I have no clue how to potty train Landon, I have never really “trained” him — he is learning all by himself, on his own terms!
When he was about 2 years old, I went to Toys-R-Us with him and bought him a potty. I had done extensive research on Target.com and read a lot of reviews before I bought the Graco Soft Seat Potty Chair.
I made a big deal about it and explained to him what it was for, that he is a big boy now and that he has his own potty. At home, we opened the box together and put his potty next to our toilet. Landon was interested for a day or two, and once in a while when I was in the bathroom he wanted to sit on his potty as well, but I didn’t take off his diaper at that point.
A few months later I rented two potty-training DVD from the library, one with Elmo (“Elmo’s Potty Time”) and “Once Upon a Potty for Him.”
We watched them together, and although I thought they were both not that entertaining and Landon didn’t seem that interested, he surprised me that day when he pooped in the potty for the first time! Of course I made a huge deal about it (I even took a picture! Hey, it’s a milestone!).
A couple more months went by, and every once in a while Landon would tell me he needed to go. I would always make sure to take him to the bathroom when he asked, and he would produce results in seconds.
When we needed to get a new toilet seat, we bought one that has the smaller children’s seat built in and let Landon know that he can now go on the big toilet, like Mommy and Daddy. He was all interested in that. Since then Landon has told me more and more that he needed to go potty, and a few days ago I noticed that I haven’t changed a poopy diaper in weeks
This just kind of happened all by itself, when Landon was ready. He still wears diapers, and he doesn’t often say he has to go when he just needs to pee, but he is basically “training” himself, without pressure from anyone.
To get him totally out of diapers, I plan to let him run around without one whenever possible in the summer and to remind him and ask him if he has to go, which I haven’t done so far. I hear so many stories about parents having problems getting their child potty trained, so I feel pretty lucky that Landon is making this really easy.
It shows me again that children don’t come with a timetable, they all learn on their own terms, when they are ready for the next big milestone — some earlier, some later.
Trying to get a child potty trained in a few days or even hours, as some products proclaim, is ridiculous, I don’t know who believes that that is healthy and possible. Are we so much in a rush nowadays that we require our children to get potty trained in a few hours?
I think the more we can stand back and let our children learn and explore on their individual pace without much prodding from us, the better. Making them feel bad about not being ready when they “should” be only adds to your and you child’s stress level.
I encourage you to watch for your children’s signals and to gently guide them when they are ready — maybe they will toilet train themselves as well!