For starters, the book stresses the importance of waiting until your child has shown signs of potty training readiness/enthusiasm. Honestly, according to the list in the book, though, Colton wasn't necessarily ready yet when went for it (he wasn't telling us he had to go potty or even that he had gone, wanted nothing to do with a potty, wasn't necessarily staying dry for long periods of time, etc). But I knew he was intellectually and physically ready for it as in he can process instructions, understand the concepts, etc. A quick Google search will give you several lists to consult if you're curious, but I would say you know your child best...go for it when you think they're ready and they probably are! If I had waited for Colton to show us he was ready, he would probably have gone to college in diapers.
Once you have decided your child is ready, pick a date. Mark it on the calendar. Line up babysitting for other children if necessary. Tell others about it (family members, teachers, anybody in your child's life) so they are ready to be excited and hold you accountable (at least if you're like me). Build it up to your child as the day they are going to give up diapers...say it over and over (on Sunday, Colton was telling everyone and anyone that he was saying "bye bye diapers" the next day). Talk about it every chance you get, but don't mention the "party" part or any of the fun details...keep that as their surprise.
And with your date picked, it's time to begin the shopping and other prep work. I've saved you some trouble and made an easy shopping list:
In addition to that stuff, you'll obviously need a potty (if you don't already have one). We had a kid-size one so we used that, but Colton has since used the adapter seats at friends' houses and liked that just as well. Pick your poison! Also, it was suggested that you get a travel potty, but I'm going to suggest you don't...or at least that you don't get into the habit of using it! We have yet to need ours, as we just hold Colton on the big potties while we are out. I've heard from others that once you get into the habit of using the travel potty, you HAVE to have it with you everywhere you go...who wants to deal with that?!?
With your supplies in hand, it's time to prep...although you're going to want to do this after your child is asleep or somehow hide it from them.
Make a potty party chart. I just wrapped a foam board in wrapping paper, added some ribbon, and painted on the words, and ta da (hey we had just gotten back in town...not my finest work of art, but it worked). I put four sections on mine: sit on the potty, stay dry, go poop in potty, and go pee in potty.
Put the potty party chart in the bathroom and further decorate the space. I put the activities in a basket and the wrapped presents in another to let that serve as decoration. Other than that, I just hung up some balloons and a simple clothesline of big boy undies. I've seen some really pretty, over-the-top decor for these things, and while that may usually be my thing, it just didn't seem necessary! Colton was adequately excited by our simple display:
Aside from wrapping the small, $ Store presents (used as special rewards when necessary), you will also need to wrap up two other bigger presents: the big boy/girl underpants and the special doll/bear to use for potty training.
And finally, prepare your treat cups by putting just a small amount of each snack in a cup (think 2-3 fruit snacks, half a Kit Kat, etc). I put all of mine on a cookie sheet and hid them in the oven until we were ready to use them.