The last time that we tried potty training Miss A, we made it about 12 hours before she started absolutely hating it. The first trip or two, she'd go like it was no big deal. But after that, screams, cries, and full on tantrums. She'd hold her pee for hours, to the point of physical pain... so I'd put a diaper back on her, she'd pee, and the world would go round and round.
Since we did quite a bit of traveling in June and July, I decided to wait a while before trying again. If she asked, I'd sit her on the potty, but I never asked her to. I thought a break might do both of us some good. During our break, I read up a lot on different techniques, tips, and ways to encourage potty training.
The first thing I found super helpful was letting her watch me use the bathroom. She's become quite the little parrot with her mimicry. So what mommy does, she does. She was far more comfortable with the idea of the potty since mommy used one several times a day.
The next thing I read about, but hadn't really tried yet was the naked method. In her brain, she has to have a diaper on to pee/poo. It has to go somewhere, right? So take away that option, and growth will kick in. While we were in MI this month, she took an unplanned dip in my parents' pond. Since we weren't planning on swimming, I let her jump in naked rather than soak her clothes and diaper. Well, ten minutes later, she comes running out of the water, "Mommy! Diaper, peee! Gotta potty!" She ran over, grabbed her diaper off the beach, held it against her so she could pee, then went about her business. (hello flashing sign! she's read to potty train!) So I assumed that this method would probably work well with her.
Another thing that I found somewhat psychology related, was kind of trickery. I didn't really want to resort to lying to her, but if it works... it works. "Oh no, we left all the diapers at grandma's house. I am so sorry Sweet Pea, but you have to use the potty now. All the diapers are gone." She totally bought it.
The last thing I found helpful was keeping her options open. She wants to use the tot-pot? Go for it. She wants to use the seat on the big girl potty? Okay! She wants mommy to hold her on the big girl potty without her seat? Sure, why not. Whatever makes her happy, sitting on the toilet, that's what we'll do.
So now, we're three days in, and she's doing great. I've come to the conclusion that she is associating underwear with cloth diapers, because the only accidents we've had in the last 48 hours is while she's wearing them. If she's naked, I don't even have to ask her about the potty. She just goes and does her thing. Both pee and poo have been no issue this go around. Even though we have a naked toddler running around our house, and going in public with her right now is practically impossible, I am so proud of how well she's doing. We went to Savannah this morning, and she had a few accidents (all while in undies). But as soon as we got home, she ran inside, squatted and took a poo on the potty. Five minutes later, she peed. I can barely believe how quickly she's catching on to this. I'm hoping that a few more days of nakedness and habit forming will start to ease the association with undies and cloth. My fingers are crossed that she'll be "completely" trained before my husband gets home. She still pees in her bed as soon as she wakes up in the morning, but actually wakes up dry. I'm going to try two different things with her in the next few days: sleeping naked with the potty next to her bed, and waking her up before I go to bed (two or so hours after she goes to sleep) to see if she'll go then. I'm hoping one or the other will work for her until the habit is solid.
No matter what, I really believe that this time is a go for her and I'm so proud and excited. I can't believe my sweet girl is growing up this quickly.