So here's the good news: we're almost out of the woods! Interestingly, Vivian did most things earlier than Millie (walking, putting on shoes, pulling up pants, etc) but when it came to potty training her around the same time that we began with Millie -- early this summer, to be exact -- she simply wasn't having it. Like, not at all. As in running around the house naked, peeing on the floor, thinking it was the most hilarious thing ever.
IT WAS NOT.
A couple weeks in, I realized something silly and blatantly obvious: why on earth was I forcing her into this when she clearly wasn't interested. Viv was not yet ready to call things off with her diaper. Taking into account that all kids are different, I really do feel that you can't push your child into potty training. You will only stress yourself out and spend a lot of time buying paper towels and cleaning supplies. They will embrace the bathroom on their own, at their own time.
Sure enough, she spent the rest of the summer happily wearing a diaper, until mid-August when she began to show renewed interest. Slow but sure, with plenty of accidents in between, she got used to doing her business on the potty. Hurrah!
A couple more thoughts, along with some of my favorite potty training accessories (that may be the oddest word choice ever):
I suggest if the timing works out, potty train in the summer. You're wearing less clothes anyway, so it makes frequent trips to the potty easier for getting undressed and dressed.
Be prepared for a relapse: for whatever reason, Vivi did take a couple steps back recently. For about a week she had an accident almost every day. I'm not sure why, but she got past it and has been fine ever since.
Buy your kid the most exciting underpants ever, be it Minnie Mouse or Thomas the Tank Engine. They will be excited to wear them and they won't want to mess them up by having an accident.
Now, a few "helpers" that got me through this process with sanity still intact:
As mentioned above, I learned my lesson pushing Viv before she was ready, so at this moment she is still wearing a diaper at bedtime. I'm a big fan of Seventh Generation, and these overnight diapers put me at ease (i.e. I know I'm not going to be changing the sheets the next day!) I also love Seventh Generation's commitment to our planet and keeping their products toxin-free. Thanks for keeping my baby's tushy safe!
When you live in NYC and you have a kid, your stroller is like your car (or at least the car's trunk). And when you're walking down the sidewalk and your kid has to go to the bathroom, well, you pull out a portable potty. I can assure you it helps the child's reservations about plopping down on the sidewalk if it's a cute little lady bug they're sitting on. We love the My Carry Potty!
A friend of mine passed along Big Girls Use The Potty when her daughter finished potty training, and I have to say both my girls loved it. Definitely invest in a few potty training books to get you through the process!
I have mixed feelings about stand alone potties, as I think it's just easier to plunk them down on a regular potty from the get go, which makes the eventual transition to sitting on the potty unassisted a bit easier. For this reason, we've had great success with Oxo's Sit Right Potty Seat. I love that it's sturdy, the handles are there for support, and I can sit it up and out of the way when we're not using it. Done and done! True, I still have to be there to plop her down each time as she's not quite tall enough to sit down unassisted, but I think it'll be worth it in the long run. Oh, and I don't have a bunch of plastic cluttering up my bathroom.
I suppose that's it... potty training is a milestone, there's no question about it. Best of luck!
Disclaimer: I partnered with Seventh Generation this year to spread the word about their products. Additionally, the My Carry Potty and Sit Right Potty Seat were sent to me for review. All opinions expressed herein are my own.