Toilet Training

John's Most Recent Articles

Starting Toilet Training Early Pays Off

Posted on 12/27/2022

Q: My grandmother maintains that her children – my mother and her two siblings, all born in the 1950s – were completely toilet trained at 18 months. Her terse explanation: “I just gave...

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The Problem With Pull-Ups

Posted on 11/1/2022

I finally tracked down the fellow who invented the so-called “pull-up.” His name is Lucapher (Big Lou) Saytan. Reputedly, Mr. Saytan lives in an underground bunker from which he develops and...

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On Chores, Discipline, Potty-Training

Posted on 3/29/2022

Q: When I give my 5-year-old daughter a chore, she does it, but all the while she is muttering under her breath, huffing and puffing, and so on. Do I discipline that behavior or just let her...

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The Keys to Relatively Quick, Painless Toilet Training

Posted on 1/12/2022

Q: I recently tried toilet training my 32-month-old, but after a few days of no success, I decided to stop. A friend tells me to hang in there, but my pediatrician says my son isn’t ready. She...

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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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Recent Questions

Nighttime Potty Training a 4-Year-Old

Posted 2 weeks ago

My daughter is 4 and I've been putting off nighttime potty training until the school year ends because sleep deprivation turns her into a bear. Once school is over, I plan to start with John's...

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Road Trip & Potty Training

Posted on 1/16/2024

My daughter (2.5) is potty trained and we are working on potty training our son (19 months). We have a long road trip coming up in April when we have to travel from South Dakota to...

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2.5 y/o refuses to poop

Posted on 12/28/2023

My 2.5 year old is potty trained when it comes to pee but not poop. She is a stool holder, she constipates herself and I have to give her mirlax daily. I believe they are painful because of how...

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Big move Big changes

Posted on 12/15/2023

Since our move my daughter has started having accidents again. She was day potty trained (only a couple accidents a week so staying dry and clean 98% of the time) but after the move she started...

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Posted on 12/7/2023

Lately our 4 year old seems to have some issues surrounding going to the bathroom. He will say things like “I saw the picture and it made me have to pee.” Or he sees something “girly” and it...

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Night Training

Posted on 11/26/2023

1. My daughter (2.5) is day potty trained other than occasionally having accidents. But at night or nap time she still wets the bed. We stopped doing diapers totally with her quite a while ago but...

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Potty training readiness

Posted on 11/3/2023

Day 4 of training my 22 month old girl, and I'm at a loss. Naked, potty bell, reinforcement of expectations with mistakes. She almost always runs to the potty the minute she starts peeing herself,...

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When Bedwetting Returns

Posted on 10/19/2023

Our 4-year-old daughter has been potty trained for quite some time. We were successful with no accidents at nighttime wearing underwear. When we went on a few vacations this past summer, we used...

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You're Going to Learn to Use the Toilet Today

Posted on 9/22/2023

Today I have started potty training my almost 16 month boy. I’m a little overwhelmed but felt that the time was right. Am I supposed to still use diapers when he sleeps and just focus on day...

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Stay The Course

Posted on 9/19/2023

A while back I had asked a question about potty training my daughter (2). She has the idea down but often gets too busy playing and then has accidents. I have been making her wash out her...

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