After potty training my eldest daughter took over a year from start to finish, I knew we needed a more organized approach for my second. I read Oh Crap, Potty Training, it was so eye opening about how children hear what we say, how our choice of words (and the tone in which we speak them) strongly impacts the child’s perception. Under this method, with daughters 2 and 3, diapers were “all gone” at 18 and 20 months, while they wandered the house bottomless and my most used phrases became “pee goes in the potty” and “sit on the potty when your poop wants to come out”. Yes there were plenty of patience testing messes, but overall totally worth training early, getting out of diaper duty (washing or buying), and creating the potty habit before they’re old enough to have an opinion on the subject!
Both early trained daughters got to the point where they saved poop for naptime, knowing they’d get a diaper, and after a couple times of that the diapers were gone for naptime too. The thing is, kids don’t want to have to deal with potty messes any more than we do. In the diaper they don’t have to deal with it, but in their own cribs at naptime, a poop is not welcome by them. It took a couple yucky bed poops for mine to choose to try to put the poop in the potty before naptime instead (with prompting). One of mine needed privacy even before age 2 for her to relax enough to poop. The only prize I gave was praise, and big girl undies by the time they were 2.
Daughters 2 and 3 were 98% trained by second birthday as opposed to daughter 1 not trained until 3 after trying all through age 2 with no method.
If you’re having troubles with an older child my heart goes out to you, but the only advice I can give is if you’ve got more kids coming, I highly recommend starting around 20-28 months with the method in “oh crap potty training”. Good luck! <3