How do I get my toddler out of diapers?

In every one of the moms groups I am involved with, this must be the number one question that comes up. I am by no means an expert on potty training, but I would like to share my own experience with it. I mean why not, it worked with both of my boys so might as well share my successful experience. Us moms all know by now that there is no "right" way to do it. There are definitely wrong ways to go about it as there are wrong ways to go about many things. I will not go into great detail of how "not to potty train" but will say this...kids are humans and not robots. Just as we as adults don't like to be told what to do, either do kids. You have to make them feel like they have some control over this adventure. This new experience of growing up from stinky wet uncomfortable nappies to joining the club of potty using folk can be challenging to say the least and the cause of a few messes and a few days confined to the home. If you have carpeting wall to wall this may cause more issues but fortunately I didn't have a home full of carpeting.
After trying the "musical potty" another great invention that causes one to use yet another set of batteries, and trying the treats in exchange for a successful go on the throne, I stumbled upon an idea that I thought just might work for us.
While boy #1 (I cannot use his name as he is on the verge of being a teen and this may be found by someone he actually knows God forbid! That would be like me kissing him goodbye when I dropped him off at school! The horror) anyway, as I was saying... While boy#1 at the age of 2, was jumping up and down in front of the t.v. watching with excitement as his favorite character Percy from Thomas the Train entered the screen I got the notion. This boy of who's name I cannot mention liked this engine from the island of Sodor so much that it just may help me to help him lose the stinking diapers. While he choo-choo'd around the living room I got ready for a trip to the store.
With diaper bag and boy#1 in tow we set out for our drive to the store all along discussing the idea of buying "big boy underpants". Now the whole while boy#1 was looking rather uncertain about giving up the dipes, I stressed that he didn't have to wear them if he really didn't want to. We would keep them in his drawer and when he was ready he could wear them. This is where he gets to feel like he can make his own decision. My plan was to get him so excited about the underwear that his decision would be to actually wear them. Luckily that was the outcome. If it had not been so, I would not be sharing this particular experience.
So, we pick up 3 packs of Thomas the Train underwear and although not every pair had Percy on it, they were all equally awesome in the eyes of boy#1. When we arrived in our driveway, boy #1 immediately began to undress right out in front of the house. Now this was going way better than planned obviously no coaxing needed here. Although I did not get to wash the new undies before he wore them which us moms know is normally the protocol, I knew he would survive.
I managed to get him in the house before he was totally nude. Now safely inside and boy#1 donned in his new attire I explained that if he had to go potty to use the bathroom. Big boy undies do not absorb like diapers and he would be all wet if he went in them. I explained he would probably have a few accidents and it was fine because we had 3 packs of the big boy choo choo train underwear. Accidents did happen throughout the day and it was OK with me and OK with him. (This is why I said earlier that things may get messy with carpet) At the end of day one boy #1 was getting the hang of this. He did not enjoy getting all wet every time he had to pee and realised that if he didn't make it to the potty, this would be the outcome.
By the end of day two I had one potty trained boy who was feeling so big! He was thrilled with his accomplishment as was I. "Big boy underwear" and "going on the potty like a big boy" was the main topic of conversation for some time. Miraculously he never wet the bed at night either, which I know is shocking. I guess he was determined. He had big boy Thomas the Train undies and he chose to wear them. Mommy was proud, he was proud! I suppose it suited him just fine to keep his bed dry!
Three years later came boy #2 and with boy#2 it worked like a charm except this time it was Bob the Builder.
So if you choose to follow my experience, find your child's favorite character undies, remember to give them a choice to try them out. Never force them to wear them. Of course you can cleverly convince them that it is "super cool" and "very big" to wear big kid underpants. Plan this experiment on a weekend where you can hang out at home and if you have carpets throughout rent a steam cleaner I suppose. Then please feel free to post your experience here! Even if it doesn't turn out as planned.

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