After what seems like months of urging, reading stories about the potty, and getting mock-excited about big boy underwear, Soren is finally a champion on the potty! Woo hoo!
I can't say that I've had much to do with it, other than being patient and believing that when a child is ready, it will happen. Cajoling didn't seem to work with him in the beginning, though gummy bears certainly do! I wish he was more of a sticker kind of kid, but he really could care less about them. Sugar trumps stickers any day.
So far we've had no accidents for over a week, plus we've taken him out a few places, like his gym class and to a local park for quite a few hours without any problems. I'm so proud and so relieved about this, I mean, who wants 2 children in diapers? I confess that I dreaded potty training, even since he was a baby. It just seemed like torture, having to nag and maybe even hang out for hours in the bathroom, trying to get things to click for him.
I know we'll probably experience some regression once the baby arrives, but it's good to know that S is capable of using the toilet now, and is excited about wearing his big boy underwear. We still use a pull-up at night and during naps, but at least during the daytime he's dry.
While each child is different, I can share some of the things that worked for us.
1. Wait until the child is ready. I actually started encouraging the potty when he was 2, and it worked occasionally, especially with pooping (it was easier for me to see the signs of that, rather than pee). But he was definitely not ready (compared to my niece, who was trained at 18 months). I believe that there is a time frame in each child's mind, and they'll train when they're ready, so why badger them all those moments leading up to that time?
2. Buy and use underwear rather than training diapers (even let your child pick them out). I let S run around wearing just the undies (much easier to do in warmer weather) and put towels on the couch and chair. He seemed to pick up being wet much easier in underwear, rather than a training diaper, which still absorbs a lot of the pee. And underwear are so easy to clean; just buy a lot! At his age, he tends to just poop once a day, so I'm not so concerned about messes from #2.
3. Set up a comfortable potty area in your bathroom. Include a potty or potty seat, and a step stool, especially if using the big toilet. It's easier for them to feel secure if they can place their feet on the ground. We love these kids built-in toilet seats, from Home Depot, which are in our 2 bathrooms. The kids' seat hides in the lid and is held there with a magnet. It will serve us well over the next few years, with both kids.
I really hope I didn't jinx myself by posting about our potty successes--let's hope that it continues!
Any tips for potty training that worked or didn't work for you?