1. I wait until they are old enough to pull up and down their own pants and able to get on the toilet with a stool. Normally around 2 1/2. All of my friends potty trained way earlier than me...this is just easier. Another way to know that they are ready is if you notice that their diaper is staying dry for longer periods of time. The goal for me was that they must be wearing underwear to their 3rd birthday party or they would get NO presents (just kidding).
2. Let him pick out some really cool underwear and make a really big deal about it! "Wow! Look at these BIG BOY underwear, chicks are going to dig you in these!" Make certain that you have enough 'cause they're gonna get soiled. Also, a potty book is fun. You know the ones that show the boy do his business and it makes a flushing sound at the end?
3. Next, I decide the day I am going to train. The best time to start is when you have a lot of time to be at home. You can't potty train if you're out running errands. Realize that it's going to be a few days of consistent "training." When you start, tell your child what is happening. "You're a big boy now. Today you are going to go potty on the toilet, not in your pants. If you make a poop or a pee in the potty you get a treat!!"
4. This next step is crucial to his success...I bet you can't wait to hear it!! I put him on the potty every 20 to 30 minutes (SET A TIMER TO REMEMBER). If he tinkles or plops, have him wipe as necessary and flush. Don't forget to wave good bye to it as it flushes. "Bye-bye poo-poo." Now it's time for a treat! One chocolate chip or m&m worked for my kids. You do this for a while until they get the hang of it. He'll have fewer accidents if you are the one bringing him to the potty. I noticed that if I didn't set a timer I'd forget and there would be more accidents and it would slow the process down. He won't need to go every time but if he's on the toilet basically all day, he's bound to make a deposit at some point. Praise him, make him feel like the big man. Discourage accidents by saying "You naughty brat!" (again, just kidding). When he starts remembering to go by himself (a couple weeks?) start to wean off the candy by saying "You did great, but no treat this time."
5. Also, teach privacy as a part of potty training. This is the step that I missed with my kids. When you go in the bathroom have your child shut the door. Otherwise you'll have to teach it later and have embarrassing moments when guests are over. It gets awkward when your seven year old boy never shuts the door when he pees (true story)!
Other Random Thoughts-
- It's easier if he just wears a T-shirt and underwear all day, that way it's easier for him to pull them down. Plus, you won't have to do as much dirty laundry.
- I continued to use diapers at naps, on outings and during the night until I noticed that the diapers were dry a couple days in a row.
- Some parents give there kids lots of juice and salty snacks so that they pee more, but that's not necessary.
- Some parents keep their kid in the backyard most of the day with a little potty chair. Also, not necessary.
- You have to limit the bevs before bed. Duh.
P.S. Playing with toys on the toilet is gross. Plus they end up in the toilet. Butt reading newspapers is okay. Do you like my usage of the word butt as a pun, it wasn't misspelling this time.