It's a question that loomed like a big gray raincloud over my head for months before I decided on how I was going to handle potty-training Ruby Red. She showed much interest at 15 months and I thought, "Hey, let's get this done before the new baby!" Well, 15 months was too young for her...and me. I wasn't ready to commit and she would only sit on the toilet to hear the squeals of delight from mommy and daddy. At 18 months I decided it was time. ...And then Baby Blue was born when my oldest was 20 months. Ruby Red saw her little sister in diapers and I was too tired and always nursing, so I became very lax with the whole thing. I will never again try potty-training a child while I'm pregnant, unless I'm very early in the pregnancy and the child is older than 18 months, maybe even 2 yrs.
This past Thanksgiving, as Ruby Red was almost 2 1/2, I was finally ready to commit. I wanted it over and done with already so I told her I was putting her in "big girl panties". I bought the economy size bag of m&m's, a bunch of stickers and off we went. I cleared our schedules for the entire week, made sure we didn't have a busy weekend coming up and only put her in pull-ups for nap and bedtime. We had quite a few mishaps the 1st few days, but I have to say that it was quite a long-lasting success in the end! Of course with the holidays, traveling and sickness, we had a few regressions but I think we can officially say we've done it! I still put her in pull-ups for nap and bedtime, but I really could probably stop naptime since she's always dry and uses the same pull-up until it gets a funny odor, but I'm too afraid to try. Maybe I'll give that a "go" next week!
As a reference I flipped to the potty-training section of Gary Ezzo's book On Becoming ToddlerWise. To be honest, this is the only thing I got out of the entire book. I read both this book of his and the BabyWise one, both books extremely criticized by most attachment-parenting mothers. But a friend suggested them to me and so I read them. As a side note, they're not all bad. He uses some parenting techniques that are a little more rigid than I would ever choose, but they're not the horrible, harsh books that typefy the mom who doesn't love or care about her children, like I've heard them described. All in all, really the only thing I got out of these books was the potty-training part but different parenting practices are better suited for all sorts of parents, babies and families.
What did you do to potty-train your child/children? How long did it take? Did you do it over the course of a year or a week?