i've seen children as young as 18 months legit potty trained & the parents were like we didn't even encourage, it just happened! and then i've seen 3.5yr olds who still have no interest in the matter & will fight you until the day you give up... again ha.
kids are their own little people. they do what they want, when they want. and i firmly believe that when a child is ready to be potty trained, they will make the process so easy for you! especially if you're consistent & make it fun. if not, you're going to spend a lot more time cleaning up pee off the floor, scrubbing smeared poop from car seats & crying to yourself inside your pantry.
potty training dreydan went just as i expected. the first day was awful. granted the poor kid tried his best, but ughhhh i hated it. each day after that was a little better & a little easier. we had dance parties every time he went potty in the toilet and ice cream for dinner like 3 nights in a row. at night, he would wear his "cars man pants' (pull-ups). as far as he was concerned, they were just like undies and if he peed in them he would have to change. i would limit his liquid intake before bed & when i woke up to pee, i woke him up to come with me. after about 4 days, we left the house. i ran some errands, we got snacks to munch on, hit target for some unnecessary browsing... and we hit the potty every where we went. he had on his special 'cars man pants' just in case he forgot, but he never did. first outing.. success! my little man was officially potty trained!
so here are my biggest tips & tricks that saved my life...
+ THE 'BEGINNING PROCESS' IS EVERYTHING
it might be strange, but taking your diaper wearing child 'underwear' shopping might not sound like the best place to start. but involving them in the beginning process can get a little fire going in their brains that can really help! i took dreydan on a special trip to his favorite little store, explaining to him on the way there what we were going to do. and then again before we walked in. we were going to find him big boy undies! and he got to choose every one of them. and told me where to put them when we got home.. which was in his movie drawer. we also picked out his potty seat & stool together along with some potty books that were special for his potty time. bottom line, get them excited to start!
+ STAY HOME
once it's been decided that you're really doing it, the this is happening, you need to make sure the next handful of days are free. because your child will most likely be running around naked all day as you throw him/her on the toilet every 15 minutes. it's easier & less stressful to just stay home.
this was a big deal for drey. every time he peed in the toilet we had a dance party and i let him choose a surprise from his 'potty bag' (i stocked up on small things from the dollar store - toys, candy, books, crayons etc.. beforehand to use as rewards). he loved it. and he knew when he got them. when he would accidentally pee his undies he would run to me and say "uh-oh mommy... no toy" with his big ole brown eyes staring up at me haha. what i'm trying to say is, whether it's a potty chart & stickers, a potty bag & toys or whatever you choose to do, make every single little teeny tiny tinkle or poo in the potty a BIG deal.
+ BE CONSISTENT
this is why staying home for a good 3-4 days straight is important. it helps you stay focused on the task at hand. you can't throw them in underwear and sit them on a potty 100 times one day & then put a diaper back on them the next. because that one day of training was just wasted and now you have to start all over again. once diapers are done, they're done. whatever angle you start out with, stay with that. be consistent.
+ NEVER GET MAD
never yell at them for peeing or pooping their undies when potty training. you're dealing with a toddler, yes that gets frustrating sometimes. but it's not their fault. they really are trying their best & they need your encouragement & happy dances more than they need their mommy or daddy yelling at them for doing something that they're just barely learning how to control. and if it really is that hard on you, perhaps your child isn't ready to be potty trained just yet. stop & try again in another couple of months.
i hope these give you a good little push in the right direction. i know not every child is the same & maybe what works for some kids, doesn't work for yours. i'm only speaking from my experience with my child. i remember getting all sorts of advice when i started drey, but not all of it appealed to me. go with what works!
**one of dreys favorite things i did with him while he was sitting on the toilet was read to him his potty books. i ordered a couple on amazon before we started & he just loved them! there are so many out there, i just clicked on a couple with good reviews, drey picked his favorites and they turned out to be perfect. cute, witty, and helped get the point across from another point of view other than his moms. he still reads them to this day and he's almost 5! haha
how was your potty training experience with your babies?