Shortly after Peanuts 2nd birthday, we took her to the store to pick out her first pair of 'big girl' panties. We brought home two packages of training undies (they have extra padding in the pee zone just in case- very clever!) and two of regular panties. She picked out Elmo and Little Mermaid. We then put them away, but asked her at least once a day if she would like to try to use the potty (she calls it "taking a potty"). With out fail she would say, "I no want to take a potty mommy!" And when I brought the potty chair into the house, she started crying and told me "No Mommy! Put it back! Put it back in the closet!" (It was in the garage ;) I calmly told her Nope, its going in the bathroom, but that she didn't have to potty if she didn't want to. She made sure I closed the bathroom door though!
So since then, I have been asking her just once, when we would wake up, if she wanted to try to take a potty and wear big girl panties. She would always say no. Then last week she said yes! So we got up, tried, then put on the training undies. I also put the potty chair in her playroom, thinking she'd be more likely to sit on it and try it if it was in a room she really liked (It worked). Needless to say though, she didn't pull her trainers down, and peed through 3 pairs! Day two was much better, with just one miss, but she was actually on her way, so it wasn't a set back. The next few days have been accident free, even with an hour long trip to the local plant nursery (we bought two blueberry plants!)
She still wears either vinyl covers or a cloth diaper to bed for naps and at bedtime. Though this morning she woke up at just after 5 am, and said she had to take a potty! I flopped out of bed and followed her, helped her, and put a dry diaper back on her. I do prompt her through out the day (maybe once an hour?) to see if she needs to go, but for the most part she tells me. It's so awesome to see her learn and grow! For awhile there, I was sure I'd be changing diapers until she was much older!
I am a firm believer in letting the child 'guide' the parent. I think this lets the parent learn to recognize what level of development their child is at, as well as allow the child to feel confident in their experiences. This is why I refused to 'force' or 'train' her to potty when she clearly was not interested. I've seen a few kids get into trouble, be it spanking or time outs, for having accidents. It made me very sad! I am sure the kid involved didn't like the fact that they had an accident (would you??) and to further punish them, beyond making them help clean up the mess, seems to be over reacting. I am not sure how I feel about the whole EC (Elimination Communication) movement. This is where a parent will hold the child over a toilet and train them to potty there from a very early age (most from birth, I believe). This seems to be a bit much. I mean, the child won't be able to even get up and sit on ANY type of potty chair or toilet until they are walking. Would it not make more sense to help them recognize what you are doing and be aware when they need a diaper change? I am just imagining loosing a year or more of just being together and enjoying learning together getting lost because you are having to constantly be aware of your baby needing to pee and poop. And what happens when they are napping? I know my kid would pee a lot when she was sleeping. I would never want to have to wake her up to put her over the toilet! I guess I like the 'easy' convenience of using a diaper for a couple years, and having a well rested Peanut :o)