I think everyone has a different definition of potty "trained". Is it when the child tells you that they have to go to the bathroom? Or is it when they take off to the bathroom by themselves? Is it when they can pull their pants down by themselves? Is it when they only wear underwear, even at bedtime?
E is trained in my mind. For two weeks now, he has been exclusively wearing underwear all day, except for naps and bedtime. I had been quizzing and waiting on Mrs. X's readiness. It was her preference that E wear pull-ups throughout training until he was ready to make the step to underwear. She preferred we wait to make sure he was ready - because there would be no turning back.
A couple weeks ago I asked her how she thought he was doing and any advancements she would like to see before making the collective decision. All along I was keeping him in underwear or naked at home so I knew he was ready. We decided that last week, when the big kids went back to school and her house quieted down a bit, we could take the next step.
The transition to underwear at Mrs. X's was postponed to this week since he was sick and home with me. So far this week at Mrs. X's he had one accident on Tuesday and an-accident free day yesterday (hooray!). I am really proud of him and how relatively smooth this has gone so far. I was worried that the transition to telling someone else other than his parents that he had to go to the bathroom, would be a tough one.
So what worked for us?
A fellow blogger suggested a potty training calendar. I downloaded and printed off a Dora the Explorer one that E fell in love with.
The days on the calendar didn't really apply at his age; he just loved being able to pick a sticker out to place on the piece of paper. I taped the calendar to the front of the cabinet door in the bathroom and it was what he asked for every time he entered the room. In my last post, I mentioned that I didn't think stickers would cut it. I am quite surprised and pleased that I avoided any type of sugary treat. I think the key factor was having a variety of stickers. We have a sticker book filled with stickers of dinosaurs, bugs, trucks, sports equipment, planets and rocket ships, etc. I'm not sure the sticker route would have worked if he got the same ol' gold star each time.
I do know there will be accidents from time to time, but I believe after these two months he has a great foundation and understanding.
My big boy is 28 months and potty trained! (I think).