Family Life

Finding The Best Potty Training Method For Your Child

Once your baby hits around 18 months onwards, it’s usually the time when he or she starts potty training. As a parent, especially moms, you need to do your part by learning a potty training method or two to jumpstart your baby’s independence when it comes to urinating and pooping.


As a first time mom, I look forward to my baby’s milestones. I am just glad to be given the chance to witness all of them. His first smile, his first attempt to crawl until he learned to do so, his first time to stand-up, first solid food intake, first time to sit down, first step, and so much more.


But of all the milestones he has gone through and will be going through, probably one of my proudest moments was when he finally learned to use the potty. But I’ll be honest, it was kind of sad as well. It was a mixture of joy and sadness. Joy because he can finally do such thing on his own, but at the same time sad because reality kicked in – my son is already learning to be independent. A lot of moms would probably relate to what I feel. It’s kind of a jealous moment.


Anyway, prior to the weeks we potty trained our son, I, in particular, search for a potty training method that will suit my son. Well, I did find a lot, and to be honest, I did try almost all of them, until we found the best way to do it.


Potty training, I must say, is not an easy task. It takes a lot of patience and dedication, especially among parents. You have to be very patient with your child. After all, he or she only relies on you.


With that said, as a parent and as a mom, I find it right to share my learnings with you. You know, sharing is caring, right? I find myself obliged to help fellow parents especially moms understand what potty training is all about, and what are the different kinds of potty training methods available out there.


Jumpstarting Potty Training


First thing first, before we tackle about potty training methods that you can use, let me first discuss with you some important things that you should take note before you start potty training your kid.


– Readiness


I mentioned a while ago that ideally when the baby hits 18 months, parents should start to train him or her on how to use the potty. However, as you know, every kid is different. Every child has his or her own timeline. Not because my baby learned how to use the potty at 18 months, your baby needs to learn at the same age as well.


In fact, according to some potty training experts, 20-30 months is the most ideal age to start potty training. It is what they call the “golden window” for potty training.


As a parent, you have to look into the readiness of your child first before introducing him or her new thing such as the potty. It is important that once you start potty training, you are already a hundred percent sure that your baby is ready for it. Otherwise, you are just wasting time and energy.


One of the best cues that your baby is ready for potty training is when he already knows how to walk, and he already understands. The latter is very important because one of the processes in potty training is to explain and make your baby understand why he or she needs to poop or pee on the potty and not on his or her diaper or nappy any more. Of course, it is not a one-day process. It takes sometime before the baby fully understands what he or she needs to do when he feels like pooping or peeing.


Apart from the child, you as a parent should also look into your own readiness to potty train your child. I mentioned earlier that it takes a lot of patience and dedication to potty train a child. It takes a lot of time and effort from your end. Thus, it is also important to ask and asses your readiness for this chapter in your kid’s life.


Yes, apart from physical and mental readiness, you also need to be ready emotionally. Like I said earlier it’s a bittersweet kind of moment. You feel good about your baby’s learning, but at the same time, you feel sad because it’s a realization that your baby is no longer a baby. That he or she can already do things on his or her own. And it tells you, it can be quite emotional – if you are not fully ready for it.


– Knowledge


The very reason why you are here is that you want to learn the best potty training method to teach your kids how to poo and pee on his or her own, right?


As a parent, especially if it’s your first time like me, it is important that we do our assignment. We do our part, which means we research the different potty training methods that we can use to teach our kid how to use a potty.


There are a lot of references online and offline that you can use. Knowing the different methodologies will help make potty training easier, I must say. Having the right knowledge will help both you and your kid prepare for the potty training.


– Gears


Of course, to be successful in potty training your child, you must have the right “gear” – the potty itself!


There are so many different types and kinds of potty in the market, but actually they all serve the same purpose. I suggest, when you go potty shopping, you bring your kid with you and make him or her choose the potty he or she wants.


In my case, it was effective. Initially, my son thought it’s one of his toys until I taught him the purpose of the “toy”.


Understanding Potty Training


Based on potty training experts, generally speaking, children are not physically and emotionally ready to use a potty when pooping or peeing until they reach the age of 18 months to three years old. There are some people though who opt to potty train their children at an early age, which is not a big deal anyway, for as long as the kid is ready. After all, the developmental milestones of a child differ from one kid to another.


Anecdotally, they say that it is more difficult to potty train little boys compared to little girls. I thought maybe because of how the position when peeing differs? Anyway, according to statistics though, boys usually train three months later than girls. However, there are potty training experts that spurn this notion and believe that boys can potty train just as sooner as their female counterparts. I guess it all boils down to the willingness to train (parents’ part) and to be trained (child’s part).


Just so you know, majority of parents in the United States of America and other first world countries begin potty training their children are two to three years old. While in second and third world countries, it is totally different according to most urologists and potty training experts. The reason behind it is the fact that in some of those countries, people do not have access to proper diapering and sanitation in the first place.


Moreover, most children living in either second or third world countries live in a completely different lifestyle, which includes spending a lot more time playing outdoors. Compared to those kids from first world countries, they are usually left at daycare all throughout the day.


That said, children from the Asian and sub-Saharan “African” countries potty train earlier compared to those from the US and most of Western Europe.


Now, so much with such information – let’s move on to what potty training is all about. Potty training, as you know, is the process of teaching your child (your baby!) how to poop and pee using a potty. Eventually, learning how to do such things using the toilet.


Potty training is one of the very first few steps of teaching your child independence, if I may say. On the side, potty training is also one way to cut costs on diapers as early as possible. I just had to say that because let’s admit it, parents spend a lot buying diapers!


Just like when breastfeeding, parents are the ones who can gauge when their baby is ready for another chance. After all, you of all people know your child the most. But while assessing, parents should already start looking for ways particularly the right potty training method for their child.


Potty Training Methods


Training your baby to use the potty can be quite a crazy thing in the beginning – expect to encounter some mishap and all that especially during the early period of potty training. But as the saying goes, “no pain, no gain”. I mean that not literally though.


So, to help you out as you prepare for your baby’s milestone, here are some of the most popular potty training methods that you can try using on your kid. Note that you do not necessarily have to try all, you can just pick and stick to one potty training method and if it fails, then that’s the only time you try other methods available.


Anyway, so much has been said. Let’s begin.


  1. Child-Oriented” or “Brazelton” Approach


This potty training method was introduced by Dr. T. Beryy Bazelton in 1962. I know, this has been used by many parents in the past, and many parents are still using it now. Anyway, Dr. Brazelton introduced the “child-oriented” method after he observed that there was an increase in toilet training failures like toilet refusal and severe constipation among children.


The doctor suspected that the reason behind it is that many parents were pushing their children to potty train even before the kids are ready. Thus, he recommended that parents must delay potty training until their kids show signs that they are ready for it.


With this potty training method, what you do is follow a series of steps while observing for the child’s readiness to potty train. Before you start with each step, you have to wait for your child’s interest.


Note that there is no schedule or timeline to follow in doing each step. It has to be the child to set the pace.


Below are the steps to do the “Child-Oriented” or “Brazelton” Approach potty training method:


  1. Your child meets the potty and sits on it with full clothes on. Normally, this happens around 18 months or so. If this step is successful, then you proceed to step number 2.
  2. Your child sits on the potty with his or her diapers and pants off. You then praise him or her for doing so.
  3. You put your child on the potty right after he or she soils his diaper. Make sure that the contents of the diaper are emptied into the potty. You then have to explain to your child that the poop and the pee must go into the potty.
  4. Encourage your child to use the potty independently. Make your child diaper-less for short periods of time to do so.


In case during this whole process, your child resists the potty, you should immediately stop potty training for one to two months. This simply implies that your child is not ready yet. A little delay will not hurt. After the rest period, start all over again.


This method is said to be more effective if started between the age of 18 months and 24 months. Note that the potty training duration using this method usually last until the child is about three years old.


The “Child-Oriented” or “Brazelton” Approach potty training method is endorsed by both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Canadian Paediatric Society.


Now, here are some pros and cons using this potty training method:


PROS: It does not put any pressure on the child and the parent as well. No big commitment is needed, and parents can train their children at their most convenient time.


CONS: It can take a really long time. In fact, research suggests that this type of potty training method could last up to six to eight months. With such a long timeframe, parents and the child can get bored or burned out.


  1. “Let Your Child Train Himself” Method


The name is the very essence of this potty training method. Obviously, you will have to wait until your child shows readiness to go and use the potty, which is usually a result of mimicking the people around him or her.


Since this method waits until the child is motivated to use the potty, potty training can be quite a breeze.


While for some parents, it is very ideal, the thing is, with most children this is just a daydream. In fact, it could be even more a challenge for parents to potty train later on if they wait until the child learns to use the potty but doesn’t.


Of all the potty training methods, this is the most challenging, if I may say – because you do not know if your kid will really learn to use the potty or not.


That said, here are some pros and cons using this potty training method:


PROS: There’s no pressure on both the child and the parents at all. You just wait until it happens naturally.


CONS: It could take a long time, and worse, you do not even know if it will happen at all. According to some studies though, they find this method effective among children with older siblings (ideally of the same gender) or role models to mimic.


  1. Two-Day (of Three-Day) Method


The two-day method was originally developed in the 1970s by Nathan Azrin and Richard Foxx, both a behavioral psychologist by profession. They were even more popularized in their best-selling book entitled, Toilet Training In Less Than A Day.


Originally, this was developed by Azrin and Foxx for children with mental disabilities. However, they, later on, found out that the method also worked well with all the other children.


As the years go by, more and more potty training experts and parents alike who updated this potty training method. While there are a number of variations of this method, the main idea remains the same – mom and dad have to clear their schedule and allot an entire weekend to commit to potty training.


In this method, diapers are ceremoniously thrown away – at least for the daytime. In the first few days, parents and guardians/and or babysitters watch the child. During this time, the child then goes naked and is loaded with fluids, and then he will be taken to the potty as often as possible. Ideally, though, the child must be placed immediately on the potty once he or she shows signs of pooping or peeing.


The idea of this potty training method is for the child to be able to connect the dots – from the sensation of peeing and pooping to identifying the urge to go feels, and eventually, beginning to do the thing on his or her own.


The length of time of the whole training depends on the age and the temperament of the child. Most of the time though, the full training could last for several days to two weeks.


Here are the pros and cons of this potty training method:


PROS: It allows your child to process everything, at the same time, it gives you the chance to bond – with all attention on him.


CONS: Ideally, it should only last for a couple of days, but again, it depends on the temperament of the child


Final Thoughts


Although there are a lot of potty training methods available for you to try on. The best potty training method for me is the one that does not put too much pressure on both the parent and the child. Because like I said earlier, at the end of the day, every child is different.