Step 1: Take off the diaper, and leave it off. I suspect that this may be the most common problem parents and caregivers face in initiating and progressing to successful potty training--They're afraid to take off the diaper.
Wouldn't it be easier if the child remained in the diaper and learned to verbally announce the need to use the toilet? Unfortunately, in order for this approach to work, the child must be old enough to verbally announce the need. That means three or more years old. Who wants to wait that long? Not you or the child.
I've witnessed the "potty training,"--but let's call it "potty learning"-- of three children who were all potty trained by twenty-four months of age. It went like this.
Step 1: Child 1: My First Child
I took off her diaper, and left it off, when she was eight months old. You heard that correctly--eight months old. I never diapered her again. She had begun to strongly resist diapering and I had read about infant potty training with a cue sound and a potty bowl, so I gave it a try.
I began to give her a cue sound, "ssss," or a grunt, depending, and to hold her over a potty bowl, potty, the toilet, the sink, the grass in the backyard, . . . Anyway, whenever I thought she might need to go--and I began to notice a pattern--I would make the sound and offer the "potty opportunity."
I put her in training pants when we went out and she slept on a sheepskin and flat cloth diaper at night, but she wore no diapers.
Over the following months, I cleaned the carpet a lot. By eighteen months, she used the potty on her own. By twenty-four months, she was "perfectly potty trained."