Thursday, December 3, 2009

Potty Training Boot Camp

A combination of a few methods is used for The Potty Training Boot Camp by Suzanne Riffel. Potty training takes place in phases. First is the preparatory work. Then, the caregiver has a training day called "boot camp." Finally, the caregivers provide reinforcement and maintenance.

The focus of the preparatory work is to encourage familiarity of the toileting process including using pee-pee dolls.

The "boot camp" day is a modified one day potty training method, the timer potty training method we discussed yesterday, and Dr. John Rosemond's "Naked and $75 Method" we will explain tomorrow. The child stays naked to allow for increased awareness of bodily function, and the timer allows the caregiver to still maintain some control over the training. Rewards on the training day are increasingly more desirable for the toddler to help maintain motivation.

The reinforcement phase is handled like any other training program -- frequent reminders and positive reinforcement consisting of hugs, praises, and stickers.
Have you tried this potty training method? Did it work for you?


Anonymous said...

I would reccomend other nannies stick to Brazelton's method or Dr Phils advice. Those are more fun and their methods have worked for me personally.

Boot Camp is a little intense. Bare bottoms and timers turn me off. I do agree with the idea of knowing the child well enough to know about when to take him or her to the potty. A timer is fine which is mentioned in Boot Camp.

Anne Marie
12 yrs Preschool exp
5 yrs nanny exp
Westport, CT

Anonymous said...

No I haven't read this book so I probably shouldn't complain but just "BOOT CAMP" turns me off. Sounds strict and unfriendly. Yes we have to be organized and put in a lot of effort when helping a child learn to use a toilet, but the child doesn't need to know how difficult it is. No yelling, scolding or punishments sound better to me. The title of book sounds too military.

Anonymous said...

I tried posting earlier and it isn't showing up so I'll say again that I have worked for a family that read this book. It really isn't anything bad. It was my worst experience potty training though. I prefer a slower method but it is fine. I would recommend nannies read the book the parents prefer and use the method they prefer. No realy best way, just do as the parents want you to do so that you and the parents are consisitent.

wtspb2007 said...

Hello there! My name is Suzanne Riffel and I am the author of this book. I would like to thank you for mentioning The Potty Boot Camp on your blog.

Everything you described about the program is correct (preparation, "training day", and reinforcement and maintenance.) I would like, however, to respond to some of the comments left.

One thing about my program is that it can certainly be modified to fit the personality of the parent. It can either be quick and intense or more laid-back and slow. In the book, I outline ways to modify the program if a certain technique or method does not appeal to a parent. For example, there are "drills" on the first day. If a child responds negatively to the drills, I tell parents to simply eliminate them, shorten them, or modify them to fit the child's personality.

Many parents prefer a "parent-centered" program where they are in charge and others prefer "child-centered." The Potty Boot Camp allows each family to decide if they want to follow the program "to a T" or to adopt or change it as desired. I also provide free coaching and advice via email if the caregiver has questions throughout training.

Please feel free to contact me at if you have any questions!

Suzanne Riffel

Anonymous said...

Yep this is another nanny Angie and I have read the book and it's great. I like that the author uses other people's ideas and her own and that's what we all should do. Nothing military or too strict but you have to help of the child will never get trained to use the potty! It's just as good as any other method. Re: doing what the parents want is true since any method is better than just guessing about what to do!! REad the book! Itr's good.
Nanny Angie Wesport CT

lovebeingananny said...

Anonymous says "too military??" yet hasn't read the book?? It's fine and I agree with other nannies to incorporate a little of what works for each individual child. If the child is autistic or mentally handicapped then it's a whole different ball game altogether.

Anonymous said...

My potty training tip is to dress the child in underwear whenever the child is at home. Disposable diapers do not allow kids to feel if they are wet. The needs to feel uncomfortable in their undies when they are wet to feel motivated to try the potty.
Au Pair Steffie Hollywood