Gwyneth is now almost 16 months old, but when she turned one I (half-jokingly) told a mom of five I know, that I was going to come to her when it was time for potty training. She told me, "Start now. Just start putting Gwyneth on the potty before baths or at diaper change times to get her used to the idea." I know for a lot of mom's they run into a big issue with potty training because their tykes are frightened of the toilet, so it seemed logical to me to introduce her to it before it would occur to her to be scared.
I ordered a Baby Bjorn Toilet Trainer potty seat for her and started setting her on the toilet for a few minutes every night while I got her bath ready. The seat works great and I've been really happy with it. She's seems really comfortable on it. She went pee while perched there once or twice but it was most likely a coincidence (which we made a HUGE deal out of). Then, when we went to California the project got put on hold. But she was with me 24/7, including on trips to the bathroom. I showed her how "Mommy goes potty" but didn't think it was really sinking in until... we got home and she started going to the bathroom on the potty!
It's now been more than a week since I've changed a poopy diaper! I am still kind of shocked. I really didn't expect for her to figure it out so quickly. Since it was so obvious that she was trying and succeeding at using the toilet we've really ramped up our training. I watch (and listen) for signs that she may need to use the toilet (usually she's very quiet or very.. uh, gassy) and we try to make it really fun. If she says/signs "all done" we get her down right away so it doesn't feel like something she has to do.
We also have a great book pop-up called Princess Potty Time (there's a version for Superheros too) that my Dad and Stepmom got for her. I also have a couple less interactive books like Curious George Visits the Zoo, and I just take time talking about the different animals (as opposed to reading the story in an animated way). She seems to be able to focus better when it's not too interactive or animated. She likes to hold the book at first but then when she's ready to go, she hands it off to me and I show her the pictures while she goes.
When she successfully uses the toilet I give her one square of toilet paper (which is the most thrilling thing ever) and she gets to "wipe" then throw it in the potty. I quickly flush the toilet, and I try not to let her see how it's done (I don't need her continuously trying to flush). Then she claps for her self and cheers, "Day! Day! Bye bye poo poo!" I only give her the toilet paper and only flush when she goes because I want her to learn that those are rewards, otherwise I'm afraid she'd just say "all done" to get to the fun stuff without actually going potty. This week I'm planning to make her a "Star Chart" that she can put a sticker on when she uses the toilet successfully.
Gwyneth is still wearing her BumGenius 4.0 diapers all the time and while she does occasionally pee in the potty, her diapers are usually really wet. Where we're having the most success is with pooping in the potty. Those signs are easy for me to see. This toilet training business happened so naturally for her. It takes awareness, time, and patience from us but it's so worth it. I'm ridiculously proud of her.
I'm by no means an expert on this process. I'd love any advice, or tips you want to share! Every kid is different and everyone finds their own methods that work for them. I'll keep you up to date on how the process continues to go, and what's working for us.