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Encouraging Heroes. You can be one too.

Potty training is a major milestone for both parent and child. The lure of being free from buying and changing diapers is appealing to parents, but the thought of the potty training process can be discouraging, both for parents who have never potty trained before and those acquainted with the difficulty of doing so. With determination and well-planned strategy it’s possible to potty train your child in just one week. Follow these suggestions and you and your child will both be ready to say goodbye to diapers by the week’s end!

The Student Becomes the Teacher
The first day of potty training in this week-long plan doesn’t involve your child actually using the potty. For the first day prior to actually potty training your child, let him or her be in charge of potty training a favorite doll or stuffed animal. Have them take the doll to the potty and praise the doll for its efforts. Some of the best learning comes from teaching and potty training is no exception to this. Additionally, the anticipation of being the one using the potty will help build your child’s excitement for the rest of the week.

Time frame: Day 1

Goodbye Diapers
If you want to achieve potty training in a short time frame, diapers cannot be an option. The convenience and familiarity of having a diaper option will make some children refuse to use the toilet. As your potty training week draws near, show your child how you are starting to run out of diapers. After your child’s day of potty training the doll, show him or her that you are all out of diapers and explain that they’ll have to use the potty now.

Time frame: Day 2 (and thereafter)

Pour on the Praise
Positive reinforcement has been proven to be a more effective teaching tool than punishment. In addition to complimenting successes on the potty, take every opportunity to praise your child for not having accidents. This allows you to give far more positive attention to your child and will help provide them with the motivation to keep trying. In addition to compliments, small incentives like candy or stickers can also be helpful in motivating children.

Time frame: Days 1-7

Time for praise and incentives. You can end incentives when the week comes to an end, but continue to praise your child for as long as you like!

Be a Homebody
To successfully accomplish potty training quickly, you’ll need to spend lots of time at home. Pick a week where you have two to four consecutive days to spend at home, distraction-free, to help your child get to the potty whenever they need it. Provide extra liquids for your child to drink and set a timer for every 20-30 minutes to remind your child to go to the potty if they need to. As the week goes on, you can begin to take short outings, but bring a portable potty with you.

Travel plans

Days 1-4 home only.
Days 5-6 short trips.
Day 7: Typical day’s travel and activities, but continue to bring potty with you.

Potty training your child in a week will be challenging, but the effort you both put into the week will pay off as it comes to an end and your child is diaper free!

Informational credit for this article to DBS Bathrooms.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents facing the task of potty training.