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Fast Methods for Potty Training

by Kelly Morris, studioD

No one enjoys changing diapers and most parents look forward to the day their children complete potty-training. The University of Michigan Health System reports that in the U.S., the average girl is potty-trained at 29 months of age and the average boy at 31 months. Potty-training takes an average of three to six months, but some methods might result in your child being potty-trained faster.


Potty-training goes faster and smoother when a child is ready for the task. Most fast methods for potty-training, including child-led potty-training and techniques for potty-training in a day, work best when used with children that display signs of readiness. According to the Mayo Clinic, some signs your child is ready to being potty-training include the ability to understand and follow simple directions, showing interest in his potty chair or in wearing underwear instead of diapers, and complaining about wet or dirty diapers.

Child-led Potty-training

Pediatrician T. Berry Brazelton introduced the idea of child-led potty training in 1962. According to “Parenting Science,” half of all children potty-trained by this method complete the process in three months or less. The technique involves waiting until your child shows interest, then following a series of steps that include taking your child to pick out a potty chair, encouraging her to sit on the potty chair fully clothed, emptying her dirty diapers into the potty, helping her empty the potty into the toilet and allowing her to flush.

Potty-training in a Day

Potty-training a child in just one day might sound too good to be true, but according to “Parenting Science,” the technique often works if the child is ready for potty-training and if the parent follows the instructions properly. The concept of potty-training in just one day was first introduced by psychologists Nathan Azrin and Richard Foxx in 1974, though several other parenting experts have suggested similar methods since then. These techniques all involve setting aside a whole day for potty-training, giving your child plenty to drink so he needs to use the toilet often, and providing lots of positive reinforcement when he does use the toilet.

Elimination Communication

Elimination communication, sometimes referred to as infant potty-training, involves potty-training children while they are still very young, often under the age of 1. This method involves carefully watching your child to see when she seems about to urinate or move her bowels, then taking her to the toilet and holding her over it so that she eliminates there. According to the Mayo Clinic, children under the age of 18 months lack the muscle development to completely control their bladder or bowels, so this method might involve training parents more than children. Its success relies on parents accurately reading their children’s body language and then getting them to the toilet in time.

About the Author

Kelly Morris has been making a living as a writer since 2004. She attended the College of Mount St. Joseph with a major in social work and minor in women's studies. Her work has appeared in a number of print publications including Caregivers Home Companion, Midwifery Today and Guide.

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