We started potty training our 2 1/2 year old around the time she turned 2, probably at about 18 months, actually. But we weren't very gung-ho about it. We bought her a potty (one that sings and does all that crazy stuff but we didn't put the batteries in it) and started teaching her that poo poo and pee pee belong in the potty. In the beginning, she was very excited about trying this new way of "doing her business." Like a lot of parents, we rewarded her with M & M's (or as she calls them, "Lemmys") when she went. She had one accidental #2 in the potty but for 8 or so months, that was it for that aspect of it. She went #1 more easily. It was never a matter of not knowing she had to go or not being able to control herself. Most days, she would do a few #1's in the potty but no #2's. She just wasn't ready for that. Then she lost interest in using the potty, I think about the time her brother started being more active and had more of our attention, as is usually the case when a new baby comes. She was 19 months when he was born and wasn't really aware of his place in the family so I think at first, she wasn't too threatened by his presence. But as he got bigger and more pronounced as an addition to our family that was vying for our attention, mine especially, she started to feel a little competitive. I only am guessing at this by her actions, of course, I'm not sure how she really felt.
So, here we are, a year later. She will be 3 in November. And I keep thinking that I am not going to be able to stand changing 3 butts a day! Hers will undoubtedly seem enormous to me once the new baby comes and I am determined to have her potty-trained completely by then. She is Miss Independent for the most part and I feel like she is completely ready. She knows when she has to go. She tells me "Mommy, I poopy, change my diaper" as she hands me a diaper and the wipes box.
We always make a big deal out of the times when she does go on the potty. And she loves that attention. And I KNOW she loves those lemmys!
The other day, I decided to take my sister's advice and let her go with out a diaper. Yes, this means bare-butt all day! (Unless of course we go out.) It's a little frightening at first, especially for someone like me that usually has to have things 'just so' and can't stand the thought of my area rug getting messed up. But at the same time, I am really determined to have her potty trained and if this is what works the best, I have to sacrifice my little OCD tendencies and let her do what she's going to do. Besides, most of our floor is hard wood surface so it's not a huge deal if she has an accident!
So off came the diaper and the real potty training began.