How do you potty train your child? It all depends on your parenting style and your child's character. We've all heard stories of children that potty train themselves. If that won't work in your case, here are the PROS and CONS of some popular potty training techniques.

1. Let the Kids Run Around Naked

Take off the diaper and the pants and go commando training!

  • PRO: Your child will feel exactly what's going on, without having any diaper or clothing material to camouflage the mess.
     
  • CON: You will need to clean your floors until your child is potty trained. Also, house guests may be questionable for a while.

2. Potty Time

Ready or not, here comes training. Make sure you're ready to place your child on the potty every 20 or 30 minutes. You can set a timer to make sure you both remember.

  • PRO: You don't have to deal with many accidents and you make them aware of the feeling of "having to go."
     
  • CON: You have to stay home for a couple days or so until your child feels comfortable telling you on his own.

3. Target Practice

Teach your son to pee standing up by sinking cheerios in the toilet.

  • PRO: This is a fun way to teach potty basics.
     
  • CON: It grosses me out. Also, you may want to teach your son to pee sitting down for the first few years, to limit the pee dribbles on the floors, and ceilings and walls. Another thing to think about: Boys need to be especially careful when placing the adult toilet seat up. If they aren't strong enough, it can fall and hurt them badly.

4. Bribe

A tiny candy bribe, like an M&M for every potty tinkle, is famous parental potty training fodder. Hey, if it works for Shamu, why not kids?

  • PRO: It just may be the carrot you need to get them out of diapers.
     
  • CON: If bribery isn't your favorite parenting style, this one obviously won't work in your household.

5. Explain

If your child is very observant, he may have a difficult time going poop in the potty. They look at the waste as part of themselves going away. So, bring out your inner doctor, and explain to your child how the digestive system works.

  • PRO: It is an anatomy lesson and a potty training session all wrapped in one.
     
  • CON: Some children may still struggle with the concept.

6. Go Shopping

Take your child on a big kid adventure and have him pick out his favorite underpants. Tell him that these are for big kids who go in the potty, and explain that pee pee and poo poo stay in the potty.

  • PRO: Your child's favorite cartoon character is a great motivator to the next level of big kid land.
     
  • CON: Sometimes accidents still happen, and you're stuck washing out dirty Diego underpants.

7. Just Do It

Explain to your child that the diapers are for babies, he's a big boy and it's time to say goodbye to diapers. Never look back. Get lots of extra underpants, throw him in them and reiterate with every accident that he needs to use the potty.

  • PRO: It's a messy, fearless choice, but your child will get it eventually. (And probably sooner than you think.)
     
  • CON: Laundry, laundry, laundry.

Hopefully, at least one of these ideas will work for your toddler. When you're feeling discouraged, just remember your child will not graduate high school in diapers.

This post was included in the latest Family Finance Blog Carnival.