This week we interviewed Amanda Jenner AKA ‘The Potty Lady’ Amanda lives in Poole, Dorset with her husband, three children George, Hollie and Olivia and pet dog called Alfie. As a busy mum of three juggling motherhood with her successful business, Amanda Jenner is all too familiar of the challenges that parents face as their children grow. In fact, it was an embarrassing situation whilst potty training her eldest son George, that originally inspired her to really make a difference.
18 years later, through extensive research and the worldwide success of her multi award winning invention ‘My Carry Potty‘ (the world’s only 100% leak-proof potty for at home and on the go), and the recent launch of her ‘Potty Training Academy‘, she is now known as The UK’s Potty Training Expert and regularly referred to as ‘The Potty Lady’, of which she is quite fond…
1) You invented the Carry Potty and created the much-loved site Potty Training Academy. What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Gosh, there’s been soo many highlights over the last few years that’s for sure! Seeing my Carry Potty on the shelves of John Lewis was definitely a huge highlight for me as it had always been such a dream of mine, winning ‘British Female Innovator of the Year’ was an incredible moment too, but above all seeing the huge difference that we’re making in the lives of parents and carers when it comes to potty training their little ones is exactly what I set out to achieve.
2) You’ve recently been on Channel 4’s Too Posh to Parent; tell us a bit about the programme, and what it’s like being on TV.
‘Too Posh To Parent’ was a documentary following affluent families that outsource child experts, anything from ‘Ninja Nannies’ to ‘Lego Therapists’! I was approached to visit a wonderful lady, Irene Major at her 47 bedroom home to help potty train her youngest daughter of 5 children, Mona. I really enjoyed being on TV, it was lots of fun and it is so interesting to have an insight into how these things are made! It was exciting sitting down with the rest of the nation to watch it at the same time as I had no idea what to expect! Luckily I didn’t come across too ‘potty’ though!
3) Many parents are leaving potty training until 3 years or older, which is reported to cause bladder problems later in life. Do you feel as a nation we need to start potty training earlier – is there an ideal time to start?
I definitely feel we should be potty training our toddlers earlier, the average age in the UK is 3 and a half and rising year on year which is quite shocking as it’s leading to major health and child behavioural concerns. That’s not to mention the 3 billion nappies thrown into our nation’s land-fills every year and the impact that has on our environment and our children’s futures.
There’s no ideal time to start potty training as every child is different, it really is up to the parent or carer to look out for the signs and not to always rely on the summer months as a good time to start! Your child will show you exactly when he or she is ready, they will become aware of what’s going on in their nappy, they may even tell you what’s going on in their nappy, or they may hide somewhere discreet for a little bit of privacy. Once you’ve spotted the signs whip that nappy off and get to work!
Check out our blog on our website for a few more handy tips.
4) What are your five top tips on getting started?
- Start at any time of the year – don’t just wait for the summer
- Let your toddler choose their own potty or toilet trainer seat
- Let your nursery school/childcare and family know you are potty training, advise them of your methods so you can work together on this
- Set a routine early on and stick to it as much as possible – consistency really is key when it comes to potty training
- Potty training should be fun! Keep it interesting and engaging with lots of praise too!
5) Are girls easier to potty train than boys?
Every child is different, regardless of gender, however in my experience I have found the girls have loved to pick out their own pretty pants, where boys are happy to run around free with no clothes on at all.
Boys can be a little more challenging as they have their extra parts – it can be a little distressing sometimes when they miss the potty or the toilet so it’s really important you reassure them and work on this together.
6) When should one teach a boy to wee standing up?
I would recommend to first get your potty training 100% correct sitting down on the potty or the toilet with no accidents before you tackle teaching your little boy to stand up.
7) Share with us your favourite family recipe.
As I have a Maltese background, my favourite family recipe would have to be my famous Ross-il-forn. Ross-il-forn is a delicious rice dish, it’s easy to prepare and because I pulp the tomatoes they are easily disguised so great for little ones. It’s one of my children’s favourites! I actually use corned beef rather than mince so it’s also a very affordable meal to have with the family.
When I am not in the office or out on the road my favourite place has to be in the kitchen cooking up a feast for my family. Nutrition is another big passion of mine and I would one day love to support families with nutrition for toddlers as well as potty training.
8) What’s the one baby product you’d recommend to new mums?
Goodness, there is so much on the market nowadays for new mums I’m not sure I’d even know where to start! When I was a new mum my must-have was definitely a breast feeding pillow, it made the experience a lot more comfortable and I found that amazing. A baby monitor is another product I couldn’t have lived without, I also love Ewan The Sheep which I know will be a popular one for your readers too!
9) What’s in the pipeline for you next?
I’m currently in talks to bring out a potty training book for parents with toddlers, we have some special Disney My Carry Potty designs hitting the shelves very shortly and there may even be some more filming in the pipeline too!
My main mission for now however is to get the nation talking about the Potty Training Academy with the potty training programme being implemented into every Nursery and Preschool setting in the UK to bring families and schools together and making a real difference.
10) How would you sum yourself up in one sentence?
A happy busy Mummy who just wants to make a difference.
To celebrate the launch of Amanda’s Potty Training Academy we have teamed up to offer our readers a special £2.50 off your very own ‘My Potty Training Pack’ to support your potty training at home too! Simply enter Baba16 at the checkout www.pottytrainingacademy.co.uk