Well, we are on day 4 of the potty training process (We used THIS "method")- Day 1 was exciting, she was excited about the new "activity", day 2 was a nightmare- peeing everywhere, Day 3 was great- only 1 accident but no pooping. So we are hoping that it will get easier every day and we can move forward. The plan says "3 days" which is probably true for them to get the idea and I have heard works when the child is really ready, but lets face it- it is an ongoing process! As I said before- I believe it is the absolute worst process- I have about thrown in the towel 100 times. After doing this twice, if I had to give advice to another mom who is going to potty train for the 1st time, this is what I would say:
1) if possible, wait until they are really ready- Ellie was ready and a LOT easier. I think 3 is the perfect age, just my personal opinion- however when kids are ready earlier that is awesome. It just seems like those who wait until 3 have an easier time. Probably because the child watches their siblings, friends or cousins without diapers and want to be "big" like them. (That being said, I always "love" my friends who have 2 year olds that potty train themselves and never look back- so happy for you!!! :)
2) be patient and stick it out once you start- at some point you are going to have to go through the "pain"
3) the 3 Day potty training method says- no diapers or pull ups ever again- throw them away. I am not that brave- I use pull-ups for naps, bed time and long outings (or outings where the potty isnt convenient- i.e. the park) I just put panties on and then the pull up over it- so they can still feel the yucky wet feeling. When I put them on before bed I call them "nighttime panties" avoiding the word diaper at all costs. And I never lay her down as if changing a diaper, I pull them on like panties. Once they wake up dry, I stop using them immediately.
4) set your child up for success, stop serving drinks (other than sips of water) after 7pm. I actually try to stop drinks after dinner- other than sips of water. They feel better when they are successful at staying dry, so set them up for success.
5) if you are planning on potty training, have someone else with you if at all possible. Your husband, mom, friend, sister- anyone who can give you support during the process. It helps when you think you might give up to be reassured, someone else "praising" is great- it is just better with support!
6) keep an emergency kit with you when you go out in the beginning- extra clothing and panties, towels, water bottles, wipes, trash bags or grocery bags. I actually just keep this in my car at all time, it all comes in handy at any given time.
7) I have purchased the fancy potty gear both times, my girls are both most successful on the actual potty, just as is. No pretty seat cover, they like the singing potty to play with, but not actually go on. In fact, Izz went on the "singing chair" once and it startled her so we turned off the singing. Those are mainly great for outings- peace of mind.
8) If you must leave the house, I keep a little potty seat in the back of my car- you never know when there is an emergency- and if you go in a restaurant, put a piece of toilet paper over the sensor on automatic toilets- it never fails that thing will flush mid "potty" and scare the "peepee" out of the child.
9) Finally, find a plan you like and stick to it. They are bound to catch on if you are consistent!
Ok- I am done with the "potty talk". I am SO glad I only have to do this one more time!