I was super nervous when it came time to potty train my daughter. I have heard horror stories of poop being smeared all over a bedroom or bathroom, or just accidents at the most inappropriate time or place. Some of my friends told me potty training nearly killed them and they were not being dramatic. Other friends tried to tell me the benefits of potty training (saving tons of money on diapers) and told me to focus on that.
We didn't have a plan in place on how to potty train her. I pretty much ordered a potty off Amazon just after she turned one years old because it popped in my mind and I knew I would forget later. Plus, I wanted a pretty one with a lid. We didn't read any books on how to potty train and we didn't follow a specific system. We just started early and assumed it will take forever. (Great mindset, hey?!)
As it turns out, our potty training "method" was a good one because our dayhome provider said our daughter is the first child she had in 11 years that NEVER had a potty accident EVER. High five! Here is our so called potty training "method":
GET THEM CURIOUS
I bought a really cute potty long before she was ready and just had it set up in the bathroom. She was fascinated with it and sometimes would just go into the bathroom to sit on the potty (with pants on.) She was intrigued by this new "seat" in the house that only she can sit in it.
SHOW THEM HOW
Say goodbye to privacy and start your performance. I struggled with this one because who likes someone watching them pee?! But I reminded myself she needs to learn and the best way to learn is by watching.
I kept the potty out during the day and put in away after she went to bed (because I don't like visual clutter.) The main reason for keeping it out was for accessibility. I wanted her to be able to go when she needs to go, literally.
MAKE A HUGE DEAL (GOOD AND BAD)
Whenever she made an accident, I wouldn't yell at her but I would make a big deal that her underwear or pull ups were yucky. She wasn't yucky, just the underwear/pull ups. When she was able to get to the potty in time and used the potty, there were definite celebrations with dances, clapping, and chocolate.
Rewards along the way - one m&m for a pee in potty, three for a poop. These were special Easter colored m&ms in a clear jar that was only for her. She always saw the jar and saw how many rewards she had in there. I think in the end, she just went to the bathroom to get more m&ms. If she was able to negotiate (great life skill), sometimes she will get more. Most of the time, she would negotiate herself to a lesser amount but it is part of the learning process!
LET THEM HAVE SOME SAY
The last stage for Grace was wearing pull-ups at night only. I didn't think she needed them but I had already opened a bag of new pull-ups and thought we would use them up anyways. I guess I needed the added security more than she did. Then one day, she said she doesn't want to wear a pull up anymore because she is a big girl. I said ok, no more pull ups then. Of course, we celebrated with a dance after.