Paving the Way for Successful Potty Training

As parents, we teach our children new skills everyday without even a second thought. We teach them new words, how to read, how to play nicely with others, how to listen and brush their teeth. But when it comes to potty training, we whine, pull out our hair and lose all confidence in our fabulous teaching skills. Whether you are just tired of soggy diapers, have another baby on the way or are trying to get your little one ready for pre-school, there is sure to be a potty training method that will work for you! Here are three basic approaches to consider.

The Readiness Method

The most widely used method in the US today is the Readiness Method or the “child-centered approach”. It is endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and promoted by child development expert, Dr T. Berry Brazelton. In this method, the child’s developmental readiness is not as important as their interest in using the potty. The process begins with talking about the potty, introducing the potty chair and perhaps sitting on it fully clothed. As the child moves at his/her own pace, the process may take days, weeks or months.

The One-Day Method

The One-Day Method is also known at the “modeling approach” to potty training. It was introduced in the late 70s by psychologists Dr. Nathan Azrin and Dr. Richard Foxx and has recently been adapted by Dr. Phil McGraw. This method is based on the notion that children learn by example and by seeing that actions have consequences. The entire day is focused on potty training with no distractions or conversations about anything else. By using a doll that eats and wets, the child watches and then emulates the behavior. The child is given plenty of fluids to ensure “practice time” and is rewarded with stickers or treats.

The Bare-Bottom Approach

The Bare bottom approach is a parent- centered rather than child – centered approach to potty training endorsed by psychologist John Rosemond. The parent announces that there will be no more diapers and that the child will now use the potty. The parent allows the child to go naked for a day or more during the training, as the child may feel comfortable soiling himself with a diaper, but less comfortable doing so when bare-bottomed.

The most important thing to remember when embarking on the potty training journey is to remember that your child will be successful… eventually. In the meantime, enjoy the trip. Make it fun, give rewards, praise them, love them and hug them and be assured that one day, diapers will be a thing of the past.

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