So you already know I researched this like a crazy person. So now it was time to execute my plan. I am going to assume you have already read about some methods prior to me telling you all this, but lets go over a few myths and dont's that I learned about in my class:
-You do not want to have a little potty in every room of the house. People potty in the bathroom, so you might as well teach them to go in there from the start.
-Basic potties are best. Forget the ones that sing songs. Big people potties do not sing songs.
-Pull ups are not your friend. They are bulky and feel like a diaper. Your child can not feel the wet feeling in them. Better to go naked or straight to underpants (expect for when they are sleeping).
-You don't want to make them sit on the potty every 10 minutes. You are trying to teach them to listen to their bodies and tell you when they have to use the potty. So although you may need to sit them on there if you know they SHOULD have to go from drinking so much liquid, don't automatically force them every few minutes to sit if they don't need to.
-Electronics and other things while on the potty are not helpful. You are trying to teach them to sit when they need to and take care of their business. Not play.
The night before we took H shopping for panties, and she helped me decorate her reward chart. We hung it in the bathroom and talked about the next day, and how she would not be wearing diapers. After she went to bed I washed all her new panties, and organized some of the activities I had planned to keep us busy at home the next day. I washed and filled her treat jars and lined them up where she could see them.
When she woke up that morning, I brought her to the couch and let her fully wake up. She is not a morning person. Then we went in her room, took her diaper off, and put panties on. I put her in just a T shirt, so she would not have trouble undressing herself and would feel more confident.
We talked about keeping our panties dry and telling Mommy and Daddy if you need to use the potty. We busied ourselves with coloring on a giant roll of paper, and I let her drink juice from a cup she chose. I would ask her every 10 minutes or so if she needed to go. Most of the time she said no, but if she said yes, I always took her right away.
If she was successful, she got to pick a treat. She almost always went for the M&Ms in the jar, because she had never had one before and they looked new and exciting. When she sat on the potty and nothing came out, she was upset that she didn't get a treat so we did have to work on that. And I had to move the treat jars out of her reach b/c I first put them at her eye level thinking they would be motivating but they were too distracting.
The first day she only had 1 accident, in the kitchen. But we didn't make a big deal of it, just washed her off and let her sit on the potty. The second day we took a trip to Burger King, where when asked she told me she had to potty 3 times but really only did it once. We also went to the park, and we took a potty with use, since that park didn't have a restroom.
The trip to the park brings up the whole traveling aspect of potty training. We take lots of trips, so I was worried about that while she is still learning. A couple of things are helping with that:
-I got a piddle pad. It's a waterproof liner thing that goes in her car seat. So if she does have an accident, I don't have to take apart and wash the whole seat.
-We took our Baby Bjorn little potty to the park with us, and when she had to go, I just opened the trunk of my SUV, set up her potty, and she went. I didn't act like it was a weird thing to do, just told her that when there is no potty, we get to go in the car. She was fine with it, even though we probably looked like weirdos at the park.
-The make travel potty seats for public restrooms, but the thought of putting that on the public toilet and then back in my bag is gross. So I just put a piece of tissue on the seat and had her sit on the SIDE of the potty, kind of like riding side saddle on a horse, but their legs and body both face the side. Most public restrooms have that split seat where there is no middle, and that is hard for her to use.
-One thing we are going to have to work on is going potty with Daddy in public places. The Husband tried to take her in McDonald's the other day, and she refused to go b/c it was a boys potty place. How she knows that, I don't know. But we will work on it being OK to go with Daddy.