When Emily was about a year old, my mean grandma berated me that she wasn't potty trained yet. All of her babies were potty trained at 7 months old. I felt like a horrible mother and went out and bought a book called, "How to potty train in a day." We tried it and it was a disaster. I forced her to use the potty and she had a lot of accidents. She just wasn't physically and verbally ready to do it. She was about 2 before she didn't have accidents. So basically, I spent a year potty training her.
With Christopher I tried the same thing when he was about 18 months. I really wanted them to go to nursery potty trained. He was even harder. He got the pee part down pretty fast but the pooping was another story. He pooped everywhere but in the toilet. He pooped on the other side of a closed door. When I opened the door, guess what I stepped in? He pooped in Anna's shoe. He pooped everywhere. It took about 9 months to get him to not poop everywhere. Nine months is a long time to be scrubbing poopy underwear. And poopy carpet.
I got smart with Calvin and listened to a wise friend who told me to wait until they are ready. Even if they are three. Skeptically, I took her advice. When I thought Calvin was old enough to grasp the concepts and do it, I started asking him every day if he wanted to wear underwear. He said no everyday for about 3 months straight. The stigma of having a child over the age of 3 not potty trained was KILLING me. Finally on the busiest day of my life (I had a million things going on that day), he says yes he wants to wear underwear. And he did and had maybe one accident in a week and never a poopy accident and was potty trained completely in about two weeks. Including bed time.
I was blown away. My friend was right. You just need to wait. Even though all the mom's at play group are trying to potty train their 18 month olds. Even though the commercials show kids barely 2 going on the potty. Even though you have to spend money on diapers for a little longer. Just wait. This method worked with Spencer, Cameron and Lizzie. Lizzie has been wearing underwear for a week now and has had a total of 1 accident. She wants to wear underwear to bed and has woken up dry each time. It's the best method of potty training ever.