Potty training or toilet training can become exhausting and frustrating to both the parents and the child. This can be especially frustrating when both parents are working and do not seem to have the time and energy it takes to train the child.
Fast training methods are tempting to busy parents. But we need to understand that fast training methods are not for everyone.
It is usually advised for a developmentally ready child, free of any medical problems with motivated parents with a complete day to spare.
In this article we will see a overview of the method.
What is Azrin and Foxx potty training method?
This is one of the intensive training methods that involves blocking atleast 6-8 hours of time in a single day by a single person, preferrably the mother to train the child in one go.
Nathan Azrin and Richard Foxx were psychologists who in their own words wanted to, “elevate the level of functioning and happiness of the mentally retarded”.
In their research to train the mentally retarded they found that the method used to train the mentally challenged worked equally well on children as well.
Who can be trained with the Azrin and Foxx method of potty training?
This being an intensive training method it is advocated for parents who want to train their child in a day.
This could be for various reasons whether your child is starting pre-school soon or you have already tried other methods without any success.
At what age can you start training the child with Azrin and Foxx method of toilet training?
The authors advocated this method for children over the age of 20 months, as the motor (physical) and cognitive (mental) development required for potty training is usually present at this age.
However, as in many toilet training methods, age alone cannot be used as a guide to check the child’s readiness towards toilet training.
The authors encouraged parents to evaluate readiness to toilet train by administering these simple tests:
1. Bladder readiness
- Does the child urinate well and remain dry for atleast few hours in between?
- Does the child appear to know if he about to urinate or defecate (facial expressions or posturing)
- Is the child able to pick up objects easily?
- Is he able to walk, sit and stand independently ?
3. Instructional readiness
- Is able to point at various body parts?
- Is able to follow simple instructions?
- Is able to imitate you in simple actions?
If you are unable to decide if your child is ready to start toilet training then you take our simple and intuitive quiz to decide Is Your Child Ready To Be Toilet Trained?
Who should do the training?
It is advised by the authors that “anyone who has a good relationship with the child” can train the child. The child’s mother is an ideal choice, however in circumstances where the mother is unavailable anyone with a good relationship with the child can train the child.
Where to train the child?
It is advisable to train the child in an area of the house that is easy to clean up. It is also important that the area provides privacy and seclusion without any interruption from any other family member.
Otherwise, the child can get distracted easily and may not really participate in the learning process thereafter.
What are the supplies required for training the child with Azrin and Foxx method?
Apart from the dedicated block of time, you will need the following items for the training session:
: a potty chair that is appropriate in height, that the child can easily sit and stand from. It should also have a bowl that can be easily detached and emptied into the toilet. This is to ensure that the child can potty himself with minimal assistance.
A doll that wets.
A doll that wets easily. These days many dolls which can be specifically used for toilet training are available which can even more effective. Check our Resources section at the end of this post for some useful links.
Plenty of fluids.
The aim is to make sure you get plenty of opportunity in the training window to teach the child, which is made possible by giving plenty of fluids of the child’s choice. This can be fruit juices or milk.
Treats or candies
These are used as rewards for the successful completion of various aspects of the training.
A pair of loose-fitting elasticated pants without any buttons or buckles that can be easily pulled up and down by the child.
Friends who care list
This is a list of family and friends who will be excited and impressed by the child’s achievement. This is to be used as a reminder to the child that how these people will be impressed as a form of ‘social reward’ for the child.
Overview of the training procedure
The Azrin and Foxx method involves following phases of training
1. Prepare and schedule
- Make sure you have all the supplies
- Set a day for the training. It should be a continuous block of at least 6 hours free from any distractions
- Choose a part of the house or your backyard that is easy to clean and free from distractions.
2. A doll that wets procedure
This is based on the principle that children learn by imitation and by teaching.
A doll that wets easily is used to teach the child the sequence of events involved in toileting, like lowering the doll’s pants, placing the doll on the potty, emptying the toilet bowl, flushing the toilet etc. The child is asked to guide the doll and also use appropriate praises.
The child is also asked to conduct ‘dry checks’. This is repeated a couple of times until the child does the whole sequence on her own. This should usually take less than an hour.
Table of Contents
POTTY TRAINING DOLLS
3.Training the child
- Give the child plenty of his favorite drink to ensure he urinates more frequently thereby giving you plenty of opportunities to train.
- Prompt the child to sit on the potty for several minutes once every fifteen minutes until he does so on his own.
- Once he urinates in the pot ask him to empty the container in the toilet.
- Ask him if his pants are dry, as a prompt to potty.
- Use praises and reassurance in order to relax the child during the entire process.
- Also, use praises and rewards every time the child successfully uses the potty chair and immediately so. Children relate rewards to the immediately preceding action and cannot connect the positive reinforcement if done after some time.
- Approval can be verbal praise, treats, hugging, stroking and clapping.
- Use manual guidance to ensure the action will be carried out. Sometimes the child may not follow the instructions because of reluctance or not having understood the instructions. During these times use manual guidance. Use light touch or grasp to guide him through the action.
Azrin and foxx recommend conducting frequent dry checks atleast every 5 minutes, in order to teach the child about personal cleanliness.
Ask the child “are your pants dry?” and ask him to check his own pants and indicate either by gesture or by using words if it’s dry.
With every check reward the child if he has dry pants.
Dealing with accidents
The authors suggest verbal disapproval for wetting accidents subsequent to the training. This suggestion has been criticised by various professionals.
But the authors reinforce that these reprimands should be gentle and positive with immediate re-enacting of the potty process.
Authors suggest to continue pant inspections for a couple of days after training.
The Potty-Trained Diploma
Finally, when the child demonstrates self-initiated toileting without any prompting from parents and completes the task without any assistance from parents or with minimal assistance, a diploma is awarded to reinforce this achievement.
The child proudly displays this diploma to family members and friends which will act as a positive incentive to stay dry.
How succesful is the Azrin and Foxx toilet training method?
The authors conducted a study on 34 children in the community with appropriate developmental readiness.
They found that bowel and bladder accidents reduced by 97%. They were also able to train children on an average within 4.5 hours. They also found that one-third of the children stopped wetting the bed at night after training.
Another Study found a 20% reduction in nighttime bedwetting after training.
Pros and Cons of Azrin and Foxx intensive training method
- Requires only a day to train the child.
- May not be agreeable to many parents who want a gentler approach.
- May not work on all children.
- If your child is stubborn about starting toilet training this could only worsen the behaviour. Withhold any training for at least 1-2 months and then start again.