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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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

PottyTraining an 18 Month Old - When You Hit a Bump in the Road....


First of all, thanks for writing and publishing this book. I know its been great for a lot of people. Three weeks of hard work, and we are tempted to give up.

Our daughter is 18 months old and was showing signs that she was ready. She would even urinate when we put her on the potty. I believe we followed the method very closely. We thought she was doing well, but she never really self-initiated until the second or third day.

Three weeks later she is still having several accidents a day and is very reluctant to poop in the potty. She has let us know she needs to go a hand full of times which we celebrate exuberantly. But usually, we end up seeing the warning signs and asking her if she will go to the potty. To this she often replies, "NO" shaking her head. I know it is impossible for you to diagnose what when wrong without seeing all we did. But after reading your book and how confident you were that this would work and that it works for everybody else, we really feel like we failed our daughter. We put her (and ourselves) through a lot of stress and have very little to show for it except several stains on the carpet. Sorry to be a downer, but I needed to vent. Are we the only ones that go through this?


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.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Can Witholding Pee Cause Physical Problems?

Below is a link to a great article from the Harvard Medical School Health Publications about withholding urine. 

A summary of key points in the article:

1.  NO, your bladder cannot "burst" if you hold your pee too long.  (Well, there are some strange and uncommon reasons it COULD...but they are rare.)

2.  YES, it is slightly possible that CHRONIC withholding may cause more frequent urinary tract infections. (UTIs.) 

Below is the link to the full text of the article.  It's a good read!

Can Your Bladder Really Burst?

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.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Toddler is Scared to Pee


I have a 22 month old son and we started the Potty Training Boot Camp system on Saturday morning. He did fine, having 3 accidents and 2 successes, but he did not self-initiate. This morning I got up prepared to repeat day 1 until nap. However, today was different. He had 3 accidents this morning and cried when he had each accident and when he got on the potty. He had 1 success and cried during that as well. He stayed dry during nap and then woke up and peed on the potty. He did not go again for the rest of the afternoon/evening. We stayed on the regiment, 20 minutes off with 5 minutes on, and he was very agreeable, he just would not pee. He had plenty to drink, self-initiated 5 times, but every time he got on the potty he cried and wouldn't pee. I put him in the tub to see if that would help and he cried and told me he had to go potty. I took him to the potty and he cried.
The long and short of it is that I think he is scared to pee. Looking back on the last 2 days I realize that when he started to have an accident I would sweep him up and put him on the potty to finish. I think that this has conveyed to him that peeing is not good, so he thinks he needs to hold it.

Any ideas on how I can undo the fear that I have created and continue on in the training process? Or is this something that will go away on its own?


Thanks for writing. It does indeed sound like your son has developed a fear of using the potty. Do you think he had any negative experiences, such as a painful urine stream? Or do you think it is simply from the "rushing to the potty" episodes?

Here are a couple of ideas that you could consider:

1) Take him to the store and let him pick out a brand new "not scary" potty. Putting the decision in his hands might empower him.

2) Do the "hug" technique - sounds strange - but tell him you will wrap your arms around him and give him big hugs while he's on the potty. (You can also let him hold a favorite stuffed animal.)

3) Move his potty to a special, cozy, "safe" place (they give kids reassurance.) Ask HIM where he would be most comfortable using the potty. (Even if it's a corner of the closet!) Call it his "special potty place".

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.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Child Will Use the Potty Without Accidents - But Will Only Go When Told


We purchased your book back in May of 2009. At that time our son was 2 years 10 months. He was showing some signs of readiness, so we decided to go ahead and give it a shot since we were hoping to have him start preschool in August. We followed your method and it seemed to work for a little while, but then we found that he wasn't really potty trained, but schedule trained. August came and we decided to give preschool a shot since we knew they would take him potty and he seemed eager to try school. He has done great at school and has not had an accident thus far in 4 months at school. I credit this to their schedule though. They take them once an hour over the course of the day.

The reason I am writing is that we have been attempting to potty train our son now for 7 months and he continues to be schedule trained. He will not tell us he has to go to the bathroom, but if he take him throughout the day or when we see cues (pee pee dance) he never has an accident. Having an accident does not seem to bother him, and he is now 3 and a half. We are not sure what to do. I feel like our options at this point are to keep doing what we are doing hoping at some point he initiates, go back to diapers until he initiates (this means taking him out of school) or start using punishments.

We desperately need advice and would appreciate any feedback you could give us based on our situation.


First of all, congratulations on having a child that rarely has accidents! It sounds like you are 98% of the way there and now we just need to give him that little extra push to get to the end.

My recommendation at this point is to actually stop taking him on a schedule. This will likely mean accidents for a few days but he sounds bright and it sounds like he understands all of the concepts... and so he should catch on quickly. You can start by continuing to take them on a schedule, however take him less frequently so that he has more chance to self-initiate. If you are taking him every hour, start by taking him every two hours. I would recommend considering re-instituting some sort of reward system so that he can get positive feedback when he does self initiate. Sit down with him and have a conversation. Let him know that he will now be expected to tell you when he needs to use the potty. Do, however let him know that he will be rewarded for doing so. Also let him know that if he goes pee in his pants and he will be fully responsible for cleaning himself up.

You might want to try this over a weekend when you don't mind if you have a few puddles in your house! I bet he will catch on quickly when given the opportunity. It sounds a little bit like he has just settled into a routine in which he waits for others to remind him when to go. I bet he will catch on quickly once that responsibility is thrown back into his lap.

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.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Child Witholding Pee While Potty Training


We purchased your book, and love your approach, and are on Day 3, with some success! Actually only one accident, and some self-initiation, which we're so proud of.

Here are the details, and my questions!

1. Our daughter is 2 1/2, and showed all signs of potty-readiness... language, interested, ability to distinguish wet and dry, and ask to be changed immediately after peeing/pooping, etc...

2. We tried training back in Oct, but our 4 days of trying, with no real strategy were fraught with stress, and crying, and withholding of pee... so we decided to try again another time.

Well, since my husband had a 4 day weekend over New Years, and I needed some help, we decided to try again, after purchasing your book.

We're encountering some "withholding" of pee-pee, and poop, for that matter - AGAIN! Our daughter will hold it for as long as she possibly can, until she's visibly uncomfortable, and then we can read her signals, and get her to the potty. Or sometimes, she'll ask to go potty. At which point she'll pee or poop. She's very proud of herself, and loves the rewards. But I can't help but worry that she's causing herself, (and me) more stress, and even physical harm by doing this. She's only peeing about 2-3 times per day, and I know if I drank as much as she did, I'd be in the bathroom more than twice as often!
Should I be worried? Is there anything I can do to avoid this, or get her over this hump? Any advice would be great!
It actually sounds like your daughter is doing great so far. I wouldn't worry too much about the withholding at this point. She is still going 2-3 times per day, which is not perfectly ideal but still acceptable. I would only worry if she starts to "leak" into her panties but not go to the toilet afterwards. That would tell us that she is somehow miraculously holding it beyond her muscle capability. Most kids/people in general cannot physically hold urine long enough, consistently enough, to cause themselves a problem.
I think she will settle into a more normal pattern once she becomes more comfortable with her new skills. Poop is another issue. As long as she is going at least once every 48 hours you have no reason to worry...but if it drags into 3 or 4 days it can turn into a serious condition called encopresis. You would want to consult a pediatrician at that point.
So, overall... no worries! She is doing terrific and is right on track.
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.