Being the behavior analyst that I am . . . Taken from Foxx & Azrin’s circa 70’s study potty training in a day . . . while we didn’t make it in that amount of time, we did it in a week. I’ll confirm my statement by noting that one week later she was out and about with underware and peed on the potty 4/5 times at various places. She told us twice at a restaurant that she had to go. We used a timer in the beginning stages, mostly for our benefit as parents to note how much time has passed, so there possibly was/is a little bit of stimulus control. It is currently faded out. Below is a snapshot of my data collection.
We had 6 phases:
Phase 1: reinforcement for sitting on the potty; 15min intervals
Phase 2: reinforcement for sitting on the potty for at least 1min; 15 min intervals
Phase 3: reinforcement for voiding (or BM) on the potty; 15 min intervals
Phase 4: reinforcement for voiding (or BM) on the potty; 30 min intervals
Phase 5: reinforcement for voiding (or BM) on the potty; 1 hr intervals
Phase 6: reinforcement for voiding (or BM) on the potty; random intervals
* Note we went back to Phase 5 after 2 purposeful accidents during Phase 6. One positive practice was used after the 2nd accident.
Helpful resources for basic points of Foxx & Azrin:
The Verbal Behavior Approach by M. Barbera, RN, MSN, BCBA
* Scroll down to 5 components of a training program.
Friends with similar stories:
Our reinforcement was and still is jelly beans. They are a most coveted item and isolated from all other times. The interesting thing I’ll note is that she is actually getting less and less reinforcement and not from us thinning the schedule of reinforcement. As Avery learns to hold longer she is simply going less often but more at each sitting, and thus receiving less reinforcement. There is some increased maladaptive behavior due to a drop in reinforcement. Therefore for future considerations we may have to change the schedule of reinforcement and/or move to a token economy system of sorts.
We are still working on nap and nighttime potty. Looking for those dry diapers 1st after nap and then again upon waking up, so we are continuing to use diapers/pull ups during those times. Data has been discontinued though I may take data on accidents if they persist!
I thought I would update this post for my friends who are thinking about doing a similar scheduled potty training. We faded out the jelly beans within a few weeks. They were still necessary when we were out and about. And since I would often use the bathroom when taking Avery, I often got lots of hand clapping from her and an exclamation “good job mommy, you get a jelly bean!” Priceless. Training BM wasn’t necessary. We strategically put her on the potty at times we knew she might also poop. We didn’t need to do nap or nighttime “training” either. She started to just go on the toilet during those times, before we removed the diapers/pull ups. We have NEVER had an accident at night.