According to the American Academy of Pediatrics and other experts, toddlers have profound and steadfast cravings to discover new information, observe their environments, and master new skills. And it's no surprise that when children are actively encouraged to seek out new information and their efforts and accomplishments are celebrated, they learn far more quickly.
Therefore, if your goal is to toilet train your son or daughter quickly, you must keep these fundamental truths in mind before beginning the process, because they serve as the basis for any good fast-forwarding system. In my experience, far too many well-meaning parents has less than stellar results because they assume that their little ones actually prefer peeing and pooping in their diapers! This couldn't be further from the truth! Rather, children continually strive to become more independent (and potty training is one of the biggest first steps towards this) and with proper instruction and support, they can - and will - learn to use the potty or toilet quickly and happily!
All you need is four things:
1. The right mindset - Commitment, focus, and follow-through are essential for successful, complete, and fast toilet training
2. An excellent accelerated toilet training system - one that combines positive behavioral modification techniques within a nurturing environment
3. Thorough preparation - You'll need to set aside the time and have the required equipment (which shouldn't be expensive or fancy!)
4. Careful attention to instructions and consistent follow-through - You must be prepared to follow the directions to the letter and
If you're missing any of the four, you can expect that toilet training your child will take much, much longer than is necessary, and it's best to prepare yourself for the long haul.
My advice? Avoid learning the hard way through trial and error - there simply is no need to do so. But here's a word of caution: The Internet is filled with "faster-than-light" toilet training methods and in my opinion, many are just plain terrible. Promoters of these methods will promise you instant results with little, or no, work.
Don't believe them! Yes, you can potty train your child quickly - even in 24 hours (I've personally done this many times) - but it will not happen by accident (no pun intended!). Like most things, your result will be directly related to your efforts. If you exert very little time and effort you can reasonably expect very little in the way of achievements, regardless of what you may have heard.
Here are four quick reference tips that will increase your chances of success:
1. Be certain that your child is physically and developmentally ready for toilet training. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises that most children are ready to be toilet trained between the ages of 18 and 27 months. However, use this only as a guide, because experts also concur on this other very critical rule of thumb: Developmental age is much more important than chronological age for determining potty training readiness. (e.g. dressing and undressing themselves; imitating others; frequent "I can do it all by myself!" declarations, and the like). If you're still uncertain, check with your pediatrician or take one of the toilet training readiness assessments on the Internet.
2. Trust that you and your child can work together to accomplish this joyful rite of passage. As I indicated earlier, I have potty-trained toddlers of every "make and model" - younger, older, cooperative, resistant, talkative, and more. And although each was unique in many ways, they all had one thing in common: they wanted to learn to use the potty, even if they didn't seem to at first.
Quite frankly, I've witnessed only two main reasons for potty training "failures." They are:
* The child was not old enough and/or developmentally ready. (Refer back to #1)
* The "teacher" (most often a parent) didn't prepare properly, failed to follow directions carefully, lacked the necessary focus, and/or wasn't consistent. In other words, the teacher's efforts must surpass the student's - at least initially.
3. Choose your accelerated system carefully. Make sure you select a method that will get the job done quickly and joyfully and most importantly, one that is supported in practice and theory by pediatricians, child therapists, and other respected experts. And, please, don't fall for the hype! Following are some things to consider.
Your toilet training system should...
* Help you determine if your child is ready
* Offer all-inclusive, easy-to-follow instructions (from the planning stage through implementation) using plain language and simple formatting
* Support constructive behavioral modification procedures within a cheerful and supportive environment
* Call for one teacher only (usually a parent) until the initial process is completed
* Disallow punishment for accidents or non-compliance and highly discourage stressful "pushing" of any sort
* Contain a detailed list of necessary supplies and not require specialized (e.g. expensive, fancy, gimmicky) equipment or toys
* Prohibit the use of pull-ups (the worst toilet training aids of all time, in my humble opinion!)
4. Commit the necessary time (24-48 hours), focus, and stick-to-itiveness to the process - no matter how frustrating you may feel at times. In other words, preparation and dogged persistence win this one! Laid-back, "they'll-figure-it-out-for-themselves" won't cut it if you plan on toilet training your child quickly. Once again, if you're determined to approach it with this kind of attitude, you'll likely be potty training your little one for months.
Having said that, I want to be very clear on the following point. Although it's entirely possible - and even common - to potty train toddlers in 24 hours or less, you should still set aside two full days to complete it. This will provide plenty of wiggle room to reinforce your teachings for children who learn more quickly and allow you to continue your lessons if your child needs a bit more time. And remember, either is perfectly normal, and since you won't know how it will go until you're already well into the process, it's a good idea to plan for any eventuality.
I hope this advice has proven helpful to those of you who have already decided to - or are considering - toilet training fast. Remember, it can be achieved quickly, merrily, and entirely with a little bit of planning, the right attitude, and a whole lot of love!