosie. I know from her series she is a busy working mum.  When we are watching her on her show it is easy to forget that the show is her work too. Sam is followed by cameras through the whole day, and with people like me piling into her lovely new home there is little privacy.

Young Kids and New-Borns

Anyone with young kids knows how unpredictable they can be.  Also, how much attention a new-born needs too.  Sam just takes this all in her stride, and is super calm, chilled and down to earth. She has great support on hand from Daddy Paul, too.  But as the main carer of Rosie as she is breast feeding, it is quite a feat she is achieving by taking on board the filming of a series.  There were frequent breaks to feed Rosie, managing baby Paul,  listening to me talk about potty training plus running her other businesses.  I came away and thought what a fantastic role model she is to young women who want to be very hands on with their kids, but work too. She has created a great set up for herself, but it comes with intrusion from strangers like me and clearly a heap of hard work

I took with me a kit of potty training essentials to help to set her up on her potty training journey.  You can buy all the essential kit here:

  • Potty
  • Step Stool
  • Seat for the toilet
  • How to Potty Train – our book
  • Rewards charts
  • Washable mat
  • Big Boy Pants
  • Dry Like Me Pads

Getting Started

I arrived at Sam’s, got out the car and of course because The Mummy Diaries is a reality show, I arrived to them filming and was quickly despatched back to the car to re arrive for the cameras. There was no time to prepare or think through what I wanted to say to Sam. Out the car, knock the door and literally away we went. (I wish I had cleaned my car at this point!)

Both Pauls’ (Daddy and Child) were  in attendance, and baby Paul is, as anyone who has watched the mummy diaries will know,  the star of the show, albeit big cousin Nelly is fast becoming a firm favourite in this current series. Billie was away filming her family break at the time, so I did not meet them. A top tip is to recruit an older sibling of cousin to help show the way to the younger potty training child. I bet Nelly would be great at this and very funny to watch!

The Mummy Diaries

Paul is allowed through filming to act as completely naturally as he likes, the cameras capture everything; the good bad and the ugly! It was an alarming start to my potty training journey with him when he stubbed a toe the promptly dropped a toy on it too, and lost his ‘in the Night Garden’ toys by posting them into his play kitchen sink! Lots of tears and not the ideal calm environment to introduce him to potty training.

I started by talking to Sam about where Paul was in his routine, had he started potty training at all?

I learned Paul was very eager to explore potty training. Paul had shown a real interest in using the potty, but Sam was not sure what or how to start.

This was great news, and a toddler showing these early signs is one to get rapidly on the path to potty training.  Strike while the iron is hot! I told Sam it is the prefect age to start.  There are some good signs to look out for.  You can read about those here to help you know when to start.  Simply, if your child is around the age of two you can just give it a go. Not all children will display signs of readiness, especially with nappies so dry and masking the discomfort that might help promote potty training. Here are some of the top tips I talker her through:

Set up a good routine.

I talked Sam through how to set about putting in place a good routine that would help her establish good potty training behaviours and good ‘toilettiquette.’’ I explained that things change when a child becomes a toddler and learns to potty train. No longer is it normal for their nappies to be changed just anywhere in the house, there must now be a process of using the bathroom like a grown up does, and starting the process of becoming independent and looking after their own hygiene; washing hands, taking down pants, helping clean up. Wearing big kid pants too is a key change for the child. They feel very different to nappies and unlike a nappy help them feel uncomfortable when wet and motivated to be clean and dry.

Make nappy changes happen in the bathroom.

Most of all however changing the toilet routine to be in the bathroom, and talking through the fact that wee and poo belongs in the loo is a real game changer and signal to the child that expectations are now different.

Make Wearing a Nappy Hard work.

Disrupting play by making your toddler come with you to change in the bathroom.  Helping clean up is a great technique. Why would any child want to take themselves off to the loo if they can pee in their nappy?  Let mum or dad clean up! Potty training is hard work.  You need to weight the scales towards the benefits of being clean and dry. Make wearing the nappy much harder work. The quicker they use the potty, the quicker they can be back to their activity.

Use a sequencing story.

Talk children through the sequencing of a good potty training routine.  It is a great way to lay the foundations of good potty training. Sam read Paul extracts from the front of our book ‘’How to Potty Train’’ which has a read together sections.  This  sequences in a fun way what is expected.  Paul loved the book and was captivated by the story.

Reward the trying as well as the result.

Our book contains stickers at the back, we recommend rewarding for trying, or rewarding for washing hands. Reward any part of the process not just the main event of getting a wee or poo in the loo. Potty training is about a whole raft of behaviours that have to come together to make it successful.

Set up your potty training station.

Ideally this is in the bathroom but for Paul, who was in his playroom which was a fair distance from the nearest toilet, we set up a potty training area in the play room. We put the potty on a mat or towel to capture messes.  His reward chart was set up above the potty.  Some special toys and our book link as above were included.  So, the potty would become a fun place to sit and try. We would also suggest a small container with a change of clothes, wipes and spare pants. The less stressful for the parent the better the chance of success!

Because Paul’s potty training station was not in the bathroom I told Sam getting Paul to help you take any successful wee or poo to the bathroom to flush it down the toilet and wave it away would be a good way to establish that wee and poo do really belong down the loo.

Take the Nappy off for good!

When you feel you have put in place some good foundation you need to pick a day and throw the nappy away. You can even have a bin the nappy celebration with your little one. We have lots of great advice if you are finding it tough once the nappy is off, and ways to help manage things without putting the nappy back on. Visit our SOS section of howtopottytrain.com

Training boys to wee standing up.

Sam was keen to understand how to train Paul to wee standing up. Daddy Paul is around a lot, and so Sam has a great on hand guide, and asked Big Paul to help get involved taking Paul to the toilet to show him how it is done! If you don’t have a handy role model around like this do not worry – Boys are just fine weeing sitting down, and trust me they learn very quickly to wee standing up. If you an enlist a male helper great if not do not worry. Kids learn by copying and when they start nursery or school there are lots of great examples to copy around!

I want to thank Sam, and Paul for the chance to come and help them establish some good potty training behaviours with little Paul. I think Sam is an inspiration. She filmed with me while she had a very young baby (Gorgeous baby Rosie) and kept so calm around a busy toddler, managed to breast feed Rosie in between, deal with being filmed, and was generous with me. Good Luck!

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