the one-day method

Best for ages 20 months+

advertisement
The One-Day Method

This method was introduced by two psychologists, Dr. Nathan Azrin and Dr. Richard Foxx, in the early 1970s. Lately--and notably--a variation of the method has been popularized by Dr. Phil McGraw. This is sometimes referred to as the "modeling approach" to potty training.
advertisement
This method is based on the notion that children learn by example and by seeing that actions have consequences.
advertisement
On the day of potty training, the parent and child spend several hours completely focused on the training with no distractions and no conversations outside of talking about using the potty.
advertisement
The child is given a doll that drinks and wets, and is also given a potty chair. The parent spends time talking with and directing the child as the child feeds the doll its bottle, helps the doll off with its underwear, and sits the doll on the potty.
advertisement
While playing, the child sees how the doll uses the potty and begins to understand that the consequence of eating and drinking is the need to go to the potty.
advertisement
The actions with the doll are repeated several times so the child begins to understand the steps necessary to keep dry and to use the potty like a "big kid."
advertisement
Dr. Phil suggests giving the doll a "potty party" to celebrate the doll's potty-training success, thus providing motivation. Another motivation could be a phone call from a superhero.
advertisement
During this time, the child is usually given plenty of fluids, to make using the potty more likely. Dr. Azrin and Dr. Foxx advise offering small treats as rewards for the doll and later for the child.
advertisement
Other steps include having the child empty the potty chair each time the doll uses it, flushing the toilet, and replacing the potty container to the chair.
advertisement
After the doll has mastered using the potty, parents can then move on to having the child raise and lower his or her underwear and sit on the potty. The steps are repeated numerous times, with the child praised at every step.
advertisement
If the child has an accident, the parent tells the child it is time to practice, and the child goes to the potty ten times. Dr. Azrin and Dr. Foxx suggest making these "Positive Practice Trials" into a sort of race. Dr. Phil points out that the repetition helps build muscle memory.
advertisement
For more, read Toilet Training in Less Than a Day, by Nathan H. Azrin, Ph.D. and Richard M. Foxx, Ph.D., or see Dr. Phil's online column.
advertisement
Important Disclaimer: The information provided in this NickJr.com health service area is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your or your child's condition. NickJr.com does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be provided by sponsors or any other third parties. Please also see Terms of Use.
nick jr. video