The Potty Papers
We started tepidly potty training around 14 months or so. We had a potty before then which my over ambitious mother bought when he was just around 5 months with high claims that she had potty trained me by the time I was 10 months. My parents are very proud of this achievement (notably understood as their achievement). My husband remains skeptical of the proclaimed time-frame and in fact my parents do admit at times that I had accidents after I was trained, which some may speculate may mean that at 10 months they just got sick of washing cotton diapers and decided I would venture free, learning on the run. However, there may be some truth to their claim because my first memories were being on my hot pink potty, watching my grandmother repeatedly pour a half glass of water between two cups in an effort to encourage a urinary response.
For the firs few months, we simply tried to have our son sit on the potty, but he had an aversion to it and would scream so virulently against his placement on it that we had a not too insubstantial fear that child services would come knock on our door to inspect us. Thus the potty remained untouched except for my son's occasional propensity to slam his toys in it or decide to wear it as a headdress, a fashion I have not yet seen picked up around town.
At about 14 months we kicked into gear and started taking our son with us into the bathroom and bought a kiddie insert for the toilet, entreating him to sit on it and pee with the environmentally destructive prize of getting to throw toilet paper into the bowl and flush. In just a few weeks, we had a routine in which he would pee before his bath. This was our way of acclimatizing him, both believing that this would eventually lead to a 3-day potty boot camp by the end of which we would kiss diapers and our carpets goodbye.
However, this has never happened. Our son is pretty much potty trained, only wearing diapers at night and we never had to send in the military. We have to admit that we utilized our son's adoration of Elmo to our advantage and showed him Elmo on the potty, which worked wonders to have him rekindle a relationship with the potty such that he was comfortable sitting down on it. He was also by this time (around 18 months) telling us when his diaper was wet and/or soiled. If we pushed him to go to the potty when he didn't want to, he resisted so we realized that for his character, we progressed better if we didn't push. At first we put him into undies - which he loves wearing - after his daily poop until bedtime and tried to have him pee first thing in the morning. Now he wears undies even going outside, where we take him to the potty often (which involves one of us taking him into a cubicle and having him stand on the seat to pee) and we've only had one accident. He now resists wearing a diaper, albeit we still put him into diapers at night because he invariably still wets the bed, albeit he can now pee first thing in the morning also.
We've read many books and articles that warn against us our tepid approach and using diapers at night (including the advice of our mothers) but our step by step approach seems to be doing the trick so we're sticking with it. We were also told that he might revert by seeing his little brother (now 3 months!) in diapers, but I believe telling him that his little brother is a baby and that only babies (unlike him and unlike us) go in diapers has rather propelled him forward in what appears an earnest effort to distinguish himself.
Soon we'll have to make the leap to no diapers at all and since we're halfway through our latest package, we're hoping to do this right before we finish it, just in time for his 2nd birthday. After all, he wets the bed every night anyway and we change his sheets daily, so there's nothing much stopping us from making the leap...