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Potty Train Your Child in Just One Day: Proven Secrets of the Potty Pro [toilet training] Paperback
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover," illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Learn more
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"Desperate parents will want this book..." -- Library Journal, May 15, 2006 --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Some notes on the process:
It was expensive. I didn't have as much time as she suggests, so that could have been my fault, in part. I planned the whole potty party in 48 hours because I only had one day I could plan for, and I didn't want to miss the window of opportunity for my child. I'm glad I didn't wait, but I would recommend some time and financial planning, or at least more discriminate shopping to prepare if finances are a worry.
I felt a bit like I was teaching my daughter to conform to peer pressure, because a great majority of the learning process is that they are teaching their baby and then turning to the child and offering them a reward if they promise to be like the dolly and use the potty "someday."
It's exhausting, lol. If you are an espresso person make sure to have a quad that day... or take some pre-workout if that's you, haha. It takes a lot of crazy energy to make this process work. I love her description of the level of energy that is optimal.
For anyone wondering if this works for younger children to, yes it does. My daughter is 20 months, but was showing every single one of the readiness signs in the book and was also refusing to wear diapers. I hesitated before starting because the author recommends 2.5 - 3 years old for the potty training process, but it still worked just fine.
I am so grateful I took a chance on this book and will be putting it in every gift bag to new parents in my life from now on. This made potty training simple, quick and fairly painless.
I implemented the plan from the book about 1 month ago. At that point my son was 3 years, 2 months old and had little to no interest in using the potty. I read the book cover to cover about a month in advance, and went back and re-read sections as the Big Day approached. I decided to do the Super Hero party; I mostly followed the instructions for what to buy and it set me back between $200-$300. I wrote a lot of notes out in advance. Like what the timeline of the day needed to be, appropriate phrases to use or not use, etc. My son takes a long afternoon nap so I knew time would be tight!
I used a potty monkey instead of a doll. I think a doll might have worked better. He was a little disinterested in the monkey at first and annoyed that it was the reason he was spending so much time in the bathroom and not playing. But once I started making the monkey pee and poo when he wasn't looking he thought the monkey was pretty fascinating.
The theme idea was great. It provided a focal point for the day and helped me come up with new ways to hold his interest. We did a lot of super hero rescue missions, put together a locker of things a super hero would need, etc. He wasn't too interested in the potty DVDs I bought him; he preferred to stay active. I also bought a Melissa & Doug fishing set. This was probably my best purchase! He could sit on the potty for several minutes "fishing" and I didn't have to fight him to stay put. It also distracted him and helped him relax. A variety of different potty books also helps.
After his nap I had him unwrap his underwear and he wore it. He had lots of accidents. I would put him on the potty and he wouldn't do anything and then 5 minutes later he would pee his pants. I was very frustrated and concerned. And then after about 1.5 hours it just seemed to click. We ended up going to Chuck E Cheese for his "party" and he didn't have a single accident there. I took him to the public bathroom and he peed there 3 times with no issues whatsoever. I didn't give him a whole bunch of presents, it just really wasn't necessary between all the little treats all day long and then going to Chuck E Cheese.
The next morning felt like I was back at square one. I had a timer to take him about every 20 minutes to try, but he still had lots of pee accidents. I felt like his bladder timing was all over the place. Then by mid day things began to improve, and he has had only a handful of pee accidents since then. On day 2 or 3 he finally had his first bowel movement in several days (I think he had been holding it) and I had a big fire truck toy that he got to unwrap. So that was really a big deal for him and emphasized his accomplishment.
After 1 month, he is still in pull-ups at nap time and bed time. He may have had one bowel movement accident in the past week, and sometimes he waits too long to pee and his underwear is damp. But otherwise he has done excellent with telling me he needs to go potty. He loves being a big boy and telling me he's not a baby who wears diapers anymore.
I highly recommend this book but go into it with an open mind. All kids are different and you know your child best.
An easy-to-follow hour-by-hour schedule.
A detailed script of what to say during each part of the day.
(The Doll) I purchased the Corolle Paul doll (used) on Ebay. I used cut up prunes for "poop" and yellow-dyed water for pee. I cut up a pair of my son's new dino undies and used band-aids to hold them in place. They looked awful but my son didn't notice ;-) Unfortunately the doll didn't work like it was supposed to so I had to improvise. The bottle didn't fit in its mouth so I was unable to get the liquid into it's belly. I ended up stabbing a hole in it's back and squeezing the yellow-colored water into it. Then I discovered that when the baby was upright all of the liquid just came spilling out of it's penis. I ended up cutting up q-tips and shoving them in the hole and taking them out as we ran to the potty so my son didn't see the horror of the
q-tip in the doll's penis. Lesson? TEST YOUR DOLL BEFORE THE PARTY!!!!
(Party decor) The night before the party I decorated the kitchen and den with dinosaur-themed decorations with party hats, balloons, tablecloth, fun healthy snacks, etc. I put a variety of potty training books on a cabinet within his reach. I had the Elmo potty video and Daniel Tiger potty episode queued up on our Amazon Fire Stick. I made a celebration cake and his favorite breakfast muffins the night before so I wouldn't need to cook. (This is one thing I would have done differently - prepared lunch and dinner the day before.) I prepared a "treat tray" with all kinds of unhealthy treats (gummies, small cookies, m&ms) and kept it out of sight on top of the fridge. I had several different types of drinks available lemonade, chocolate milk, water, juice boxes) I put up a potty training reward chart on the bathroom low enough for him to reach. I had a variety of fun stickers from the dollar store in the bathroom for his chart. I had the doll wrapped as a gift in the bathroom. I prayed for strength and patience!
When my son woke up I changed his diaper and told him I had a surprise for his in the bathroom. He opened the gift, was excited, and named the doll "Jambo". I have no idea where this came from but it made me laugh all day! We hurried downstairs and began our party. While he ate muffins with the doll I told him we were going to teach the doll how to use the potty today. We read books to the baby, watched videos and every 20 min we would race to the potty with the doll to give him a chance to use the potty chair. My son was a little resistant at first because he could tell this day was going to be all about the potty BUT when he saw that it was the doll and not him who had to go he thought it was a fun game and got really into it. Each time the doll would successfully use the potty I would make a HUGE deal, act like a crazy person, ask my son to choose a sticker for the doll's reward chart, run to the treat tray, etc. At the end of the day I had almost lost my voice from screaming but again it was worth the effort.
Around 11 I put the doll down for a nap in my youngest's crib. I had another gift for my son to open. It was a Duplo set of blocks. I let him play alone for an hour so I could rest and make lunch.
I got baby Jambo up (my son had really missed him!) and we all ate lunch together. I presented my son with another gift that was his matching underwear and then followed her directions for taking my son to the potty EVERY 15 min until dinnertime. Drink, drink, drink! I offered my son a drink every 5-10 min. I used a notebook to chart each potty visit, time and what happened. That mentally helped my see the progress. He had three accidents and 5 successful tee-tees. Each time he used the potty he got a sticker for his chart and a treat from the tray. It was constant reinforcement. We played games and toys, play-doh, art, etc. in between trips. SO MANY potty trips! Around 5 pm his brother and dad came home and dad made a huge deal of his potty successes. We ate dinner, and then had the celebration cake and let him blow out the candle. Then we had him throw his diapers in the trash and reinforced that he was a big boy now. He thought it was his birthday the entire day which was cute.
I had two different potties, one for the doll and one for him. I also had a potty seat so he could use the big potty if he chose to. After a couple of successful tee-tees in the little potty he wanted to get on the big potty. My son is very tall and he was having trouble keeping the pee in the little potty. The big one worked better for us (with a small step stool)
WHERE I WENT OFF SCRIPT
I decided not to put him in a pull-up like she recommends and just put him in big kid undies for bed. I figured that if he did pee it wouldn't be a big deal because he had a waterproof mattress protector on the bed. HOWEVER- I did not plan for him to wake up with a huge poop and that was the biggest mess trying to clean up. FAIL. After that I've had him in pull-ups each night. I call them "Big kid bedtime undies"
Also, she recommends not letting them look at anything not potty-related (books, videos) but he quickly became bored with that so I allowed him to use an old iphone with just games on it (no internet access). He could only use it when he was in the potty. It worked like gangbusters. He now associates the potty with fun, stickers, games, treats and the phone.
THE REST OF THE WEEKEND
I set a timer on the microwave for 15 min. Each time it went off he learned to run to the potty. 15 min on, 15 min off all day Saturday and Sunday with only breaks in the afternoon to go to the pool with his dad.
He woke up with a little pee in his pull up. We went straight to the bathroom and he peed immediately! After we came downstairs (about 10 min later) he had a pained look on his face and said, "Momma I need to use the potty!" So we ran to the potty and I helped him get up fast and he went again. It was like it clicked! He recognized the sensation and knew to go to the potty.
It's a TON of work, I was completely exhausted but he has made amazing progress in the past 3 days. Is he fully potty trained yet? Nope. Is he definitely on his way? I believe so. My advice is to prepare, prepare, prepare. It's expensive but it worked for us so I's say it's a good investment.