Pottywise for Toddlers: A Developmental Readiness Approach to Potty Trainingby Gary Ezzo, M.A. and Robert Buckham, M.D., Parent Wise Solutions, Inc., 2005, 135 pages, $9.95 US.
Brief overview of contentThis book could easily have been divided into three parts. First the authors discuss what's required before you begin to potty train. Readiness involves not only the physical development and control (to some extent) of the child, but also the volitional readiness (the child wants to go potty) and the parent's (or parents') readiness (knowing what to do and being committed to following through). Also, the potty training infrastructure (e.g., potty chair/seat, training pants, rewards, sippy cup, doll, etc.) for this program is described so that the reader will be fully prepared to move to the second part.
The second part deals with the actual training. The plan focuses on an intensive training that should take only one day, though they do encourage mommy or daddy to give at least four days in case extra work is needed. On the first day, the parent has the child train a doll how to use the potty, going from drinking from a sippy cup to checking dryness to using the potty. Then the child begins the program, using rewards to reinforce success. The key concept in this training program is "dry and clean." Using the potty is just the means to achieve this end. The child gets a reward for checking and staying dry and gets a double reward for using the potty to stay dry and clean. This process is repeated regularly throughout the day (checking dryness with reward, sitting on the potty, getting a double reward for using the potty). The authors do acknowledge that not everyone can make this time and focus commitment and give some tips on having a longer term plan (training over weeks or months).
The third part reviews common problems, setbacks and questions that come up during training and immediately thereafter. Practical advise is given on accidents, bedwetting, tapering off giving rewards, etc. Since a big part of their recommendations is to have a more or less regular schedule for the child, an appendix describes how best to structure a toddler's day and gives a chart that can be adapted by the reader. A subject index also helps the reader quickly get to relevant information.