I am not going to do some long explanation of the whole process that is potty training, but I thought I would share some of my recent experiences with Gus. I will say that it is something that stresses me out so I am always interested in how other people approach it. While I consider myself no expert, I do feel like I have learned a lot about what to do and not do. I will try to keep this post about Gus, but the first time was quite an ordeal that I hope not to repeat. This time around it seemed simple in comparison. Back in January I saw my window of Gus being excited about the idea and it seeming far enough away from a new baby coming so I grabbed my chance when I had it. Some special thanks go out to Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood and a little song that goes like this: "If you have to go potty stop and go right away! Then flush and wash and be on your way!" Gus really did want to do it once he watched that cartoon. We wrapped up the old potty like a special present, made a sticker chart, and bought some rewards: M&Ms for #1 and Nilla Wafers for #2 (actually I originally gave him red vines for poop, but his poo started turning red and I thought there was something seriously wrong. I wouldn't recommend). I made the sticker chart extra long this time correct the mistake I made last time about trying wean him off the rewards too early. We still give rewards when he wants them, but I have just let them slowly disappear. I started by putting him in Jimmy's old underpants and just counted on having to change them frequently. After having one full day of no accidents he got to buy Thomas the Tank Engine underpants at Target. That was the first major motivation. Anyway, Gus did great and after 10 straight days of no accidents (for which he got a big sticker instead of a little one), he got an R2D2 toy that makes noises. Honestly, it took him months to get this toy, but he was basically potty trained after the first month. The toy reward was really an added motivation to keep him exited about the idea for a few months. I am all about the rewards system. I would have been lost without it.
He still has an occasional accident, but that is just normal. He is much less excited about the idea these days and complains a lot like his older brother, but all in all he is doing pretty well for 2 1/2.
On a related note, I just want to share something that I discovered after a lot of research on night time potty training. I for one was sick of spending money on those silly, expensive pull-ups for years now. If you have tried all the techniques to getting your kid to sleep through the night, but it just isn't working, you may want to invest in a few pairs of Super Undies. They are the cloth diaper version of pull-ups that you have to wash, but will ultimately save you lots of money. I wish I had bought them sooner so I just had to share my discovery. Good luck to any other parents braving potty training.