Since posting about our potty training success, I've had several people ask what we did for potty training...so here it goes...
There were several steps I took to make Little Miss successful.
1. For about 2 weeks prior to even putting her on the potty, I checked Ms diaper every 30 minutes and kept track if she was wet or dry (yes, I actually timed the 30 minutes using a stopwatch from the dollar store). I wrote down when she was wet and dry and came up with a schedule in which I took her to the potty every hour. This starting schedule will vary between children.
2. Once we started our hourly schedule, I would give her a pretzel (something that she LOVES and something that we limited to her only receiving in the bathroom). Even if she didn't pee on the potty, I still gave her a pretzel, just for sitting there and trying. Once she peed for the 1st time I gave her a lot of pretzels and cheered for her so she knew what a good thing she had done. As she continued to pee on the potty more frequently, I began to phase out the pretzels and simply offer social praise got going to the bathroom. **You should also know we had a period of time that she was having accident after accident and we started offering her M&Ms for staying dry instead of going on the potty which worked well to get her back on the potty track.**
3. When taking her to the potty I would also write down whether or not she was wet or dry AND if she actually went on the potty or not. Keeping track of this information along with the time allowed me to see if an hour was too long or not enough between trips the bathroom.
4. When walking into the bathroom I would sign and say bathroom. This is giving her the skills to request on her own, which she recently started doing. (If your child doesn't sign or have verbal skills yet, consider posting pictures of the potty around your home and have your kiddo point to them as you are heading to the bathroom.)
5. At the end of the day I would tally a percentage of times she eliminated to the times she didn't go as well as the times wet to dry. If she peed in the potty and remained accident free at least 80% of the time for 3 days consecutive days, we would increase her potty schedule first by 5 minutes, then 10 minutes, then 15....working up to a 2 hour schedule or independent requests.
6. If the schedule you set is resulting in numerous accidents, scale it back a little bit maybe start with 45 minutes. Or consider changing your reinforcer.
M is 2 1/2 and we are now going schedule free and simply asking her if she has to go or waiting for her to tell us she needs to go, which is awesome because we are helping her become independent and building her confidence along the way. We are still working on nap time (inconsistent dryness) and morning wake ups (when she usually poops), but it's a work in progress, and I'm okay with that because I know she'll get where she needs to be when she's ready.
Please note: I'm happy to clarify, answer questions, or provide data collection forms about our potty approach, just shoot me a message and I'll help however possible.