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Potty Training in a Day

Some people call Wendy Sweeney the "Potty Whisperer." In a day, she says, she can potty train your child. Sweeney, of Chicago, tells NBC's Today Show that she charges $250 for her "booty camp."

Her method revolves around putting the pee and poop responsibility right on the child. Have an accident? The child cleans it up. But mostly, Sweeney says, she sets the children up to succeed in a caring environment:

"In order to set them up to succeed, just make sure that you're setting aside that time and make sure you remember that it's not about you," Sweeney said. "The child needs to be confident themselves, so once they begin to take responsibility for their body, they'll be proud of themselves and then continue that behavior. So give them all the tools they need to succeed. Tell them exactly what they need to know."

Sweeney, who's a registered nurse and mom of six children, feeds the children salty snacks and sugary drinks to help them have more tries at using the potty during their "camp" time. Children who succeed in using the potty earn a spot on the "potty wall" and get lots of cheers. While parents stay for the training, they don't do the work. Instead, they become a cheering section for their little ones.

Want to try this at home? Be sure to make certain your child is developmentally and emotionally ready. Some kids can learn to use the potty at 2, others aren't ready till they are 4. Many parents of children with older siblings say they learn to use potty earlier than first-borns. After all, they have an older child to emulate.

What do you think of Sweeney's methods? What worked best for you when teaching your kids to use the potty?

By Stacey Garfinkle |  June 11, 2008; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  Preschoolers
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Comments


Potty training in a day? I don't have time. How about potty training in an hour? Gotta run!

Posted by: Del Ray | June 11, 2008 7:29 AM | Report abuse

Making a young child clean up accidents? Doesn't sound very caring or positive to me.

Posted by: Priscilla | June 11, 2008 7:40 AM | Report abuse

Making a young child clean up accidents? Doesn't sound very caring or positive to me"

Oh, brother!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2008 8:03 AM | Report abuse

I suspect this method would work on older tots (over 3), but I can't imagine a 2-year-old really understanding the link between mopping up urine and going to the potty. Plus, it smacks a little of punishment and humiliation, neither of which I think is terribly helpful to a child who is trying to learn a new skill.

We're in the midst of potty training these days. DD (now 2.5) decided one day about two months ago that she was ready to wear big-girl panties. I took her shopping and she picked out several pair, then we went home and got started. I pretty much let her roam around in her underwear and offered her a chance to use the potty every hour or so. Within a day or two, she'd gotten the hang of it, and she hasn't had an accident since.

That said, we're nowhere near done. She still wets at naptime and at night, and she'll only pee in the potty. She's not interested in letting go of diapers entirely, and I'm in no hurry. I figure she'll do it when she's ready.

Posted by: NewSAHM | June 11, 2008 8:14 AM | Report abuse

I think it depends a lot on your child's personality as well as his/her readiness. My son is horrified by accidents and having him clean them up would be really negative. When he's had one he freezes up.

He's just that kind of kid - he doesn't like sand on his hands at the sandbox either. He also has always hit his gross motor skill milestones at the very late end of normal - rolled over late, crawled late, walked late - but once he starts he masters quickly.

With potty training I think we made the mistake of rushing him a little bit and now he has all the desire in the world but not quite enough control yet. Now we've slowed it down and it is going better - he wears underwear most of the time during the day and diapers at night.

Posted by: Shandra | June 11, 2008 8:17 AM | Report abuse

having watched friends who were very tightly wrapped about their daughter's potty training we took the opposite approach and were very laid back about it. it took us about 18 months from start to finish. start being buying pottys and getting my son to sit on them wearing a diaper to finish meaning that accidents were few & far between. that being said, my son was dry for us on the weekends long before he was dry for his daycare provider. i think she used diapers as a crutch because she didn't want to do work involved with helping him stay dry.

Posted by: quark | June 11, 2008 8:24 AM | Report abuse

Both of mine were early summer babies. I let them run around the house bare bottomed with a potty chair in the corner of the room and watched them like a hawk to avoid accidents. I praised them for sitting on the chair, I read them stories to keep them on the chair longer, and made a big deal if something happened while they were there. I don't remember potty training as being difficult, but it took concerted attention.

Posted by: Mom from DC | June 11, 2008 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Our son, 3yr. 3mo., woke up at the beginning of May and decided on his own to use the potty. Since that day, he's had a 99% success-rate, and he has mostly kept dry during naps and overnight (he still wears a diaper or pull-up at night, just in case).

In our instance, we'd had a potty around and had read books about it off and on for about 9 months with little/no "success." I even tried following the advice in a "Potty Train in a Day" book to no avail. *I* was the one frustrated and angry with our potty training attempts and had stopped trying altogether.

Our son simply wasn't ready until he was ready, and WOW he was ready!

Posted by: con-e | June 11, 2008 8:46 AM | Report abuse

My daughter turned 3 last month and we've been working on the potty training since she was 2. We started with pull ups, but she doesn't seemed bothered by the wetness at all. I purchased and installed a child sized toilet in the hall bathroom for her to use. They can use them until they are 7 and I felt better about that b/c it saved some floor space quite frankly. Still not potty trained. So, we've switched to using underwear. At first, she peed in them every 20 minutes. So changing underwear has started to wear thin. She sometimes even wets those and doesn't want to change out of them.

I've gotten to the point where I feel like I'm lying to her to get her to use the bathroom. I say things like "Ew!! Yucky wet panties. Dry underwear! Doesn't that feel good??" I don't want to force her to feel things she doesn't really feel. I ask if she needs to go to the potty and she ALWAYS says no, but I make her sit on the potty anyway before we depart for home and after we arrive at our destination. We've tried candy M&Ms...that only resulted in cavities. We tried stickers....that just resulted in getting/stealing stickers and not going potty. We tried creating a potty dance, singing happy songs when she goes in the toilet, etc, etc, etc. So, it's been a tough road.

I, too, was of the mindset that she would go when she was ready....but after age three, it makes it difficult to get her into preschool if she's not potty trained....so being late getting toilet trained means that she gets behind in her education???? Not palatable.

I think making them mop up their own urine is a good idea. It makes them responsible for getting to the potty and cleaning up the mess. Just as I would expect a 3 year old to clean up the bowl of cheerios and milk she dumped on the floor, or to put her shorts on by herself, or help me load the dishwasher. Perfectly reasonable. They are not babies anymore. We don't need to wipe their butts off and scrub poopy diapers any longer.

Posted by: changingfaces | June 11, 2008 9:23 AM | Report abuse

We've taken the low-key approach; much as I'd like to stop spending ridiculous amounts of money on diapers, whether my kid trains at 2.5 or 3 or 3.5 seems fairly minor in the grand scheme of things. And especially given that this tends to start right when the kids are learning to assert their independence, it just seems more effective to make it something they want to do and take ownership of, and not something mommy is pushing pushing pushing them to do.

With our daughter, we tried once when she seemed really interested in the potty at @ 22 mos. -- it was too soon, she freaked about not having the diaper, froze up on the potty, freaked again when she had an accident 20 mins. later. So we backed off. By the time she was interested again a few months later, my husband had just been laid off and we knew we were moving at some point within the next 6 months, so it didn't seem to make sense to start. So by the time we were settled in our new lives and she was interested again, she was 3, and she picked it up practically instantly -- maybe 4 accidents total, including overnight. It was like, "oh, THAT's what I do -- ok, sure."

My son (2.5) is just starting, and with him, it's been all about finding the trigger to make him want to do it. He started wanting to sit on the potty months ago, but didn't want to take his diaper off or do anything. But then one boy at daycare came in with "Cars" pullups, and he HAD to have them. So I got him some -- and told him he could have them as long as he used the potty. Once again, it was like the switch flipped -- within 2 days, he was going on command. We still have a long way to go, what with staying dry in between, overnights, the whole poo thing, and, of course, him remembering to tell us first vs. me asking all the time. But so far, it's been relatively painless. And it's fun to see him be so proud of himself.

Posted by: Laura | June 11, 2008 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Does anybody think that a child who can't use the toilet can clean and accident up? That sounds more like Mom cleaning up and having child witness it -- which is pretty much what most do anyway.

I think the older the child is the better, and don't even think about staying dry at night for a long time.

A three-day weekend in a summer month is a good time to start.

Once we had pretty good compliance then we had a system with underpants. You'd start the day off in the Mickey Mouse underpants ("don't get Mickey wet!"). If you had an accident then you switched to the heavy cotton pants.

I think that started something with underwear because nowadays my sons have all these crazy printed boxers!

As a working Mom one thing that I did not begrudge purchasing was disposable diapers and pull-ups.

Posted by: RoseG | June 11, 2008 9:29 AM | Report abuse

I don't remember any potty training issues with our daughter (our oldest). Our son was a completely different story! He mastered the potty for #1 and was dry during the day by age two and a half. But he absolutely would not go #2 in the potty. He just held it in! He went all day at day care and all evening with no diaper. As soon as I put a diaper on at night for bedtime, he would go #2 within 15 minutes.

I finally sat him on the potty chair to get him to go #2. He appeared frightened and begged for a diaper. I really thought if I could just show him that nothing would happen if he went #2 in the potty that he would get over this fear. I sat on the floor next to him, held his hand, and reassured him. He finally went! We held a little celebration for him even though it was way past his bedtime. He was so proud of himself!

Staying dry at night was a whole other story! He was approaching his 7th birthday and he still couldn't keep dry. I decided not to make a big deal of it, but then quickly realized that he was deeply ashamed of it and did not want to have any sleepovers because of it. So I took him to the doctor who explained that about 20% of boys have this problem. He prescribed a medication to prolong the time between urination to be used only for sleepovers. Meanwhile, we started a program suggested by the doctor using underwear with a built in sensor/alarm. It took us less than two months to get him dry through the night and another two months to ensure that he was past it. What a godsend! Our son felt sooooo much better about himself (and we could stop buying overnight diapers)!! The doctor did warn us that of the 20% of boys that have this problem, the nighttime alarm system only works on 80% of those boys.

We went to the "Bedwetting Store" online, which sells various products. The testimonials of people that have finally gotten their 11 year olds out of nighttime diapers were so touching.

Posted by: 12SLP34 | June 11, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

fr Priscilla:

>Making a young child clean up accidents? Doesn't sound very caring or positive to me.

Exactly. It sounds like punishment.

Posted by: Alex | June 11, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

I, too, was of the mindset that she would go when she was ready....but after age three, it makes it difficult to get her into preschool if she's not potty trained....so being late getting toilet trained means that she gets behind in her education???? Not palatable.

Understanding the idea that you might want your child to be in school - not a bad idea, mind you - but education? Please, if they stop going to school for a few months or a year AT AGE THREE, it really won't affect their education at all. Really. They still may or may not get into the ivy league, but really, in preschool - it's not such a big deal.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Everything I read indicated that the longer you waited, the less time it took. Which said to me that kids would go when they are ready - at the same time - no matter when you start (i.e., if they're going to be trained at three, and you start at two - it takes a year - if you start at 2 1/2 it takes six months, etc).

Both kids I thought would never use the potty, we had off for passover with both - so 10 days - so they both had mommy and underpants for a long stretch. I was worried about the 3 YO thing, as both have late spring birthdays, so for summer camps that take 3 YOs they want them trained. Well, no reason to fret at all! They both took a month or two - the second kid took a little longer to poop, but still, he's fine - and actually has fewer accidents than I remember the first having.

We're still working on the nighttime thing with the younger one, though...

Posted by: atlmom | June 11, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

An incredibly dull topic, with even duller comments.


ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Posted by: The Mind Boggles | June 11, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

We started really young - about 15 months, (although DD has sat on the potty since she was VERY young - we figured that way it wouldn't bother her), but we've been very relaxed about it. She's now about 26 months, and she's more-or-less dry at the weekend, with one or two accidents when we're not careful enough with frequent reminders to go potty. Daycare is another issue, but there are more distractions there, so it doesn't bother us. She starts at preschool in September, and they are quite relaxed as long as you are well along the process. Apparently, when they are surrounded by loads of other kids who use the bathroom all the time, they learn within a week or two anyway.

My attitude has always been every stinky smelly diaper that I don't have to change is a bonus for me, and an achievement for her, so the slow-and-sure method works just fine for me, but we found that we only really started getting anywhere when we bought the big girl underpants and she started to actually feel the wetness.

We have a whole stack of books in the bathroom, and we quite like sitting in there together reading a book and having a little quiet time together.

Posted by: DopeyMummy | June 11, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

We have a 2 3/4 year-old, and he is just starting to build up enough confidence to occasionally say to me that he wants to go sit on the potty.

We've found that if we push him at all, he becomes fearful and resistant.

I've found that putting his doll and a stuffed animal or two on the potty and pretending that they do pee-pee is good, as well as multiple, lengthy readings of a whole bunch of potty books (they get him "revved up" and he has asked then to go sit on the potty).

We offer two options -- a seat that fits the big potty, and a little potty (he seems to prefer the big potty).

No luck yet, but it's a step! We have a good summer ahead of us to keep trying.

My husband (from India) said that kids are often taken to the potty early in the morning from the time that they are around 18 months, not with the expectation that they will be potty trained, but that they will come to see it as part of their routine and be less resistant later. We're going to try that with our daughter, expected to be born this fall...

Posted by: SJR | June 11, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

potty training via daycare went very fast, about 6 weeks to "get it" and maybe 3 months total to be responsible and 6 months of pull-ups that were dry most of the time. All took place between 27-33 months, so by age 3 he was cool with it. I think peer pressure is the best part of it. When he was around older kids he wanted to prove to them he could do it all.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

fr Priscilla:

>Making a young child clean up accidents? Doesn't sound very caring or positive to me.

Exactly. It sounds like punishment.

Posted by: Alex | June 11, 2008 9:36 AM


Why do you consider it a punishment? If they spill their juice who cleans it up? Is that a punishment? Is it a punishment to make a child pick up their toys? No, it's teaching the child responsibilities. It's only a punishment if you treat it like one. Then the child will get resentful because he'll believe he is getting punished. Treat it like any other positive cleanup and they'll be fine.

As for the poster who said it would be humiliating to the child, why would it be? Because it would be humiliating if you had to do it? Why project that fear onto the child? Once again, it would only be humiliating and punishment if you treat it like so, and that would emotionally hurt the child in the long run.

Posted by: belcharlie | June 11, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

>Making a young child clean up accidents? Doesn't sound very caring or positive to me.

Exactly. It sounds like punishment.
-----

you don't make your kids clean up after they spill drinks? You don't make them clean up their toys?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Peer pressure -- it's not always a bad thing! My daughter nailed potty training the minute she started nursery school at age three and everyone else was using the potty.

Posted by: anne | June 11, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Stacey, I think you could've done a little more research on this topic before posting. I say that because the recent media hubbub about this woman is so typical in that they pretend as if this is some new radical idea. The only thing new about this idea is having someone else come in and do the potty training for you. It's just a sign of the absurd wealth of some yuppie parents out there who actually hire people to do the most basic parenting jobs for them.

In 1974 (yes, 34 years ago), a book entitled "Toilet training in less than a day" came out. It was written by Nathan H. Azrin and Richard M. Foxx.

Anyway, let's give credit where credit is due and talk about this subject -- from 34 years ago. The only thing this woman deserves credit for (aside from serving absurdly wealthy and lazy parents) is having kids clean up their accidents. Quite frankly, though, I think she deserves blame, not credit, for that "innovation".

Posted by: Ryan | June 11, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

I'm really surprised that nobody has commented yet on this woman's method of feeding the kids salty and sweet food to force peeing. What's next -- laxatives to force them to poop? And what do you do once your child is potty trained but demanding cheetoes and kool-aid every half hour?

Posted by: Arlington Mom | June 11, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

"you don't make your kids clean up after they spill drinks? You don't make them clean up their toys?"


This bunch - no.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

hey, we used the bedwetting store for our son. he wears the alarm too. however, because of our son's allergies our success rate hasn't been 100%. it has cut down on the number of pees in the night. he does very few "soakers", mostly when he's been playing really hard & is sleeping deeply. most of the time when the alarm does go off he stops his flow so only his undies are wet. the hard part has been getting him to get up after the alarm goes off & actually go to the bathroom. mostly he stays in bed with his hands over his ears. i would still recommend the alarm for people with children who have bedwetting problems.

Posted by: quark | June 11, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

"you don't make your kids clean up after they spill drinks? You don't make them clean up their toys?"

No, but we don't use it as incentive for him to not drink or not play.

Using "having to" clean up accidents as incentive to use the potty strikes me as inserting a value on the "clean up" as a NEGATIVE consequence. I don't like that from a whole range of viewpoints. I grew up in a home where cleaning was punishment and it took me quite a bit of work as an adult to realize that no, cleaning is not punishment, it's just what we do to maintain a lovely home.

The last thing I want is for my son to grow up thinking if he makes it to the toilet he'll never have to clean the bathroom. :-)

And also, as I said, my son is mortified when he has an accident. He needs reassurance, not to be made to feel guilty for making a mess that now has to be cleaned up. It will definitely take longer than one day and I won't be able to pay someone to do it. Oh well.

Posted by: Shandra | June 11, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

I'm so glad that my "neighbor" Arlington Mom pointed this out -- sugary drinks to promote peeing? That seems wrong and short-sighted on many levels.

Posted by: Arlington Dad | June 11, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Err to clarify: my son wipes up his spills and cleans up his toys, yes.

Posted by: Shandra | June 11, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Actually, Arlington mom misunderstands. The salty and sweet foods do NOT cause peeing. However, when you eat salty foods (I don't know why the sweet stuff is there, too), you encourage lots of drinking. Lots of drinking leads to lots of peeing.

So, no, laxatives are not the equivalent of giving your kid plenty of potato chips on the day of toilet training. And, actually, giving your kids salty foods when you're doing potty training in one day is very good idea because, to do this in one day, you need to them to need to pee as much as reasonably possible. It makes it much easier to reinforce the whole peeing-in-the-toilet thing if you have many more events to reinforce.

I'm sorry that some of you don't understand basic human physiology enough to distinguish laxatives from potato chips. Good luck in life! Cause you'll need it.

Posted by: Ryan | June 11, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

For my son, I tried positive reinforcement charts, diaper-free time, new big-boy undies, small rewards, requirements that he clean himself up, promises of big rewards, consults with doctors ... all over the course of 2.5 years ... and nothing, NOTHING worked.

I finally got it: only my son could control his body's functioning. It was a pretty freeing realization for me and I stopped tearing my hair out. Six months later, he was fully potty-trained (the week he began kindergarten) and I did nothing to prompt it (if you don't count the previous 2.5 years).

Posted by: Elaine | June 11, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

I wouldn't advocate giving a child a laxative, but I do think making sure they taken in enough fiber is important.

You do need steady output, plus it's better for your kid!

Posted by: AnnR | June 11, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

people spend $250 on all kinds of stupid things - - doesn't make this a better or worse use of their money. And it doesn't mean they're "absurdly wealthy".

Posted by: absurd | June 11, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

" think the older the child is the better, and don't even think about staying dry at night for a long time."

We started both DD's right around their second birthday. Dry during the day within 3 days and dry at night after 7-10 days.

We tried not to make a big deal out of it. Some verbal praise, but mostly just treated it as "this is what big girls do and you're a big girl now."

My advice - don't use Pull-ups because they can become a crutch.

Kids have their own pace but inconsistency on the part of parents causes the process to drag out more than anything else. Pull-ups until kindergarten is just absurd. I'd have the child checked out medically if they were not potty-trained by 2.5 - 3.5 years old. Boys generally are older due to physiology.

Posted by: mom of teens | June 11, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

I've actually done this. I used "Toilet training in less than a day" book as guidance, but adapted it a bit (some things just seemed too harsh). I just followed the basic idea: show the child how the doll 'uses the potty', practice running to the potty, clean up together when there is an accident, and lots of praise when it happens. I took my daughter's diapers off the morning I did the training and she never put them on again - not even for naps or nights. She was 2 yrs 7 months old. But it really does depend on the child. I can absolutely see how this would not work for every child, and I'm not sure if I'll do it with my second one.

Posted by: vj | June 11, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Changing I'm really not sure that not getting into pre-school by age 3 will slow down her education and prevent her from going to Stanford.

I think the one-day thing can be great- but like most things, everyone is an individual here. You're training a very non-natural response, a fairly large cognitive grasp, and some serious body control stuff all at once.

As for "punishment" I suppose if you said "Oh look what a bad mess you made, clean it up now young man!" then yeah sure. But if you said "Uh oh, gotta clean up! Next time you have to pee, the potty is right there" in a positive voice and collaborative spirit, no problem.

And I think the idea of saying out loud "I have to go pee/poop now" and then going into the bathroom or letting them watch you go can be great to show it's not a big deal.

I love the idea of having their stuff animal friends use the potty also!

Posted by: Liz D | June 11, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

vj - I was right there with ya; it didn't take for my son.

Elaine - my experience was much closer to yours. He LITERALLY woke up one morning and decided that was the day to be potty trained. My husband and I had nothing to do with it, except to marvel and to give him all of the credit.

So, actually our latest challenge is trying to limit the number of pairs of underwear that he wears! He has "Cars" underwear and likes all of the designs and has trouble deciding which ones to wear in the morning. LOL! He's worn 5 pairs at once...

Posted by: con-e | June 11, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

It's unfortunate that some people make it seem like if your kid isn't potty trained by 2, or 3, or whatever, there is something wrong. But no college applications ask you for the age when you were potty trained, and it doesn't go on your resume either. So you might as well just relax and let your kid have the time he needs.

Posted by: acorn | June 11, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Changing I'm really not sure that not getting into pre-school by age 3 will slow down her education and prevent her from going to Stanford.
-----

The funny thing was that my highly-judgmental mother made lists of who in her pre-school was going to succeed and who wasn't based on how they acted in class. Honestly, I don't think she got any wrong. The smartest kid is a surgeon, the nicest, most empathetic kid is a well-known author, the angriest kid is dead from a car accident, one crazy kid ended up in the newspaper disturbing the peace, other kids who she rated highly became internet millionaires and lawyers, another kid she had trouble with has a massive conspiracy website...

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

"I'm really surprised that nobody has commented yet on this woman's method of feeding the kids salty and sweet food to force peeing. What's next -- laxatives to force them to poop?"

I noticed this too, and was all ready to comment on it. Then I remembered that I let my daughter have jellybeans as a reward for using the potty in that first week, and figured my house has too many windows for me to start throwing stones.

Posted by: Newsahm | June 11, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

"Making a young child clean up accidents? Doesn't sound very caring or positive to me.

Exactly. It sounds like punishment."

Regarding cleaning up the mess - what mess? It's not like the whole bathroom, or whatever room, catches the brunt of the output. It's the pants. I think I did this with my kids, but didn't read it in a book. When they had an accident, I had them go into the bathroom, take off their pants and undies, put them in the laundry, wash off with a wipe or washcloth and get dressed.

I didn't yell, though. I more like, "Ooops, you had an accident. Let's go take care of that". And I was there with them, just not actively participating.

And I did reward with M&M's and chex mix. They were very motivated by that.

Posted by: prarie dog | June 11, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

All the mothers I knew that claimed, "She was potty trained at 17 months with only 1 accident" were also the mothers that couldn't figure out why their kid began wetting their bed at age 6. I have a theory for this, but I'll reserve comment.

Posted by: You have to relax to pee | June 11, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

I think I was really lucky that my stepdaughter came fully potty trained at 2.5 years old. In the six months that she has been with us we have seen one accident. We were outside so not right next to the bathroom and she didn't give us enough warning for whatever reason. No biggie, we took her home and changed her clothes. She is finally at the point that she will go to the bathroom alone although I still occasionally get a call to help her.

Posted by: Billie_R | June 11, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

"the hard part has been getting him to get up after the alarm goes off & actually go to the bathroom. mostly he stays in bed with his hands over his ears. "

Um, is this kid retarded?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

A timely topic for me. I'm taking next week off of work to focus entirely on potty training my son. He's seven years old. I've done this three times before and have had no luck.

The line that everyone seems to miss is "be sure your child is developmentally ready." No one tells you what to do when your child is developmentally delayed (in our case autistic). No promises of rewards will work. No pressure to "be a big boy." No imitation of older siblings or parents. He's not uncomfortable when he's wet. He doesn't understand what we're saying to him and can't tell us what he's thinking or wanting.

For this go-around, we've been laying the groundwork for pre-training for the past three weeks--a social story with pictures, practicing simple commands, getting used to the feeling of underwear, sitting on the toilet fully clothed. We have our picture cards ready, our salty food, a box of his favorite stims for distraction and rewards. And if we fail again, I think it would be worth $250 to let someone else have a try. And if SHE fails, at least I'll get a good day's entertainment out of it.

Posted by: Sarah | June 11, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

"I'm taking next week off of work to focus entirely on potty training my son. He's seven years old. "

And surely retarded.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Sarah that must be hard. It's an extreme case of proving how potty training is really training someone from a completely natural habit into a "civilized" unnatural one.

I hope he is mature enough now- really drive home that this is just a habit we all have to learn. I'd definitely think that the more you can connect the consequences with the actions, the better. Do you model specific potty behavior? Say "I need to go pee now" and let him see you go to the bathroom or be on the potty so he can make that clear connection?

Unlike most people he probably won't internalize this as "what people do as a matter of course" so all of that aspect is out.

Good luck!

Posted by: Liz D | June 11, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

For the autistic child you may want to ask his teacher if they have anything helpful such as tapes/books, etc on toilet training. Or they may be able to provide you with contact information for a community center or parenting group that may be able to help you. Just know it can be done and your child will get there.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2008 5:15 PM | Report abuse

"I'm taking next week off of work to focus entirely on potty training my son. He's seven years old. "

And surely retarded.--Anon at 3:29 PM--
--------------------------------------

Anonymous poster, that was unnecessary and deliberately cruel. She said that her child is autistic and then she described his disability in some detail. I don't understand people who get pleasure out of being nasty to other people when they open up about their problems. That takes courage. Your comment is cowardly.

Posted by: Lynne | June 11, 2008 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Sarah, good luck next week. I hope everything goes smoothly.

Posted by: NewSAHM | June 11, 2008 7:23 PM | Report abuse

You basically described what happened at my house with my daughter (3 yr, 4 mo) last weekend. She met her preschool teacher last week and when I explained she couldn't go in the fall and play with all the toys, she looked sad and thoughtful. Saturday when I announced "no more diapers in the daytime", she fussed a bit, and then it was fine. I think about 95% successful. Really being ready makes a difference.

Am I sad she was in diapers so long, yes, especially when I was surrounded by potty trained 2 1/2 year olds, but my DD was getting so upset, we decided not to push the issue.

Her older sister was slow to potty train (we were more agressive about it with her), so I wanted to be more patient with the younger.

Today we went out and about (potty ring in bag)... a great success!


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Our son, 3yr. 3mo., woke up at the beginning of May and decided on his own to use the potty. Since that day, he's had a 99% success-rate, and he has mostly kept dry during naps and overnight (he still wears a diaper or pull-up at night, just in case).

In our instance, we'd had a potty around and had read books about it off and on for about 9 months with little/no "success." I even tried following the advice in a "Potty Train in a Day" book to no avail. *I* was the one frustrated and angry with our potty training attempts and had stopped trying altogether.

Our son simply wasn't ready until he was ready, and WOW he was ready!

Posted by: con-e | June 11, 2008 8:46 AM

Posted by: Robin | June 11, 2008 7:30 PM | Report abuse

the hard part has been getting him to get up after the alarm goes off & actually go to the bathroom. mostly he stays in bed with his hands over his ears. "

Um, is this kid retarded?

Posted by: | June 11, 2008 3:09 PM

"I'm taking next week off of work to focus entirely on potty training my son. He's seven years old. "

And surely retarded.

Posted by: | June 11, 2008 3:29 PM

"User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site."

Really? When?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2008 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Could a moderator get with the program here?

Suggesting that any child is "retarded" (for whatever reason, including being a Downs child) is completely, no let me make that COMPLETELY inappropriate. Such comments add nothing to the discussion; rather they drag it down into sheer nastiness.

Posted by: Ellen | June 11, 2008 8:51 PM | Report abuse

P.S. Many of the "retarded" comments were unsigned, clearly against the posting policy.

Now back to the topic: potty train your child in a day by forcing them to clean up accidents and pumping them full of salty and sugary stuff? What kind of parenting IS that? Completely self-centered. Nah, I don't want to have to be bothered with the time and mess involved in helping my child use the potty, so why don't I pay someone $250 to humiliate and manipulate them into "learning" in a day?

Yes, I have an opinion on this: it's APPALLING! Anyone who undertakes this strategy should be ashamed of themselves. Our own convenience is--or shouldn't be at least--not why we welcome children into our lives.

Posted by: Ellen | June 11, 2008 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Anyone see the reports about the new 'movement' regarding not using diapers at all? Like, I mean, a 3 day old kid - taking them to the bathroom or a sink to let them go - how the parents just KNOW when the kids need to go? It seemed a little strange to me - and like, you HAVE to have a SAHM for that - and also never leave your kid with a babysitter.

I guess that's the way it was 100s of years ago, when there were no diapers, and cloth really didn't work so well, but, um, still...

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2008 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Anyone see the reports about the new 'movement' regarding not using diapers at all? Like, I mean, a 3 day old kid - taking them to the bathroom or a sink to let them go - how the parents just KNOW when the kids need to go? It seemed a little strange to me - and like, you HAVE to have a SAHM for that - and also never leave your kid with a babysitter.

I guess that's the way it was 100s of years ago, when there were no diapers, and cloth really didn't work so well, but, um, still...

Posted by: | June 11, 2008 10:13 PM

We EC'ed our son and it was cool. No pressure, no poop on my hands during hundreds of diaper changings, no screaming baby in a wet diaper. Although we were skeptical at first, we tried it and were sooo pleased.

You don't have to have a SAHM, and anyone can take the baby to potty. It's pretty obvious when a kid of any age has to go - ever seen the "potty dance"? Anyway most people use diapers for backup.

Don't knock it till you try it!

Posted by: ECing kid #2 | June 12, 2008 9:11 AM | Report abuse

4 year old. Despite all attempts at training, refused to use potty. Went to preschool in diapers... only for the first day. Came home and announced he was a big boy and would no longer wear diapers. Never had any kind of accident since. The secret to this instant change? The other kids had laughed at him and called him a baby. Sometimes peer pressure can be a good thing.

Posted by: Dry in DC | June 12, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

You don't have to have a SAHM, and anyone can take the baby to potty.
-----

Find one daycare center that will.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 12, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

My 2 1/2 daughter just decided to do it one day. Her friend Zoey showed up at preschool in princess underwear, and that was it for Kathryn - she demanded underwear when I picked her up that afternoon. We went to Target, I let her pick out her new underwear and told her if she messed them I would throw them out like a diaper. She messed in them once and I threw them away - it was very tramatic for her becasue we threw out Cinderella - but I felt I needed to stand firm. Job done.

Posted by: julie@shcocpa.com | June 12, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Back in the 1970's a book "Toilet Training in Less Than a Day" was published. I didn't use it taking the more laid back approach that when the child is ready he will train. My son was ready at 25 months and it took a few days. My grandson was never "ready" and nothing motivated him. He was 3 1/2 and his mother was at a loss. I read the old book,implemented the ideas and he was trained in less than 2 hours.

Posted by: Grammy | June 12, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

No NAEYC accredited preschool will require that your child be potty trained, just FYI. Those of you who are stressing should check out their website and tour a few schools for your child.

There is no need to push the issue, most kids are ready by 2 or 3, but some take longer and you shouldn't make it stressful for yourself or your kid. I have never seen a normally developing child go to kindergarten untrained.

Posted by: Momof5 | June 12, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

I really depise the new era parents' view on potty training; "they'll-do-it-when- they're-ready" attitude.

Ugh. It sickens me. Western countries are the few where it's the norm for children not be potty trained by 3 years old. All other parts of the world, children are potty trained by 2 years old, if not, younger. Even if it is by a lack of convient disaposable diapers in those countries, it still proves that children have the ability to be potty trained than what's considered the norm here.

What's wrong with us?

Posted by: Soguns1 | June 12, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

fr Dry in DC:

>...The secret to this instant change? The other kids had laughed at him and called him a baby. Sometimes peer pressure can be a good thing.

Hopefully SOMEONE went to the preschool and taught the little brats manners. "Peer pressure"? No. Your child did not endure "peer pressure". What he endured was bullying, and I hope you put a stop to it IMMEDIATELY.

Posted by: Alex | June 13, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

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