Potty Training Your Child: The Five Potty Training Methods

Narmin Parpia

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There are many different ways to potty train your toddler. At last count, I had found 35 different books for parents on potty training and I own most of those books. Based on my research and understanding, I break HOW to potty train down into the following five methods:

  1. Infant Potty Training
  2. It's potty time!! - practice until you get it right
  3. The Potty Training in One Day Method
  4. He will go potty when the time is right
  5. The Naked & $75 method

1) The Infant Potty Training Method:

Most used potty training method in underdeveloped nations around the world and probably the least used potty training method in North America.

It basically involves holding the infant over a potty to catch the eliminations.

It basically works by having the mom learn the infant's rhythms and infant learns to recognize physical sensations that precede elimination.

This is very effective when the disposable diaper use is minimal or nonexistent.

Infants can learn to signal when they need to relieve themselves.

PROS of the Infant Potty Training Method :

Promotes parent child bonding

Start early, finish early

Wetting and soiling are not likely to become entrenched habits

Limited use of diapers results in:

  • Cost effective
  • Prevents diaper rash
  • Better for the environment
  • More hygienic

CONS of the Infant Potty Training Method:

Time consuming; nearly impossible for working mothers.

Have to stay on top of it and stick with it until child can potty independently.

Accidents and accident clean up

2) It's potty time!! -Practice until you get it right potty training method:

Introduce the potty to your child

Have potty be accessible

And then gradually teach him/her to use it.

This will include:

  • holding regular practice sessions
  • rewarding child with things such as stickers or candy or whatever works for you child
  • charting progress
  • Gradually transitioning from diapers to potty to underwear.

PROS of the potty practice method:

This method can easily fit into a today's family's busy schedules

With some planning, some structure can be created around the practice sessions i. e.in the morning and in the evening.

Is done gradually over time.

Very limited accidents, if any.

CONS of the potty practice method:

Sticking to the structure and schedule until the toddler is potty trained

Could take anywhere from a weekend to a few months depending on the child's maturity level, temperament and readiness.

May not learn to initiate him/herself, because parent always initiates.

Keeping the curios toddler interested long enough to sit on the potty and relax, so s/he is able to eliminate.

3) The Potty Training in One Day Method:

Based on two simple concepts:

Best way to learn something is to teach it.

Use a potty training doll to model the appropriate potty training behavior for your child

Behavior is shaped by consequence

Use consequences for action - logical and natural.

Read an excerpt from the Parent's Potty Training Guide: How to Potty Train in One Day

PROS of The Potty Training in One Day Method:

Quick - can be done in less than one day to a maximum of 2 weeks

Is a structured method.

Tools are now available.

Made popular by Dr. Phil.

CONS of The Potty Training in One Day Method:

Takes planning and preparation

Is a structured method.

Requires follow through by parents

Made to look easier than it is.

4) He will go potty when the time is right method:

This method is recommended by Dr Terry Brazelton and is also adopted by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

This is probably the most used method in North America .

The premise of the method is that since potty training is a developmental milestone in your child's life (such as walking, talking, eating etc), your task as the parent is to introduce the potty and all the related tasks to your child.

Then when your child is ready, s/he will decide to use the potty and in effect will train themselves.

PROS of this method:

Very easy to fit into our busy lifestyle

Very little preparation required on the part of the parent.

Does not require a large time commitment or consistency from parent; therefore ideal for working parents

Great in concept, but not working well in reality - especially in a society where we are so dependent on the disposable diaper.

CONS of this method:

Could take anywhere between 1-6 months or longer in many cases.

Child may quite old before s/he is ready. The average age for potty training is going up every year.

Wetting and soiling can become entrenched habits for children.

5) The Naked & $75 method

Children 24 to 30 months of age

Parents spend three to five consecutive days on the training.

The child is allowed to be naked all day, with a potty available at all times.

It is important to note that experts disagree with Rosemond's approach.

By the way, the $75 is for the inevitable carpet cleaning.

PROS of the Naked & $75 method:

Simple, easy and inexpensive

Quick - 3-5 days

CONS of the Naked & $75 method:

Not supported by experts


Copyright 2004-2005. Potty Training Concepts. All Rights Reserved.

See all the potty training articles from Potty Training Concepts.

About the Author:
Narmin Parpia is founder of Potty Training Concepts and the inventor of the potty training dolls Potty Scotty & Potty Patty and Potty Training in One Day - The Complete System for Boys or Girls. Narmin's products have been featured on the Today Show and in TIME Magazine.


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