This is the article I wrote for the Tampa Bay Times on how exactly I suggest.
While I am by no means one of those self-proclaimed parenting gurus, there is one parental challenge that I have now successfully completed four times which pretty much makes me an expert in the field.
At least the septic field.
With the exception of my mother in-law who claims to have six children who miraculously trained themselves by nine months, I do have a few helpful insights for the rest of us who find this task just a bit daunting.
Again, this is based on my personal experience with four children, so please feel free to spend hundreds of dollars on videos, how-to books and advice from people who have never had children if you still feel the need. But I say forget the expensive gimmicks, all you need to stock up on is plenty of sheets, clothes, paper towel, exaggerated cheerfulness and patience.
- Timing. Despite what some folks (and mother in-laws) say, there is no magic age designating instant bladder control. I have found that this generally happens between ages 2-3, but it could be a little earlier or a little later. You’ll know when they are ready when they begin to show an interest or the moment they retrieve the wipes, diapers and hand sanitizer from the child-locked cabinet in the bathroom. But don’t push it if they aren’t ready--it will only take longer to complete.
6. I have friends who have had success with the “diaper fairy,” --a one time visitor that takes away the diapers one night and leaves a small token in its place. I like this concept a bit more than the treat jar because it’s just once and doesn’t require a dentist.