Keep the potty chair close by in this 24-hour toilet-training session.

How to Toilet Train Your Child in 24 Hours

by Rebecca Bagwell

The diaper is staying dry, your little girl is asking to go pee-pee, and you have bought the cutest little potty chair. You just might be ready to start potty training. One popular method is to do a one-day blitz by introducing and practicing going to a potty the entire day so your 2- or 3-year-old knows exactly what to do.

Potty Training in 24 Hours

Show your child the potty chair as soon as she wakes up in the morning and explain that she is going to learn how to go to the bathroom in it instead of a diaper. If you like, have her give a bottle of water to an unclothed baby doll to watch the doll pee into the potty chair. This visual helps some children understand what should happen when they sit on the chair.

Place cotton underwear on your child so she can immediately feel if she wets herself, and let her sit on a rubber mat to protect the floor. Use salty snacks to entice her to drink a large amount of her favorite drink. Play games or watch videos, staying close by the potty chair. The goal is to make her pee often during the day, giving her several chances to use the potty chair.

Watch carefully until she shows signs of needing to go to the bathroom. The first few times, she may not catch herself, so have plenty of cotton underwear nearby. Some parents prefer to let their toddler go without clothing for the morning to understand more fully what is happening. As soon as she begins to go, place her on the seat so she can finish peeing in the potty chair.

Keep her interest high by rewarding her every time she succeeds. Never punish her for not peeing in the potty, but keep encouraging her to try. Many children need between three and four hours to connect the feeling of a full bladder to peeing in the potty chair, according to learning specialists Nathan H. Azrin and Richard M. Foxx, who pioneered this method in their book "Toilet Training in Less Than a Day."

Repeat the process of staying near the potty chair while watching videos, eating snacks and drinking often. Periodically, have your child go try to use the chair to keep her thinking about what she is doing. Watch her carefully and assist her when she needs to go.

Items you will need

  • Potty chair
  • Several pairs of cotton underwear
  • Rubber mat
  • Salty snacks
  • Sugary drinks
  • Fun videos and games
  • Doll that pees (optional)


  • Wait to start toilet training until your child shows signs of readiness, such as not liking a wet diaper, pointing to various body parts and staying dry for more than a couple of hours at a time.
  • Be prepared to give your undivided attention to your toddler while training him to use the potty chair.
  • Expect accidents the first week until your toddler learns to remember to wait until she is sitting on the potty chair to pee.


  • Do not try this method on children younger than 20 months.
  • Do not expect children who are potty trained during the day to be potty trained at night. Most children take up to a year or longer to learn how to hold their bladder during the night.
  • Take into account your child's personality -- and your own -- before trying any one method of toilet training.

About the Author

Rebecca Bagwell is an educator with a bachelor's degree in secondary education from Trinity Baptist College. She has taught in China and the United States. While overseas she started writing articles in 2006 for bilingual trade journals. Now, she lives in the South where she homeschools and writes freelance articles encouraging creative approaches to education.

Photo Credits

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