Potty training is tough stuff. Right up there with breastfeeding and sleep issues if you ask me. With my son we started right before his 3rd birthday, went cold turkey and within a day he was doing great, no accidents. With my daughter we started when she was 2.5 years old, went cold turkey, dealt with accidents for 6 months, reverted to pull-ups for a miserable week and have finally nailed it. You just never know.
Every child is different and you have to do what works best for your family and disregard what others are doing. That said, if this is your first rodeo you may want a few tips before jumping in to the potty training pond. Here are some helpful items you might want to have ready before the big day.
Clorox Wipes: For wiping down the seat, floor, bowl, step stool...
Nature's Miracle: Yes, this is for dog accidents, but it works just as well with little humans. All natural, smells fresh and doesn't stain carpet.
Step stool: My favorites are these simple affordable white ones from Target.
Undies: I thought having Belle or Toy Story undies would encourage my littles to keep them dry, but as much as they love those character undies it didn't help the cause. The best undies are these from Gerber because they are thick absorbent training pants that help catch most of the pee before it can hit the floor.
Bjorn Potty Chair: When we trained our son we were living at our old house and the powder room wasn't close to the family room. It helped to have this potty chair close by in a little alcove. In our new house there is a potty right off the playroom so we didn't use it with our daughter. Plus I think she wanted to be like the rest of the fam and go in the big potty. It is handy to bring in the car for long road trips.
Munchkin Potty Ring: A lot of my friends used this and we have one, but my kids never seemed to need or want it. Plus to me it was just one more thing to clean (see Clorox Wipes).
Books: There are many many potty training children's books out there including the famous Once Upon a Potty. My favorite is Big Boys Use the Potty! (there is also one for girls). It comes with a reward sticker chart that may encourage some kids and makes for a nice keepsake and tracking system too.
Treats: M&Ms were used in this house and, again, might work, might not.
There were many days I had to remind myself to:
take deep breaths
be a cheerleader
be realistic in my expectations
recognize they will not pee their pants forever
pour a glass of wine