I have now potty trained all three of my girls successfully. I can now tell you that you can read all the wonderful books, blogs, and articles you want but nothing will really prepare you for potty training.
Let me tell you that everyone makes it look so easy and maybe it is for them. But all kids are different, so your child may be easy or maybe not. Let me tell you how different mine were.
First I will tell you I did use the boot camp method with all three at some point. This was the most effective way to train. They got underwear and potty breaks every 15 minutes to start. The time gradually turned into every couple hours after about a month. They all started somewhere between 2 and 3 years old.
My first was the easiest. By day three she successfully peed and pooped in the potty. After that it was easy until about a year later when she was constantly having accidents. It was her not wanting to take a break and go to the bathroom. I took away her dress up clothes since they were important to her and I was tired of washing them. Every time she went in the potty she got one back and when she had an accident, one was taken away. Within a month she was back to being accident free.
The second was the hardest. She had no desire to be clean and would play in her wet clothes after her accident. It was very frustrating and I just couldn't get her to care. For about 6 months I was cleaning her up several times a day. She rarely went a whole day without having an accident and NEVER pooped in the potty.
I tried rewarding her but nothing seemed to work. We even gave her a Barbie when she finally pooped on the potty. Finally I decided to take away her My Little Pony's every time she had an accident. Like her sister, she could earn them back by going in the potty. Again like her sister, after a month she was accident free and finally pooping on the potty.
The third was in between the two. She learned quickly how to pee in the potty and had no desire to use the potty chair but instead the big potty (we have one of the seats that has a built in child seat). It took her a few months to finally poop on the potty. The crazy thing is, it took us going on vacation to get her to start pooping on the potty. She went at our hotel, at her aunt and uncle's house, and at gas stations. For most of our trip she stayed dry. It has now been two months and she has had very few accidents.
In my experience potty training takes work. It is so worth it once they are trained but it is much harder then most want to admit. It's ok if your child is taking a long time to learn. It's ok if you feel like it will never end. You are not alone. It will end eventually and it does get better eventually.
I'd love to hear your stories. What worked for you? What kind of crazy stories do you have?