Potty training can be a nightmare for most mothers. How would you feel if we could help you potty train your child faster? Our rule of thumb for this technique is what we call the under 3 years, under 3 days, over 3 weeks rule. This method works if implemented consistently until success.
- According to experts, the method we're describing works best for children under three years of age who are physically ready for potty training.
- If your child can pull up and pull down his/her pants, is walking without stumbling and has regular bowel movements, then he/she is ready for potty training.
- After three years of age, this method may not work because children naturally grow a sense of independence and newly-found rebellion.
- Your child needs to be ready to be potty trained, if your child is not psychologically accepting of using the potty, the method is less likely to succeed.
Step 1: Over 3 Weeks
- Start introducing your child to potty training over the course of 3 weeks to establish an incentive for using the potty.
- Incentives can be positive reinforcement such as jumping around, dancing, or phrases such as "good boy" or "good girl".
- Some parents resort to chocolate or sweets as an incentive, but we do not recommend this approach.
- Over the course of three weeks, every time you or another family member uses the bathroom, take your child with you.
- Let your child see how things work in the bathroom, once you're done, always make sure to use the incentive – be it the song, dance or phrase.
- Using the bathroom should be a true celebration, so your child will associate good feelings and memories with using the potty.
Step 2: Under 3 Days
- Clear your schedule for 3 days to succeed with potty training.
- You have to be consistent with your efforts and supervision.
- If your child makes mistakes, do not feel frustrated.
Step 3: Build Suspense
- A week before your set three days for potty training, remind your child of the coming event.
- Use positive phrases such as "In 3 days, we'll be doing the potty dance for you" or "in 3 days, you won't have to wear a diaper."
Step 4: Start Training
- On the first day, wake up your child and remove his/her diaper.
- Remind them that today "we can do the potty dance or song". The key is never asking your child to use the potty, as children will often say no in defiance.
- Every time your child needs to go and uses the potty, celebrate with your chosen incentive.
- If your child makes a mistake, make sure you let him/her clean it up with your help to establish a sense of responsibility.
- Do not make the cleaning task pleasant with reassurances; make it a mundane chore but don't make your child feel guilty at the same time.
- It is recommended that you stay indoors during the first day. This helps your child get more familiar with the process in a friendly environment.
Step 5: Build Confidence
- On the second day, take a walk outside in your home garden or street and reassure your child that he/she can use the potty any time.
- Make sure you don't let your child wear any diapers or underwear. This helps your child feel responsible and establishes the need to use the potty.
- Make sure you stay in proximity to your home, so you may take your child back to use the potty inside if needed.
Step 6: Establish Routine
- On the third day, establish a routine for your child. Let your child link the event of going out with using the potty beforehand.
- Take the time to use the bathroom before leaving and inform your child that "you must use the bathroom before leaving".
- If your child does not use the potty, stay indoors for a while.
- Carry with you a change of clothes and portable potty. This time, you can go out for a longer period of time or take a ride in the car.
Step 7: Reinforce New Habit
- The last step in this method is to reinforce your child's new habit.
- Many children tend to revert back to their old diaper routine if the new habit is not reinforced.
- Over the next month, celebrate your child's successes with the potty when possible.
- By two weeks, most children begin to associate using the potty with "being part of the family". This sense of belonging is very important to your child and is a very powerful incentive.
- Whatever you do, don't get angry or scream if a child makes a mistake. Children respond better to positive reinforcement than negative comments.
What if the method doesn't work?
- Consistency is key to success. If the steps above don't work, try these following tips:
- Put your child's diaper back on and wait for an additional month, see if your child responds better to the potty method.
- Most children are potty trained by the fourth or fifth time using this method.
While this method works for some children, it may not work for all.