If you’re not looking forward to months of potty training — and the accident clean-ups that come with it — whipping your child into shape quickly using a potty training boot camp may be attractive. He doesn’t have to be a military brat to start basic training. All children who are old enough to understand the urge to go can use the method to learn to use the potty — some in as little as a day.
Captain Mom Vs. The General
You can create your own potty training boot camp at home, which may be comforting for your child but is going to require a significant investment of your time the first few days. If you live in a big city, though, you may have other options. Some companies in cities like Chicago and San Francisco offer boot camp as a professional service on a regular basis. Other companies travel to major cities, offering boot camp on an occasional basis. In this type of situation, you’d bring your child to the boot camp location and a “general” would lead your child through the potty training process along with a group of potty training recruits. You’ll still have to reinforce techniques once home, but the initial process should only take one day.
If you’re going to try the boot camp process at home, set aside at least one day to dedicate to the process. The focus of potty training boot camp is to teach your child to take control of the process. She should learn when she needs to use the potty, do everything herself and help clean up any accidents, according to the “Potty Whisperer,” Wendy Sweeney. By loading her up with sugary liquids and salty snacks, you’ll increase the number of times she’ll have to attempt the potty. If she doesn’t make it in time, treat it like it’s no big deal. She’ll do better next time. Some parents choose to do this process in a “no pants” style, where the child wears nothing on the bottom, but if you’re uncomfortable with this idea, simply make sure that your child can easily remove her pants.
The official boot camp session only lasts a day or two, but potty training can still go on longer. Even if your child successfully goes in the potty several times throughout that first day, he might still have the occasional accident in the upcoming months. This always happens at the most inconvenient time. Rather than putting him in a diaper for convenience’ sake, which might make him regress, pack an extra change of clothes — or three — whenever you go out.
Potty training boot camp is not for everyone. If your child isn’t responding well, whether she’s fighting using the potty or simply doesn’t seem to be grasping the concept, she may simply not be ready. You might want to give up the idea of boot camp altogether, switching to a more gradual potty training process, or you could give up for now and try again in a few months