We did it!!
OK so we bit the bullet and did the whole "potty training weekend" approach -- I took some ideas from Dr. Phil and some from the "Potty Training In Less Than A Day" book, and added stuff like-minded friends have recommended. Three weeks later dd is almost completely accident free and goes all on her own, and ds is doing great but needs to be reminded sometimes or he gets distracted and has an accident but most days are accident free. And this from kids who were ready and able but not particularly willing LOL... they seemed interested and all that but never were dying to use the potty. They just turned 3 and must be potty trained to attend nursery school 2 days/week this fall, thus the deadline concern.
Here's what we did:
Talked it up a lot a few days beforehand -- what we're doing this weekend, etc. Morning of: got them out of bed at first sign of waking and sat on potty (2 potties upstairs, 2 downstairs!) so they'd have their morning pee on the potty and start off with success. Naked from the waist down after that. Dh and I tagged team - he would get dd and I would get ds then we would switch - it's ALL WE DID all day all weekend (thank God for slings and breastfeeding or the baby would have been miserable). I stocked up on organic juice boxes (normally they get like 2-3 oz. juice a day max), juice popsicles, and funky straws and interesting sippy cups and they drank more than they ever have. Pee was flowing within 30 min. of waking. We told them no more diapers (except at bedtime) hurray hurray etc. really made a big deal. They got a jelly bean (organic juice sweetened from WF but, yeah, candy) after each pee or poo, and after 5 pees or poos, they got a little gift (new crayons, a matchbox car, a rubber ball, a sandbox shovel, etc. etc.). I made little charts so they could cross off the boxes and see how close they were to 5. By afternoon they were peeing and pooing 3/4 times in the potty. The next day the same thing but after they woke up from their afternoon nap we let them pick underpants to put on. Practiced pulling them up and down, etc. A few more accidents rebounding but then ok. By day 3 they were pretty much potty trained. Painless. BTW, they lost interest in the jelly beans after a few days and by the end of the first week were no longer asking for them. Then we switched seamlessly to getting a little present for poop in the potty, then phased that out as well. It was no struggle, which I was worried about, but it did provide the little bit of extra motivation they needed. I was always careful to say things like how comfy underpants are and how great it is not to have poop in the pants or have to stop playing to have a diaper change, etc... more the longer term rewards! Anyway, it WORKED and was blissfully painless which is all I care about.
Do I dare do a
: yet? I am so proud of them and unbelievably thankful not to have to spend more time and $$$$ on diapers for three!