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Potty Genius Blog

Professional Potty Trainers: Good Idea?


In 2008, a professional toilet trainer in Chicago made news by claiming she could train a child in as little as five hours. “TODAY’S” Al Roker confirmed that this professional toilet trainer had trained his child that quickly. Parents were skeptical. Some didn’t believe claims of fast training, and others didn’t think children should be toilet trained by strangers.
professional toilet trainers: good idea?

by Anna Kaplan, MD

Dr. Anna Kaplan is a writer and a licensed physician. She completed a 3-year residency and board certification in Family Practice and was in active practice for 15 years. A parent herself, Anna still remembers the "I know how to use the potty" song that her children sang.


Potty Genius Blog

Professional Potty Trainers: Good Idea?


In 2008, a professional toilet trainer in Chicago made news by claiming she could train a child in as little as five hours. “TODAY’S” Al Roker confirmed that this professional toilet trainer had trained his child that quickly. Parents were skeptical. Some didn’t believe claims of fast training, and others didn’t think children should be toilet trained by strangers.

by Anna Kaplan, MD

Dr. Anna Kaplan is a writer and a licensed physician. She completed a 3-year residency and board certification in Family Practice and was in active practice for 15 years. A parent herself, Anna still remembers the "I know how to use the potty" song that her children sang.


professional toilet trainers: good idea?
In 2008, a professional toilet trainer in Chicago made news by claiming she could train a child in as little as five hours. “TODAY’S” Al Roker confirmed that this professional toilet trainer had trained his child that quickly. Parents were skeptical. Some didn’t believe claims of fast training, and others didn’t think children should be toilet trained by strangers.

Are Reactions to Professional Potty Trainers Reasonable?

People still often react negatively to the idea of professional potty training. A 2016 article about Jules Wainstein, one of the “Real Housewives of New York City,” described hiring potty trainer Samantha Allen for her two-year-old daughter. Training was expected to take two days, and cost $2,000. The article writer called this the most “jaw-dropping moment” from an episode of “Real Housewives…,” comparing it to spending $25,000 on sunglasses and saying it was more ridiculous than a dog wedding. I don’t agree. While buying a book, talking to other parents, and asking a doctor all seem to be acceptable ways to get help when potty training isn’t going well, paying someone to do it for you seems to cross a line. But children have to learn to use a toilet. If a parent cannot handle the task and can afford to pay someone who can, maybe that isn’t the worst thing. I see the value in getting assistance from an expert if things are going badly. Many potty trainers offer consultations, seminars, and other ways to work with parents, rather than excluding them from the process.

Specifics about Professional Potty Trainers

Many potty trainers use some variation of the Azrin and Foxx method. This is how they can train a child in a short period of time, from one to three days. There are trainers who work with one child alone, some that work alongside the parent and child, and others who hold boot camps where groups of children train together. Boot camps also take advantage of “peer pressure,” because children at this age often want to be like others. Afrin and Foxx actually brought up the idea of another trainer. They explained that a child having trouble while being trained by one parent might do better with someone else, saying, “…training may be more effective if conducted by the father or a friend who was not involved in the previous attempt.” Practically speaking, if no one else is available, a professional trainer might be the right choice. Trainers who don’t use intensive training like Azrin and Foxx are more likely to offer consultations and support over time, because results take longer. Regardless of the method used, a good potty trainer should help you identify problems and point you in the right direction. Potty trainers come from a variety of backgrounds and offer a range of services. Some are child psychologists who originally trained children with special needs. Others are nurses. Jamie Glowacki, a social worker turned potty training expert, wrote the Oh Crap! Potty Training book (OCPT) and then developed a certification course to train other people. There are trainers who will come to your home, offer consultations over the telephone or Skype, train children in groups, or give seminars to parents. A phone consultation runs $250 to $600. Five hours of in-person, intensive training can cost $600 to $1,000 a day. Parents might be charged $500 for a workshop teaching them how to train their children. Most trainers include some kind of follow up.

Considering a Professional Trainer?

Using a search engine like Google, enter “toilet training experts” or “potty training experts,” and your location. If you live in a big city like Los Angeles or New York, there will be trainers somewhere in your area. If there is no one near you, you can find people who offer phone and Skype consultations. You can even travel to someplace like New York, and a trainer will work with your child in a hotel. Of course, that is extremely expensive. Read about any consultants that interest you. I would suggest looking for someone with a professional degree or education. See if what they offer and what they charge might work for your family. I do not see any reason why a family needing help should not consider a professional potty trainer if they can afford it.

Additional Potty Training Resources:

Potty Whisperer Toilet Training Hiring a Professional to Potty Train Your Toddler is a Thing Now

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