Dan was potty trained at 3, almost 3.5. Ben was potty trained around 2.5 to 3. But with Esther, I'm not sure what got into me. When she turned 2, I had this brilliant idea of seeing whether we could take off her diapers! It actually worked pretty well--after a week of trying on and off in the afternoons (since she's in school in the mornings), she started peeing into the potty regularly. It's one of those portable ones that you can carry around the whole house. I'd make her sit on it for 15 minutes every hour or so. There'd be accidents, but also plenty of praises and hugs if she successfully peed. By Sep/Oct, she was regularly peeing into the potty and sometimes even asking for the potty when she needed to pee.
Then the problem started! As she was so comfortable peeing in the potty, she was off diapers all day, but that just meant that she withheld pooping till her diapers were put on, which was during her nap times or bed times at night. I was horrifed when we had several big poops in her diapers for days in a row! I would try to get her to poop before she slept. But she would consciously hold it in, then wait for her diapers to be put on, then she'd poop in her diapers in bed, and sleep!! So unhygienic!!!!!!
Things only got better when I made a concerted effort to stop this. My strategy: since she pooped mainly during her nap time, I decided to do the following: 1) After her lunch, ply her with fruits, so that the urge to poop would be stronger 2) Repeatedly tell her how unhygienic it was to poop in her diaper and have poop at her bum-bum for 2 hours while she napped away 3) Offer her a Skittle if she managaed to poop in the potty BEFORE her nap time.
At first none of this worked! And instead, she started coming out of her room halfway through her nap because she had stirred, felt the need to poop, and didn't want to poop in her diaper anymore ! FAIL.
So I had to threaten her to not to THAT anymore.
And finally, something clicked and it worked! It must have something to do with consuming like 2 bananas, loads of grapes and blueberres--but basically, it became quite consistent: after lunch & a huge megaload of fruits, Esther would feel the need to poop, then POOP very well in the potty, then go for her nap. THANK GOD! This whole process probably took 3 weeks--and I'm glad it's over and done with!
These days she is showing even greater self-awareness. She can tell us when she wants to pee & poop, and we no longer have to "manipulate" her bowels with a ton of fruits. She poops anytime, all the time, and everywhere too (as in, in public toilets and so on). I thank God that this weird few months of potty training has been resolved. Now I think the Lau Family is truly ready for a nice long overseas holiday! FINALLY!