We have now been potty training for a full week. The results are... encouraging, though we still have a ways to go before I consider him fully potty trained. Here's what I did, in case it's helpful for anyone else (and so I can remember for when it's Quinn's turn, as by now I know I tend to forget these sorts of details otherwise).
Days 1 & 2: I let him run around the house with just a shirt on, nothing on the bottom (we used a diaper for naps and overnight). We have wood floors, so I took the few rugs we have downstairs and put them in the garage, also picked up any other textiles that are not very easily washable. The first day D threw two MASSIVE tantrums wanting his diapers back-- first in the morning when we first started, then after his nap. These were epic, and were exactly what I had been expecting (and the reason why every other time that we've tried the no-diapers route, I've given up when he asked for diapers back bc I knew this would follow). On day 2 I think he asked for a diaper once or twice, but nothing close to the epic, massive meltdowns for the first day. Seriously, they felt traumatizing, and I think the only reason I stood firm on them was because I knew it was time and we needed to give this a fair shot.
I wanted him to go naked bc he hasn't shown any aversion to being wet before, and I wanted him to SEE and really notice when he peed. He did-- he'd see himself pee each time, and say, "I'm peeing!" and then go right back to playing. I tried putting him on the potty frequently, but most of the pee ended up on the floor.
Days 3 & 4: He was noticing himself pee, but nothing else was really happening so this time I figured I'd put him in cloth training pants (like underwear but with extra padding to absorb some pee-- I have 3 kids, the inexpensive Gerber ones, and also a couple each of Otter Puddles and Little Beetles which are nice bc they snap up the sides so if you end up with a mess you can still take them off more like a diaper). This time I made sure to put him on the potty every half hour, and to get him there we'd watch YouTube clips of Top Gear (most are between 5-10 minutes). We ended up catching most pees this day, although mostly bc he spent about half his waking hours sitting on the potty. Still no awareness of when he was gonna pee until the moment he was actually peeing.
Thankfully, each poop happened to occur while he was still in his diaper either right after nap or first thing in the morning after waking up.
Day 5: This was on Sunday. By this day we were all feeling a bit worn out. We hadn't left the house in 4 days. D had spent some time playing in our patio, but it's small so doesn't lend itself to too much physical exertion, and he'd also spent much of the past 4 days watching tv (even if in short snippets) and so was becoming demanding and kinda whiny, not to mention bouncing-off-the-walls energy. So we decided to take a break, slap a diaper on him, and all head out to the farmers market and park for a couple hours.
Interestingly, it was this afternoon that we hit our first break. All afternoon, D would actually tell me "I need to use the potty" after which we'd have between 10 and 30 seconds to get him on the potty... and then he would PEE! It happened consistently 4 times that afternoon.
Day 6: Still fairly successful! Had a few accidents, but more so due to not getting to the potty in time after he'd told me he needed to go. And, we had a few successes as well. I start to wonder if we might actually be getting this.
Day 7: (today) Took steps forward and also back. He had 2 poops today, both in the potty, both completely of his own will. The first time he was just playing with his trucks and stood up, said, "I need to sit on the potty." He sat down, and sure enough he pooped. He was pretty impressed with his poop, too, lol. The second time he was playing on his own downstairs while I tried to get Q down for a nap. D called up to me saying, "Mommy, I pooped!" I asked if he'd done it in the potty and he said yes. I went down and found a puddle of pee on the floor, but also a poop in the potty.
He didn't take a nap today, and then a friend came over, and I don't know if it was that, or just random, or maybe also something related to his insistence on not wearing underwear today ( was naked all day long) but the afternoon was not so good. He peed on the floor like 3 or 4 times, no warning, just in the middle of playing suddenly started peeing. By 4pm I was worn out, and Q's been more demanding lately, too, so I put him in a disposable pull-up and put on a movie. I figured he could still try the potty if he wanted, but would be ok if he didn't.
Well, he went and sat on the potty to pee in the middle of the movie, and again at bedtime with Zach, and when the pull-up came off at bedtime it was still dry. So, I guess today still counts as progress, overall?
Tomorrow we have a playdate to go to, that I think will actually serve as a great first "test-run" outside the house. It's a backyard playdate, and pretty low-key. Hopefully I can get him to pee at home before we go, have a potty ready for when he might need it, and bring a few changes of clothes/underwear. Wish us luck!