So Im totally not an expert on this topic, and each child's potty training experience is different, but I've recently had some successes with potty training my 18 mo old daughter, Elsa, that I wanted to share.
When we first started potty training I bought Elsa a potty chair. She's a pretty small girl so I figured this would be easier for her to use than trying to climb up on the toilet. Anyway, so when we first opened it she sat on it and peed right away. I thought this would be a cake walk. So I let her run around naked while at home and diapered her when we went out. When at home she struggled with using the potty chair. She would hide in the corner and pee, and pooped on my nice rug a time or two. So I just kept diapering her at home. I was tired of cleaning up her accidents, and even if I caught her in the act and put her on the potty chair she would start screaming and wouldn't stop till I let her off. So I gave up on potty training. I figured maybe she just was too young for it... ignoring the fact that my friend is potty training her 8 month old and having success.
But I left her potty chair out and started bringing Elsa into the bathroom with me so she could see what the toilet is used for. I even would let her watch me go to the bathroom, and look in the toilet to see what the results were. I only did this a couple times before I noticed that Elsa would sometimes sit on her potty chair, while diapered. It took me a few days, but I realized that she was actually messing her diaper when she did this. So a few days ago I started letting her go naked periodically, with no success. Then when I was babysitting a friends children, one of which is potty trained, I allowed Elsa to accompany us into the bathroom when Sadie had to go. I kept telling Elsa what a big girl Sadie is, that she is using the toilet all by herself! I didn't really think this would do any good but I figured it couldn't hurt to let her see another kid her size using the toilet.
So, this morning I saw Elsa trying to sit on her potty chair. Hoping that this was her way of telling me she needed to go, I stopped her, took her diaper off and let her sit on the chair on her own. She immediately peed. I was so excited! I started clapping and cheering, telling Elsa what a good girl she is. She got excited too. I still diapered her for her nap, but after she gets up I will let her go naked again.
Since this story isn't over yet I will be sure to update this article from time to time to let you guys know how its going.
So potty training is on hold for an undetermined period of time. Elsa seems to have picked up the stomach flu that has been working its way through the families at church. I'm not a big fan of cleaning up that sort of mess so she will remain in diapers until things firm up. She is still sitting on her potty chair when she has to go though, so I am hoping that she will be able to pick up where she left off once she is feeling better.
So a while back we tried potty training again. I kept telling my husband that I just didnt think Elsa was ready for it since our training has been inconsistent and she appears to have gotten comfortable with the diapers again. But he insisted. So I really threw myself into it. I tried the 3 day method, I tried treats, I tried star charts, I tried just about every suggestion people made to me. And she was still regularly having accidents. So finally John says 'You know, I just dont think she is ready.' I had to bite my tongue to keep from saying I told you so, but I couldnt stay silent. So I just agreed wit him. We will be waiting till Elsa is about 2.5 to start trying again. We'll see how it goes. I think I may just wait till she decides she is done with diapers.