Tip and Techniques

Fun and games potty training Figuring out which of the different potty training methods is most suitable, is probably the hardest part when starting to potty train a special needs child.

You may have to try a few before you know which one will work best for you and your child.

Once you have figured it out, have a plan of action and gather all the right potty training equipment...just get going and stick to it.

Here we will have a look at the different methods that have been used successfully by moms of special needs children, in the past. We will also have a look at the pro's and con's of each toilet training method.

The Infant Method

  • This method is used mainly in third world countries, and the least used method in South Africa.
  • It involves holding an infant over a potty and catching the eliminations.
  • As a mom, you have to learn the infants rhythms and the infant has to learn to recognise the sensations that occur before he needs to go.
  • This method only works effectively when the use of disposable nappies is minimal or non existent.
  • The infant will eventually learn how signal when they need to go.


  • There is allot of parent/child bonding
  • Potty training starts early and finishes early.
  • Wetting and soiling themselves is not likely to become a habit for the child.
  • Less use of a nappy is more hygienic, cost effective and healthier for your infant.


  • Very time consuming, and not an ideal training method for working mom's.
  • You have to be dedicated, stay on top of it and stick it out until your child can use the potty by themselves.
  • There may be many accidents and many clean ups.

Practice until you get it right potty training method - It's potty time!

  • Slowly introduce the potty to your child.
  • Have the potty be easily accessible to your child,
  • Gradually teach them to use it, with no pressure.
This will include doing:

  • Hold regular practicing session's.
  • Constant praise your child for his efforts and reward him when he gets it right.
  • Keep a chart or a log book of his progress.
  • Make a gradual transition from nappies to potty to underwear.


  • This method can easily fit into a busy schedule.
  • If you plan, the practise sessions can become structured time in the morning and the evening,
  • It is a gradual process.
  • Almost no accidents.


  • You have to stick to the structure and schedule until your child is fully potty trained.
  • Can take anywhere from a weekend to few months depending on the readiness, developmental and maturity level's of your child.
  • May not learn to ask to go to the potty, as you always initiate.
  • Keeping your child interested to sit on the potty long enough to actually use it.

One day potty training method (Dr Phil's potty training method)

A mom potty training This method is based on two very simple concepts:
  • The best way to learn something is to teach it to them yourself.
  • Use a potty training doll, to show your child the correct potty training behaviour. Let your child copy your actions with them, but on the doll.
  • Behaviour is shaped by consequences

All actions have consequences, either positive or negative.


  • Very quick, can be done in one day, and no more than two weeks.
  • It is a very structured method.


  • Needs planning and preparation.
  • It is a very structured method.
  • You have to follow through, all the time.
  • Made to look a whole lot easier than it is.

He will Potty train when the time is right method

  • The basic idea of this method is that potty training is a developmental milestone, such as walking, talking, eating etc.It is your job as a parent to introduce the potty and all the related tasks to your child.
  • As your child is ready, he will then in effect, train himself.


  • This method is easy to fit into a busy life style.
  • Very little preparation is needed by the parent.
  • Does not require a large time commitment or consistency for parents, so is ideal for working parents.


  • Can take 6 months or more to too fully train the child.
  • Your child may be quite a bit older before he is ready to potty train.
  • Wetting and soiling can become a difficult habit to break with your child.

This method is a great concept, but may not work so well in reality - especially in a society that is so dependant on disposable nappies.

The Naked method

Fun and games potty training
  • Your child must be between 24 and 30 months of age, for this method to work effectively.
  • You need spend between 3 and 5 days, consecutively using this method.
  • Your child must be allowed to be naked all day, with a potty readily available.
  • Allot of experts do not agree with this method.


  • Easy, simple and inexpensive.
  • Quick, 3 - 5 days.


  • This is not a method supported by experts.
  • Can be very messy.

If you're looking for something specific, here's your chance to go searching... The Web The special needs child

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Potty training success

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