This week, we have the privilege of featuring a guest blog from Ally who blogs over at Mum Under Measure.

Ally didn’t feel that her son was ready to potty train as early as some of his peers, and as a result often feels judgement from others that it is a reflection on her parenting skills.

This, of course is ridiculous.

Whilst we often see children around the age of 2 years old starting to potty train, we always recommend that parents know their children best and need to look out for the signs of readiness before starting.

Put simply, if you start to potty train too early, it won’t be as successful.

It is certainly not a criticism of parenting styles – us parents all face enough pressure without turning on each other!

Thanks for being honest about your situation Ally. We think you’re doing just great.

Read more about Ally’s potty training journey on her blog.

AllyAdmittedly my son is one of the only kids in his class in nursery still wearing nappies, and I’m sure according to guidelines and parenting manuals he should be wearing pants now and doubly continent. But he isn’t and I can’t force that on him. It is a process that takes time and in my opinion has to be lead by the child.

I have tried to teach him how to use the potty, and what a wee and a poo are (apologies if you have different names for them, we stick to basics here though and don’t have fancy words!) and even put him in pull-ups so he can experience going the toilet himself. He comes with me when I go the loo and I show him what I’m doing (oh the glamour of parenthood!) so he knows what the toilet is for, and I think he gets it, but he’s just not confident enough to tell me when he needs to go.

That’s the biggest problem I am faced with so far; he tells me AFTER he has done his business, never before. I am worried that if try and move him on quicker than he is ready for, that I will knock his confidence. It would also be a lot of mess to clear up!!

One thing I don’t like with all of this is the judgement I feel people make of my parenting skills because of it. I look after my little boy to the best of my ability and while he might be a little behind other kids with a few things, this included, it doesn’t mean I am a bad mother. I feel under pressure to prove myself at times; I am a single mum, I’m working full time, I don’t really have anyone I can ask for help, so the pressure can build up at times, I really don’t need judgement on top of everything. I am trying to juggle so many different things at once but it doesn’t mean my son suffers because of it all, I just don’t think he has been ready for the potty, simple as!

People can be so quick to pass their opinion but they don’t realise each parent’s individual struggles with their child. Where one child might be behind, another excels in that area, and vice versa. And some children are just slightly behind in a number of areas, as is mine, and that’s ok too. It isn’t because of my parenting; he went to a nursery he didn’t like for a year and it slowed his learning down as he shut down. I know this is the case as I realised in time to move him to a new nursery and he has since come on leaps and bounds. It has been noted by not just myself and his dad but also health workers and the staff in his current placement. That is just my personal experience as to why, there are so many reasons for a child to slow down their learning!

Potty training isn’t the be all and end all of the upbringing of a child and if you don’t think the time is right then go with your gut instincts. Your child will let you know when they are ready and that timing is different for each child.