I've been reading a lot about this. Everything says that the trick is being consistent and totally devoting time to the process and at this age (21 months) she should pick up on it quickly.
I love the idea of the 3 day method, so that's what I'm going to do. (As soon as I came back to work from maternity leave one of the radiation oncologists with whom I work told me that's the way to go. I've been getting coaching and tips since then!) I'm taking off next Friday so we can have 3 full days of potty training adventures. She told me that if we do this right we'll be blubbering idiots by Monday morning and will have lost at least 90 IQ points, but we should have an almost completely trained toddler, too.
I'm not going to buy the book - Baby Center had a lot of good potty training info. We're going to do a modified version of their 3 day script. I'm going to crank up the heat and put Baby in a long-sleeved shirt and big girl panties (instead of being bare bottomed). I'm going to set a timer to go off every 20 minutes, at which point we'll go sit on the potty and read some stories. (Some new-to-her books, some favorites.) When she pees on herself we'll go 20 minutes from there; lather, rinse, repeat.
Every time there's an accident you let her help you clean it up. As you're cleaning you talk about how pee pee goes in the potty. Never make them feel embarrassed for their accidents, but be matter of fact about it. No shame allowed.
When she successfully uses the potty, we'll sing a special song with a stupid dance (that I've not made up yet). They have one at day care, but we need one for here, too. I also plan on making lots of phone calls to friends and grandparents so they can brag on her. (An email will go out this week to them to confirm that they will be home next weekend and query better times for us to call.)
We're going to get the seat that fits onto the regular toilet tomorrow because that's what she'll have to use at day care. I also have a little potty and I've not decided yet if that's going to go away when we do this or if I"ll move it to the living room for her to use, too.
We will sing potty songs, dance potty dances, read potty books and talk potty potty potty. It will be all-potty-all-the-time. No tv. All potty.
During all of this you push salty snacks and fluids. This will not be a weekend of high nutritional value. :) I plan on having lots of juice, chocolate milk, (maybe coke, not decided yet -- my coach said that was the way to go) and salty snacks like cheetos, cheezits and ritz crackers.
On my recon shopping trip last week I was shocked to see how expensive the character panties were at TRU. So right now I'm thinking that tomorrow I'll get one to two packs of character panties, but the rest of noncharacter panties. We'll see what they have and what gets her excited. All this week I've been showing her my panties and letting her hold the panties I already have for her and we've been talking about how she's going to use the big potty next week and wear big panties like a big girl.
With what I read - the first day you shouldn't expect more than one to three successful potty deposits (and that may be the last few drips that you successfully hover them over the toilet). I found a story of a lady who was planning to do the 3-day method and she blogged about it before and then after to say what really happened. She said they went through 20 pairs of panties the first day, then 10 on day two, three on day three. (I'd like to have 25-30 pairs of big girl panties on hand just in case our first day isn't as successful.)
Something apparently clicks in their head between day two and day three and many kids have few accidents afterwards. (They're more likely to have poo accidents than pee accidents.)
I've also talked with our day care lady a lot this week about this. She's anti pull-ups because they feel to much like a diaper to the kids and it takes longer to train them because of that. (Not to mention they're hexpensive!) I'm also going to need a few pairs of the rubber/plastic trainer bloomers for day care.
The 3-day program also says that at home for the first three months after your potty weekend you let them run around bare-bottomed under their pants. We're not going to do that. We're going big girl panties the whole way.
Neither Baby nor I will leave the house during Pottypalooza. They say on day two you can get out in the afternoon for an hour, but you have to stay close to the house (like go for a walk), timed after they pee in the potty. It's supposed to be arctic here next week, so I'm doubting we do that. Then on day three they say you can go out for an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon, timed after using the potty, but I'm not committed to that, either. That's all going to depend on the weather for us.
We may be taking this adventure in tandem with Jane and her daughter in Kentucky. If that's the case I'm sure we'll both be wading in pee, but maybe we can Skype to sing each other's kids our potty songs, break up the monotony.
The hard core 3-day stuff I've read says you throw all the diapers away and totally commit to this. I'm not that committed. I know that it takes a longer time to stay dry during the night, so we're going to keep putting her in night time diapers. The daytime and afternoon nap will be all panties all the time. (Right now she's staying dry through naps, so I'm hopeful that'll continue.)
If for some reason the weekend doesn't work you're supposed to pick another weekend 6-8 weeks in the future and try, try again. I'm really hopeful that it'll be successful since she's showing interest. From what I've read it's a great age to forge ahead. Day care is urging us to start and are eager to do their part in the process.
I know that eventually she'll be potty trained and that this process in no way requires this much thought on my part, but this is how I organize myself. I know and expect to go through 8 rolls of paper towels and to wash multiple loads of pee and poop panties. My expectations are realistic and my RN training has more than prepared me to clean up bodily fluids.
Really I look at this like the process of giving up her fooler. We tried over a weekend at 6 months. After that weekend she only used it when she was sleeping in the crib, but we weren't able to go cold turkey. It was certainly better than before we tried, but she wasn't ready yet. When we tried again at 8 months she quickly joined the ranks of all other children in Pacifiers Anonymous. If for some reason this Pottypalooza doesn't take I'm hopeful that we'll be one step closer than we are right now and that later everything will click so that it's effortless - just like now how I put her into the crib awake with no fooler and no tears.
Some things I need from you--
- We need a theme song. I definitely need a new playlist. Any ideas?
- Put this on your back burner: I'm hopeful that at the end of next weekend we're going to kiss the near end of Baby's babyhood goodbye. Whenever this happens I'm going to need a new pseudonym for her. Mull on it and when we get to that point I'm going to give and ask for suggestions. (Right now I'm strongly leaning towards the first name I wanted to name her that was completely shot down by the person after whom she was going to be named... but I'm open to suggestions.)
- Good vibrations!