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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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Sunday, January 4, 2009

Potty Training a 15 Month Old Toddler

A parent recently contact me about needing advice for training her 15 month old son. She was convinced her son showed all the signs of "readiness." He was removing his diaper, telling his mother when he was wet, etc. Mom just used her intuition to decide that it was time.

After beginning training, she began to run into a couple of problems. Her son would happily sit on the potty. She was taking him to the toilet every 15 minutes - yet, he would fail to pee on the potty and instead go immediately upon leaving the bathroom. Below is my response and advice:


I have a couple of thoughts. First, I agree with you that your primary concern should be to at least get him to urinate in the toilet. Being that he is so young, getting him to actually tell you when he needs to go might take a few months.

I think you are right on track with the "taking him to the toilet every 15 minutes." When you are there, how long are you having him stay on the toilet? You might want to experiment with the timing. (Take him every 30 minutes but have him sit for 10 or 15 at a time, etc.) It sounds like he needs more time to allow his bladder to release, especially if he is going soon after you take him off of the toilet. Once he develops bladder awareness, and you can get him routinely urinating in the toilet, his reliability in telling YOU when he needs to go will follow.

Some parents actually will have their kids sit on the toilet until they do go...even if it is for an hour. Do as much as you feel is reasonable, and don't FORCE him to sit there if he is fighting you. We want to make sure you keep the toilet an enjoyable experience.


Shifting the timing of the toileting trips should increase her chances of actually "catching" her son in the act and having a success. With each success, her child will begin to make the mental/physical connection between the sensation of needing to go, the feeling of letting go, and the physical act of doing so on the potty.


Post by Suzanne Riffel, author of "The Potty Boot Camp: Basic Training for Toddlers" - a new, fast, easy toilet training method that produces remarkable results.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks I needed that too. I started training my son about 2 weeks ago. He's now 15 months, by the third day he would sit on the potty no more than 30 secs before he'd pee. I've yet to succesully get him to poo in the potty, however, I'm blessed to see signs when a poo is on the way. My issue is that he can't tell me that he has to go to the potty on his own yet, but this article reaffirmed my initial feelings that he'll eventually learn to tell me even if its months later. Thanks. I was beginning to wonder if i was doing anything wrong. I didn't want him to dread the potty from taking him every 15 mins. Thanks for the encouragement and I hope someone is too encouraged my the blessings of the Lord from my son's progress.

Anonymous said...

if you have to take a 15 month old to the potty every 15 minutes then clearly he is not ready to be trained.

Anonymous said...

Its not that you HAVE to take him every 15 minutes... its not that you HAVE to take them at all but teaching a 15 month old anything is going to take time and patience. Parents these days are lazy and the thought of HAVING to take them to the potty every 30 minutes or however often seems extremely inconveniant. My son is 15 and 1/2 months old and he only wears a diaper at night. It took about 3 month to potty train him and a lot of patience and "inconveniance" on my part but I am not a lazy parent so my son is 15 and 1/2 months old and potty trained. GO HIM!

Robyn said...

I think a lot of parents simply don't know that it's perfectly okay to start potty training at an early age, or infant pottying (a.k.a. Elimination Control), especially when the child is showing signs of readiness (proof that when our parents were being potty trained, their parents were being told by a doctor, who was hired and PAID by a disposable diapering company, to say that young toddlers were simply not ready to make the transition, and should wait until after 2 years to start - more $signs to the diapering companies). A lot of parents think that simply because our children can't communicate with WORDS that they're simply not ready, or because of HAVING to place them on the potty every 15 minutes means the same thing - WRONG. Although children this young still have trouble learning how to control and let go of their bladders they may also be more than capable of knowing that they may have to soon pee or poo - they just need practice. And as responsible parents, it's our DUTY, LOVE and PATIENCE that will help our children learn this important childhood milestone - even if that means placing him/her on the potty every fifteen minutes! :) Practice makes perfect - for both child and parent.

Anonymous said...

Glad I came across this. My daughter is 15 months old, and we started potty training 3 days ago. I am lucky enough to be a stay at home mom, so I have been letting her run around with no pants/diaper on. She has been doing a lot of "holding" (which I guess should be a good sign that she has some bladder control) I have been putting her on the potty chair every 20-30 minutes, she certainly doesn't go every time, but she is already doing it in the potty more then she is having accidents... I only decided to start trying this so "early" because she kept telling me by grabbing her diaper and saying "uh oh" every time(ish) before she would pee or poo and I felt like I would be doing HER a disservice by continuing to let her go in her diaper and not give her a chance to try learning how to use the potty when she clearly is aware that she is about to go.

Anonymous said...

we started about 2 weeks ago, at 15 months. I am working so we focus on morning and evening and weekend potty success. I have to say we pretty much had instant success, at first thought it was a fluke (have the boon bench potty at home) but soon realized he grasped the concept very quickly. He has about 15 stickers in his book already. he's even pooping in the potty. he says the word potty..but only if I say. Does he tell me he has to go? No. But at this point for us it's about consistency and timing. We put him on in the morning either when he gets up and we change his night diaper or about 15 minutes after his morning bottle. He stays on until he goes or for about 15 minutes. We do it about 15/20 minutes after a bottle or food and when we get home from Daycare or an outing and before a bath or after a bath, before his "overnight" diaper. he has his potty books - he likes the one that makes noise..LOL..HORRAY, OH OH, Elmo can use the potty, flush sounds etc.

We make a big deal of the pee pee and poo poo on the potty dance, he walks with me to dump it in the toilet and we dump it and flushes and we wave "bye bye pee pee".

I wash the potty container and he loves to carry it put it back in the bench.

When he poops in his diaper at home, we take it to the toilet and plop it in and do the same thing..

the other night I could tell he started pooping and whipped off the diaper and he had just started ..yikes..got him on in time and WOWZA! LOL..We are just thrilled it is becoming routine like a bottle or brushing his teeth or getting dressed. We know he will start to tell us he has to go when he is ready..

Each child is different and if down the road he has no interest for a bit, we aren't worried, just try to make it a positive fun experience for him.

Skyeezy said...

my 15 month old daughter is taking her nappy of all the time weather its got something in it or not. Does this mean that she is getting ready to be potty trained?? And should rewards be used when she has done a pee in the toilet????

Skyeezy said...

my 15 month old daughter is taking her nappy of all the time weather its got something in it or not. Does this mean that she is getting ready to be potty trained?? And should rewards be used when she has done a pee in the toilet????

Lindsay said...

I'm glad I ran across this. My 15 mo old has seemed interested in the potty so I'm going to give it a try. She isn't able to say potty or diaper but she can does sign pretty well...just an idea for those working on the communication aspect of this exciting task.

Anonymous said...

my 15 mo old, uses 74 words, can do 24 signs in ASL, and has been telling us "I pee" and "i boop" (poop) for over a month now. Within 1 hour of having the new potty, she peed in it. All kids are different, some 15 mo old are ready and some are not. Its not a competition. i have worked in day care for 10 years, so i know all children learn at there own pace.

Anonymous said...

Our son is almost 19 months old. I posted when we started potty training him at 15 months (boon potty bench. He is still in diapers but he pee's and poo's regulary (about 3 or 4 times a day) we put him on it as soon as he gets up in the morning and he usually pee's within seconds. He is just starting to tell us "potty" and lets us know he has to "poo" (he holds his knows and goes "whew"..LOL) He was running around without his diaper after peeing in the potty the other morning. he came running into the kitchen saying "push" or "poo" and took our hands and showed us he made "poo poo" in the potty on his own (proud parent moment). I am so glad we started at 15 months. He is done with stickers and flushing. His new reward is he gets to wear "Elmo" or Special big boy underwear for awhile instead of diapers. He's grooving on that right now.. Once again, our goal was to just make it routine and get him comfortable with it and if he went - great if not.. it was a step in the right direction. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Hi...Quite motivating...got 15months old son...he pees/poos and lets me know immediately, i am quiet worried to leave him diaper free always as we live in a carpeted apartment (dont want a smelly carpet...) any suggestions on how to handle this...

Anonymous said...

Hi, just started potty training my 15 mo old, we are on our second day and he was doing a bit better yesterday but he seems to really know what he's doing though, weather it's peeing or holding it.

A suggestion for people with carpet in their homes, would be training pants and over that, the plastic, waterproof ones. It has worked really good with us so far.

Anonymous said...

I got a 15 months old son read all these comments & they got me hopeful lol guna start first thing on tha morning!

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