WOOHOO!!!!!!!!! Four children... ALL POTTY TRAINED! Thank you for taking it easy on your poor dear mother. I must say it wasn't all that bad. I think there are a few reasons why and I shall share them with you so that you too can be potty training pros (ha, ha).
1. There is no set age or time to train. These are the ages at which my littles were in undies:
Jonas 19 months, Clara 23 months, Nora 29 months, Atticus 27 months. They weren't all the same, but I did reach my goal of never having more than one child in diapers at a time. That was some serious motivation.2. Listen & Watch for the potty time clues. Things such as grabbing the crotch, dancing around, vocalizing the need to go (or that they already went), wanting diaper off after their business is done. These are the clues that you look for to know when to start.
4. I tell them when they need to go, not the other way around. At first children don't know how to recognize the sensation that they "gotta go" so I had to help them out. I started by sitting them on the toilet 1) after they wake up, 2) before they eat, 3) after they eat, 4) before they go to bed. I would usually get lucky and they would go in the toilet because these are "natural" times. If they did go, a big deal was made of it and they would get a sticker or a small candy (m&m). This would go on for a few weeks (or months)... when I would remember to do it... always very casual.
5. After you've had some success put them in undies. Up until this point only diapers were used. Once they've gone in the toilet for awhile I start talking to them about being a "big kid" and we go pick out special undies at the store. They now wear these most of the time except for when we are out of the house for an extended period of time.
6. Don't stress! By going about this in a more relaxed and slow manner I think it helps the child transition relatively easily. Once they're wearing undies you'll often have to ask them, "Do you need to go potty?" Pretty soon though they'll start to tell you when they need to. They will have accidents, but try not to stress about it (too bad I can't go back in the future and take my own advice). It took me a couple weeks to potty train Jonas and six months to train Atticus, only because I was way more relaxed (and lazy) with my last baby vs. my first baby.
7. Diapers are only for nighttime. When the child is to the point where they tell you they "gotta go" without your prompting them its time to only wear undies during the day and diapers at night. Start limiting the drinks they have after dinner time. When they wake up with a dry diaper for more than a week you know it's time for undies during the night too.
Disclaimer: These are all my own methods and they worked for me, but I'm not promising they'll work for you! I may have just had crazy good luck and I'm not a potty training pro after all.