Potty Training Methods

Filed under: Potty Training

pottyYou've cleared your calendar, covered the furniture with plastic and canceled your subscription to the diaper-of-the-month club. Your little one has exhibited all the signs of being ready to use the toilet and you are both ready to commit to potty training. But if your child is going to take that first, giant step towards Independence and lose the diapers forever, you need a plan. There are many experts out there who claim to have the best method, but every child is different and only you can determine which will work best. Here's a rundown of some of the most popular methods to consider.

Potty Training in One Day
It's Saturday night and your little one is all set to begin big kid daycare on Monday. Just one problem -- his new caregiver has a strict "no diapers" policy. What's a working parent to do? If time is of the essence and potty training just can't wait, Potty Training in One Day may be the method for you. Going from diapers to underpants in one day may sound too good to be true, but some experts say it works for most children. Initially developed by psychologists researching ways to toilet train special-needs children, this method makes use of a doll who models the behavior you are trying to teach your child. Together, you and your child 'teach' the doll to use the potty and immediately celebrate the success with a big party. When your child emulates what he has just seen, he gets a party, too! And if he doesn't get it the first time, repeat, repeat, repeat. According to experts, this repetition will result in muscle memory and eventual potty success.

The Naked Method
This method is exactly what it sounds like: With no diapers, pull-ups or underpants to stand in the way, your child is allowed to remain au naturel and ready at all times for nature's call. Of course, this method is only suitable for the parent who can avoid leaving the house for a few days and there is an obvious drawback -- when the inevitable accidents happen, the mess is going to end up on the floor, the couch, or possibly your lap. But many children who wouldn't think twice about going in their underpants will be surprised to see what actually happens when there is no barrier and will choose to go in the potty rather than make a mess.

The Frequency Method
This method is labor-intensive and requires a lot of patience, but is less messy than the Naked Method. Taking your child to the bathroom and having her sit on the toilet every thirty minutes will help her get used to the feel of the potty and eventually result in success, whether intentional or accidental. In addition to regularly scheduled trips to the bathroom, watch her closely for signs she needs to go and when you see them, whisk her away to the potty. You may get lucky and catch her in the act.

Positive Reinforcement Method
For a child who thrives on praise and enjoys rewards (and what child doesn't?), the Positive Reinforcement Method can be a winner. By offering special toys to play with only when he's on the potty and by rewarding success with special treats, your child will be encouraged to do his best to win the prize. Whether it's stars on a chart, a favorite piece of candy, or a new toy, the key word here is 'positive'. Never punish accidents and always follow through with the promised reward.

Disposable Training Pants Method
Absorbent like a diaper but designed like underpants, disposable training pants offer a toilet training child the best of both worlds. Because she can easily pull these pants up and down herself, she can take responsibility for getting herself to the potty when she needs to go. And if she doesn't make it, the mess is contained and easily disposed. While some experts feel these diaper-like pants can actually hinder training, many parents swear by them.

Whichever method you choose, remember to make it fun for your child. Present learning to use the toilet as a positive and exciting adventure and chances are your child will be happy to play along. Don't despair over setbacks and remember that even little children easily pick up on a parent's stress and frustration. Keep it light, keep it positive, and soon you will be diaper-free!

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.