Since Lil was 18 months old I've had people asking me when I was going to start potty training her. When she's ready. Well she's intelligent enough, perhaps you should start now. Perhaps you should fuck off. I got it from everyone. Parents, in-laws, friends, family, strangers.
Then she turned two. We tried it, she was having none of it. Two and a half, no thanks Mum. Three.... nah, nappies fo' lyfe. We'd talk about the potty (Disney Princess, of course) every day. She picked out the pants she wanted, decided on the presents we'd buy her once she started going, she had it all planned out. And then, a few weeks after her birthday she just sat down and did a wee. HALLELUJAH!
I didn't push it, just asked her casually if she needed to go. Sometimes she would, other times she wouldn't and that was fine by me. And then last weekend, after we got back from a wedding, the nappies disappeared. Oh Mum, that means I'm a big girl and I can go on my potty all the time! The deal was no nappies unless at bedtime and if she needed to poop.
It's been five days since she started wearing pants in the day and she hasn't had an accident (yet). Poo's are saved for nappies right now and that's ok, she's doing a great job and I don't ever want to push her at anything (I mean, we don't like being pushed into anything do we?). A few people have voiced their opinions but I've just rolled my eyes and let it go over my head and I like to think my attitude to everyone elses' opinion is why Lil seems to be swimming through this whole change.
I started to panic a bit once she turned three but that was mainly due to others and their judgemental attitudes but both my Nan and my great, great Aunt told me to ignore everyone and just go with the flow. So I did.
I'm no expert on this whatsoever, but here are a few tips I found helpful if you're thinking of starting potty training or if you're starting to worry your child will start school in nappies (1. I had that same worry and 2. it does happen)...
Don't listen to anyones advice unless it's positive. Seriously. Everyone has an opinion that they're entitled to but it doesn't mean you have to listen. You're the parent, listen to your instincts.
Don't even think about trying it unless your child is showing signs of being ready. Looking back, it wasn't until just after her third birthday she was showing signs of being ready. The other times were just stressful and upsetting for both of us. It isn't worth it.
Don't go by others kids. If little Johnny down the road was potty trained at 1, well good for him! And if your niece was dry by two, ain't that lucky. Every single child is different and they will develop at different stages. Some can count to ten by their first birthday (apparently) and others are walking at 10 months. So what, concentrate on your own kid. I know other Mums can turn it into a competition but fuck them. Do not let them or anyone else make you feel like shit.
Bribery works. We have a chart for wees and poos. She wasn't bothered about the small presents for every time she went (kinder egg, smarties, whatever - a friend told me that five small chocolate bars a day are nothing over such a short period of time and she's right) although she was partial to three kinder eggs the other day. She is far more interested in the swag she can accumulate once she hits the orange box. Make it worth their while.
Try, try again. If you think they're ready and you try and fail, leave it a few weeks and try again. It doesn't hurt and you may find that next time they pick it up quickly and easily. And make it fun, it doesn't have to be a chore!
Good luck, don't stress... and fuck the haters.