For my older daughter I used the 1-week-naked-booty-boot-camp method where you let your kid go commando for a week whilst simultaneously flooding them with their favorite liquids and putting them on the toilet every 20 minutes. It only took one poop accident and 3 days of pee accidents for everything to click and she was diaper free after that. Unfortunately, I knew my two year old would be different. She is VERY stubborn and hates doing ANYTHING that is not her idea. So, forcing her onto the potty every 20 minutes seemed like a bad idea to me.
Instead, I used a 3 day system where you give a TON of positive reinforcement whilst reminding your child to tell you if they have to go potty throughout the day. In theory, I LOVED the idea and thought if anything could work, this would be it. But I may have underestimated how stubborn my two year old could really be...
Days 1-2: She is interested in this new game we are playing, gets to the potty on time twice, makes it through 2 three hour naps and a full night sleep without wetting the bed!
Day 3: Something snaps... She doesn't want me reminding her to tell me if she has to pee. She starts yelling "NO POTTY!" at me when I remind her, she has a nasty poop accident and decides she never wants that to happen again, she starts begging for her diaper, she cries her eyes out anytime we say potty!
Days 4-5: We bump up the positive reinforcement. A jelly bean every time she sits on the potty, an M&M whenever she pees, a Reese's peanut butter egg whenever she poops. She likes the new rewards and stops fighting us as much and actually makes it to the potty 3 times.
Day 6: She LOVES candy! She starts sitting on the potty every 15 minutes to get another jelly bean. She cries wolf so many times I don't know if I should keep putting her on the potty. I don't want accidents all over my house so I eliminate the jelly bean and only reward her for pooping and peeing.
Day 7: She sits on the potty and promptly asks for a jelly bean. I tell her she will get one as soon as she goes pee pee. She explodes. She starts screaming and crying, throws herself off the potty, picks up the potty seat, chucks it across the room, and starts yelling something at me in a language I do not understand. She pees on the floor 6 times before my husband even wakes up! I freak out, yell "FINE!" put a diaper back on her, then sit on the hallway floor next to a puddle of pee and cry until my husband wakes up...
Day 8-Current time: Now that it is no longer something I want ANYTHING to do with, she is asking to be put on the potty when she has to pee. She is making it about half the time. She still poops in her diaper but then comes and tells me that she is "NASTY" and poo poo should go to the potty. I feel like I should give it another try but worry that my brain might explode in the process...
Moral of the story:
No child is the same, no method is fail proof, no amount of patience will make it OK when your sofa gets peed on for the third time, and NO ONE likes potty training! So if you are feeling bad that your child just isn't getting it, or that you don't want to start potty training even though your child seems ready, just remember that you are not alone. There are literally millions of moms out there who are suffering through this nasty part of life right along side you.
So, I wish you all good luck in your potty training endeavors, and if you have a ridiculously stubborn child like mine who you magically managed to potty train, please share your success tips and stories in the comment section below!!! I really NEED to hear them right now :)