ou know you’re having a tough time with potty training when an emergency trip to Chicago starts to seem like a good idea. That was the case for Julie Bixby, a Dellwood mother of two. Desperate to get her 3 1/2-year-old daughter, Isabella, potty trained, Bixby became intrigued when she read about a woman in the Windy City who guaranteed rapid results. “I was at my wit’s end,” said Bixby, who had been trying with her husband, Jon, to potty train their daughter for well over a year. “Isabella was going to be starting preschool in the fall, and we’d had 10,000 accidents since starting potty training.” Not long after that, Bixby saw a flier at a local coffee shop for Behave Your Best’s rapid potty-training service offered in the Twin Cities. Behave Your Best’s owner, Jamie Waldvogel — a behavior analyst, potty-training expert and mother of two — came to the Bixby home for a consultation. “Within five minutes, I knew she was our answer,” Bixby said. “Jamie worked her magic, and Isabella started using the potty that first day.” Though a couple minor relapses occurred, Waldvogel was available to help via text and phone. “It was the best money I ever spent,” Bixby said. “I wish I had known about Jamie earlier. It would have saved us a lot of headache, tears and laundry in our household.” The Bixbys knew their daughter was capable of potty training because she would use the potty for the babysitter. “But for us, she just wouldn’t,” Julie Bixby said. “We (me and my husband) were the problem. Jamie told us it wasn’t about the potty training. It was about the behavior and the attention she was getting from us when she wouldn’t go potty in the potty chair. It was just a repeating cycle/pattern we created.”
February 2015 • mnparent.com
Children learn quickest if given ample opportunities to practice a new skill in a short period of time. Increase fluid intake during first day or two of training to increase opportunities to practice.
Commit to underwear only during awake hours.
Temporarily use positive reinforcement to encourage positive behaviors. Start with a small goal — sitting calmly on the toilet for two minutes — and gradually increase your expectations with successes.
Every child is unique, so what worked for a sibling may not work a second time.