Monday, April 1, 2013

Toddler Activities: My Experience "Toilet Training in Less Than a Day"

By Tiffany Rudd
I just finished my 3rd round of potty training. I can't start this post without telling you that I L.O.V.E potty training. It's my absolute favorite mommy job!

. . .


Honestly, that couldn't be further from the truth. I dread it, avoid it as long as I can, and try my hardest to make it as painless as possible. 

My oldest son struggled for almost a year. It was a nasty time for both of us. Luckily, my second experience was better, but I still wasn't excited when Anniston started showing signs of readiness at barely two years old. 

This time, I decided to checkout a book called "Toilet Training in Less Than a Day," by Nathan Azrin and Richard Foxx. The third time around was definitely the easiest on all of us, so I thought I'd share my experience in case it can help any of you poor mommies about to have some potty training fun of your own. :)

My first, and most important advice, is not to blame yourself. Each child has his/her own unique personality and quirks that influence how willing and cooperative they will be. Your skill and worth as a mother has nothing to do with how long it takes or how many accidents your child has. 

My second advice is to grab "Toilet Training in Less Than a Day" and give it a quick read. I really did find it beneficial and I'll share below the advice from the book that I followed and what I chose to do differently.

The advice I followed...

* One day of intense training: I cleared my schedule, bought tons of juice and salty snacks, and spent the morning just focused on potty training with Anniston. I loved that she had lots and lots of practice even before lunchtime.

* The potty doll: I've never tried using a doll as a teaching aid and Anniston really responded to it. We spent even more time than the book recommended teaching the dolly how to use the potty because Anniston loved it so much. I couldn't find a reasonably priced doll that actually went potty, so I just got this Little Mommy Potty Princess Doll from Target. Then I just filled a small lid with water and dumped it from behind the dolls back and into the potty. I'm not sure if it will be work as well for a boy, but I'm definitely planning on giving it a try with our youngest little guy.

* Focusing on dryness: In the past, I always created a chart and rewarded the kids each time they want potty. The book recommends that instead you reward them for dryness. I started out doing "dry checks" with Anniston every 5-10 minutes and rewarding her each time. After a few hours I spread them out to every 15-20 minutes and then in the afternoon to every 30 minutes. Even now, 3 weeks later, I ask "Anniston, are you clean and dry?" instead of asking her if she needs to go potty or telling her she needs to go. 

* Practice 10 times after each accident: At first I thought the number 10 was a little high, but I really liked having a specific plan when Anniston had an accident and 10 worked great for us. The book recommends you have your child wipe up the mess, remove her wet clothes on her own and then practice quickly "going potty" from 10 different locations. Having this in place made it easier for me to feel less angry when she did have accidents because they quickly turned into good learning experiences.

What I did differently...

* No potty chair: The book recommends using a small potty chair that the child can use without help and empty into the toilet on his/her own like this one. I chose instead to teach Anniston to tell me when she needed to go potty and to use the regular toilet with my help. It definitely requires more of my time, but I don't mind and I like being there to know she wipes well and washes her hands I also like that she doesn't have a problem going potty while we are away from home.

How long did it actually take?

I'm not sure I would say Anniston was potty trained in less than a day, but it really only took 2-3 days before I felt like she was pretty much done. She had a total of 3 accidents and has been telling me every time she needs to go since about day three. It is still my least favorite mom job, but this round was not too painful. 

I hope you have a good experience too! :)
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  1. I'm totally putting off training my 3 year old. Training my first was a nightmare thanks to her personality and then having twins when #2 was 2.5 didn't help my desire to do it all over again with her. Now I need to just bite the bullet and do it and I like these suggestions. Thanks!

    1. You definitely had a valid excuse for waiting! :) I think Cameron's strong personality was what made him hard too - I keep telling myself it's good to have a strong oldest child to lead the way. ;) Good luck with the potty training! I'd definitely try the doll - it was a huge hit with my girly girl.


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