Wednesday

How to Toilet Train Your Toddler


The basics of potty training a child
Need help potty training your child? This article will guide you through the process, and have your toddler potty trained before you know it. I am an experienced mother of five children and I designed these basics steps for toilet training. I know through experience that this process really works. It is my hope, that I can help parents who are struggling to get through this difficult stage of life.


Feeling Overwhelmed?
If you are reading this article, you may be feeling overwhelmed in the "two year old world" possibly, "3 year old world". I myself have been there five times, once with a set of twins. Before you begin this potty training, you need to tell yourself that even if your child struggles to learn now, in the future they will eventually be potty trained. Ask yourself how many teenagers do you know that still wear a diaper? A little humor during this brief struggle will help not only you, but also your child have a quick and rewarding experience. Soon, you will each discover a new freedom.


Parental Patience
One of the most important things I stress is that you must have patience with your child in this process and you must be consistent. You must never lose your temper with the child for having accidents. Reassure them that they will learn how to potty, it just takes practice. Losing your temper with the child will only scare them and possibly make them feel like they can control you and the situation and purposely not go potty. Keep your cool and you will keep the upper hand. When your child does go potty in the toilet, praise them, praise them, praise them! Tell them how proud you are of them for doing such a good job. If your child has an accident, still show them love and let them know it's alright, tell them,"we all have accidents and next time you feel like you need to go potty, tell someone and we will run you to the potty."



Is my Child ready for Potty Training?
Alright let's get right to the first question, how do you know if your child is ready to be potty trained? Are they beginning to remove their own diaper? Are they unhappy when their diaper is soiled, they tell you it is wet and want it off? Can they sleep through a nap (not all night) and wake with a dry diaper? If so, these are signals to you that your child is ready to learn how to use the toilet.



Essentials
Go to your local store with your child and pick out a potty seat in the children's department that is soft and has side handles. Something they will feel secure sitting on. You don't need to go for the “musical do everything potty seat” here. The simple soft inexpensive seat that fits over the toilet seat will do just fine. Next find a small kid size step stool that is light weight that can be placed in front of the toilet that your child can easily carry and move.

 

Next go to the children's aisle and select underwear for your child. Not the cute little thin underwear, your child isn't ready for those yet. I am referring to the THICK, training underwear. Purchase several packages. There will be accidents during this training, so make sure you have enough on hand for some to be worn and some to be in the wash. Last, while you are at the store go over to the kitchen section and pick up an inexpensive cute, plastic, little child's cup. Just a regular cup. Sometimes you can find 5 cups for a dollar. You may be asking yourself why? Later, I will explain. Just get some.




Peer Pressure
Two year olds are intelligent. You need to speak to them clearly and explain exactly what potty training is and what the plan is going to be. Possibly, if your child has a friend or a family member who recently potty trained, plan a play date and tell your child, "did you know that Bob or Sally is potty trained? Look he/she wears these cool underwear! Would you like to be like Bob or Sally and wear neat-o underwear?" Believe it or not, a little peer pressure works like a charm at this stage.



Consistent Parenting
You will need to set aside a few days from your hectic schedule to have this training session. It will need to be time that you can give your child your full attention. You will not be able to tell your child, ”Just a minute sweetie my cell phone is ringing or I have to answer this last email or text." You will need to be a parent, a CONSISTENT parent for one week. Once you put on that first pair of training underwear, try as hard as you can to not go back to a diaper during the day. You need to be consistent. That is the key to anything in parenting...is being consistent. It doesn't matter if it is potty training or discipline, just be a consistent parent and you will never confuse your child.

If you are a working parent and you can not set aside a week, then begin potty training on a Saturday morning. Work with your child over the weekend and speak to your daycare provider to be consistent for the rest of the week.


Baby Steps
Begin by getting your child excited about wearing underwear. Show them the package and let them open it. Let them put on the underwear and wear them on top of their diaper and clothes. Read your child a book or several books from your local library about other kids learning how to potty train. Get your child excited about this new experience!



Set up together
On the first day of training put your child in a shirt and their new training underwear. Together set up the bathroom. Place the footstool in front of the toilet and place the new seat on the toilet. Make sure there is a basket or drawer handy where you can store wipes, toilet paper and fresh underwear.



Reward System
If you'd like, you can make your child a sticker chart and you can hang it on the wall next to the toilet. Each time they use the potty you can let them chose a sticker and let them place the sticker on their chart. Do not get in the routine of telling your child they can earn a toy or candy for going potty in the toilet. The child will learn how to work the system and training will take even longer. Keep it simple. Give your child parental praise and give them a little sticker for their reward.




Sipper Cups
Now that the bathroom is set up and your child is wearing underwear, stay close to home the next few days and get rid of the sipper cups. What? Get rid of the sipper cups? Yes, that is what I said. Think about it, if your child is carrying around a sipper cup all day, they are going to be so full of liquids they can't help it if they are having accidents. It is time to teach your child how to drink from a cup. Write your child's name on the cup and make it a "special" cup. Make a big deal out of this special cup and that it belongs to them and only them. Always keep it in the same spot on the kitchen counter or table, where they can reach it and always keep a little water in it. We don't want them to spill it and we also don't want them to get dehydrated, so keep water handy all day in their special cup.






DAY ONE

Day one: Now it is time to teach your child. Set a timer for 15-30 minutes. It will be your responsibility to tell your child every 15-30 minutes, "it is potty time, let's go sit on the potty." They may go potty in the toilet and they may not. That's alright. All you are doing is establishing a pattern, teaching them how to pull down their underwear and getting them use to sitting on the potty. Even if they don't go in the toilet, praise them and let them pick out a sticker and place it on their chart.


For the first few weeks, put a diaper on your child for nap time. As soon as they wake up, take them to the potty and put the underwear right back on. Always leave the bathroom light on and the door open so they have complete access to the potty during the day.



DAY TWO

Day two: As soon as your child wakes up, take them to the potty and put them in their underwear and t-shirt for the day. Repeat day one. Today, set the timer and tell them every 30 minutes, "It is potty time, let's go sit on the potty."




DAY THREE

Day three: As soon as your child wakes up, take them to the potty and put them in their underwear and t-shirt for the day. Except today you are going to change your language a little bit. You are going to help your child learn about responsibility. You will set the timer again, but today you will ask them,” Do you need to go potty?" If they say no trust them and tell them, "if you need to go potty, please tell me." Set the timer again and repeat. If they have an accident, remember to be patient. They are in the learning process. These first few days are the days when most parents give up because they don't have the patience. Don't give up. Yes, this is difficult, but you can do it!




DAY FOUR

Day four:
I know, you are tired. You are tired of cleaning up some accidents, you are tired of being home and setting timers. Trust me I have been in this situation. It is time to toughen up, and suck it up. Be consistent and your child will learn. Don't get frustrated in front of your child. They will sense your frustration.

Your child should be catching on by now. This should be fun for them. They should be eager to earn a sticker each time they go potty or eager for a Mom, Dad or a Grandparent's hug and praise. Keep going.

Today is the day to review your child's progress. Are they just not catching on to this potty training? If so, it could be that they just are not ready to learn or they are too young. (under age of 2). Possibly, you were not consistent enough? If you feel your child isn't ready then put everything away and try again in a month. If you have succeeded, CONGRATULATIONS!

It is time to stop setting the timer. Begin asking your child periodically,” do you need to go potty?" At this point they may even be coming to you to tell you they need to go potty. Keep praising them and let them know how much you love them and how proud you are of them!



Feeling Frustrated? Leave me a note and I would be glad to give you any advice or helpful hints.



Question and Answer Section
The following questions have been asked by my readers:

Q: How do I know my child is ready to take a nap without a diaper?

A: They should be waking up from their nap with a dry diaper. They should be in a toddler bed and have access to a bathroom during nap time. They should be able to remove their under clothes by themselves and they should be going to the potty without your assistance.



Q: How do I know my child is ready to sleep through the night without a diaper?

A: They should wake up in the morning with a dry diaper. They should be in a toddler bed and have access to a bathroom during the night, with a night light on. They should be able to remove their under clothes by themselves and they should be going to the potty without your assistance. If they are potty trained during daylight hours and have self confidence built up, they should be able to make it through the night without an accident. Help them succeed, by cutting off liquids after dinner. They can have a small drink after brushing their teeth but not much else (unless you like being up in the middle of the night with a wet child.) Helpful hint: If a potty accident does occur, I simply change the child and lay a bath towel over the wet spot on the bed. I wait until morning to change the sheets when I am more awake.


Q: What if they have accidents repeatedly during the night?

A: If they do have accidents, explain to the child that they will need to wear a diaper to bed because they keep having accidents. Tell them, "We will try again next week!" Give the child some time, and try again the next week. This is a natural process to learn to hold their bladder through the night. One morning they will wake up with a dry diaper. Praise them and take them to the toilet. Tell them that they can try again tonight to wear underwear to bed.


Q: How do I know when my child is ready for regular non padded underwear?
A: As soon as your child has successfully slept through the night with no accidents for two weeks, reward them by taking them to your local store and let them select their very own big kid underwear! They will be very excited, and feel such pride! Praise them and tell them how proud you are of them and this success!


Q: I have one question for you... when I put him on the toilet how long should I have him sit there for before he gets up?"

A: The first time you put your toddler on the potty, let them get comfortable and feel secure in their new surroundings. Let the child sit on the potty as long as they would like. Most children are a little nervous the first time. As they begin to get more comfortable on the potty, let them sit for a few minutes. Never force them to stay on the potty. If they go potty great job, if not, encourage them to sit for a few more minutes to see if they can go potty. If they want to get off, let them. Again, never force them to stay on the potty until they go. This experience should be fun and rewarding for you and the child!



Q: I have a question for you! :) Sunday is our last day of potty training. Do I put him in a pull-up or just keep him in his underwear? He is in nursery for 2 hours and I can't see him telling his teacher that he needs to go pee. Will putting him in a pull-up set him back? Should we go in and check on him periodically and ask him if he needs to go pee pee? --Ashlee

A: I do not use Pullups. I have found them to be too confusing for the child. They are too similar to a diaper. Keep him in his underwear for Nursery. Tell the Nursery Leaders you are potty training.

Make sure you don't load your child up on liquids before church or during services. Take him to the potty before Nursery. Explain to him that he is a big boy now and remind him he is wearing underwear. Tell him, "If you need to go potty tell an adult." You will need to go into Nursery at the hour break and take him to go potty. Then take him again before you leave church.

Make sure you pack an extra change of clothes and keep them in your church bag in case of an accident. If he makes it through Nursery without and accident, praise him and tell him how proud you are! This is a big step for him. If he can make it through nursery, it's time to go run errands with mom! (just make sure you know where all of the bathrooms are in a store...before long your child will LOVE store bathrooms and will want to go explore every one across your city! Now, that's a whole other blog I could write! haha!)

How has the week gone potty training? Please send me a note and let me know how things are going. :) Way to be a great MOM! If you have made it 5 days you are doing great!


Q: A friend of mine forwarded your link, and I have JUST started the process. I am going to take your advice and let you know how it goes. My current frustration is that my daughter will sit for up to 5 minutes on the toilet and do nothing. Then, the minute she hops off the toilet, she has an accident. WHY DOES SHE DO THIS? She seems to enjoy sitting on the potty.

A: Since I don't know your child's personality, I can only guess why she may have accidents when she hops off the toilet. How old is she?Does she understand what it means to go potty or why you sit on a toilet? She could be trying to be control the situation. Do you feel she may be trying to manipulate you and control this experience? Have patience. When she is ready to go potty in the toilet, she will. Try the first few steps in this toilet training process and look for her to catch on. If she doesn't, wait a few weeks to a month and try again then.


Q: I have a two year old daughter who is showing signs of wanting to be potty trained. She will often be dry after a nap and even once or twice she was dry after a night sleep and then in the first 1/2 hour had filled her nappy with urine. She pulls down her own pants at bath time and can take off her nappy. I have one problem I cannot get her to sit on the potty or the padded toilet seat. I have tried different sorts, I have tried letting her watch me, I have tried putting Dora on then pouring a bit of water and then seriously praising Dora (her doll) but non of this works. If I try putting her on she stiffens up completely so she is completely straight and just will not sit on it. Please do you have any tips to get past this. Also she did sit on the seats in the shops.

A: My advice to you would be to give your child some time to explore the bathroom. Let her get use to the toilet. Let her open and close the lid, even flush the toilet. It sounds like she is afraid of the toilet. Think about it, if you are a little toddler, a toilet looks huge, scary and wet! :) Give your child some time and have patience. Does she have any friends who are potty trained? Possibly you could plan a play date and if she could see a friend use the toilet, maybe this will help alliviate her fears. Just remember, today this potty training seems like a huge challenging mountain standing in front of you. I promise in a few weeks, you will look back at this post and laugh. You can do this. Hang in there! :O) She sounds like she is ready. It is a good sign that she is staying dry through naps and can remove her own clothes. That is great!


Q: We are on Day 4. Help! My son generally is holding it all day until nap time when we put the diaper on. Occasionally he says he has to go but once he sits nothing comes out. The times he has been successful he is upset and seemingly embarrassed by the process. Today he just said he did not need to go over and over and then had a big accident. This upset him greatly but he still does not seem to want to go in the potty. Should we give up?

A: It sounds like your son may not ready for potty training. It seems he is scared and embarrassed of the whole process. I have found that it takes some boys a long time to train. Before you give up, give me some more details. How old is your son? Does he have friends who are potty trained? Does he like wearing a diaper or does he take them off all by himself after he has soiled them?


Q: My son is 2 and 9 months. Most of his friends are potty trained but he has a couple that are not. He is perfectly comfortable in his diapers but he is also very excited about underwear. Today he had 2 accidents after working very hard at holding it for a while. He was able to tell me he had to pee before each accident and was upset that he wet his underwear. I praised him for telling me he had to go. After he woke up dry from his nap he was pretty distraught because he had to go to the bathroom and didn't want to. He finally went to the potty but cried the whole time. It broke my heart. He seems to have the physical ability to go potty but not the emotional...this has me confused. I am worried about stopping and making it harder next time we try but I am also worried because I want him to feel good about this. He is very verbal and says he is not scared. What else could it be? Thanks for your help.

A: There are some children who understand the potty process, but struggle with the fact that they have to let go of something that belongs to them and watch it be flushed away. (I know it sounds silly.)

I know a boy who would sit on the potty but would not go to the bathroom, then as soon as his mother put his diapers back on he would go in it. He just mentally was not ready to let go of using a diaper. He just wasn't comfortable letting go of his potty in the toilet. This mother put him back in diapers and waited for him to be ready and did not push him. One day, about a year later (He was almost four years old), he came to her and said,"I don't want to wear diapers anymore." He had seen his friends wearing underwear and he felt like he should be wearing underwear too and not a diaper. He then potty trained.

Things will work out in time for your son. I know you have come a long way and you are doing great! :) My suggestions would be; to either start over at Day One and help him to understand that this is a normal bodily function that everyone does. (read children's potty books to him or have friends over that are potty trained) or put everything away for a little while, take a break and try again at a later time. Every child is different in the potty process. Some just take longer than others, and that's okay.

Honestly, he sounds ready to me. It's just this little hurtle of helping him see that he can let go of his potty. It's great he is staying dry in his diaper during nap time. One trick I know that has worked for many children is when they are sitting on the potty, turn on the faucet and let water run. The sound of water running, just seems to help things flow naturally. Oh another thought, do you stand over him while he is sitting on the potty? If you do, try leaving the bathroom and shutting the door half way and give him some privacy. It could be he just has "stage fright" as some men put it. ;)

As I tell all my readers, this seems like a huge mountain in front of you, but someday you will look back and laugh at this experience. You will make it through this! Hang in there, before you know it he will be dating and driving. ACK! ;) Now, there is something to worry about. Let me know if you have anymore questions. I'd be glad to help you in any way I can.


Q: My toddler is mostly potty trained except at naps and nights. He pees in his undies at nap times and night times and we have to change his clothes and sheets. It is becoming a pattern. His day care ladies said either use a diaper or not. I guess by using it at night he got confused that when he is sleeping he can pee in the diaper..and it is ok. How do I set this habit right? Do I wake him up at night and and take him to pee?

A: I would not put the child back into diapers. This would be very confusing to the child. Is the child completely potty trained during the day without your assitance? If the answer is yes, then the child should be able to make it through nap time and night time. Here are some of my thoughts. Cut off all drinks and hour or even two, before nap and bed time. Take the child to the potty right before nap time. If the child wakes up dry, praise them, priase them, praise them! Is your child using a sipper cup? If so, get rid of it and teach the child how to drink out of cup. If they are carrying a sipper cup around with them all of the time, they are going to have a full bladder all hours of the day and night.

Before bed time, cut back on drinks, take the child to the potty right before they lay down, then take them again before you go to bed. If the child still can't make it through the night dry, you could set an alarm and take them to the potty again in the middle of the night. Does your child have a night light in their room? Do they feel comfortable getting out of bed in the middle of the night unassisted? It may be your child does wake up, but is afraid to go to the bathroom because it is dark or their pajams are too difficult to remove by themselves.

Please keep in mind, some children are just deep sleepers. The may "wet the bed" for several years until a routine can be established and they can wake themselves up to go potty. Hopefully some of things I have suggested may help. If none of these suggestions help, you may also want to consult your child's Pediatrician. Best wishes and hang in there!


Q: Hi Danielle. My husband and I have been using your method and we absolutely love it. We started on Monday April, 12th and today April 16th would be day number 5 for us. The only question that we have is, What do we do about pooping? Our son doesn't want to sit on the toilet to poop. Any suggestions that you might have would be great! Thank you so much.

A: It is normal for some chldren to quickly learn how to urinate in the toilet and also for it to take some time for them to learn how to have a bowel movement in the toilet. Depending on the age of your son, it may take some time for him to catch on to having a BM in the toilet. When he has a BM in his diaper, does he want to take it off immediately or does he not mind sitting in it? If he wants the diaper off immediately, that shows he doesn't like to be messy, and he should catch on quick that if he poops in the toilet, he won't have to be messy any longer. However, if he doesn't mind sitting in it...then it may take longer for him to have the BM in the toilet. It will happen eventually, don't worry. ;)

Another thing to consider that I have mentioned above in another post response, sometimes a child can be afraid of having a BM. They feel like a part of them is beign flushed away. If this does seem to be the problem, reassure your child everything is alright and possibly read some books to your son about going potty in the toilet. I am happy to hear that you have been successful thus far. Congratulations!!


Q: Your blog is wonderful, thanks for all the good tips. I just have one question... going #2? We "gave up" diapers for Lent this year and my son was literally potty trained until he got a stomach bug and got the diarreah :( Now I can't get him go #2 on the potty, EVER! Any suggestions to get us back on track? Thanks in advance, Kate

A: How long was your son potty trained and would you say he was 100% trained? If yes, then just keep working with him on a daily basis and everything should come back to him. This is a natural process that once learned, should not just disappear. It's like riding a bike, once you learn, you've learned.

I am guessing before he got this stomach bug, he struggled a bit with consistently having a BM in the potty? If that's the case, then read the few posts above this entry. I believe your answer awaits you there. :) If you have anymore questions, please feel free to respond. Good luck and keep up the good work! You're doing great! :)


Q: Do you think 22 months is too young? My son has already gone through a phase where he takes off his diaper and will urinate on the floor (diaper is dry). He has since stopped doing that but I think he at least has the control. I do sit him on the potty and he will go if he needs to but so far I have not put him in underwear just thinking he is to young. What do you think?


A: YES! I would definately try to put him in underwear. If he is showing that much interest, curiosity and control...why not try? As I have mentioned above, all children toilet train at different ages. Some are just more ready than others. If you start this process and feel he just isn't catching on, then go ahead and put it all away and try again in a month. Good luck! :)


Q: We have twin girls who are about to be 2. They both have been taking off their diapers every chance they get. However, since they were born we have struggled with constipation. They seem really scared to go on the potty. Im worried that they associate going potty with the pain of their bowel movements. Both are on miralax daily but there are some days that they still struggle to go. Any advice? Also...how did you go about doing this with twins?

A: Most likely your twins are taking off their diapers because they can and because they are copying each other. My twins use to do this all of the time! Duct Tape works like a charm, in keeping those diapers on! :)  Waaa-laaa!  Just go around a few times and the twins can't pick the tape off...no matter how much they try to help each other...and oh they will try to help each other!  The diapers will stay on! :)

When they remove their diapers are they soiled? Do you twins act like the wet or messy diaper bothers them and that is why they are removing the diaper?  If so, then this is a sign they are ready for potty training. Can your twins go a long period of time, say nap time, and the diaper is still dry? If so, then they are ready for potty training. 

If they seem scared to go on the potty, have a friend or cousin their age, come to your home who is potty trained. Have them show your twins that it is easy to use the potty, and there is nothing scary about it.  However, if they are really scared, don't push them.  They will eventually warm up to the idea of using the potty.  One of your twins will potty train first, and the other will quickly follow...she will want to get praise from you and be involved in the excitment of going potty! :)  

When one twin goes in to use the potty, the other one will follow to watch what is going on.  They will copy each other.  It is just what twins do.

I have to add a funny story here....one day I was on the phone with my in laws.  I told them I had to get off the phone because the twins (who were 2 years old at the time) were in the bathroom and they needed my help wiping.  I went into the bathroom, and I found them wiping each others bottoms! It was the funniest thing!  Ah, twins...they are the best little packaged gift from God! They are always there for each other...in good and bad times. :)


Q: How long should I leave my 28 month old on the potty? She will be dry, dry dry. Then all of a sudden she has soaked through and peed all over the furniture! Obviously, she has the control. She mimics when I say "pee," "wet," or "potty," but she won't actually tell me if she needs to go. I sat there with her for 30 minutes and she finally went. But this has to be too long! Forgot to mention that after 30 minutes, I got her dressed and she peed... all over me. HELP!
 
A: A child should only sit on the potty for a few minutes, get the task at hand complete and then get off the potty.  There is no need to sit longer than a few minutes.  If you allow them sit longer, it will turn into a game, which you don't want to happen.  You always need to calmly keep the upper hand and be the adult who is in control of the potty time. 

I remember one of my children use to sit on the potty forever. Okay, not really forever...but it seemed like it to me at the time!  Anyway, I finally caught onto her game.  She just wanted to be with me.  That's all.  She wanted Mommy time!  So, I then decided that becasue I didn't have all of the time in the world to stand in the bathroom with her,  I would help her understand that being with mom could be more fun in the kitchen or play room.  Each time she would tell me she had to go potty, I would tell her I was going to let her sit there by herself and I was going to leave the bathroom for a minute.  She would say,"Don't leave me." So, I would say,"I am just going to be right outside the door."  She would again say,"Don't leave me." So then I would say,"Well, mommy has a lot of things she needs to get done today and we are going to have some play time together too.  You either need to go potty now or be done and leave the bathroom."  My daughter would then either go potty or tell me she was done.  What I did in that situation was kindly let her know, I wasn't going to stand in the bathroom for 30 minutes with her.  This isn't a game. I let her know that if she wants mommy time, we can do that outside of the bathroom.  If she wants to have fun, sitting on the potty isn't the place for it.    

Anyway, back to your issue....

It sounds to me like your daughter understands what it means to go potty and to stay dry.  Possibly, she is becoming so engrossed in the television show or activity that she is doing, she is forgetting that she needs to stop and go the bathroom?  You need to remind her once in a while that she needs to take a potty break.  Also, is she carrying around a sippy cup? If she is, read the information above and get rid of the sippy cups! 

This will take time....have patience and keep smiling though this difficult stage.  Eventually she will begin to understand the concept of going to the potty.  I am sure she does not like being wet.  She will grasp hold of the concept that being wet is not fun, and her mind will figure out that when the feeling of potty arrives, she needs to go to the bathroom.  It just takes time, but it will happen. 

Pat yourself on the back! She is doing great so far. Have patience and know that this is but a small hurdle in life. Before you know it she will be potty trained and you will look back at this day and laugh. (I know you probably are not laughing at your pee soaked furniture today...but you will look back some day and laugh!) :)  


Q: My son is 17 months old but he try's to take off his diaper after going in it. He have tried to put him on the potty but he knows he can get off it so he will only stay on it for a minute. I don't know if I should wait till he is 2 to try again or keep trying what do you think I should do?

A: If your son is removing his diaper after he has soiled it, that is an excellent sign that he is close to being ready to potty train.  He is acknowledging he is uncomfortable in his soiled diaper! Yeah for you! You are one step closer to no more diapers! Start dreaming about what you are going to do with all of the extra money you will save each month from not buying diapers! :)

A great thing to do is to read children's potty books to him.  He just needs some guidance as to what to do on a toilet.  Does he have any close friends, siblings, or cousins that are potty trained? If so, invite them over for a play date and let him see them go into the bathroom.  Have the siblings or friends tell him how neat it is to wear big boy undies and no more diapers.  He just needs an example and he will figure it out.  Have patience with him. Once he understands the process he will begin to understand how the whole system works. :)

Q: We are on day 2 and my daughter seems to just want to sit on the potty for hours. I keep asking her if she wants to come off and play and she says she wants to stay on. Last time I asked her she said to 'leave me alone'. What do you think. I don't want to give her mixed messages by taking her off when she wants to be on but she's been on ages x

A: If your child wants to sit on the potty, let them.  They are just exploring this new adventure.  Let them look at a children's book about potty training while sitting there.  If your child is sitting for longer than 15 minutes and you feel they are making a game of sitting on the potty, then set a timer.  When the timer goes off, tell them it is time to go do something else.  Make it something that they love doing and they will quickly get off the potty.  Just remember to have patience while they explore this new adventure in life.



I do check this blog, keep those questions coming!

57 comments:

  1. This is awesome Danielle! Wish I'd had this when my kids were little.

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  2. Great blog! I am going to post your site on my blog. I have some friends who are potty training right now, and I have passed on some of your tips. This will be an even better resource for them. Nice work!

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  3. Thanks Danielle!! I am now feeling more confident and not dreading the whole process quite as much. :) Hopefully I call you in a week with good news and not frustration. :)

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  4. Great advice and reminders Danielle, Hope is ready...I'm not sure I am though! haha

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  5. I am going to start potty training my son on Monday...my friend Jamie gave me your link...i am excited to try this. I already put this site as a link on my blog. Thanks! I have one question for you... when i put him on the toilet how long should i have him sit there for before he gets up?

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  6. Okay, i have another question for you! :) Sunday is our last day of potty training. Do i put him in a pull-up or just keep him in his underwear? He is in nursery for 2 hours and i can't see him telling his teacher that he needs to go pee. Will putting him in a pull-up set him back? Should we go in and check on him periodically and ask him if he needs to go pee pee?

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  7. Hey Danielle. Just wanted you to know that we are on day 3 of potty training. Day 1 was HORRIBLE... as to be expected. Yesterday (day 2) was MUCH better. We only had a few accidents in the morning and then that was it. So far today no accidents!! Wohoo! Thanks for all your tips!! I'll keep you posted.

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  8. Potty update from the Williams family :)...
    No accidents what so ever yesterday (day 3) or today (day 4). I don't have to ask them if they need to go potty, they tell me or just go by themselves and do it. We took them out for the first time today and they did GREAT! Yay!! Thanks for the great tips!

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  9. A friend of mine forwarded your link, and I have JUST started the process. I am going to take your advice and let you know how it goes.

    My current frustration is that my daughter will sit for up to 5 minutes on the toilet and do nothing. Then, the minute she hops off the toilet, she has an accident. WHY DOES SHE DO THIS? She seems to enjoy sitting on the potty.

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  11. my toddler is 3years old, she never says she needs her diaper changed, she doesnt want anything and would rather poop and pee than get gifts for going on the toilet. She doesnt want to go on the toilet and she poops and pees herself all the time. I cant have her in daycare anymore because shes too old and all of the other ones are full. Shes not anywhere close to going to preschool and she always wants to drink from a baby bottle. Shes happy when she poops and pees herself. And when I say its ohk and it was an accident shes ohk with it and never shows interest in the toilet. When I tell her to smarten up she wants to go on all the time. She thinks its a game when I tell her nicely, so how can saying its ohk, really make them want to go to the toilet?

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  12. how am I going to train my kid when she thinks its a game and jokes around with me and pretty much says kiss my ass Im pooping in here and I dont care when I say things nicely

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  13. my toddler after seven days stopped doing everything and peed and pood all day and night for 2 weeks now, but they went through the whole steps perfectly not one accident and then after 7 days stopped, I dont have time to do this 7 day step of every 20 min thing anymore

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  14. I just came upon this website the other day when I was looking for help with potty training my 2 1/2 year old son. First of all thank you so much for taking the time to write all of this out and for not charging us to read it. I couldn't believe that you had all of the instructions and I didn't have to pay 29.99 to download it! Thank you very much for that! Anyway I am on day for of our little potty training adventure and mommy is struggleing just a little bit. I am wondering what to say to my son when he has an accident right after he gets off the potty chair? And what about when he wakes up wet after nap and bed time what should I do/say then? He has has 4 accidents so far but they are right after he wants off of the potty. I have taken the whole week off and have been doing everything like you said but he is still having accidents and waking up wet. Also, he still isn't telling me when he needs to go I just assume that he needs to and sit him on his potty. I am struggleing trying to find patience and trying to stay excited for him at the same time. Any help would be very much appreciated!! Thanks ~Alisa

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  15. Hello,

    I have a two year old daughter who is showing signs of wanting to be potty trained. She will often be dry after a nap and even once or twice she was dry after a night sleep and then in the first 1/2 hour had filled her nappy with urine. She pulls down her own pants at bath time and can take off her nappy. I have one problem I cannot get her to sit on the potty or the padded toilet seat. I have tried different sorts, I have tried letting her watch me, I have tried putting Dora on then pouring a bit of water and then seriously praising Dora (her doll) but non of this works. If I try putting her on she stiffens up completely so she is completely straight and just will not sit on it. Please do you have any tips to get past this. Also she did sit on the seats in the shops.

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  16. Just something my Mum told me and every single old person I know has confirmed. During toilet training if your child has an accident you need to let them feel the accident. That is let them stay wet for a bit a few minutes so they feel the accident. Don't yell at them or tell them off but just make them wait a few minutes before you clean them up.

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  17. I have just noted something reading through the comments. There are no answers. How do you answer the comments which most seem to be questions.
    Is there another place to ask questions because unless I log in and give you my email which I do not do on random sites I have since noting no answers to the comments believe my question will never be answered in this section. If that is true can you please let me know where is the most useful place to ask my questions.

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  18. The comments are sent directly to my email box. I then respond and post the reply at the bottom of the blog. :)

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  19. We are on Day 4. Help! My son generally is holding it all day until nap time when we put the diaper on. Occasionally he says he has to go but once he sits nothing comes out. The times he has been successful he is upset and seemingly embarrassed by the process. Today he just said he did not need to go over and over and then had a big accident. This upset him greatly but he still does not seem to want to go in the potty. Should we give up?

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  20. Thanks Danielle for your response. My son is 2 and 9 months. Most of his friends are potty trained but he has a couple that are not. He is perfectly comfortable in his diapers but he is also very excited about underwear. Today he had 2 accidents after working very hard at holding it for a while. He was able to tell me he had to pee before each accident and was upset that he wet his underwear. I praised him for telling me he had to go. After he woke up dry from his nap he was pretty distraught because he had to go to the bathroom and didn't want to. He finally went to the potty but cried the whole time. It broke my heart. He seems to have the physical ability to go potty but not the emotional...this has me confused. I am worried about stopping and making it harder next time we try but I am also worried because I want him to feel good about this. He is very verbal and says he is not scared. What else could it be? Thanks for your help.

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  21. My toddler is mostly potty trained except at naps and nights. He pees in his undies at nap times and night times and we have to change his clothes and sheets. It is becoming a pattern. His day care ladies said either use a diaper or not. I guess by using it at night he got confused that when he is sleeping he can pee in the diaper..and it is ok. How do I set this habit right? Do I wake him up at night and and take him to pee?

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  22. Hi,
    I started this process with my 21 month old about a month ago. She has shown all the signs of interest for quite some time and is quite advanced in her speech and comprehension. She has been very enthused and excited about the process and things have gone fairly well so far. I have no concerns about her telling me she needs to go to the toilet to do a poo. She is very aware and we have never had an accident. Pee's however seem less reliable. I feel as though I am always having to prompt her.. sometimes having to bribe her to go to the toilet to pee when I know she is due one. When I try to back off to let her take ownership she has an accident and doesn't seem that bothered... As none of her friends are quite up to this yet I am not sure what to expect. Is this normal? We can have days of being accident free but I do feel like this is mainly down to me and not her. What more can I do? Or is this fine for her age? Katherine

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  23. Hi Danielle. My husband and I have been using your method and we absolutely love it. We started on Monday April, 12th and today April 16th would be day number 5 for us. The only question that we have is, What do we do about pooping? Our son doesn't want to sit on the toilet to poop. Any suggestions that you might have would be great! Thank you so much.
    Toby and Elle Johnson

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  24. Your blog is wonderful, thanks for all the good tips. I just have one question... going #2? We "gave up" diapers for Lent this year and my son was literally potty trained until he got a stomach bug and got the diarreah :( Now I can't get him go #2 on the potty, EVER! Any suggestions to get us back on track? Thanks in advance, Kate

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  25. I first want to start off by saying next week I am not making any plans and take my first step toward potty training. I have a 2 1/2 year old and another on the way. I would love for my oldest to be out of diapers before the little one comes. My only question is right now I have been putting my son on the potty at every diaper change, this used to be difficult but now he loves it! How long should I let him sit on the potty? Should this be a fun time? I feel he just wants be to sit and play with him. What should I do?? Your advice is so clear I am so happy I found you!!

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  26. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  27. Do you check this blog anymore?

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  28. I do check this blog... keep those questions coming. :)

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  29. Hi, well be sensible, well-all described

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  30. My son is just over 3 years old an has been potty trained for over 6 months now. He is really good at going by himself , but he constantly drips. His underwear are always slightly wet, but he never fully pees his pants. I have to change his underwear a minimum of 3 times a day. Any tips?

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  31. HI, My daughter is 18months old yesterday 12/22/10. She has been showing intrest in the potty since 15months. She will go poop in potty mostly. My question is that I have a hard time getting her to go pee in potty. She will go at times but not usually. I saw your page a figured I would try this. What would you suggest i do to help her go pee. I take her everytime I go to pee to. Help? I think she is ready just not sure

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  32. My daughter will be 3 in March, we introduced the potty awhile back and she has sat in it and nothing ever happened. We praised her and everything, but nothing ever happened. I found thie blog, and put away the potty for a while, and decided to try today. We've been doing the 20 minute interval, and probably by the 6th or 7th time she was tired of ALWAYS going to the potty. And of course she would say she's 'wet' after we've sat her down or 5 minutes or so before it was time to put her back on the toilet. She is VERY strong willed, so unfortuantly this blog won't help us! It has very useful information for the right kind of child...you just have to figure if your kid fits this or not! Thanks for the insight tho!

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  33. Thank you so much it is a wonderful help, now to toilet train our toddler is very easy with your information. Thanks

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  34. Do you think 22 months is too young? My son has already gone through a phase where he takes off his diaper and will urinate on the floor (diaper is dry). He has since stopped doing that but I think he at least has the control. I do sit him on the potty and he will go if he needs to but so far I have not put him in underwear just thinking he is to young. What do you think?

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  35. Interesting and important information. It is really beneficial for us. Thanks

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  36. My son is 18 months old and we have started with his potty training since a month back. Although he does not know to undress himself but he express by sign. We have bought his mobile potty long time before that but he would never sit in his potty but would rather used to play with it. Now he knows that it is his potty and he shows it when he wants to do potty (on asking) but refuses to sit on it.

    Moreover he also have a very hard stool and does his potty in standing position. At times he cries while doing his potty as it is very painful which is probably more due to his posture. We have never been able to make him sit and do his potty. And now that we are trying to make him sit on his potty and tries to run away after doing potty and refuses to sit down even for a wash after that. I have come across this site and finding the tips useful. But at this point I really do not know how to go about this so that it will be beneficial for us.

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  37. My son will be three in August and this is my second attempt at potty training. I started with taking him to the bathroom every 15 minutes and he whined every time that he went in there. He did pee in the potty three or four times yesterday and he pooped once. He peed one time this morning and pooped a little but it started in his undies. It's been 2 1/2 days and it seems like he is regressing. He just keeps saying that he doesn't want to poop or pee in the potty anymore. In the 2 1/2 days that my husband and I have been working with him, he has been wearing either undies or nothing. He had three pee accidents. I did lose my temper once because he went pee in his undies after he had just been on the potty. I know that is not ok and I feel really bad about it. I just don't know what to do now. We have been rewarding him with a small bag of money or goodies after he pees or poops and we make sure that we get really excited when he tries and, of course, when he succeeds. Any advice would be appreciated.

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  38. We have been potty training my 3.5 year old son. He has a motor development issue and is extremely stubborn. After several days, he has shown no signs of discomfort when having accidents. It doesn't phase him one bit. We have literally given him one on one attention for just under a week. He will not verbally tell us when he has to use to potty, but we watch him diligently and take him there when he shows physical signs. We're having an issue with deciding if we should stay consistent with an affirmation approach or start punishing him for accidents. Honestly, negative reinforcement (in the form of time-outs) has been one of the only things to work for us with him in other areas of his development (like picking up toys, not hitting, etc.) I'd appreciate your feedback. Trying to stay sensative to our little boy's needs without hindering his growth.

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  39. We have twin girls who are about to be 2. They both have been taking off their diapers every chance they get. However, since they were born we have struggled with constipation. They seem really scared to go on the potty. Im worried that they associate going potty with the pain of their bowel movements. Both are on miralax daily but there are some days that they still struggle to go. Any advice? Also...how did you go about doing this with twins?

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  40. We are on day three and so far it has been GREAT! I tried a ton of different ways of potty training before finding your blog and nothing worked. Today on day three everytime I've asked her and she said yes she has peed immefiately. She has had only 3 accidents in 3 days and one of them she wA literally standing on front of the potty trying to get on!!! Thanks for taking your time to share this information!!

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  41. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! This was my third attempt at potty training. It's day 5, and she has not had an accident in two days :) I know there will still be some obstacles to over come, like going to the stores, and traveling, but for now, I couldn't be more thrilled!! I was beginning to think there was no end in sight.
    Jury reading your steps helped me relax a bit. Very detailed, and extremely easy to follow. I figured the key was bribe, bribe, bribe.. It's not!! Just having fun, and being relaxed was all the motivation it took this time.
    I recommend this system to everyone!!

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  42. Do you have any recommendations for a kid that just doesn't mind being wet? My son was so ready 8 months ago. He loves the potty process all the praise, but I feel like I've almost taken him so much..he won't go without me now...he knows how to do everything, but if I don't physically take him to the potty, he just wets...and it's like he looks at me as if it's my fault since I didn't take him. When I'm running around, it's easy to go before we get in the car, before we leave the store, etc....but it's the worst when we are just at home. He seems to be lazy and just be wet ALL day long. I make him change his clothes, clean up his mess, but he just shrugs it off. I do a diaper at night since he's a pretty heavy wetter, but nap he can stay dry. I really feel like he's a little lazy, but it's frustrating. It's been 8 months, and we still don't have perfect days. He will always tell me when he has to poop, but never when he has to pee...and even if he's wet, and I take him..he pees in the potty again, so he doesn't feel like he's done anything wrong. I'm just over it. I know he's a little sweaty, so sometimes getting his undies off can be hard, but I can't believe that is the whole reason...any suggestions?

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  43. Oh, and just one more thing. He has started to poop in his pants too..just this week. Three times. I feel like it was because I was putting him in a pullup..and he gets confused of when he can wet or not...I just don't know how to undo all that I've done at this point. I don't want to go back to diapers, he doesn't want that, I show disapproval, and he gets that he's not supposed to, but it just keeps happening with no end in sight.

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  44. Hello!
    I am so glad I found this blog... Hopefully you are still answering questions...
    I started potty training my 34 month old son two days ago. The first time I just put him in his underwear and wanted to see if he would express any discomfort with a wet underwear. He did. And well, after a few accidents he started running to the bathroom by himself when he felt it coming but then he would hold it in. Later I had a little talk with him (I think I was not suppose to say this now that I look back). I said mommy is so sad cos you don't pee pee in the toilet. Can you make mommy happy and peepee on the potty? And he said yes. The next time he actually did it! And I rewarded him with truck stickers. He was proud of himself and I told him I was so proud of him too. Well day 2.... I had to go put so I put him in diapers. As soon as I got home I put his underwear on. And this time he peed just a little in his potty but he seemed a little scared this time. Whining a little bit and asking me to hug him while doing his thing. But the thing is I noticed he didn't pee all night long since that one time he peed.... It's been like 10 hours.
    Is he not ready?

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  45. How long should I leave my 28 month old on the potty? She will be dry, dry dry. Then all of a sudden she has soaked through and peed all over the furniture! Obviously, she has the control. She mimics when I say "pee," "wet," or "potty," but she won't actually tell me if she needs to go. I sat there with her for 30 minutes and she finally went. But this has to be too long!

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  46. Forgot to mention that after 30 minutes, I got her dressed and she peed... all over me. HELP!

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  47. My son is 17 months old but he try's to take off his diaper after going in it. He have tried to put him on the potty but he knows he can get off it so he will only stay on it for a minute. I don't know if I should wait till he is 2 to try again or keep trying what do you think I should do?

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  48. We are on day 2 and my daughter seems to just want to sit on the potty for hours. I keep asking her if she wants to come off and play and she says she wants to stay on. Last time I asked her she said to 'leave me alone'. What do you think. I don't want to give her mixed messages by taking her off when she wants to be on but she's been on ages x

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  49. I love the idea of having a small cup with a little bit of water in it for the child, but I have a problem. My daughter has to have ALL liquids thickened, and one packet of her thickener thickens four ounces.

    So how do we do this? Just let her try it with four ounces and if it spills, it spills? Only give her a sippy cup at certain times? Help?

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  50. Ok, I have a situation for you. My daughter is 3.5. She no longer has the desire to wear pull ups or diapers. We have gone to the underwear/rubber pants method. She will not go at home at all unless she has already peed at nighttime. She tried getting in there tonight but let loose too quickly and filled up the rubber pants. Her teacher at daycare has told me that she'll approach saying she has to go and then she'll go in her pants, almost as if she can't tell quickly enough. She's holding it in pretty long. Also, she has really no interest to go at home and if I sit her on the potty at all, she hollers and calms as I read her a story. I don't want to force her on the potty as I don't want to bring negativity. She insists on carrying her potty seat w/her to school and when we go places and she will try everywhere we go. Is she on the right path? Do you have any suggestions?? HELP!

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  51. I have a question. My son is 26 months and we just started underwear potty training and are on day 2. He has had a lot of exposure over the past year. We got him a potty chair to sit on with his clothes on, he accompanied us to the bathroom quite frequently, and even took turns flushing. He really is excited about his big boy undies and loves wearing them. He potties in the toilet every time we sit on it and I feel like everything is going quite well. He even had a BM in the toilet today! He naps in his undies because he always wakes up dry from naps and hasn't had an accident in these first two days while sleeping. My only issue is that he always goes potty in his undies a little, stops going when he realizes, runs to the potty and calls for me, I help him get out of his wet undies and he finishes on the potty. He hasn't been able to really catch on to the feeling that he needs to go until he has already gone a tiny bit. It's awesome that he is stopping and finishing in the potty but I'm trying to figure out how to help him keep his undies dry. I'm being super positive. He loves his potty parties and the praise. Over all I think he understands that the potty is where he is supposed to go pee, I'm just not sure if there is something more I can do to help him get there before the fact. I tried to take him to the bathroom every 15-20 mins no matter what but he really fought me unless it was his idea. Any other advice to keep his undies dry?

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    www.rockmybabynannyagency.co.uk

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  53. I have a few questions: I have a 20 month old. She has had a potty seat for about a month now and knows what it is. We have sat on it to get her familiar with it. Last weekend, she told me for 3 consecutive days when she was going pee or poop in her diaper. She also wakes up from naps dry on most days, and can go several hours in between wet diapers, and also poops pretty much on schedule. So, after she began telling me when she was going, I decided to start sitting her on the potty periodically (nothing too regular) to see if she would go--sitting her around the times that I know she usually goes. We sit anywhere from 5 minutes to 30 minutes or more---BUT she typically goes every time. We sit and read books (about potty or not) or count and she gets stickers when she goes in the potty. (never poop in potty, just pee). I initially thought she is still too young to really "train" but my concern is that I dont want to be the one holding her back if she truly is ready. And if she is ready, should I start using a "method" (like yours) or just keep doing our "sit on the potty periodically throughout the day and see what happens" approach? And, how long should we sit---are these 30 minutes potty sessions ok? Sorry--lots of questions. Thanks!

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  54. Over 50,000 Parents Have Watched This Video And Potty Trained Their Child In 3 Days - http://bit.ly/pottytarin3days

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  55. Over 50,000 Parents Have Watched This Video And Potty Trained Their Child In 3 Days - http://bit.ly/pottytarin3days

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  56. Hey there!

    Great tips! Love it
    I've found what I believe is the BEST potty training method out there.
    This 3 day potty training program is HOT
    Try it out if you don't believe me!

    pottytrainingregressionhelp.com/thesolution

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  57. Hey there!

    Great tips! Love it
    I've found what I believe is the BEST potty training method out there.
    This 3 day potty training program is HOT
    Try it out if you don't believe me!

    pottytrainingregressionhelp.com/thesolution

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