Okay. So, let me tell you how this is accomplished.
Step 1. Give birth to a wonder child.
Step 2. Raise the child with a strong desire to succeed in independence & in pleasing you.
Just kidding. Sort of. Peyton was seriously such an easy little guy to potty train. I didn't know he would be. But, he was. My sweet little stinker was really, really easy.
But, I will tell you my potty training tips & methods. Though they are perhaps not Sure Fire, they were taught to me by my mother who successfully potty trained 10 kids. I know people do potty training all different ways. But, here's the way we do it.
Wait until you think they are ready to go all the way.
Things I wait for
-able to clearly communicate that they need to go.
-able to walk (run!)
-keeping a dry diaper for a good chunk of time (so they don't have to be slave to the potty seat).
But, don't wait too long.
The younger ones are often more excited about the whole potty thing, easier to encourage (not so jaded by the world, you know) & hopefully not quite as stubborn.
All kids are different, but, I'm looking for readiness in the 18-26 month range.
Be done with diapers as much as possible.
Don't put your tot in disposable diapers anymore. It can make it confusing for them. If it is bed time, or you need to go out, and you are not confident that they are all the way there, try putting them in a cloth diaper or a good training pant. My favorite trainer pants are ImseVimse. Check it out.
They are cute. My kids really like all the farm critters. And they are super comfy. They are sold in the smaller sizes that are not as available in other brands. And, it keeps small leaks in really well.
Stock up & get ready to go, because you aren't going to leave you house.
Once you start, work in earnest. Help them to focus. Offer them every opportunity to succeed. Don't be putting them in the car & driving around town. That is an accident waiting to happen. (That line is my dad's. I think he made it up. He sure said it a lot when I was a kid.) Get all your household supplies before you begin.
My potty training supply list -
potty chair - we have the Boon bench. I am sure there are tons of good seats out there nowadays. But, I do like this one. It is super hip looking. And, for a boy, the deflector has been fantastic. He learned how to use it super fast & can go on his own now, without any help.
baby gate - If you have a room that you can completely close off & stay in all day, you don't need this.
Child's favorite beverage - plenty of it.
A potty baby doll - This is for a child who hasn't seen the potty chair in action. Peyton has seen Gillian using it for a long time now. He didn't need the doll to understand what to do. We used one with Gillian. It was a really weird looking thing that didn't go potty very well. It only went a few trickles. It was pretty humorous.
Training pants - for bed time & for when you are ready to venture out.
big underwear - as a motivation for when they are doing well enough to wear them.
some little stickers or little candies or treats of some sort.
Stock up on sleep & relaxation, because once you start, you will be a little short on these things.
You need to keep a watchful eye, all the time. And, once they start being aware of when they are wetting, they won't sleep as soundly. You'll have to get up through the night with them when they need to go. And, maybe get up much earlier than before. (Or, you can have a trooper of a husband who does most all of the getting up part, like mine does.)
Set it up.
Designate the room. Where can you hang out all day & not stress out too much about accidents? I happen to have a linoleum room adjacent to my kitchen that is a family room of sorts. Set up your potty chair. Bring in your food, drink, books, toys, paper towels & cleaner... Close off the room. Close the doors. Put up any needed baby gates to keep your young one near you. Have the house warm.
Wake up in the morning & GO!
The house needs to be warm. Your going to let your little one be naked on the bottom. This way you & the child are better aware of what is going on. Keeping the room closed is so that your child is always near & you can look for signs of when they may need to go. You can make sure they aren't hiding in a corner having an accident!
Start the Tea Party
My kids like tea. That works to our benefit for potty training. Tea "goes through you" pretty fast. So, we just hung out & had a tea party all day. Offer fluid to your potty trainer as often as you can. If you are doing the potty doll, give the dolly her drink & show how she goes potty. If you want, you can reward the baby with a sticker or candy.
With all the drinking your child is doing they will get a lot of repetition & be able to catch on to the excitement of going potty in the seat.
Of course, cheer like crazy when they do it correctly. Make them feel like they've done something great.
When your tot is on the younger side, hopefully you can get them excited about doing it right, without having to offer reward. I gave Peyton some little stickers throughout the day. But, it wasn't directly linked to the potty. It was just to keep the excitement level high. But, he had no ongoing expectation of receiving a reward.
Don't Slow Down
The next day, get going first thing. Don't keep the diaper/training pants on them. Take it off & get going. Once they seem to really be "getting it" you can slow down on the amount of liquids you are offering. Let things go back to normal, so he's not having to go as often. When things seem like they are going smoothly, try introducing wearing underwear. Peyton was ready to wear underwear by day 4. Before that, he had an accident every time he had something on. Day 4, he could wear underwear & still be aware when he needed to use the potty. He was wearing underwear that are a little big, so he could take them off easily. We took him out by day 6 & brought the potty chair along. This was after 2 full days of zero accidents.
To sum up - Give them every opportunity to be successful
Most of this is you focusing.
When I started potty training Gillian, trying to follow what my mom had told me, it started out rather poorly, with a high number of accidents. It was because any time I was distracted and not paying attention, she would wander out of sight & go on the floor. I think I was telling my parents how rough it all was. My dad told me if I couldn't focus on this, I just needed to quit. I was just confusing & frustrating my daughter. I wasn't helping her to be successful.
Don't confuse them by letting them go in the diaper, just because you want to be able to leave the house, or spend time making dinner. Don't confuse them by letting them go potty in the backyard, because you don't mind. They may not understand why the back corner of the yard is any different from the corner of the living room. Don't discourage them by showing frustration when they are really trying hard. Do tell them how proud you are of them!
Have your own potty training tips or thoughts? Share with us!