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Toilet training in less than a day and other great parenting books to help you raise healthy kids

Both of my kids were potty trained before the age of 2 - my son at 20 months, my daughter at 22 months. In this post, I tell you how it was done. I urge you to work with your child at these younger ages because it's easier, saves a ton of money, and is rewarding for both of you.


The secret is this book: Toilet Training in Less than a Day. It's an oldie but a goody. You don't need to read any further - just find that book and you will be on your way to toilet bliss. But if you'd like to know more about how it worked for me, read on.

With this book you will never have to say "My three year old refuses to toilet train!"

It all began when I was newly married and at a work convention with my husband's company. I found it very odd and distracting that a couple brought along their newborn baby and a slightly bigger baby. This "baby" was bouncing between parents - happy and oblivious to the meetings.

I couldn't stop staring at this bigger baby. Maybe it was my biological clock ticking. Maybe it was because the baby was so happy. Or maybe it was because the baby was so skinny. Not starving skinny, but not big butted, like most babies. It took me awhile, but I soon realized the baby was thin in the rear because it was not wearing a diaper. The whole meeting. Hours and hours. No diaper.

So after the meeting, I sidled up to those parents. I asked how old their baby was. He was 16 months old. Where was his diaper? Oh, he's potty trained.

Say what now? I knew from my brother's experience that toilet training was a nightmare and it couldn't be done until at least 3 years old. But here was a bouncy baby - a legit baby, fully toilet trained.

The mom went on to tell me that they had 2 other kids at home (she had JUST had the newborn 2 weeks ago....) and they were both toilet trained around 18-19 months. No way, how did you do that?

The told me - they read a book called Toilet Training in Less than a Day. Did it really take just a day? Pretty much. One of their kids took a week, the others took a day or three. What did the book say? She said it involved teaching the child to use the potty with a doll. The basic gist is that the child teaches the doll and by doing that they learn and are motivated to want to try. Hmmm....

I don't remember anything else about that convention. Maybe I didn't learn anything because I was so busy stalking that baby. Oh well.

A few months later, I was traveling for work and I stopped in to a cafe for lunch. As I was walking from the parking lot to the cafe, I noticed a half price booked store with racks of books outside. The racks said 1 cent books. I mean, could I really resist books for a penny? No, I couldn't.

I started looking at the racks and right in the middle was a yellow, old copy of Toilet Training in Less than a Day. I picked it up and flipped through the pages. It smelled like old library and the pages were dark yellow. But there was the potty doll. It had to be the one.

I took it home and put it in my closet. It would be 2 years before I had my first child and there was no sense learning something that wouldn't be in practice for many years.

But around the time I became pregnant, my sisters and friends were having babies. I watched a few of them and soon realized that I would never have free time again once my own baby arrived. So I started reading as soon as I was pregnant. I read dozens of books. The usuals, you know the "what to expect when you're expecting type, but also some really amazing books that stuck with me and made me a better parent.

I read a lot and I detest clutter, so I only keep THE BEST books. Here are the winners from my child rearing days:

My kids are now 15 and 14. They have grown up to be good people. Responsible. Hard working. Kind to others. They are not perfect, but they put forth their best efforts each day - and for that I am proud.

They were both potty trained using The Toilet Training in Less than a Day book. My son was trained at 20 months in about 3 days. I trained him soon after he started showing interest and understanding the connection between his body and his diaper (according to the signs in the book.) It was summer and I found it helped a lot to have him wear no underwear during the day and these baggy, easy to slip off shorts. Sadly, he did run around the neighborhood, flashing his balls a few times as he ran and somersaulted. But he was trained and we never looked back at diapers from day 1 (also in the book.)

I had my babies really close together. Not on purpose, it just happened that way, so I was thankful to only have one baby in diapers.

My daughter was trained at 22 months. She was trained in about 2 hours. She never had an accident. EVER. My son had a few accidents and night time was our biggest challenge. My daughter showed readiness many months earlier but we were in the middle of a house sale that was taking forever.

I was too stressed out cleaning the house to perfection each day and having to take the kids out during showings. So we waited until we moved into our next house. In case you are wondering, I did all the training myself. It can be a one person job - and is probably better that way.

It's been 12 years since I read the book, but trust me when I say it had every step outlined. You just need the book and a potty doll. Get a cheap one. Just make sure it can pee easily, by squeezing it's tummy. There was a big troubleshooting section with answers to all sorts of questions. It was a life saver  - literally. Because I had such a good guide, toilet training was easy. I found it WAY harder to teach my kids to ride a bike than to use the potty. And to read.... every child is different. While I was teaching my son to read, over and over again, my daughter watched and learned along side him.  You just never know.

My kids are very different from each other and learn in different ways. But that book worked amazing for both of them, and all of the children from the lady at the meeting. I'm grateful that I met her and that she was willing to share her secret. Now I pass it to you.

The book is older and it's possible there are others with the same title. You want the book by Dr. Azrin. You can get your child potty trained - and save so much stress, fighting, and money. Best of luck to you!

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