A few posts ago, I wrote that we are beginning to potty train Princess. Here's an update on the process.
We are taking the relaxed approach to potty training since Princess is still so young. Periodically, I put her on the toilet and if she goes, she gets a few M&Ms. She prefers using a potty seat on the toilet to using the really cool potty chair I got her, but I'm okay with that because that means we don't have to carry a potty chair with us everywhere. 6 days after we started potty training, a lightbulb went on in her head and she realized that she could actually make herself go potty when she was on the toilet. This is great and means that she's aware of what she's supposed to be doing. Just last week, she also realized that going potty meant she got M&Ms. I had gotten her up from bed and she still had her pacifier in her mouth when I put her on the toilet. She peed in the toilet, handed me her pacifier and opened her mouth expectantly.
The next thing she needs to master in the potty training adventure is learning how to tell when she has to go and holding it until she can get to the toilet. No luck with this yet, but eventually I think it will just click and she'll figure it out. Several people told me that the reason she hadn't picked up on this yet was because I still had her in diapers instead of putting her in regular underwear. So I found some training underwear (training underwear is more expensive than MY underwear! Talk about ridiculous!) and made a big deal of showing them to her and telling her that she was a big girl because she could wear them instead of diapers. She seized the flowered underwear from my hand and vigorously smelled the flowers. I wrestled the underwear out of her hand and explained to her that yes, we do smell flowers, but we don't smell underwear. After ceremoniously tossing the diaper she was wearing while emphasizing that diapers are for babies, I put her in the underwear and let her loose to play. Princess played happily at the kitchen table while I washed dishes. Perhaps running water wasn't the best background noise. Before long, she came over to me asking if she could wash her hands as she always does when I have the water running. I picked her up and was rewarded with a wet shirt. She gave me a blank look as I told her how disappointed I was that she had gone potty in her big girl underwear. She didn't notice the wet underwear at all and wasn't fazed to be walking around that way. I figured that the first time wasn't that big of a deal and she'd get it. A day and 4 accidents later, I switched her back to diapers. She obviously didn't care if she was wet or not and I would usually realize she was wet only when I picked her up.
So for now, I will keep doing what I have been doing, but I don't have unrealistic expectations. We're laying the groundwork for the serious potty training which will probably occur after she turns two. If nothing else, I'm saving a few diapers this way.
When starting potty training, it can be hard to convince your active child to stay put on the potty chair long enough for the potty training to work. I solved this problem by keeping a small basket in the bathroom stocked with special books and toys that Louise only gets to play with when she's sitting on the toilet.