Toilet Training Method for a Toddler
We've done a combination of elimination communication and more traditional potty training. I've learned a lot and looking back I would definitely do things a little differently. I took a bunch of notes and I think this is how I would do it next time if we wait until our child is at least 12 months old.
1. Talk with your SO and decide what terms/signs you'll be using so you can both give a consistant method. For younger toddlers that aren't talking yet using both words and sign language can be beneficial.
2. Use every opportunity possible to show your child pee an poop. That way they can learn the words/signs. Have them watch you and your SO use the bathroom while you say the words or sign. Older children (who are willing) can help too.
3. Schedule regular diaper free time where they can see themselves pee or poo. This is another opportunity for you to teach them the words/signs you'd like them to use. Always be positive and happy. Say things like "Oh look! you're going pee pee!"
4. While they're going or immediate afterwards (depending on how much mess you're willing to handle) put them on the potty. Say "pee pee goes on the potty" and then wipe them and wash their hands as if they'd used the potty correctly. This helps them learn the potty routine and that when you pee or poo the first thing you should do is go to the bathroom.
5. Be patient. Think about how long it took your toddler to learn a new word or how to wave goodbye. This is the same thing. It will take some time for them to learn what the words/signs mean and even more time before they think to use the words on their own. Eventually your child will say the word or do the sign with you while they go. Then they'll use it on their own. If you're consistent they'll even start heading for the bathroom while they're peeing. Pretty soon they'll head that direction BEFORE they actually let loose :)
That's the method we're using now and we're seeing some progress even though Avery just turned one a few weeks ago. I think it would work great with an older toddler too. I'm also seriously considering doing full out elimination communication with our next baby... but that's for another post :)