The Potty Boot Camp is a remarkably successful new toilet training method developed by Dr. Suzanne Riffel. It combines a number of well-known techniques into one unique and EFFECTIVE program. Learn a LOT more by visiting our website at www.ThePottyBootCamp.com.

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Monday, December 31, 2007

Infant Potty Training

The Potty Boot Camp is not intended for kids under eighteen months, however the concept of infant potty training has been around for ages. This article, entitled "Look Who's Going Potty," discusses the new trend in toilet training for babies.

I wholeheartedly endorse the concept, and just wish I had been able to dedicate the time required to make this technique successful. (It works best for stay at home moms.) More power to those who can do it!


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Developmental Milestones

This article from Lawrence Kutner, Ph.D of Psych Central discusses how children vary widely in the timing of reaching developmental milestones:

The Truth about Developmental Milestones

by Lawrence Kutner, Ph.D December 19, 2007

Unfortunate or not, there is something inherently competitive about being a parent. One of the ways this comes to light is when parents compare how old their children were when they finished a whole bottle, slept through the night, or sat up by themselves. It is a source of pride when our children learn to stack blocks or recite the alphabet or master toilet training earlier than the other children we know do. (The things our friends’ and neighbors’ children do earlier than our are all minor or irrelevant, of course!)

But drawing broad conclusions from whether one child passes these developmental milestones, as they are called, earlier than another is fraught with danger and is sure to lead to disappointment and frustration. It is a particular problem during the first year or so for the parents of children who are born prematurely.

Most new parents find themselves glancing at the many charts in books about child development, wondering if their child will be “on time” or “ahead of schedule” in his development. The mere fact that these milestones are in print and in the form of a table or checklist lends them an undeserved aura of precision. It’s that implied precision that gets parents upset if, for example, their 6-month-old son can’t pick up a small block in his hands. After all, that’s the age at which he “should” be able to do that.

And so parents worry. Is he falling behind? Does this mean he’ll have problems in school? Should I spend extra time helping him with his coordination? The answer to all of these questions is: Probably not.

Passing the Stage is Important, Not the Age

There’s one basic rule you should remember about developmental charts that will save you countless hours of worry and heartache in case your child hasn’t been studying them as closely as you have, or is feeling rebellious and has decided to follow his own developmental schedule. The fact that a child passes through a particular developmental stage is always more important than the age of that child when he or she does it. In the long run, it really doesn’t matter whether you learn to walk at ten months, twelve months or fifteen months — as long as you learn how to walk.

When I give speeches to parents in the U.S. and Canada, I’m often asked questions about toilet training by parents (almost always mothers, for they are apparently more comfortable with the topic) who are obviously upset and worried because their child is “behind schedule.” I usually preface my answer to their question by asking two questions of my own: How many adults do you know who have never been successfully toilet trained? Before you married your spouse, did you ask him how old he was when he was toilet trained? Both questions help put their concerns into perspective. Yes, it feels like it will go on forever, but it won’t. And yes, it seems like a big deal right now, but in the long run it won’t matter.

That’s why you really should look at the ages in those charts as a range instead of a single number. In general, the older the child the wider the range. After all, children aren’t magically able to grasp a small object a certain number of months after being born. It’s the culmination of a series of skills involving vision, concentration, muscle coordination, and more. We would naturally expect children to show a significant variation in when they master something that, for them, requires a lot of complicated coordination.

There are two other reasons for this variation or age range. Understanding those reasons takes a bit of arithmetic. This is where the parents of premature babies can get some much-needed reassurance.

First, when you’re trying to figure out roughly when your baby should reach a particular developmental milestone, it’s a good idea to start counting from your child’s due date instead of the actual day he was born. Remember that being born a month early isn’t the same as getting a high school diploma ahead of your peers because you worked extra hard, went to summer school, and skipped a grade.

Physical and mental development take time. A child who’s born two months premature is no more developed than an embryo who will stay in the womb for another eight weeks. The act of being born doesn’t speed up that child’s growth. Consequently, it’s not surprising to find a 6-month-old baby who was born two months ahead of schedule to be at the same developmental level as a 4-month-old who was carried to term. That’s exactly where he should be. But if you simply looked on a chart for 6-month-olds, you’d be unnecessarily worried.

Second, look at ratios instead of age differences. This is related to the first point, and explains why we don’t worry as much about correcting for premature babies’ age after the first year or two.

The age difference between a 6-month-old and a 9-month-old is the same as the difference between a 30-month-old and a 33-month-old. But the 9-month-old has had 50 percent more time outside the womb to develop, while the 33-month-old has had only 10 percent more time to develop. Consequently, we would expect to see more significant differences in everything from physical coordination to intellectual abilities between the younger children than between the older ones.

That’s why we need to recognize that even though the developmental charts are only rough guidelines for the first year, they are even less precise as our children get older. Older children can be years apart in when they reach certain developmental milestones (such as puberty) and still be completely normal.

There’s one other important variable that sometimes causes parents needless angst: a false belief in the precision of anything associated with numbers. When I taught a graduate seminar in public health, I would tell my students that my son, according to the medical records from his routine physical examinations, was consistently at about the 70th percentile for children his age in both his weight and the circumference of his head. The records also showed that he was taller than only about 30 percent of children his age when he was 3 months old, but bigger than 90 percent of children his age a few months later. I then asked them for the most likely explanation.

I was always amazed by the complexity of their answers, which ranged from rare brain tumors to growth-hormone problems. I then reminded them that babies don’t like to lie still and be measured. They squirm. You can get much more reliable measurements of a baby’s weight and head circumference because he can move around while you’re doing those. The most likely explanation for the difference between the two checkups was that the nurse wasn’t able to get an accurate measurement of his height either time.

Dr. Lawrence Kutner is a nationally known clinical psychologist who teaches at Harvard Medical School, where he’s co-founder and co-director of the Harvard Medical School Center for Mental Health and Media. He’s the author of five books: Parent & Child: Getting Through to Each Other; Pregnancy and Your Baby’s First Year; Toddlers and Preschoolers; Your School-Age Child; and Making Sense of Your Teenager.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

What to Try When a Potty Trained Child Reverts

This is a question I received from a mother whose "potty trained" child decided to stop using the potty. Below is the question and my response:

Everything was great, she loved the potty and was even able to go #2 in the potty. BUT ... after about a month she decided she doesn't like going to the potty anymore. It has become a kicking screaming tantrom to even get her IN the bathroom, much less to get her pants off and sit on the potty. I refuse to put diapers/pull ups on her except for bedtime ... but she still goes (pee and poo) in her panties. I feel that I've tried all the tips that people have told me about. I've done a sticker chart, given her stickers, prasied, danced, watched Elmo's potty time a million times, bribery of all sorts, and have even offered suckers for successful bowel movements. I need some serious help. Suggestions?

You can try the "currency" concept. Find something that she likes that you can give her when she's successful and take away when she has an accident. You can even use coins! Make it very clear WHY she's getting the "present" when she's successful and make it very clear why you are taking it away when she has an accident. My daughter loves those little princess figurines you can get at the toy store.

Here's an example:"OK...you are a big girl now. You know how to use the potty and I am not going to make you use it anymore - you have to decide on your own to use it like a big girl. Every time you use the potty, I"m going to give you one of these "thing-a-ma-jigs" that you love. BUT, understand that if you have an accident in your panties, I'm going to have to take it away and you won't get to play with it. Then we'll all be very sad."

Set the "bribes" out where she can see them but not get to them - to use as temptation! Then, try to step back and stay hands off. Hopefully the desire for the toys/coins/etc. will outweigh the stubbornness and the power struggle she's trying to have with you.

Hope that helps,Suzanne Riffel, Author of "The Potty Boot Camp: Basic Training for Toddlers"

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Psycho Toddler: Potty Humor

Here is a funny post about a conversation between a parent and their toddler. Do you know any good knock-knock jokes???

Click Below to Read the Post:

Psycho Toddler: Potty Humor

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Where have all the playgrounds gone?

A great commentary about the differences in parenting between America and the U.K.

read more | digg story

Monday, December 10, 2007

Useful Tips for Potty Training Boys

Toilet Potty Training
By Loo Puay Kiong

Successfully potty training boys is said to take a longer time than girls. Nobody can really tell the reason why, but most people consider the fact the it is the mommies who are the potty-trainers, and considering the difference between males and females, girls are usually the ones who immediately get the idea of toilet potty training since they are physically like their mommies. Boys on the other hand would need a male role model to completely get the right procedure.

Another reason may also be because, more than learning the basics of potty training, boys need to also learn and master the proper way of peeing standing up. At first, boys need to learn to pee sitting down since peeing and pooping usually come at the same time at least for the first few months thus, it would be easier to toilet train them that way.

After a few months or so, when your son can now pee sitting down by himself, he is ready to go to the next step: learning to pee standing up. This would require a male role model so it is better to ask his dad, an older brother or an uncle for help. Make your son go with his male role model to the bathroom and see for himself how it is done. After a while, he can try doing it himself.

To help him perfect the proper way of peeing standing up, here are some potty training tips that you could try:

Aiming takes a lot of practice and so you must be ready to do little wipe-ups here and there before your boy can actually do it right. Show him how to point his penis down so that he won't spray his pee around the bathroom. It would also be helpful if he has a target to which he can aim his pee. One potty training tip suggests Cheerio cereals, paper boats or any other small, floating and flushable products as useful and fun targets.

Making toilet potty training fun for him can also help. Instead of floating cheerios, you could also try draining the water from the bowl, then painting a red target. This could be another way of perfecting his aim.

Training could also be made fun with his role model. On a trip to the woods for example, or somewhere where it is private, the boy can practice his aim. In the winter, father and son could have a peeing party while trying to right in the snow.

It would also help to make everything about toilet potty training comfortable for the boy. If the boy can not reach the toilet bowl, give him a boost by letting him stand on your toes or providing a safe platform on which he can stand. But, be sure that the toilet seat is secure enough not to fall down on your little boy as he is urinating or is guarded enough to prevent him from scraping his penis. You wouldn't want his potty experience to be a painful one.

Toilet potty training your young boy won't be much of a problem for you if you make it fun and easy for your son. Without the stress of trying to learn something new and perfecting it, your young one could learn to go to the potty with ease.

A must read Toilet Potty Training for all parents.
Read here for more updates on this topics.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Loo_Puay_Kiong

Potty Training "Advent Calendar"

A significant part of The Potty Boot Camp involves "convincing" your child to stay seated on the toilet for periods of a few seconds to up to five minutes. I am often asked by parents how to accomplish this: Bribes? Blackmail? Threats? Rewards? My answer to this question is: Yes. All of the above! Unfortunately, we just need to do whatever it takes to get the job done. The Potty Training Rewards product is just one of many incentive-based toilet training items. The child pushes a button to hear a congratulatory message, picks a door, and gets a reward. This helps the child to be actively involved. The "mystery" of what reward is coming next will hopefully help the toddler to have enough motivation to sit on the potty again....and again...and again!

You can find the product at: http://www.pottytrainingrewards.com/

Friday, December 7, 2007

Another new Potty Training DVD - The Pocket Snails

I personally haven't watched the video, but the concept sounds good.

"The Pocket Snails Potty Adventure" is available through Amazon.com or elsewhere on the web. Here is a quote of the editorial review of the DVD:

Review"Potty training is within your preschooler s reach with this sweet and compelling animated program." --2007 NAPPA Honors Award Product Description Potty training has never been so much fun! This full-featured potty training program is designed to encourage and motivate children to say "Goodbye Diapers" and "Hello Potty." Your child will embark on an exciting journey right along with the Pocket Snails® as they help guide their friend Jake and his little sister Wendy step by step through the complete potty process - all with the help of the Potty Steps Map (included). Pocket Snails Potty Adventure has received recognition from prestigious organizations for its entertaining and innovative approach to potty training. * NAPPA Honors Award - 2007 National Parenting Publications Awards competition * KIDS FIRST!® Endorsement - Coalition for Quality Children s Media * 5-Star Rating - The Dove Foundation * Seal of Approval - The Toy ManTM * Award of Excellence - The Toy ManTM * Editors Choice Award - The Toy ManTM * Dr. Toy's 100 Best Children s Products Award for the entire Pocket Snails series

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Winnie The Pooh Potty Chair Recalled

WASHINGTON (UPI) -- The US Consumer Product Safety Commission announced the nationwide recall Thursday of approximately 160000 Chinese-made potty training seats.

Here's a link to the official CPSC press release:

Monday, December 3, 2007

Potty Training Toddler Watch

For parents enrolled in The Potty Boot Camp, a timer is an integral part of training during days two through five. A unique product is the Potty Watch. Instead of relying on a kitchen timer, the toddler wears a watch that can be programmed for different intervals. When it's "potty time" the watch plays one of a few different songs and reminds the child it's time to go.

I have found that many children will adamantly say "no!" when a parent tells them to go to the toilet; however if some object tells them it suddenly becomes OK - it takes away the "power struggle" between parent and toddler. It also helps that no child can resist any kind of noise-making appliance!

I've checked around the web and it seems like the least expensive place to get the watch is EBay. Click HERE to go to the current EBay listings.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

doodles: Potty training manual

doodles: Potty training manual


Doodle by Lee. The code for this doodle and other doodles you can use on your blog can be found at Doodles.

A New and Handy Travel Potty - The Caboose

I've always used the travel potty that has a plastic liner, but this one uses a disposable diaper. It looks like it's a bit larger than the www.onestepahead.com foldable travel potty, but perhaps more sturdy.

Check out the review of the "Caboose":


The Potty Training Boot Camp - Introduction

Like many parents, I was overwhelmed and intimidated when embarking upon the toilet training process. Have you actually spent time surfing the web to find advice, books, and tips about potty training? A search on Google for the keywords "potty training" yields over two million results!!!!

I found so many options - from books that are hundreds of pages long to online training programs that cost $39.99. I found advice about why to train early, advice about why to train late, and advice that just didn't make sense at all. I did not find what I was looking for! I was searching for a step-by-step, no-nonsense, brief, and to-the-point training program. I wanted something so concrete that I could even have a checklist or flow-chart to follow. Needless to say, I became pretty convinced that nothing like that existed.

My next step was to go ahead and invest in some of the products I mentioned above. I spent $19.99 on a "train in three days" system online. I spent another $25.00 on books on Amazon.com regarding toilet training. After I started training and realized I needed even more advice, I spent another $19.99! It seemed to me that there just had to be an easier and more straightforward way.

Finally, I was successful and my daughter was potty trained! It was hard work and I felt like I had actually figured it out - but only after hours and hours and hours of research and frustration! My final training method was a combination of my own preparatory work, the "toilet training in a day" methods, the timer method, and the "Naked and $75" method! I took the best and most logical advice from each potty training theory and combined them all together.

My daughter was young when I trained her - only 20 months old. At music class, gym class, and the playground I was asked over and over again how I had trained my daughter at such an early age. It finally dawned on me that I should write it all down! I spent hours of my time and a lot of my own money to get this point. It really would be a waste if I couldn't share my new found "expertise" with other parents. Thus, "The Potty Boot Camp" was born!

"The Potty Boot Camp" is a brief (15 page), to-the-point, step-by-step potty training method. Much of what I learned is summarized in a book that is easily readable during nap time! It includes a shopping list, a flow-chart, and easy to follow instruction manual. It breaks down the training process into what to do on a daily basis - one step at a time! Most importantly, The Potty Boot Camp will not bore you with a lot of theory - only practical and logical advice!

I'm not an expert - I'm a parent just like you. This toilet training program has worked for me and many, many other parents. It's also really reasonably priced - only $4.99. I think anyone who is trying to charge upwards of $50.00 to share their knowledge with you is not really out to share knowledge -- they're just trying to get YOU to share your money!

The Potty Boot Camp : Basic Training for Toddlers is available at http://www.thepottybootcamp.com/ .

Please, come look around, learn more, and get your own copy of the eBook. It's an instant download. Think, your child could be out of diapers and reliably using the potty in less than a week! Enroll your child in The Potty Boot Camp and be diaper free forever!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Potty / Toilet Training Pants - A Great Product for Kids in Daycare

I always encourage parents to NOT put a diaper on their child after beginning The Potty Training Boot Camp - it just serves as a source of confusion.

That being said, many kids who are being trained attend daycare or have a babysitter outside the home. Many times these childcare providers don't have the time and/or motivation to religiously continue the training process. For those toddlers, a good potty training pant is a must.

Good training pants will feel like underwear to the child, yet will keep leaks to a minimum. I have found a product that looks like it fits the bill.

The product is "Trickle Free Trainers", and can be found at Earthy Birthy Mama.com (Click the banner to go directly to their site)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Discontinuing Diapers at Night

Many parents wonder when they should discontinue diapers at bedtime. General "expert" opinion is that a child's bladder is mature enough to stay dry through the night at about 2 1/2 years old.

The Potty Boot Camp recommends going "cold turkey" with nighttime diapers when you have determined your child is ready. Have a conversation with your toddler about the upcoming change. Let them know that it is OK to get out of bed to use the potty. Place the potty right next to the bed and leave a night light on so that the child can easily find it if needed.

Typically, accidents will occur for about a week. For some children the accidents are actually a necessary learning activity. Only after having an accident does the child learn the sensation and awareness of needing to go.

If bed wetting persists beyond a couple of weeks, the toddler's bladder might not be fully developed. Wait another month and try again. If the problem persists, consult your pediatrician to rule out a true "bed wetting" problem.

An invaluable product to use during this transition phase (and through potty training in general) is a sheet protector that is placed over the bottom mattress. It is a quick and easy way to clean up after an accident - and prevents the need for sheet changing at two am!

Here is a link to one of the products available at Amazon.com:

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Where NOT to take your toilet training toddler!

Since we're on the topic of "all things potty," I found this obscure post about a restaurant in Taiwan. I think it's the last place we'd want to take our kids while potty training.

Cultural Differences certainly can be interesting, can't they??

Fun Fever: Taiwan's Modern Toilet Restaurant

Friday, November 16, 2007

Helpful Tips for Toddler Constipation

Symptoms and Remedies for Toddler Constipation
By Kathy Gupton

From late infancy to about age three, our twins had bowel movement problems and experienced constipation off and on. Since I had never heard of toddler constipation and our friends and family were only too quick to point out how they had never had any problems with this, we automatically jumped to the conclusion that we were doing something wrong or that there was something wrong with our children's digestive tracts. After consulting with our pediatrician and doing our own research, we discovered that toddler constipation is a relatively normal phenomenon.

In fact, it is estimated that about half of all toddlers will experience toddler constipation at one point or another. Symptoms of toddler constipation include infrequent bowel movements (going 2-3 days between bowel movements), hard stools, straining during bowel movements, and trying to stop a bowel movement from happening. Toddler constipation actually becomes a vicious cycle: the bowel movements hurt, so they try to hold them back, which makes the stools harder, which makes them hurt more. Fortunately there are some simple things that you can do to help alleviate toddler constipation that just involve a few lifestyle changes.

The first thing you need to do is to give your child high fiber foods such as fruits, vegetables, breakfast bars that are high in fiber, fiber cereals and even peanut butter all are good foods to give your child to help toddler constipation go away and help keep it away. Make sure your child has a good fluid intake. Sneak in a glass of water or fruit juice during the morning or afternoon playtime. You might have to cut out the milk and cheese for a few days until the bowel movements become regular again. Start implementing a 5-10 minute potty time after meals, which seems to be the best time to get them to go.

You should not give your child an over-the-counter laxative. In fact, you shouldn't give your child any medicine for constipation without consulting the doctor. Fortunately, there are a lot of natural remedies for toddler constipation so that you don't have to rely on medications.

For information on over 70 natural remedies for constipation, visit http://www.stopconstipation.info/

Get your copy of 77 ways to alleviate constipation online now.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Kathy_Gupton

Hilarious Potty Training Video

I have no idea what they are singing about, but the tune is catchy and the video wildly funny.


Thursday, November 15, 2007


Technorati Profile

Funny Kids Quotes

Ok, this has nothing to do with potty training, but I was in the mood for some humor. Below is a selection of quotes I found at http://www.rinkworks.com/said/kidquotes.shtml (Rinkworks.com)

Quick Quotations:

"I'm being haive!" -- 2 year old son, when his mother told him told to behave
"I'm not an oxymoron!" -- 7 year old
"TNT." -- Given as an answer for a written spelling bee, when the teacher called the word "dynamite."
"I'm glad I'm finally eight. This is the oldest I've ever been in my entire life!" -- 8 year old son.
"I had to read and write six book reports." -- Girl, in an email to her friend, attempting to explain what she had to do over the summer. She later tried sending a correction, which read, "I had to read and write six books."
"Oh, well Mom said all I had to use was the sponge and dish detergent." -- 12 year old daughter, when her father told her he used elbow grease to get the dishes clean
"Do they look after the Pokemon?" -- City kid, when asked what a gamekeeper does.
"Why don't you get some expensive money?" -- 3 year old daughter, when told by her mother that she could get a small toy but that the ones asked for were too expensive
"I have a rock in my nose." -- 2 year old son, greeting his mother after preschool, a full hour after recess was over.
"There's no one in there." -- 6 year old son, in response to seeing his father hanging pictures and tapping on the walls to find the support beams.
"Quiet!" -- 4 year old, when asked what begins with 'M' and sounds good.
"If I was a raccoon I would eat the farmer's corpse." -- A kindergartener, writing a story about what we would do if he were a raccoon
"Well, sometimes I say something mean to my brother, but I feel really good inside. Does that mean I'm a hypocrite?" -- 7 year old girl, after a Sunday School teacher explained that a hypocrite was someone who says one thing but feels something else.
"Daddy, did your hair slip?" -- 3 year old son, to his bald but long bearded father
"Daddy picked them up and looked underneath. I think it's printed on the bottom." -- 3 year old son, when his mother asked how his father knew the genders of four new baby kittens
"How will that help?" -- Kindergarten student, when the class was instructed to hold up two fingers if any of them had to go to the bathroom
"They didn't see it -- it was all cut off!" -- 2 year old son, when his mother was asked how his grandparents liked his new haircut
"Tell me when you're asleep, ok?" -- 7 year old son, overheard talking to his 5 year old brother.
"I had a fraction in my neck and had to go to the hospital for a long time." -- Fifth grader, to his class.
"Well you're old, and you're not dead." -- "3 year old son, to his father. The comment followed an explanation of why the father's grandparents weren't around anymore.
"Are you kidding me?! They go together like balogna and cheese! No, wait. More like mayonnaise and bread." -- 9 year old girl, when asked if her brother and cousin hang out a lot.
"The box says you can't eat them if the seal is broken. I'm looking for the seal." -- A young son, examining the contents of a box of Animal Crackers
"Don't kid me, Mom, I know they're my feet." -- 3 year old son, when his mother told him his shoes were on the wrong feet
"Mommy, you said it would be a shot; instead it was a needle!" -- Boy, overheard at the hospital
"How do you put make up on your mind?" -- Girl, when told she should make up her mind.
"I wish someone we knew would die so we could leave them flowers." -- 6 year old girl, upon seeing flowers in a cemetery.
"And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us some email." -- 4 year old girl, misquoting the Lord's Prayer
"Watch out, Daddy. Mommy's got her eye on you!" -- 4 year old girl, after hearing her mother telling her father that she'd take an I.O.U. for a promised restaurant dinner.
"I didn't look much -- I've only got little eyes!" -- 7 year old, about to be scolded for peeking at her Christmas presents.
"When you were my age, you was just a baby!" -- 5 year old.
"Why don't they just do what they did in 1899?" -- On preparing for Y2K in 1999.
"Daddy doesn't like that man, does he?" -- Daughter of John Cleese and Connie Booth, during the filming of the Black Knight scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

I welcome you to add your own funny "kid quote" as well! Give us all a good laugh!

Monday, November 12, 2007

An Overview of the Most Common Toilet Training Methods

A few potty training programs are most commonly cited in the literature. Below I have summarized some of the most popular techniques:

"The Train in a Day" Method

The "Train in a Day" Method was first made popular back in the 1970s by the authors Azrin/Foxx in a book entitled "Toilet Training in Less Than a Day." More recently, Dr. Phil and Narmin Parpia have endorsed this training method. The basic premise of this technique is to go “cold-turkey” with diapers. One morning you announce to your child that they will no longer wear diapers. The next four to eight hours are spent teaching the child how to properly use the toilet. During those four to eight hours, your child is learns how to use the toilet by playing with and teaching a doll how to properly use the potty.

The toddler is given positive reinforcement when successful and negative enforcement when there is an accident. The negative reinforcement is dispensed through "toileting drills." Positive reinforcement consists of rewards, a "potty party" and/or a "super hero" phone call.

"The Timer Method" of Toilet Training

The timer method is a technique considered by many parents to be less stressful for both parent and child than the "train in a day" methods. The timer method also involves keeping the child out of diapers entirely during training. A timer is set for pre-determined intervals. When the timer goes off the child is brought to the toilet for a potty session. If the child is successful, a reward is given. (Sticker, etc.) There is no negative reinforcement for accidents. The length between timer bells is gradually increased as potty skills become more reliable.

Although this method is fairly quick, it is slower than the "train in a day" methods and difficult if you have a particularly stubborn child. Keeping motivational levels high for an extended period of time – enough time for the child to “catch on” – can be challenging.

"The Naked and $75" Method

The Naked and $75 method is the training technique endorsed by Dr. John Rosemond. Dr. Rosemond believes that toilet training should be simple and no-nonsense. The child is empowered to basically train themselves.

Training begins with an explanation of how and what is expected of the child. Parents show by example and explanation, and then tell their children, "Now it's your turn. Mommy and Daddy expect you to use the potty from now on." The child is left naked for three to seven days while they learn how to use the toilet. The premise behind having the child be naked is to help to teach awareness of bodily function. (It is much easier for a child to realize they are pooping and peeing when it is running down their leg rather than having it land in an absorbent diaper.) The parent or caregiver is there to provide assistance if needed, but remains hands-off during the training process.

The $75 is for the inevitable carpet cleaning bill!

"Child-Centered" Toilet Training

Child centered potty training puts the child in charge of when and how to train. It is typically done with older kids (Two and a half or older) who have decided on their own that it is time to get rid of diapers. This is one of the most common trends in potty training children today. Children who have reached this decision on their own are typically very easy to train, however the disadvantage is that for many children the "habit" of using diapers has become so ingrained that convincing them otherwise is very difficult. Late potty training can become an issue with a child’s admittance into preschool or being allowed to participate in various activities. Coincidentally, "Child-centered" potty training was first introduced around the same time as the invention of disposable diapers. Prior to that time, diaper wearing meant diaper washing! Parents had much more incentive to toilet train early rather than leaving timing up to the toddler.

"Potty Training Boot Camp"

Potty Training Boot Camp is a relatively new method that combines a few of the above mentioned techniques. Potty training takes place in phases: Preparatory work, "boot camp", reinforcement and maintenance. Preparatory work involves determining if the child is ready to train and working on toileting familiarity. The "boot camp" day is a modified "train in a day method." The reinforcement phase combines the "Naked and $75" method and the "timer method." Maintenance is handled like any other training program - frequent reminders and positive reinforcement. This method is often successful because if the child isn’t “getting it” with one technique, they will likely catch on as they move to the next phase.

----------Suzanne Riffel is the author of "The Potty Boot Camp: Basic Training for Toddlers." Her potty training method has been successful for hundreds of parents. The Potty Boot Camp can be found at http://www.thepottybootcamp.com and at the online bookstore Booklocker.com: http://www.booklocker.com/books/3161.html

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Potty Boot Camp eBook Published Online

We're official! The Potty Boot Camp:Basic Training for Toddlers is now also available through Booklocker.com. To view our product page, visit: http://www.booklocker.com/books/3161.html

A paperback version of the book is planned for early next year.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Help! My Toddler Won't Poop on the Potty!

"The Potty Boot Camp: Basic Training for Toddlers" now includes a chapter about how to get your toddler to poop on the potty. It's straightforward and step-by-step. Please contact me at suzanne@thepottybootcamp.com with any questions you might have.

A question that I am asked on a regular basis is "Why won't my child poop on the potty?" Know that you are not alone if currently facing this common toilet training problem. As frustrating as it might be, steps can certainly be taken to overcome this stumbling block to diaper freedom.

More common in older potty training children (2.5 years and older), the "poop" issue can become a major power struggle between you and your toddler. The reasons for this apparent stubbornness can be caused by fear, medical problems, embarrassment, or standard toddler contrariness. Let's tackle each issue one by one:

Medical Problems:
First, a disclaimer: If you believe your child's unwillingness to poop on the potty is truly a medical issue, please consult with your pediatrician. There is a condition called encopresis which is caused from chronic constipation. Children experiencing encopresis have a problem with the bowel that dulls the normal senses about the urge to go. A more benign medical condition is basic constipation, in which the child fails to have a bowel movement over a couple of days. Usually an increase in dietary fiber or a mild stool softener will help to relieve the situation.

Believe it or not, many children believe that poop is a part of their body. Imagine how reluctant you might be to use the toilet if you thought a body part might fall off each time! For other children, the fear comes from the actual sensation of air hitting their bottom, the "plop" that can be heard in the water below, or the sound of flushing. Other children have had a previous painful episode of constipation and they become afraid to experience it again.

I think many of us can confess to occasionally "making a stink" about our child's poop. We joke or tease about the smell, or the size, or the consistency of the poop. Some children, especially the "sensitive" ones, can become self-conscious about this bodily function. If you think this might be the reason for your child's problem, try to discuss poop in a very matter-of-fact manner. Make it clear to your child that pooping is a very normal and natural part of life. It might be helpful to read books to your child such as "Everyone Poops" by Taro Gomi.

For most parents reading this article, the "terrible twos (or threes, or fours)" might be the culprit in your potty problems. The key in convincing your child to use the toilet rather than their pants is to find a method to make the child finally decide that life is just easier and more sanitary if they use the toilet. Some parents are violently opposed to bribes or "punishment" but sometimes the basic concept of "you get as good as you give" is the magic answer. If your child cooperates, they get positive reinforcement. If they don't, negative reinforcement is dispensed. Allowing the child to decide if the positives outweigh the negatives will actually empower them and allow for increased independence. It's also temporary - believe me, you won't have to bribe your child to poop in the potty on the day of their high school graduation!

"The Potty Boot Camp: Basic Training for Toddlers" is a step-by-step toilet training manual that will have your toddler diaper and accident free in about a week. For more information, please visit www.thepottybootcamp.com.

Friday, September 28, 2007

The Potty Boot Camp: Creating that "Added Bit" of Incentive to Toilet Train

Many parents ask me throughout their training process just how to give their child just that added bit of incentive to use the potty. A common sense and straightforward tip I have given is to make the child help in the cleanup of accidents. Instilling a sense of personal responsibility truly helps to motivate your child to use the toilet instead of the floor!

The manner in which you act and talk while cleaning up is pretty important. When she has an accident, make a look on your face that conveys "ick!" Tell her she needs to clean up her icky, yucky, pee pee or poo clothes and the icky mess on the floor. Don't act angry or irritated in any way, but make it clear to her that this is something that is yucky and she needs to fix. Make her take off her own clothes. The first time you do this, show her step by step what she needs to do - but after that make her do it on her own, and make her do every step. Clean the floor first. This makes her stay in her wet clothes a little longer, which is a motivator to not have it happen again. Then make her wipe herself down - if it's really messy you can take her to the tub and have her give herself a mini-bath. You'll probably be silently cringing during this whole cleanup because she's likely to make the mess worse instead of better!) After she takes off the dirty clothes, pick them up like they are contaminated with nuclear waste and carry them over to the sink. (Obviously dump the poo out of the panties into the potty first.) Tell her she needs to wash her icky clothes because they are now smelly and dirty from her pee or poop. Show her how to run the water, put the panties under the faucet, squeeze and rinse. Then take her to the place you want her to put her dirty panties. Show major relief - "Whew, that's so much better now that you're not dirty and icky any more!" Go get some clean panties.