Instructables

How to Potty Train a Child

Contest Winner
Qualifications: I'm the father of two girls. I trained them both using this method. One was very quick, the other took some extra time.

Origins: We followed principles found in "Toilet Training in Less Than a Day" by Nathan H. Azrin, PH.D. and Richard M. Foxx, PH.D.

http://www.amazon.com/Toilet-Training-Less-Than-Day/dp/0671693808/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1216383896&sr=8-1

If you like this approach, buy the book (or get it from your library). It includes some important details that I've glossed over here.

This method emphasizes teaching the child to do the whole process by himself. It's important that he can just get up and go when he wants, without having to track down an adult to help him.
 
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Step 1: Materials

You will need:

  • A child
Your child should be old enough and possess certain skills. More on that in the next step.

  • A potty chair
The collection bucket should be very easy to remove from the top. It should not stick or require sliding in from the back.

  • Toilet paper
The use of which is obvious.

  • Doll that wets
Available in many places, though many are rather poorly made and leak like a sieve. Still, if you can get water into the doll through the mouth and then back out from the nether regions, it will suffice.

  • Underwear to fit the child
Regular "big kid" underwear, not pullups. It should fit a little loosely, definitely not too tightly. You'll probably need several pairs.

  • Cleaning rags
Your child will have accidents. This training method uses those accidents to correct the behavior. It also teaches the child how to handle those accidents on his own.

  • Liquids (juice, water, lemonade)
The more your child drinks, the more frequently he'll need to urinate, and that's vital to this training.

  • Salty snacks (pretzels, chips, nuts)
The snacks are used as rewards and motivation in part of the training. Salty snacks make the child thirsty, so he drinks more, so he needs to urinate more, so you have more training opportunities.

  • "Friends-Who-Care" list
List of about 10 important people to your child. Mom and Dad, older siblings, other relatives, neighbors, or teachers. They should be toilet trained themselves already, so don't pick peers. They should be people the child knows and loves, not someone who intimidates him. One or two fictional characters might also make the list - Cinderella and Belle were on ours.
tetheredcat6 years ago
Great tutorial! I remember this book from way back. Great job getting your girls trained!
omygoddesss6 years ago
OK, sounds like a thorough coverage of the urination training, but how does this book handle the "#2" issue? My grandaughter is doing well with the potty for #1, but #2 is another matter.
snoyes (author)  omygoddesss6 years ago
Since a bowel movement is usually accompanied by urination, it often doesn't require any separate training - my girls never had any problem. How was she trained previously? Anyway, handle fecal accidents just like urination accidents. "Oh, no! You soiled your pants! You have to practice going potty. Practice quickly!" - 10 quick runs back and forth to the bathroom, 10 dry pants checks (which fail, since they aren't clean and dry), and then the child changes her own clothes and puts the dirty ones in the designated place. It might take a little longer, just because there is less opportunity for practice - a child might urinate 5 times a day, but defecate only once.
Thanks so much for the reply. I'll pass this on to my daughter (who, thankfully, is in charge of the potty training! :)
Cinderella dosen't like wet pants

ROFLOL!

I laughed until I cried at the photo captions. Very well done. I don't think the doll is strictly neccessary, but if it works, that's cool.

Oh, "...my wife had to kick the door in"-I've always wanted to know how to kick a door in! Seriously! Can you get her to do an ible? Please? Pretty please with a cherry on top?
snoyes (author)  Lithium Rain6 years ago
No, the doll is not strictly necessary, but it helps visual learners. Explaining what to do helps the audio learners, and physically moving the child through the action helps the tactile and kinesthetic learners. As for kicking in the door, it's fairly simple: 1) Place child on one side of some barrier - locked door, concrete bunker, small planet - and mother on the other. Prod child until she begins crying piteously. 2) ? 3) Help sweep up any tiny fragments that remain of the barrier.
It is a good idea for visual learners. :) Heh. It's step 2 I'm interested in...
knarx6 years ago
The most important thing is that you should not push your child and give him enough private sphere.
snoyes (author)  knarx6 years ago
The most important thing is that you love your child. There is a time to push your child to try something hard and to persevere. There's also a time to give up. "Fathers, don't exasperate your children by coming down hard on them. Take them by the hand and lead them in the way of the Master." (The Message)
Nice job...very comprehensive. I'm the youngest of three, so when I was being potty trained, I wanted to be like my dad/brothers, and it took very little time. It's a tactic that could help others.
snoyes (author)  Weissensteinburg6 years ago
Yes, the power of peer pressure cannot be overestimated. My oldest learned some technique from her cousin, and taught some technique to her little sister. And it's much less threatening to learn from another kid than to learn from an adult.
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