The Definitive Guide to Potty Training

002-11. Buy stuff

2. Wait until they’re nearly 3

3. Enjoy your new nappy-free life

Any questions?



Mama Weer All Potty Now!

It’s Potty Training Week here at the Jallie Shack!

So I wouldn’t advise reading this while eating…

We stuck them in pants on Saturday morning. Ellie was totally accepting, but Jake wasn’t having it. They had a reward chart each & every time they asked to use the potty they got a star sticker, then a reward of Maltesers or Smarties after 7 times. All the while we were pumping them full of as much diluted apple juice as they could take!

They were doing well in their scary new nappiless world, & Jake had become more enthusiastic about wearing pants, but there were the inevitable accidents. Which was when we realised we didn’t have enough pants, nor even tissues & paper towels. So the Mummy made an emergency dash to the shops while I manned the fort. She returned bearing gifts! They were doing so well they got them straight away: a shopping basket with toy groceries for Ellie & a mix & match Tumble family thing for Jake. They were pleased.
We were thinking we’d keep them at home after the weekend instead of going to playgroup but they were doing so well we felt completely confident sending them in their pants! By Monday Ellie was there! She was aware of when she needed to go, pulling down trousers & pants to both pee & poo,  cleaning herself, then pulling her pants & trouser back up all by herself!  Also Karen at playgroup is really experienced & has helped loads of kids toilet-train.

Jake has seemed a bit scared of pooing on the potty but now is fine. They’ve even been dry overnight the last couple of nights.

It must mean a lot to them: this morning they grabbed a couple of colouring pens (actually my highlighters!), asked for some paper then drew this:


I loved it as they were drawing together, swapping pens & chatting away.

Can you guess what it is? They told us:


They then showed it to Karen when I took them in. Who then fell about laughing.

It’s not every day that anyone gives you a picture of their pee. Even on Valentine’s Day.

I think it helped that we left it ’til they were a bit older; also that their friends at playgroup haven’t been in nappies for a while.

I’m really proud of them: they’re like proper little grown-ups! It is a bit sad as well though: it seems as if they’ve shaken off the last vestige of babyhood

Roses are red

Violets are blue

I love you Daddy

I’ve done a poo!

Happy Valentine’s Day 🙂

And in case you’re wondering about the bad spelling in the title…

The Nappy Continuum

Jake’s reluctance to stop doing whatever he happens to be enjoying seems to be getting worse.

He’d needed to have his nappy changed for some time & had resisted all our efforts at doing so. If he was a Sim he would have had a huge cloud of green gas following him around wherever he went.

We knew it was a bad one as for some time he’d been walking around like John Wayne after a 24-hour horse-ride. Over shingle. Also at one point we’d caught him leaning against the door-frame doing his best Samson impersonation. Not to mention that when we said “Jake, have you done a poo?” he said “No, I doing it!”. Which is unusual, as usually he denies all knowledge.

The Mummy & Ellie had gone upstairs to get ready for bed; we told Jake that if he wanted to join them Mummy had to come downstairs to change him first. (The division of labour in our house for such things is generally that the Mummy does the nappies & I do the potties).

He finally decided he would go up – ‘Wild Columbia with Nigel Marven’ just wasn’t doing it for him I guess – so the Mummy was set to come down & do the business.

“No!”, he cried, “I want Daddy to change my nappy!”.

I’m always prepared to take one for the team, so reluctantly I agreed & shouted the good / bad (depending on your perspective) news upstairs.

But no! Then it was: “I want Ellie to change my nappy!”.  At which point of course I realised that this had just been a delaying tactic. Or a joke. Probably both.

What was that about being outsmarted by a 2-year-old?

This new development was again faithfully relayed upstairs. Mostly because I thought it was very funny.

The look of shock, surprise, confusion & horror on Ellie’s face was, I’m told, priceless. But, little trooper that she is, she straight away appeared at the top of the stairs to say: “I’ll be there in a minute! We’re watching Goldilocks”.

She would have had a go too; I just wouldn’t want to be there to see it. Or worse, to clean up afterwards.

I did get to enjoy the privilege of changing him after all, & yes: it was very messy & very smelly. And then Jake trotted off upstairs. Where they all enjoyed watching Goldilocks, probably. And I had to go out into the cold & the pouring rain, in the dark, trudging through the mud & long grass to the bin at the bottom of the garden carrying a very smelly nappy & its associated detritus.

Ah well, at least I still have Nigel…

Update: This morning I suggested to Jake that he change Ellie’s nappy; he was having none of it. And if I hear anyone say “typical man!” I shall be cross…

Update 2: Today we ended up watching most of 2 episodes of ‘Wild Colombia with Nigel Marven’ & we all really enjoyed it. The twins especially liked the bit where a snake bit our Nigel on the nose.

Knee-Deep in Nappies

I can’t believe it’s been so long since my last post: and I’d only just got them home from the hospital here!

We want to be together!


It’s been a mad few weeks: exhausting, tiring, but also wonderful. We’ve been astonished at how much time & effort it takes to look after these 2 little guys. I had been warned, but until I experienced it  for myself it didn’t seem real. Also I didn’t really believe it. It’s true, though, true I tells ya!




There is a seemingly never-ending stream of feeding & changing. Doesn’t sound too bad, right? Your average newborn needs to feed about every 2 hours; feeding can take up to half an hour. They need to be changed after every feed. Do the maths. Multiply by 2.

Then there’s the laundry. Babies are dirty! With several changes of clothes daily it’s a struggle to keep them with clean clothes, let alone us.  Then visits to the hospital, doctor’s, visits from midwives, health visitors, nursery nurses. Getting the frequently needed supplies:  formula,  wipes, nappies.  The nappies, the nappies! Finding enough bin space for them all has been – trying. We’d like to go green eventually but right now anything that saves time is essential. Cleaning, rinsing bottles for sterilising, preparing feed – it all takes a lot of time!

My in-laws were here for the first few days, & they were a great help. Then they left, & we realised just what we were up against. Then, while I’m busy tweeting about how lovely they are & how great it is to have them home – they go & get a bit sick. Poor little Jake got a sore little bottom from nappy rash, they both developed colic, & Ellie got acid reflux. Added to the regular stuff is having to look after sick babies & giving them the extra care & attention they need.

What are you looking at?

You lookin' at me?!


They both have need more holding after feeding as their tummies are usually upset; Ellie especially has needed half an hour at least. If she goes back in her basket straight away she brings up feed with reflux, it’s painful for her (as anyone  – like me – who’s had reflux will know) & she cries. Jake has needed lotions on his rash; nappy changing has become painful & distressing for him: he screams the house down & needs a lot of TLC afterwards.

Ellie also projectile vomits, but that seems to be more my problem than hers; she doesn’t seem to mind too much. Her head hasn’t rotated 360 degrees yet, thankfully. It’s always on me! And I thought she was Daddy’s little girl…

It’s been awful seeing these 2 little helpless babies we’ve only just met & who we love so much in pain & distress. We don’t mind doing whatever we have to give them what they need: sounds soppy but we’re acting out of love.

Look at that face!

It’s hard keeping your head together enough to organise yourself & them at the best of times: in the wee small hours when you’ve been awakened by crying  – if you’re lucky it’s just 1 of them – to get it together while half asleep is hard! We kind of don’t want to poison them either: feed only lasts 2 hours once out of the fridge & warmed, so you have to keep track. During the day it’s often a struggle with the lack of sleep, trying to keep your head when there are 2 distressed babies screaming at once, & you can’t find a clean bottle, & where’s his dummy that calms him down (you’re here aren’t you?, you think you’re funny don’t you?), I don’t know isn’t it in the basket?, it’s on the floor it needs sterilising, is there enough feed?, how old is that 1, why can I never find a bib!,  why are there no muslins?, where are the tissues? We’re actually (mostly) not that disorganised, but you get the picture…

We started both looking after them at once. That didn’t work, so we alternated 8-hour shifts. Then I was struggling getting up in the middle of the night,  but I was happy staying up late. Wifey was the opposite, so now I’m always on between 9pm – 3am, she takes over at 3 til 9am, & we alternate the 9am – 3pm, & 3pm – 9pm shifts. It’s working well for us so far.

We’re getting there!