How to potty train methods tips and problems

The Comprehensive Guide to Potty Training Methods & Problems


How to potty train, methods, tips & problems

In The Comprehensive Guide To Potty Training, we detailed the steps for parents to start potty training a child. The first step is for parents to observe the presence of the potty training readiness signs, to know it's time to start potty training. The next step is to decide the best method to use that takes into consideration the personality, temperament and circumstances of each child individually. There are numerous methods that have gained traction over the years, each method has its advantages and disadvantages. Each method has been successful for different children at one time or another. Many of the methods share common components and are very similar. It is a good idea for parents to be aware of the different methods particularly in cases that the initial method is not successful. No matter what strategy one chooses it's best to always stay positive, remain patient and be flexible and willing to make adjustments as needed. In many circumstances parents find succes using a hybrid approach by combining components of various methods while ommitting aspects that are not appealing to their particular situation. This article, The Comprehensive Guide To Potty Training Methods and Problems, discusses everything pertaining to how to potty train including the different methods as well as problems that may occur when potty training and provides guidelines from The American Academy of Pediatrics.

Following are the most common potty training methods:

There are several different potty training methods that are available for parents to use. Below are some of the more popular methods in no particular order.

  1. The Azrin and Foxx Method: Developed by psychologists Nathan Azrin and Richard Foxx, this method involves scheduled potty breaks, positive reinforcement, and a structured approach to toilet training.
  2. The Brazelton Method: Pediatrician Dr. T. Berry Brazelton introduced a child-centered approach, emphasizing readiness cues, and encouraging a child to take the lead in the training process.
  3. The Three-Day Potty Training Method: Popularized by parenting author Lora Jensen, this method focuses on intensive training over a concentrated three-day period, incorporating consistent routines and positive reinforcement. 
  4. Elimination Communication (EC): Also known as infant potty training, EC involves recognizing a baby's signals for elimination and responding accordingly, promoting early toilet awareness and communication.
  5. The Oh Crap! Potty Training Method: Developed by Jamie Glowacki, this method advocates for a direct transition from diapers to underwear, with an initial focus on naked or bottomless training and progressive independence.
  6. The Diaper-Free Baby Method: Authored by Christine Gross-Loh and Ingrid Bauer, this method combines aspects of EC and attachment parenting, emphasizing early communication and a diaper-free lifestyle.
  7. The 2-Day Potty Training Method: Created by child psychologist Dr. Jazmine McCoy, this method concentrates on intensive training for a two-day period, involving consistent routines, positive reinforcement, and a child-led approach. 
  8. The Naked and $75 Potty Training Method: Coined by parenting author Wendy S. Masi, this method involves a combination of naked training and using a reward system with a $75 toy as a motivator for successful potty training. 
  9. Bare Bottom Method:The bare bottom method involves letting a child go without diapers or underwear during a certain phase of potty training.By allowing the child to be bare-bottomed, they quickly feel the sensation of wetness when they have an accident, which can help them associate the need for the potty.This method is often used in the early stages of potty training to promote awareness and help children connect the sensation of needing to go with the act of using the potty.
  10. Positive Reinforcement Training: A general approach emphasizing praise, rewards, and encouragement for successful toilet use, with a focus on creating positive associations with the potty.
  11. The Child-Oriented Approach: A flexible method based on observing and responding to a child's cues, encouraging independence, and avoiding pressure or coercion in the potty training process. Often associated with this method, is Dr. Benjamin Spock, a pediatrician and author of the influential book "Baby and Child Care," did not develop a specific potty training method. However, his approach to child-rearing, as outlined in his book, generally encouraged a flexible and individualized approach to parenting. Dr. Spock emphasized understanding a child's needs, responding to their cues, and adapting parenting strategies to each child's unique personality and development.
  12. The One Day Potty Training Method: involves making a big deal about potty training on one day, and then celebrating when your child goes. For example, Wake your child up and take them to the bathroom. Have them sit on the potty every 15 minutes. Have them drink lots of water. Throw diapers away. Praise your child when they go potty.

Conclusion: A Hybrid Approach

Many of the above methods share components with one another and are very similar. It is beneficial for parents to be familiar with various options in the event that their initial method is not working effectively. No matter which method parents choose, the keys to success are to be positive and patient throughout the process. Since it's been well established that no two children are alike, parents may find that a cookie cutter, one-size-fits-all approach is not effective. They often have success combining various aspects of different methods to develop their own hybrid model that best suits the unique personality, temperament and circumstances of their child.

Which potty training method is the best?

Each of the methods above have gained some traction and parents have had success using them. There are proponents of each method and any one of them may be a viable method. There has not been a substantial amount of research to support the most effective potty training method. Though there has been one study that indicated that the Nathan Azrin and Richard Fox method may be the most effective for healthy normal children.


What does the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Recommend?

Following are some generally accepted guidelines to follow as best practices according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP):

 The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) offer general advice and recommendations based on child development and pediatric care. Here are some key points often emphasized by medical experts and pediatricians regarding potty training:

  • Wait Until Your Child is Ready: Most experts agree that it's essential to wait until your child shows signs of readiness before beginning potty training. These signs may include staying dry for longer periods, showing interest in the toilet, expressing discomfort with wet or soiled diapers, and demonstrating the ability to follow simple instructions.
  • Avoid Pressuring Your Child: Pressuring your child to potty train before they're ready can lead to resistance, anxiety, and setbacks. Instead, provide gentle encouragement and support, and let your child take the lead in the process.
  • Establish a Routine: Creating a consistent toileting routine can help your child understand when it's time to use the potty. Encourage regular bathroom breaks, especially after meals and before bedtime, and praise your child for their efforts.
  • Use Positive Reinforcement: Positive reinforcement, such as praise, encouragement, and rewards, can motivate your child and reinforce desired behaviors. Celebrate successes, no matter how small, and avoid punishment or shaming for accidents.
  • Model Healthy Toilet Habits: Children learn by example, so be sure to model healthy toilet habits yourself. Let your child observe you using the toilet, and talk to them about the process in a positive and age-appropriate way.
  • Be Patient and Flexible: Potty training is a learning process that takes time and patience. Be prepared for setbacks and accidents along the way, and approach the process with flexibility and a sense of humor.
  • Consider Individual Differences: Every child is unique, and what works for one child may not work for another. Pay attention to your child's temperament, developmental stage, and any special needs they may have, and tailor your approach accordingly.
  • Seek Support if Needed: If you're struggling with potty training or have concerns about your child's progress, don't hesitate to seek support from your pediatrician or a pediatric specialist. They can offer guidance, answer questions, and provide resources to help you navigate the potty training process successfully.

While these previous guidelines are endorsed by pediatric experts, it's essential to remember that every child is different, and there's no one-size-fits-all approach to potty training. Trust your instincts as a parent, and remember that with patience, consistency, and support, you and your child will eventually master this important milestone.

Are there guidelines that parents or caretakers should be aware of when potty training children with special needs?

As stated throughout this guide, all children are different and develop and mature at different ages and rates. The information throughout this guide is recommended for healthy children without extenuating circumstances, such as special needs children with: Downs Syndrome, ADHD, Cerebral Palsy, Autism and other special needs cases. Additional guidelines and considerations very specific to each special needs child dictated by a pediatrician or other qualified medical professional familiar with the child's history and needs. 


What problems or challenges are common for parents to run into during their potty training efforts? 

There are several problems that can occur when potty training and parents and caretakers should be prepared for the following: 

  1. Resistance or Refusal: Some children may resist using the potty or express refusal to try it. How to Deal: Be patient and avoid pressuring your child. Offer positive reinforcement, use a reward system, and make the potty training experience fun with books or toys.
  2. Accidents: Accidents are common during potty training as children learn to recognize the signals of needing to go. The first day without diapers 1/3 of children have 3 to 4 accidents a day with 12% having up to 7 accidents. Accidents will continue after the first week for 81% of children, so be prepared accidents will happen. How to Deal: Stay calm and avoid scolding. Encourage your child to communicate when they need to go, and provide positive reinforcement for successful attempts. Keep spare clothes handy for quick changes.
  3. Inconsistency: Children may be inconsistent in using the potty, sometimes using it successfully and other times having accidents.How to Deal: Establish a routine for potty breaks and be consistent with reminders. Praise your child for successes and provide gentle encouragement after accidents. Patience is key.
  4. Fear or Anxiety: Some children may develop fears or anxieties related to using the potty.How to Deal: Identify and address the source of fear, such as the sound of flushing or sitting on the potty. Gradually introduce your child to these elements, use positive reinforcement, and offer comfort and reassurance.

  5. Regression: Children who were successfully potty trained may suddenly revert to previous behaviors, such as using diapers. How to Deal: Understand that regression is normal and may be triggered by stress or change. Provide a supportive environment, maintain consistency, and reassure your child. Avoid punishment and focus on positive reinforcement.

  6. Medical Issues: Some children may experience medical issues that hinder successful potty training, such as constipation or urinary tract infections. How to Deal: Consult with a healthcare professional if you suspect a medical issue. Follow their guidance for treatment and adjust the potty training approach accordingly.

  7. Nighttime Wetting:Description: Nighttime bladder control may take longer to develop than daytime control.How to Deal: Be patient and use pull-up diapers or protective bedding as needed. Limit fluid intake before bedtime and encourage your child to use the potty before sleep. Celebrate dry nights and avoid making a big deal out of occasional accidents.

  8. Peer Pressure: Some children may feel pressure or anxiety about using the potty when they see their peers doing so.How to Deal: Reinforce positive behavior and focus on your child's progress rather than comparing them to others. Provide a supportive and understanding environment.

Remember, every child is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. Adapt your approach based on your child's needs, and always offer support, encouragement, and understanding throughout the potty training process.

What mistakes do parents make when potty training?

Its not only the child that makes mistakes when potty training, parents make the following common mistakes:

  1. Making too many trips to the toilet- every 1 1/2 hours is the earliest children should be taken to the toilet to ensure their bladder is full when trying to empty it.
  2. Sitting too long on the toilet which can lead to constipation- 5 minutes should be the maximum amount of time sitting.
  3. Extreme urging to have a bowel movement- can cause them ton hold it in an be constipated.
  4. Wearing Pull ups when training keeps the child from feel their urine or feces and is counter productive.
  5. Punishing for accidents is never good as the child will associate negatively with potty training.
  6. Asking the child if they need to use the potty instead of looking for signs they need to go.

Most of the list above can be avoided if parents are diligent and stay true to the primary two rules that experts tend to agree are mandatory for successful training: patience and being positive, regardless of method. Good luck with all potty training adventures to both parents and children. 

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