you know, for the honest parents.
When do I start potty training? Is my child ready?
What "they" tell you: Most children are ready between the ages of 2-3 years. Some even earlier! The best way to tell if your child is ready is to look for the signs: Can your child undress themselves? Are they interested in the potty? Do they verbalize that they have to go or that they did go? Do they wake up dry from their naps or in the morning?
You should know: Your child will dictate to you when they are ready. They will show all these signs and even more...and pee on your floor for a year. They use the fact that they have been a sweet, compliant toddler thus far and make you pay for all the times you boasted about what an easy little darling they have been. You mave have a 4yo or older that has absolutely NO interest in using the potty. (some even twice that age will still wet their bed at night.) This is their opportunity to finally have control over something, and they will run with it.
What supplies do I need?
What "they" tell you: A potty chair, a potty seat for the regular toilet, underwear, plastic underwear to go over regular underwear, treats. Try not to even use Pull-Ups as they are just like diapers.
You should know:
The Little Potty: Your child may be fascinated with the little potty for a few weeks until it turns into extra toy box and only want to sit on the BIG Potty...that is, at least for the first 6 months. Then, the big potty becomes scary, and she will only sit on the little potty.
The BIG Potty: Your child may have the irrational fear of being flushed, and never want to sit on that dreaded pot. Public restrooms may be a torture chamber of loud, child eating monsters...OR a museum of undiscovered white thrones--in this case you will find yourself having to "go potty" at every single store/restaurant/gas station/house you enter in order for your prince or princess to try it out on their royal hiney.
Underwear: While the fun colors and characters are initially an exciting addition to their wardrobe, your child will have no problem messing them. As money conscious as you might be....and as thrilling of an idea of not buying diapers anymore is....you may find yourself tossing some of those undies in the trash instead of cleaning them, even missing the convenience of tossing the diaper afterward.
Plastic Pants: It will still run down their legs. Just Sayin'.
Treats: Be prepared to have them ask for them for a LONG time....and start requesting treats for doing the most mundane of tasks.
What Steps Do You Take?
What they tell you: Here there are a GAZILLION different tips & tricks. Grab any Potty Book, Read any Forum, Ask any Mom (or Dad) that has ever trained a child....the problem is deciding what to do, and everyone says "be consistent"
You should know: if you choose a method that you want, you try it for weeks..MONTHS even, and it's not working, there is no reason you can't try a different approach. Obviously, it's not working. Your child might not learn that way. TIP FROM MY FRIEND: use an egg timer. You will forget, and then you will kick yourself when your child wets the floor for 5th time that day because you forgot to ask if they needed to go.
How Long Will it Take?
What "they" say: I've heard "Potty Train in Less Than a Day"...A few days....a Week...a Month
You should set aside at least 3 days where you can be at home, without distractions, one-on-one, to focus solely on the task at hand.
You Should Know: We are going on a year. You may set aside a whole week....do naked, one-on-one, potty boot camp. If it doesn't catch on, unfortunately LIFE goes on. You have other children; You have to work; You must leave the house some time....I mean, eventually you are going to run out of the milk, juice, and other liquids you are constantly offering to get that pee-pee flowing. Oh, and you'll need food too...not to mention, sanity.
Who can I ask for Help?
Refer to the "they" in the previous questions.
If you ask me:
While "seasoned trainers" are an obvious answer here...consider this: Choose not only parents that have successfully trained little tikes, but parents that are just as lost as you are. This way, if your child takes for-ev-errrrrr to train, you won't feel like a complete failure. Misery loves company, no?
Have Any Other Questions You like me to Address?
I'd be Happy to Help!