Hi ladies, I've been on a Gaga break and missed the start of this, but I'd like to share our story..
I started potty training my child before she could crawl, before she could walk, before she could pull her clothes down, and in general, she showed no signs of being ready, not the recommended ones anyway.
Nika has always had super sensitive skin, to the extent of the moment she'd pee in her diaper, her butt would turn bright red, I'd always do my best to rush and change her right away, sometimes it was a case of a diaper change every 20-30 minutes throughout the day and several times at night, otherwise she'd breakout in a hellish rash. It wasn't the diaper brand I tried every brand available, even organic diapers - 100$ per pack of 38.
One week I was out getting our weekly diaper supply and such, I saw a potty and thought why not get it, Nika was 8 months old.
Her poop schedule was always rather on track, morning, afternoon and evening. The next morning I figured since I know she's about to poop, why not put her on the potty, so I did and for every morning after. To get her to poop, I put my hands on her knees and grunted, got her to grunt with me - sure enough it worked. By the time she was a year old she'd actually grunt at me when she had to go, sometimes at spontaneous times but she'd still grunt. I was never forceful about the issue, needless to say if she didn't want the potty, I wouldn't harass her with the idea, no meant no, she was the boss.
When she was a year old, I got her a cloth diaper set which cost me over 150$, the only we get imported here to Russia, an overly priced Italian brand and I must say it's complete crap - bulky, messy, difficult to use: requires folding the cloth and putting a thin absorbant paper around it, putting all that into the diaper like cover on velcro, and putting that all n a wiggly Nika = hell! We didn't do well with those at all.
The thing is, by the time she was a year old I basically knew that she had to pee every 30-40 minutes, so I just started offering the potty to her and she'd go, I'd help her pull her trousers down, and take off her diaper, help her sit, she wasn't walking at that point yet, I mean physically she was, just not an independent walker, she was unsure. What should one do really, if you know your child has to pee, why wait for them to pee in the diaper right?
At that point Nika was wearing a diaper less and less, she was miserable in one and even putting one on her was a fight, scratching, screaming, crying (both me and her heh). So at one point I just stopped putting them on her.
By 14 months, we had the potty schedule down to a notch, every 35 minutes, and poop twice, morning and after her afernoon nap. Accidents ranging between none and 3 a day. No particular reward system, lots of praising, running around with no diaper on was reward enough for her. It was a naked butt and babyleggs all the time, she loved it and became less cranky, much more active.
At 14 months I took Nika shopping, she got to pick out a set of cloth undies - there was no end to her happiness! From then on, she was a big girl, in cloth undies at home throughout the day and diapers at night, she'd still wake up wet in the morning even though I changed her twice at night.
By the time 16 months rolled around, she got the idea that she didn't really have to pee every 40 minutes and figured out that she could hold it in for an hour or more.. more accidents happened as she started experimenting with waiting to go potty for longer, but that lasted for 2 weeks or so, soon enough she basically started telling me when she needed to go by grunting or saying 'pee-pee'. Since she'd remain dry for an hour or hour and a half, we even started going out for our morning walk in cotton undies, with spare clothes in case of an accident, those seldom happened.
Lol I even have this random pic, this was the first day we went out in cotton undies, her jeans fell down as she was all over the place at the park, I snapped a pic for memory's sake:
At 18 months I realized that in the middle of the night (my sleep schedule is insane, I go to bed at about 3 or 4), before she pees she actually wakes up, tosses and turns and says 'pee-pee', to my horror, within a week of me realizing this and panicking, you know a case of 'what do I do, do I put her on the potty, wait it out..', we had also just paci weaned so she was restless in her sleep.
I plucked up the courage and started putting her on the potty when she'd wake up like that, she'll pee, roll off the potty and go back to sleep. This would happen twice at night.
By the time she was 18 months we weren't using diapers anymore, sometimes accidents at night were a pain, accidents at home were a mess, other times accidents outside were embarrassing, but for the most part, neither of the above were as bad as having to deal with the fight that came along with putting a diaper on - by that time putting on one her was close to impossible and I wasn't going to use physical strength to restrain her, which meant it was bye bye diapers for us.
At a little over 18 months, she started being much more independent about the potty, she'd putt her trousers and undies down and sit down, or would bring me the potty if she wanted help, or run up to me saying 'potty'.
She's almost 2 now, and even though is nipping cold outside, almost 0 degrees, when we do go out, she goes out without a diaper, I'm that confident in her, we just don't stay out for prolonged periods of time, not more than 2 hours, and she stays dry. At night she doesn't wake up for the potty anymore, only sometimes.
We go out to malls, cafes and restaurants and even though I'm a little nerve wrecked for accidents, she always makes me so proud, so that's our story, just to show that sometimes circumstances permit an 'out of the box' approach and that guidelines towards potty training aren't always rules, sometimes it's okay to do your own thing, in our case doing things our way was right for us =)
Here's chubkins =)