There's no better time to start the big Potty Training Adventure than a 3 day weekend when you have no plans and the hubs is home. So that's what we did. Spent all of Labor Day weekend doing just that.
And, it came together, nearly immediately, much to our surprise.
We waited. Waited until he was fully ready. We were in no rush. When are we, though? ha. Jer and I both feel like that was key. We had heard of many parents being frustrated because their child had started but then regressed. Since it's only been 3 weeks since we've been fully potty trained, there could be a little regression, but we are keeping our fingers crossed there won't be.
We made it fun. And not shameful. We let him pick out his own undies. 3 packs is what he chose. You can never have too many when you are a toddler. While we were at Target, we also got lots of goodies for a miniature "goody" basket to use as his reward. He was rewarded each time he went #1 and #2. And we praised him enthusiastically each time. As soon as he finished his business he was always so excited to pick out a "treat" as he called it. Our routine was to use the potty, pick out a treat and then wash our hands (his choice). He felt like such a big boy, especially at a time where he is all into gaining his independence. We made it a point to never get mad or angry if he had an accident (of which there were hardly any).
We got him two little toilet seats (Target) and two step stools (Ikea). One for the downstairs half bath and one for his bathroom upstairs so that if we had to race to a bathroom, whether we were up or downstairs, there was always one nearby. The step stool made it easy for him to go #1 since he could stand up and wasn't too short for the toilet. This was helpful because he it made it fun for him. Fun in the sense that he wasn't fully dependent on us to do everything for him.
Once we started using undies we didn't look back. Meaning: no-more-diapers. Not even pull-ups. We didn't want to take the chance of confusing him. He had 4 accidents, 2 of them were during his naps the first two days, one was the second night (he woke up that morning wet) and the 4th was while we were at the park 4 days into it. And each time he didn't like the "wet" feeling. Something that he wouldn't have gotten to feel if he would've had a pull-up on. With just undies on, the pee would run down his leg. He wasn't at all a fan of that. So we are proud to say that since the 4th day, we have had no accidents at all.
All in all it was a very easy transition from diapers to big boy undies. He just got it. And we whole-heartedly attribute that to him being mentally ready. The first 2 days we asked him very frequently if he needed to go potty and he was able to tell us yes or no. And we trusted him. We didn't set any timers (although that works for a lot of people) and we didn't not go out anywhere. In fact, we went to Ikea (and you know how long that takes to get through!) and to Home Depot twice during those two days of potty training. Jer and I both knew that Boston had it down so we weren't too worried about leaving the house. However, we did ask him frequently while we were out and about if he needed to go potty and he would let us know if he did or didn't need to.
Now, before naps and bedtime, we make sure that he goes potty if he needs to. And thankfully, he has stayed dry during both naps and during the nights.
As Jer and I look back on those 2 days, it's hard for us to not think that Boston did about 80% of the work himself. We merely asked him if he needed to go potty and he either needed to or not. We let him decide. And we never forced him.
Now, he goes #1 all by himself. He moves his little step stool over to the light switch, turns the light on, moves it back in front of the toilet, pulls his shorts and undies completely off, steps up on his stool, goes potty, flushes, moves his stool over to the sink, and then washes his hands all by himself. He hasn't quite mastered putting his shorts and undies back on though. ha.
There ya have it. Our thankfully easy-breezy-potty-training-labor-day-weekend! The real beauty of it is that our son has once again thoroughly impressed us with his ability to learn and adapt quickly.
For those of you who have potty training in your future, we highly recommend that you wait til your child is ready, go straight from diapers to undies, praise them like crazy people when they do it all right, ignore their failures entirely and trust that they will figure it out soon - if they do not, then they are probably not ready and you will be wasting some time and unnecessarily making your lives more difficult.