"A child without rules is like a fish out of water. "

Toilet Training

John's Most Recent Articles

Where We All Went Wrong

Posted on 8/25/2020

My profession, psychology, began demonizing traditional childrearing in the late 1960s. I was in graduate school at the time and on fire for the promise that the proper use of psychological...

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Some Benchmarks on Toilet Training

Posted on 6/9/2020

“There’s no one-size-fits-all model of childrearing for all the world’s parents,” opines Alma Gottlieb, Professor Emerita of Anthropology at the University of Illinois. Gottlieb was quoted in an...

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Toilet Training Is Not Rocket Science

Posted on 9/26/2018

Talking today’s mother through her first experience with toilet training is akin to talking someone off a ledge. Both situations involve massive anxiety, high drama and lots of yelling and...

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Debunking Hot Potty Training Myths

Posted on 8/14/2018

“Potty training is a nightmare.” So begins advice from Meghan Leahy, advice columnist for The Washington Post. More accurately, potty training has, of late, BECOME a nightmare, thanks to advice of...

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I Spy Toilet-Training Atrocities

Posted on 7/10/2018

Strolling through my go-to grocery store the other day, I happened down the Baby Products aisle where I spied packages of toilet-training pants featuring pictures of happy children who looked at...

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Nip Toddler Misbehavior in the Bud

Posted on 12/19/2017

Q: My parents recently told me that my husband and I are letting our toddler run our family and that it’s becoming increasingly uncomfortable for them to visit or have us visit with them – they...

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Key to Toilet Training Success: Start Early

Posted on 8/2/2017

Q: Our twin girls will be three in a few months. Our pediatrician recommended that we start toilet training at 32 months, which we did. After several months and lots of gnashing of teeth, one of...

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Pull-Ups & Adoption Age

Posted on 9/16/2014

Q: My 23-month-old son does well with potty training when we’re at home. We use a “potty bell” and he goes every 90 minutes or so. When we’re away from home, however, he seems clueless. He...

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Parental Anxiety

Posted on 8/12/2014

On one of my websites I, along with a team of certified parent coaches, answer questions submitted by parents. In the last two days, 67 percent of the questions have concerned toilet...

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Diapers at night

Posted on 7/22/2014

Q: Using your advice, I successfully toilet-trained my daughter by age 16 months. It is now three months later and we are still using diapers at naps and nighttime. At her nap, which lasts...

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Recent Questions

Back on track, potty training

Posted 6 days ago

My 27-month daughter was potty trained 2 months ago and was doing great. She was not having accidents. 2 weeks ago I gave birth to our second daughter and now my 2-yr old is having accidents. ...

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Almost 4 year old refuses to poop in the toilet

Posted 1 week ago

My grandson will be 4 the end of May. He has been partially potty trained for over a year, but will have bowel movements in his pants, then run to the bathroom and dump it in the toilet. If told...

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Potty Training

Posted 4 weeks ago

We are toilet training our 18 month old son. He has sat on the small potty many times, peed in it a few times, mostly he refuses to sit on it. He is clearly capable of what is being asked of him....

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Potty training turns into playing

Posted on 3/6/2021

Hi! I have 2 new questions: Bath time is rough because our daughter wants to sit and play on the toilet instead of taking a bath. Bath time is part of our bedtime routine so I’m not sure how...

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Follow up questions - confidence during potty training

Posted on 2/28/2021

Parent guru question 2: Thanks for your last response. Our 25-month old daughter is successfully wearing shorts no underwear, and has had 0 accidents at home in 8 days! I have 2 new...

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Stay the course - potty training

Posted on 2/24/2021

I am currently potty training my youngest, almost 19 months. I have purchased John's books on the terrible 2s and potty training and I have been trying to follow all the advice. It has been a week...

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Afraid of the potty

Posted on 2/24/2021

I am in the process of potty training a 3 year old. She is irrationally afraid of the potty, and seems to believe she will fall in even though she is using a small toddler-sized potty that she...

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Confidence during potty training

Posted on 2/20/2021

We are potty training our 25-month old. I took a week off work to keep our daughter home from daycare to really get a good start. We read Toilet Training without Tantrums and are following Naked...

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Am I doing to much?

Posted on 2/18/2021

I have 3 children, soon to be 5, soon to be 4, soon to be 2. I have begun implementing alpha speech and tickets within the last month. I am still using the "offense" to lose tickets as not...

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Developmental Delays and Potty Training

Posted on 2/16/2021

Toilet training follow up - soiling pants still. Our disabled (developmental delay, hearing loss, sensory processing delay) 4.5 year old daughter has been toilet training for about a month now. ...

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