Potty Training in Less than a Day?

The last 5 years have been great as far as changing diapers, spending money on diapers and cleaning up dirty diapers! That is due to my youngest child finally moving to regular underwear! Back then, one of the most popular potty training books my friends and I used was Toilet Training In Less Than A Day by Nathan Azrin.

Many of my friends have had great success with this book.

I also picked up a few other ideas along the way.

Can you really potty train in a day - Kids Activities Blog

Potty Train in One Day

Below are my favorite tips for potty training a toddler.

Potty training should start when your child is truly ready in all three areas: physical, mental and social. Your child must have the physical ability to perform the steps involved. They should understand how the body works and know the clues. Also, they should have the desire to learn.

Once you have a potty chair, and you are sure your child understands moving from diapers into underwear, ask them to bring you their favorite “lovey” or stuffed animal. Have them teach their “baby” first. This assures that they understand the process and are ready to move forward. If they have a hard time with this, you may want to put it off, but if they are willing to try, go ahead with the thought of introducing it to them.

The basics of the one day training was to set aside one full day that you can teach your child without interruptions. I explained that they were showing signs of being ready and were old enough to move into regular (big girl/boy) underwear. I gave my daughter some lightly salted popcorn and her first coke and explained that these would help us with our potty training for ONE day! Some smart kids may decide to prolong it for a few more days just to get these treats! I had her sit on the potty for 10 minutes and kept her entertained with books, cards, coloring etc. After 10 minutes she could eat some popcorn,drink her soda and play for about 10 minutes. We kept her out of diapers, pull-ups or underwear during this time, yes that means bottom half is out in the open. Then we started over again, sit on the potty for 10 minutes and then we increased the time off the potty about 5 to 10 minutes each time. So you would start off with 10 minutes on, 10 minutes off, 10 minutes on, 15 minutes off, 10 minutes on, 20 minutes off, etc. Continuing to fill them up with her snack which would make them thirsty, the more they drank the more opportunities you gave them to practice. You can use any snack or drink, but these were my preference for this special day!

Once you have introduced potty training, buy several pairs of underwear with your child’s favorite character. Wrap them up in some fun paper or present them in a special way. Let your child know that they have had some success potty training and they are now ready for underwear with their favorite character on them. Then after they model them and put them on and you clap and make a big deal about it, inform them that Cinderella (replace with favorite character name) doesn’t like to get wet or dirty. So, as soon as you need to go to the bathroom, don’t forget, run quickly to keep them dry and clean. A few of my friends tried this when they knew their kids were ready, understood and were still too busy playing to take care of business. If they do have an accident, you could try this note (or email)…

Dear (child’s name),

I am so proud of you for learning how to use the potty! I am also glad you got some underwear with my picture on it. Try to remember to tell your parents as soon as you feel the urge and then go to the restroom. Please remember that I don’t like to get wet or dirty and I love it when I stay dry!

We all have accidents sometimes and if you do, please tell your parents right away! They won’t be mad and then they can wash them quickly, clean me up and you can wear them again.

I am proud of you!

(sign characters name)

Remember each child develops differently. An age range could be anywhere from 18 months to 3 years. By 4, most kids are completely independent.

If you start and realize your child is not ready, try again in a few months.

You can’t make your child complete potty training until they are ready. You can start the training but they decide when it ends. This is not a battle and if it starts to head in that direction, put it off.

Toilet training usually cannot be accomplished in one day. You can accomplish a lot and get the basics down but expect accidents to happen and be prepared in case they do.

Have an extra set of clothing, a plastic bag to put wet clothes in and some wet wipes available nearby when you are out. Do not yell, punish or criticize when they have an accident.

Use positive reinforcement. Point out how proud you are when they make it to the bathroom.

Bedwetting is normal. For both kids the nighttime took much longer. We used night pull ups at bedtime and would try a few nights in a row every couple of months.

Nighttime dryness is achieved only when a child’s body is developed. You can’t teach  this because it is not a skill. I know many boys that continued to wear night pull ups until the age of 7 and 8. I asked our pediatrician about this and they recommended to bring it up to the doctor to rule out any problems but that some kids may not develop this ability until later.

We recommend this book, Potty Train in a Weekend, if your child is truly ready to give it a go:

potty train in a weekend

Please let us know if you have used any of these tips, have a book recommendation or other ideas to pass along!

Cammie Moise is the founder and editor of Moms Material.   She is a Texan mom who writes about all the fun and educational things she has come across in her 10 years of mommyhood.

10 Comments

  1. Leigh Ann says:

    Hi, this a great article that should hopefully give a lot of moms stressed about potty training, including me, a big sigh of relief. Great tips and great truths. The author, Cammie Moise, has tons of other great articles like this on her website. MomsMaterial.com, which I subscribe to and enjoy. 🙂

  2. I am so glad to see you featured Cammie’s article so your readers can enjoy what many of us already have. She writes about problems parents have but her articles give suggestions on fun ways of coping with those difficult times. She makes working with your kids fun and creats many of those “family memories” we all want. I have also found her reviews on books and articles very helpful. The Map by Jennifer Harvey “Help Me Make Peace With My Wrinkles” so good I sent it to all my friends. I also just sent a kids book review about a Babe Ruth baseball card mystery to a friend and her response was …I am walking out the door to go get it!!! Thanks for sharing Cammie with your readers. Now they know you….and your readers will know Cammie. Good for all!!

  3. Thanks for featuring Moms Material. Cammie has great articles that I think your readers would enjoy!

  4. Catherine says:

    I’m a MomsMaterial.com subscriber – so glad to see it featured here! Your audience would love her website. I always find her articles informative as well as entertaining.

  5. Great article! That’s such a frustrating stage in parenting, realizing that you don’t have ANY control over your child’s decision to use the potty or not. Thanks for featuring Cammie, who has such great articles on her Momsmaterial site.

  6. I love all the tips and helpful articles on Cammie’s Mom’s Material Website and this one has great advice as usual! Through my subscription, I have found Cammie’s articles to be relevant and inspiring for many of the mommy events and childhood phases we all encounter.

  7. Another helpful article! I have been a subscriber to MomsMaterial.com from the beginning. Cammie’s articles are always entertaining, relevant and informing. Your readers would love her website!

  8. Victoriah says:

    Please be careful with the “One Day” method, especially the book that was mentioned. When you tell your child, as the book suggests, that the people they love don’t like wet pants, it translates differently to their logic because they are children. “Tinkerbell doesn’t like wet pants,” becomes in their mind, “If I have wet pants, Tinkerbell doesn’t like me.”

    The positive reinforcement seems rather traumatic. Every child WILL have accidents. Spending the next hour having them run 10 times from the place of the accident to the potty and practice pulling down their pants to go, then running from other areas of the house to practice, is not positive reinforcement to a child – it is punishment.

    Further, the book suggests you tell your child that “Only babies wear diapers,” and “Only babies wet their pants.” When your child does have an accident, and (s)he will, now they believe they must be a baby. They are set up for failure.

    I think there are better ways, and I don’t believe a parent should be in such a hurry for their children to grow up that you should force them to learn pottying in one day! Did YOU learn it in one day?

    When they are teenagers and are in such a hurry to grow up before they are ready themselves, you will miss the days when the worst worry you had for them was a messy diaper to change.

  9. The joke with librarians is that Potty Training in One Day is always overdue. : )

  10. Mubashira says:

    My daughter is almost 30 months now.. She has to start her school in September where she is not allowed with pampers.. She was introduced to her potty seat since she was 1year old as I used to take her to her seat in the morning only.. Later she lost inerest and started saying NO. I did not force her as I thought she might have not the desire to sit on the seat. has been more than a year now and in the meanwhile I have tried several time but she seemed uninterested and I could not force her as I thought I should regularly start when she would be ready for it herself. Now it has been a month, I have stopped using diapers and she is on nappy and I take her to the potty seat after every hour but at times she doesnt get ready for it but somehow I manage to ake her by rewarding her ith one or the other things and she does not tell me when she feels to eliminate. I am expecting my second baby and get tired every day with this activity. I want some tips or advice on how to let her feel for pee. Please help me with your valuable advice

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