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Janie Pengilly


Janie Pengilly is a Lincoln mum of two, both under the age of 4, that keep her busy. As well as being a stay-at-home mum, she is also the editor of the new online magazine, Lincoln Mums.

So your little one has reached the ripe old age of 2 and potty training is now the next huge step for you and your child to take!

The best piece of advice I can give anyone who is thinking about potty training or has started is make sure you are both ready. If you think your child is ready but you are not, then don’t start! You have to make sure you can give your child your full attention.

I would also suggest if you start and are having more accidents than wees on the potty then stop. If your child isn’t ready then persevering isn’t always the best thing to do – it can cause stress for both you and your child. When I first started with my little boy he wasn’t ready, I could put him on the potty ask him to wee, he would get off and then wee on the floor 10 seconds later! I tried like this for a few days and it didn’t get any better, so although he was showing all the signs that he was ready, when we tried he wasn’t. We stopped and tried again in about six weeks with the second time being more successful.

So what are the signs that your little one is ready to potty train?

  • Having a dry nappy for long periods at a time (about two hours)
  • They can pull their own pants up and down
  • They are happy to sit on the potty or toilet for short periods at a time
  • Give verbal signs that they are or have had bowel movements (whether that is squatting, grunting or telling you)
  • Is in a general co-operative stage, not a resistant one
  • Understands and has words for urine and stool

So if you think you and your little one is ready, where do you go from here? Well, I bought and read all of the books that were available at the time and nothing is going to prepare you fully.

Here are my top tips to potty training:

1. Make sure all parents/ carers for your child are a united front — all use the same words and do the same things so your little one isn’t getting confusing messages.
2. Make sure there have recently been or you have no significant events coming up (starting a new nursery, holiday, moving house, new sibling arriving etc).
3. Your first week has to be a quiet one — don’t leave the house for the first few days, as going out and leaving the house and not having a potty or toilet to hand is likely to ensure an accident occurring.
4. You ARE going to have accidents, there is no doubt about it. So make sure you have a bucket of water with disinfectant available and lots of clean underwear to hand.
5. Make sure when an accident happens not to make a big deal of it and try not to use negative words. As long as your child is ready to potty train it will eventually come naturally.
6. The potty or toilet (if you are going to use the toilet straight away) should always be free and available for them to use.
7. Once you are brave enough to adventure out of the house – always make sure they try before you leave and invest in a portable potty — you can buy them for under £10 and they are small enough to fit your in handbag and I can’t stress enough how useful they are! Most of them also double as a toilet seat that you can use on big toilets as well!

Finally, I’ll stress again, if you try and it doesn’t work out your child might just not be ready! This doesn’t mean you have failed — it just means try again in a few weeks or months.

Happy training!

Janie Pengilly is a Lincoln mum of two, both under the age of 4, that keep her busy. As well as being a stay-at-home mum, she is also the editor of the new online magazine, Lincoln Mums.

With only seven days (and one more weekend!) left until Christmas Day, hopefully the shopping is all done, wrapped and under the Christmas tree waiting for the big day.

We still have time to do the lasts bits and the huge food shop — plus of course we all know there is always one more present you can buy. There is also time for the little ones to go and visit Santa in his grotto – in Lincoln we have a few options that you can take the kids too and get into the Christmas spirit!

Most of the usual haunts (your local toddler groups and the soft play areas) are decked out with decorations and have a Christmassy feel about them. However, if you’re looking for the whole Christmas experience with Santa and all, then here are a few suggestions:

Pennells Garden Centre: based in South Hykeham, with free parking and a full gift department. The restaurant has high chairs, and they will warm your milk and baby food, as well as having baby changing facilities. There is a winter wonderland with all of the decorations on show, and a story time display of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Most importantly though, there is a Santa in his Grotto. This week Santa will be there on the 17th, 18th, 20th, 21st, 22nd and 23rd from 10.15am to 5pm (with half an hour break at 1pm), costing is £6.95 per child.

St Mark’s Swedish Christmas Santa Grotto: open every day from 10.30am through to 5.30pm. The Grotto is in St Marks Garden, in front on Mamas and Papas, at a cost of £6.50 per child. A great place to stop with the children whilst out shopping.

Rand Farm Park: This popular attraction is holding a breakfast with Santa on December 22 and 23. The breakfast needs to be pre-booked, however Santa is still available to visit throughout the day at a cost of £4.00 per child. Children go free into the park for December with any paying adult. The park is also open as usual so you can go and see all the animals, feed them, play in the soft play area — a great day out plus Santa — what more could you want! To book, call Kay on 01673 858904.

Merry Christmas and a happy new year!

Janie Pengilly is a Lincoln mum of two, both under the age of 4, that keep her busy. As well as being a stay-at-home mum, she is also the editor of the new online magazine, Lincoln Mums.

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