Our potty training journey – odd damp patch but not as rocky as first feared

So, a few weeks ago I took a deep breath, gathered my self together and began potty training.

It’s a phrase that strikes terror into many parents, that moment you know you’ll be at the mercy  of ‘accidents’ both big and small and the very worst – in public! I decided to take the plunge after our holiday in France where Arthur had run around without a nappy and started to use the potty. Carpe Diem – so to speak.

I decided not to use pull-ups and instead just embrace the idea of accidents without a safety net. Besides, it seemed to be more likely he would pick it up quicker if he felt what it was like to have wet pants. First up the equipment, we were lucky enough to try the Pourty potty and Flexi-Fit toilet trainer seat which have been fantastic. I also invested in lots and lots of pairs of pants.

Just chillin on my Pourty Potty!

If I have one piece of advice it’s to bulk buy cheap pants – buy more than you think and keep them in every bag possible. Then, if as was the case one morning, you have a rather massive, frighteningly defiant  ‘accident’ you can just wrap it up and throw the whole lot away!

The Pourty potty was great to use because it meant you could quickly and easily pour out the contents without getting it all over the potty. It’s also nice and high so easy to sit on and we had no problems with dribbles over the edge. You can get a two-piece potty but having just the one piece makes it even easier and practical to use. Some pottys are a little more tricky for boys to use and bits don’t always go were they are supposed to but the Pourty minimises this as it has a nice wide seat. Loving my Flexi-seat

Better still was the Pouty Flexi-Fit toilet trainer seat. Arthur loves it because it makes him feel all grown-up and he often asks to sit on it even if there’s nothing coming out! It’s easy to fit and works on all the toilets I’ve tried. It also has splash guard above and below so feels a bit more hygienic too.  I like the fact it feels so stable and I think that played an important role in Arthur feeling confident – there was no wobble so he felt secure and safe and not like he was going to fall down the big toilet. I’m no expert but judging by how much he likes sitting on it I’m guessing it’s pretty comfy too!

All in all potty training has not been as terrifying as I first thought. I guess it’s as much about us as parents being able to let go. Not only of our babies and allow them to grow but also a little of the control we have over every situation. Once I’d realised this it became easier and the more relaxed I was the easier it became.

There have been a few accidents along the way and a lot of me saying : “ Are you sure, do you want to just try”. But we got there and now Arthur asks to go to the toilet or on the potty and wears his big boy pants with pride.

 My potty training top tips

  • Buy lots of pants – bulk buy ones you won’t mind throwing away
  • Let go a little – I really think the odd accident spurs them on and means they are actually being potty training and not relying on you to keep asking
  • Really can’t recommend the Pourty potty and Flexi-seat trainer enough, simple, practical and easy to use. No fuss, no complicated bits and comfortable for little bottoms too
  • Remember to pack spare trousers and pants. Might seem obvious but after years of remembering nappies I did forget a couple of times
  • Save pull-ups for night time and naps – again a personal preference but removing that safety net worked for us.
  • Loads of praise – again seems obvious but Arthur was so proud when he’d been that it definitely encouraged him to keep going
  • Ignore accidents – don’t focus on them or fuss, even if it’s to comfort them. I found it made Arthur concerned and worried, just brush it off (or scrub it off!) and move on quickly.

Aldi supermarket convert

Aldi logo

At the weekend I went to a press/blogger event hosted by the supermarket Aldi. I want to be honest here and say I have never really shopped there, I may have popped in for the odd thing but I never considered it for a full shop.

I’m really pleased to say this event sowed the seed of my transformation into an Aldi convert! They are working hard to compete with other major supermarkets and I was really impressed with the number of lines they have  -I never knew they had an organic range or that they sold really good quality baby food. They are fast becoming a real alternative rather than somewhere to pop in for a few things.

What I really loved was hearing about their honesty and how the customer really is at the heart of all they do. We were told how Aldi had ’no frills’ so they could pass on savings to their customers and that this was a major consideration for them as a business. At a time when all our finances are being squeezed to the max this is refreshing and reassuring when you have children to consider. On another note I had no idea they have an organic range too – I learnt a lot.

We also heard from the buyer of the baby ranges – who also happens to be a mother of two small children. It was clear she put the emphasis on quality and her and her team were taking the time to get things right. They were keen to hear our feedback and find out what we wanted from a baby and toddler range. There’s an integrity surrounding the brand that I’d never really thought about before.

We were able to take some products home and I’ve put many of them to the test already.

So what did we think…

Wet wipes – let me say right now these are the best wipes I have ever used. Simple. They are strong, have the proper packaging that doesn’t leave you trying for hours to get one wipe out, a real bugbear of mine!  They have a gentle smell and are neither too wet or too dry. Perfect and for 79p for 80 it’s hard to see why you wouldn’t buy them. I’m definitely swapping over. It’s not just me that thinks it either – they’ve won loads of awards including: the Loved By Parents ‘Best Wipes’, Mother & Baby’s ‘Best Wipes’.

Nappies – Arthur’s been trying out the Aldi Mamia Easy Pants size 5 – considering we went out for lunch and then played outside all afternoon, they lasted amazingly. He might be only two but I did ask them if they were comfortable and he said: ” my bottom feels bootiful mummy’ – a glowing endorsement indeed! The Easy Pants cost just £2.99 for 20 – the Mamia new born ones start at just £1.69 for 24. That’s real value for money.

Aldi Mamia nappies

Great quality – great bargain

Washing tablets and softener- I have a neighbour, Sheila, who at 78, travels across the city to our Aldi to pick up this washing powder. She’s a hardcore washer from an age when sheets sparkled on lines many times a week and she washes everything all the time!

Could she be right? Well I’m two washes in using the Almat non-bio washing tablets and softener and I can see where she’s coming from. Just a great wash, lovely smell and even the pen on Arthur’s jumper came off. everything was beautiful and soft when it dried and I’m so pleased with the outcome. I used a capful of softener so it’s on par when it comes to how long it will last.

Lacura range of face care - this morning I used the Lacura caffeine eye roll-one which is supposed to deliver a hit of moisturiser and ‘pep’ you up a bit for the day.

The Lacura Intensive serum is also pretty amazing for £3.49 – I use it under my moisturiser and it made my skin feel fab.

Lacura face serum

In fact I sound like a broke record but I can genuinely say all of the products have performed brilliantly and saved pounds from my normal shop. I’d just like to see a few more stores appearing so it makes shopping at an Aldi store more of a possibility as that’s the only thing stopping me now. I’ll be road testing some more Aldi products over the next few weeks and bringing you my thoughts. For now though, I would highly recommend a visit.

Super Six

Every fortnight, six different fresh fruit and vegetables are heavily discounted, often to prices as low as 49p or 69p. This means you can get your fruit and veg without breaking the bank.

Coming soon….The Aldi Baby Event

The Aldi Baby Event starts on 30th May. Things like their nappies which start at just £1.69 for a pack of 24 new born ones remain the same price no matter what. Aldi want you to know that if something costs X amount one week then it will still cost X amount next week too – it’s all about the honesty I mentioned earlier. But during the event there will be special purchases that are not normally on offer, such as baby blankets, swim nappies and lots more - take a look, you’ll be impressed.