27 answers

Seeking Feedback Re: "Potty Training in One-Day"

I recently purchased a book on how to potty train your child in one day. I have also discovered that Dr. Phil believes and endorses this same theory, that a child can be potty trained in one day. Has anyone tried the method and if so, can you share your experience?

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I kept waiting for my son to be ready but by 3 and 3 months (and preschool 2 weeks away) I was done waiting for him. I got this book and the doll. It was an intense experience, but it worked! I did nothing but potty train that day. No cleaning, cooking, talking on the phone, errands, etc. We potty trained and played all day. By noon, we went through 20 undies and I was ready to give up. It was extremely hard not to show frustration. But, it was as if something clicked because after noon, he only had one accident. The following day he had 7 or so accidents and by day 4 he was accident free.

I did my best to follow the method exactly, but the doll part didn't work. My son became jealous and angry towards it so we put it away. So, don't worry if you don't follow it 100%. It can still work. It's a lot of work and frustration, but it feels great to be done with diapers.

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You have some great responses, so I will make mine quick. I also bought the book. I am not very consistant personally :) I took the many great tips out of the book and used them. It didn't take long, but I didn't try for a day because I didn't want to be disappointed. My girl is very determined and I think maybe we could easily do it. We used M&M's for rewards and they work great! Hope this helps. Good luck.

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I have never heard of this, but would love more information on it. I keep hearing that you will know when they are ready, but my son could care less. He will be 3 in May. I have also tried and got the same respond.

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You have some great responses, so I will make mine quick. I also bought the book. I am not very consistant personally :) I took the many great tips out of the book and used them. It didn't take long, but I didn't try for a day because I didn't want to be disappointed. My girl is very determined and I think maybe we could easily do it. We used M&M's for rewards and they work great! Hope this helps. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

I borrowed that book from the library a couple months ago, my son is now potty trained, need I say more? No seriously, my son was over 3 years old and I had tried many times unsuccessfully to potty train him. I was getting desperate and decided to read the book, after all what could it hurt. Although I did not follow the book's directions 100%, I took a lot of the ideas that I thought would really help my son. One Saturday my daughter was with her grandmother and I stayed home with my son to really concentrate on the potty training. Ever since then he has been in underwear except at night. That is not to say he hasn't had any accidents, that is normal, but we definitely took a huge giant step in to being potty trained that day!!! Good luck to you.

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I debated potty training in one day. Then I found this book "On Becoming Potty Wise for Toddlers" by Gary Ezzo. It gives three (maybe four) different options for potty training, including the potty training in one day. He suggests that you look at the 3 different methods and find which one is tailored for your family. If you potty train in one day, you have to be able to take the entire day to simply go back and forth from the potty to the juice box and the treat jar (or whatever you use for a reward). He also stresses that you should really take two days or even three and do that because some kids, especially boys, need a little more reinforcement than just one day. Also, you need one very key component for it to work: your child must respond obediently when you tell him to do something. If you are dealing with power struggles and authority issues then the one day method will not work. I ended up doing our potty training over a three month period (which was one of the options) only because we were in the midst of transition. Oh, the other important factor is that your child has learned to sit still for a few moments. If your child is not willing to sit, then the one day method won't work. Hope this helps!

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I used this book with my son when he was 2 1/2, after having it recommended to me by several people. It was an awesome book. It actually took about a week for him to be fully potty trained (he still wore pull-ups at night because he would typically sleep 10-11 hours).

In hind sight, I realize that I was the one that held up the progress. I did prompt him rather than letting him do it himself and it actually lengthened the process. Follow the book and you will do well.

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First let me warn you I took the day off on a long weekend and there were a lot of blood, sweat and tears and not all the tears belonged to my 3 year old daughter that weekend. I used the method that involved having your child train a doll (Emma and Paul dolls) and focus all the attention on the doll etc. in the morning and then have a "party" pumping your child full of liquids so they can practice and have a big surprise/prize at the end for a successful day. It was potty videos all day, very short games, working with the doll, potty training books etc. in the bathroom to read while waiting.

It wasn't 100% successful but what it taught us was that my daughter could control going when she wanted to (she went the first day when Dora sheets were the big prize), we had to let her know she was NOT going back to pull-ups during the day if there was an accident unlike the other times we had half hearted tried to potty train her, and we realized we had to keep constant motivation there other than stickers and M&Ms. One mom gave the best phrase you have to "find your child's currency". For our daughter we said she couldn't watch Dora or her shows until after she went to the bathroom. This gave her a big incentive to go and by a week she was going at home very consistently. For school we are finally breaking thru. She has to wear underwear and if she goes on herself she has to change herself. We have also offered for example an exciting big-girl outing to a museum if she goes at both school and home for a few days in a row and this week new underwear (in addition to M&Ms and lots of praise). So far we have a breakthru at school now. I know people say children will go when they are ready but for my daughter I have to say if we hadn't pushed her and found the right combination of incentive and making it darned inconvenient to her life if she didn't use the potty, she would still be in diapers now.

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Please do not believe what that books says. I had twins and tried but I have learned, as many told me, when your little one is ready he/she will go. Try not to push to hard or they might go the opposite way that you would like. Also, I found that letting my twins pick out thier own underware made them more excited to want to ware them. Hope this was helpful.
T.
The MOM Team, Helping Moms Stay Home
www.cheerforyourfuture.com

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I tried that method with my son when he was 3 years old. However, he was not ready. I really knew he wasn't, but I convinced myself he would be. After a failed day, I decided to just relax and wait for him to express interest. I am happy to say that at 3 1/2, he was potty trained, and it was only 3 weeks between the very first time he went on the potty and the day we had no diapers in the house. He never used pull-ups. Don't feel pressured. Few boys are trained before 3. I have so many friends who jumped at the first opportunity to train, and they dealt with pull-ups and potty training for 9 months. No thank you! My daughter is interested at 22 months, but I am waiting for her to be very ready before we really start. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I kept waiting for my son to be ready but by 3 and 3 months (and preschool 2 weeks away) I was done waiting for him. I got this book and the doll. It was an intense experience, but it worked! I did nothing but potty train that day. No cleaning, cooking, talking on the phone, errands, etc. We potty trained and played all day. By noon, we went through 20 undies and I was ready to give up. It was extremely hard not to show frustration. But, it was as if something clicked because after noon, he only had one accident. The following day he had 7 or so accidents and by day 4 he was accident free.

I did my best to follow the method exactly, but the doll part didn't work. My son became jealous and angry towards it so we put it away. So, don't worry if you don't follow it 100%. It can still work. It's a lot of work and frustration, but it feels great to be done with diapers.

1 mom found this helpful

I never actually read it, but when I was an au pair (many moons ago) my host mother had read it - she had used it on her daughter, and then we used it on the son who was around 3. He wasn't quite as ready as he probably should have been, but it still mostly worked.

I now have 3 kids - all boys. We used the principals (can't say I did it as it says in the books, since I never read it!) to train both my now 9yo and my 4yo a little ahead of their third birthdays. We'll be doing it again in the next 6 months (next one turns 3 in September, but he's already getting pretty interested - will definitely be aiming for those summer months).

The basic concept of spending a day pumping in liquids and getting many, many, many successes (along with some failures) is exactly what the kids need to learn the feelings as well what the success is. Kids can't learn anything without practice, and unfortunately, the regular everyday production of number 1s and 2s is just not frequent enough!

The boys really enjoyed camping out in the bathroom and having such a positive, successful process. They both went straight from diapers to big boy undies - I think we did pull-ups overnight for a night or two, but nothing more than that. (I still have the majority of the bag we bought when we trained the first!)

And a warning on stupid comments that will come from other people... my father-in-law did tell me I was going to push the kids into kidney failure based on their fluid intake...

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I have two children, and I used this method with both of them. And it WORKED with both of them!!!

I will warn you...it is NOT fun. The entire day is focused on one, rather boring, subject. With each of my children, it was the longest, most monotonous day of my life thus far, but it is WELL worth it.

I can count on one hand the number of accidents each of my kids had after the initial training day. In my opinion, it is worth one really boring day not to have to clean up urine soaked clothes and furniture.

Oh...one piece of advice...if you have anyone who can babysit your infant that day, ask them to. You will need to focus all of your attention on your older child.

Good luck!!!

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter turned 2 last June and we started traingin her then. She is not completley trained yet. She knows what to do on the potty and all and if I take her she usually goes but she won't tell me she needs to go. She will be wet and/or dirty and never tell me. Today I started just letting her wear panties as long as we ar ehome. I am going to keep panties on her unless it is naptime/bedtime or we are not home and I am going to see if that works. I have been through abotu 5 pairs of underwear today though and it has beena bout six hours. What is the one dya training method? I don't know

J.

Hi S.,

My son was potty trained in one day. I have not heard of the book you wrote about and only minimally know of Dr. Phil's potty training beliefs but I will tell you my story.

My son was just almost 2 1/2. Literally the day before he was trained I asked him if he wanted to go on the potty and he said no. Up until the day he was trained he NEVER sat on the potty. It was summer and the pool had just opened. Due to not fully drying in between swimmies and diapers, he developed a rash. He cried when his diaper was on, he cried when he was in the bath tub, he cried any time anything touched his "peep". So I told him he could run around with no diaper but he HAD to tell me when he needed to go potty. The next day he was in big boy underwear. NO PULL UPS! They are no more than glorified diapers. After 2 weeks he was trained at night also.

The key is - he was never pressured or made to sit on the potty. He did it on his own when he was ready. Like I said, even the day before he was trained he told me he didn't want to go on the potty.

Now, if only I can be as lucky when my youngest needs to be trained!

Good luck!

My mom used it on me and it worked. She tried it on my younger brother and it didn't, at least not right away. He was more stubborn and saw no reason to change. :) However, he got it eventually and now we are both capable adults.

Hi S.,

There is no way that a child can be trained in one day. Is it a girl or boy? What does your pediatrician say? The nurse in his office? Just a reminder, look for ways to be creative in this training process. Try to have a positive attitude towards this milestone that your is going through. Good luck. D.

S. - I potty trained my 18-month old son in 1 week. I was trying to get him in an 'exclusive' all-day nursery school program. They didn't accept children under 2 years old, but they were willing to make an exception if he was potty trained. I took off an entire week from work and devoted myself almost exclusively to this effort. I kept his diaper off the entire time he was awake and literally followed him around with a potty. Whenever he looked like he was about to do something, I'd say "potty" and I'd sit him on the pot. We'd sing or clap hands or I'd read to him while we waited and every time he put something in there, we'd do the 'happy dance'. By the end of the week, he was 90% successful in either telling me "potty" or just going over to sit on the potty. Much success to you.

I have the book and I used the method on two of my children. I have friends that have also used the book. We have mixed results. I think the method is wonderful for teaching the child "how" to pee in the potty and can be wonderful for getting the child excited to accomplish that feat. My first child was late in speech development and after I trained her a light went on. She was much more communicative. She still had some accidents though, but they tapered off. With my second child the results were more immediate. Of course he also had some accidents but they were much fewer and he was totally done with diapers the day I trained him. I put pull ups on my 1st child for a few weeks after training. I still put pullups on the children at night.

The biggest problem I've found (not with my kids but my friends kids) is with pooping in the potty. The book seemed to say that pooping just followed with urinating.

I also thought I could try PT in one day but it only works if your child is ready. We tried many times. My daughter didn't decide she was ready until she was 3 yrs and a few months old. And the way it worked for us was when we were home there were no diapers or underpants - I put her in a dress and then she just said "mom I have to go potty". We used a "potty box" where when she would go she could reach in to her box and pick on thing. That was a big deal to her. All the time I spent stressing because "I" thought she should be ready - but it is when she is. Don't rush, pressure or discipline. She'll do it eventually and it makes your life much easier too when you don't have to worry about it!

P.S. My daughter watch the Elmo Potty a lot and loved it. It's great at teaching the kids to listen to their bodies!! I'd highly recommend it.

Hi S., was the book refering to the FOXX method?....I'm not sure about training in 1 day but in 2...that works.Good luck...S., mom to Libby,9 ds, Kyle & Abby 7

I used that book with my three and a half year old- he had no interest whatsoever any earlier than that, but it took like four hours with the book and he has had two accidents in the last two years since then, that's it... much easier than cleaning up mess after mess. One thing I learned quick as well, do not use pull-ups.. it just provides them with an excuse not to make it to the toilet.

Personally, I would use the one day method only after you've tried everything else. This method usually involves filling your child up with liquid to the point where they cannot hold it any more, and spending most of the day in the bathroom. In my opinion, I would rather have the child learn the cues of when they need to go potty, instead of the overwhelming last minute urge.

I too have a stubborn child. I picked a time when I knew we would be home for several days, and then we went completely into underwear. He wet his pants several times, we put underwear back on, and after a few days he had it down in no time. I also made a treasure chest with treats and toys in it, and he could pick one out whenever he went potty. Some kids get overwhelmed if you celebrate too much, so I just gave him a hug and told him "Good job, lets get some treasure!"

HI S.,
I have not heard of this book before but it sounds ridiculous! My experience is that the issue is not "potty training" but actually in talking the kid into going to the potty after they know how. Since you mention "stubbornness" you may be in the same boat I was in. My daughter has always been very smart and she figured out how to be "potty trained" sometime when she was two. However, she was 3 1/2 before she actually decided she was going to use the toilet instead of her diaper. It was all a power play for her. I spent a lot of time and energy begging, etc but it just showed her even more how much power she had. Finally I just acted like I didn't care and just continued to change her diaper. She wasn't getting a rise out of me anymore so that helped the situation. The kicker was when the other kids at preschool started calling her a baby and she didn't like it. The teachers and I told her, "Well, you know what you have to do." It didn't take long for her to start doing the right thing all the time. I hate for other kids to call my kid names, but in this case the peer pressure worked! By the way, she is now 9 years old and probably doesn't even remember this. Bottom line is, don't waste a lot of your energy, eventually he will make the decision himself and that's when it will happen. Good luck! --A.

When my grand-daughter was about 2yrs. I found a video, called "It's my Potty". There was one for little boys and little girls. This video had a part for parents and then the video for the child. It is an animated film that shows the child where to go, and what they are suppose to do. It also has alot of songs on it to sing to them and they would sing along. It has been about 13 yrs since I had the film. I found it at Toys R Us then. I'm not sure if it is still around, but if you can find it, the video is worth it.
Oh I did find a video a few yrs ago on Amazon, for my new grand kids.
Hope this helps.

i tried it but every child is different and it's not the method that works it is the dedication of the person doing the training. Let me warn you it is time consuming and you have to be on top it.

I have never heard of this theory but if you get advice on it and/or find it to work please be sure to let me in on it because my son is 2 years old today and im having a hard time with getting him to cooperate and im tired of buying diapers.

I tried that same thing with my 7 year old when she was 2 and 1/2 and it did not work!!!! To say the least, if your child is not ready to be potty trained completely, you will just be waisting your time and his. Each child is different, it does not have anything to do with how "smart" your child is, it has to do with physically being able to hold their urine and being emotionally "ready" to potty train. Best wishes. S. A.

I have never heard of this, but would love more information on it. I keep hearing that you will know when they are ready, but my son could care less. He will be 3 in May. I have also tried and got the same respond.

My girlfriend tried this with her five children, and she had high expectations about it. She was angry when it wasn't ONE day.

I think it's a cruel way to force kids to do something they may not be ready to do. It becomes an "I want to please Mommy" thing instead of a learned "I have to pee" behavior.

With my then-3-yo son, I just waited until he started saying he was interested in hitting the toilet, but that was pretty sporadic. (It helped that I wanted to transfer him to a school that required potty-training for 3-yo.) When I got more serious about training him, I'd have him "go try" first thing in the morning, then once before we left for daycare/work, then once when we arrived. Then he was their problem. :-) I'd have him go when I picked him up, when we arrived home, after dinner, before bed. He was still in overnight diapers, but those quickly grew old for him. He was ready for big-boy underwear. It helped that I bought Spiderman and Thomas--he was excited to get into those! Anticipation helped, I think.

It took about a week for him to learn the urge that way. He still had a couple of accidents, but only a couple.

My daughter is now 2, and she's not interested in the toilet AT ALL. We don't have such a set schedule, though, so it's more brainwork for me to remember to have her try before/after we go/arrive anywhere. I'm just going to wait on her lead and get her when she's ready.

Good luck!

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