Potty Training Answer Book
Author: Karen Deerwester
Table of Contents
IntroductionChapter 1: Potty Training BasicsChapter 2: Your Child Is an Individual: Readiness and
PersonalityChapter 3: Custom-Made Strategies for Your FamilyChapter 4: Your Personal Potty
PlanChapter 5: Accidents, Surprises, and MistakesChapter 6: Tricks, Treats, and GimmicksChapter 7:
Fears, Stress, and SetbacksChapter 8: Ready to GoChapter 9: Real Moments—Specific Questions from
the TrenchesAppendix A: Potty Books, Videos, and StoriesAppendix B: Potty Songs, Rhymes, and
CDsAppendix C: Potty Training GamesAppendix D—Potty Training ResourcesIndexAbout the Author
The Potty Training Answer Book breaks down the top 200 questions parents ask when faced with the
potty-training challenge. Compiled through both her own experiences and Q&A sessions with parents,
parenting expert Karen Deerwester covers the difficult—and funny—questions you'll encounter with
detailed advice and information.Real-world answers to all your potty-training questions:—What is the
average age for girls to be potty trained?—What is the average age for boys to be potty trained?—Does a
child's temperament affect potty training?—What words should I use for body parts and bodily
functions?—Is nighttime potty training different than daytime potty training?—Can rewards be a positive
potty strategy?Written in an easy-to-read question-and-answer format, The Potty Training Answer Book
gives you indispensable tips and techniques to help you keep the potty-training process as easy and
painless as possible for both you and your child.
Does potty training mean different things to different people?
Potty training can mean many different things, although they all lead to the same outcome—your child’s
understanding and control of his body. The methods may differ drastically or the methods may be
interchangeable and complementary. Some people believe potty training is a natural process that is
easily learned at the right time, while others believe it is urgently taught with very specific adult
intervention. Unfortunately, in many cases potty training feels like a dreadful chore.
The underlying truth is that all children enjoy taking control of their bodies. And all parents have the ability
to make potty learning a positive and even fun experience. Children want to grow up as long as change is
safe and manageable. You want to support your child through each developmental stage—cultivating
skills, encouraging through failures, and designing winning solutions.
Different potty training strategies will work for different families at different times. While the basics will be
true for all children, sometimes a specific shortcut will get you over the hump in a frustrating situation.
There is always a solution to help you and your child move forward.
What are some popular potty training theories?
Infant potty training
In many cultures around the world, potty training begins with children under one year of age.
Organizations like DiaperFreeBaby have recently described “elimination communication” as a natural
family philosophy consistent with their interpretation of attachment parenting. Mom, or another caregiver,
is a full-time participant in the pottying process: timing feedings and eliminations, reading baby’s physical
cues, and holding the baby on the potty. Proponents of this method believe it saves on diaper costs,
minimizes environmental waste, and leads to deep parent–child bonding. It is also time-intensive and can
only be done in an emotionally supportive environment.
Dr. Sears’ Attachment Parenting
Attachment parenting celebrates emotional and physical bonding between parents and children through
breast-feeding, co-sleeping, and responsive intimacy. In Dr. Sears’ book You Can Go to the Potty, he
describes potty training as potty learning. The learning process is a natural progression toward
independence through loving parental support. Children are fed, rocked to sleep, and diapered by grown-
ups. Then, as children grow and learn language, they choose to eat, sleep, and potty on their own.
Potty training in a day
This method accelerates potty training by increasing fluid intake and thereby increasing potty
opportunities. It is recommended for children over twenty months old if both parents are in agreement.
Readiness conditions should be apparent for the child to begin. In this method, children learn about the
pottying process by teaching a doll that wets and using a reward system that reinforces the child’s
success. Parental approval and disapproval are intended to lead the child to the desired behaviors.
American Academy of Pediatrics
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guidelines focus on a positive developmental approach to
potty training. The guidelines recognize a range of ages to begin potty training based on differences in
readiness factors and family dynamic. The AAP recommendations are individualized and allow for months
from beginning to mastery.
Karen Deerweester is the owner of Family Time Coaching & Consulting and a highly requested speaker
and trainer for parents and educators in South Florida. Karen reaches millions of parents each month as
the parent “expert” for Bluesuitmom.com, the author of the Toddler/Preschooler Column for South Florida
Parenting Magazine and numerous parenting websites. Karen’s popular parenting CD titled Parenting
Quick Tips for Young Children was featured in the premier issue of Dr. Phil’s magazine The Next Level.
She lives in Deerfield Beach, Florida.