Potty Training in 3 Days Method
When my firstborn was 2 years old, I came across some information on Potty Training in 3 Days. To be honest, I thought it was a bit far fetched to potty train in such a short amount of time. However, when it came to motherhood, I had been keen to try new or unconventional methods in my approach. I had done hypno-birthing for a pain free birth. Six months later, baby led weaning was my method of introducing solids. So far, my new found methods had worked really well. So when I came across the 3-Day Potty Training Method, I thought I might as well give it a go! Here’s a breakdown of the 3-Day Potty Training Method.
What is the 3-Day Potty Training Method?
The aim is to potty train and be out of nappies by the end of the 3 days. It’s essentially an intensive potty training course for your toddler! It does involve a little planning but nothing extensive. So I guess the big question is, does it work? Yes, it does work, but is it as simple as being potty trained completely in 3 days? Not entirely but I’ll be writing about my experience in the next couple of days so for now, let’s look into what the 3-Day Potty Training Method involves.
STEP 1 – What Do You Need?
A Clear Calendar
Set aside 3 days in your calendar. You’ll need to find 3 consecutive days where you don’t need to leave the house at all. The key to this method is consistency. Clear out some days, book some time off of work, or assign duties where you need to be out of the house to your partner. Either way, your toddler needs to be at home for the full 3 days. If you cannot commit to 3 days right now, wait until you have some additional time before you try the 3-day method.
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You can go for a basic potty, a kids toilet seat to use on your toilet or you can grab yourself an all singing, all dancing potty like this one. Both of my children have loved their singing potty, it looks like a mini toilet and it sings every time they use it which added to their enjoyment of using it during potty training.
This may come as a shock but when you start the 3 day method, you are going to get rid of nappies altogether. This means no pull-ups either. Nappies during potty training are essentially a safety net. We want to get rid of that safety net and throw your toddler in at the deep end. If a nappy is there, why wouldn’t they use it? Nappies will counter act all of your hard work.
The next step in this process is to hold off on pants, knickers, shorts or trousers for now. This will stop any confusion for your toddler with the feeling of pants and mistaking that feeling for a nappy. You want your toddler to be bare-bottomed for now. It will also be easier for you to notice when they are weeing if they don’t have anything on their lower half. If possible try potty training when the weather is warmer, if not, turn your heaters up.
Water, Water and More Water
Have your toddler’s water bottle to hand throughout. The more they drink, the more they will use the potty. To get them used to using the potty in 3 days, you want to have enough opportunities to show them where they need to wee and poo from now on. Keep your toddler hydrated, of course don’t over do it but just make sure they are drinking enough throughout the day.
You can use a dedicated timer or the timer on your phone. This will ensure your toddler is using the potty regularly throughout the day.
Have some type of reward at the ready so you are able to celebrate each time they successfully use the potty. This could be a reward chart, a singing potty or even your own song and dance! Whatever the reward, have them at the ready!
Your toddler might not want to sit on the potty for long enough to use it so some distractions will likely help. Books, a few of their favourite toys or a tablet with their favourite shows.
A Dedicated Room
Depending on your home set up and flooring, you might decide to allocate a specific room that you will spend the next 3 days in. Wee and carpet is not the ideal situation. You can grab some potty training floor protectors for any carpets but if you have a room where you can hang out for a few days that has floors that can be mopped, it will save you a lot of time and hassle.
A Waterproof Mattress Cover
If you don’t have one already, it’s worth grabbing one or two case of any bed wetting. If you have one, you might want to grab a spare one. It will keep your toddler’s mattress protected and will be easy to clean. I’ve only ever had the one at a time and one has been fine.
STEP 2 – Communication
Talk About the Potty
Let your toddler know they are going to be using a potty and explain what the potty is used for. We used this book and this one with my two and they loved them. The books “cheer” when the button is pressed, so it adds a little bit more to the excitement. Let them see you on the toilet too, kids always want to be like adults.
Talk About Their Big Pants
Show them the new pants they will be using once they know to wee in the potty. It’s a great incentive for them to feel like they are graduating to “big kid”.
STEP 3 – The How?
- From the moment your toddler wakes up, let them know that they will not be using any more nappies and they’ll be using the potty today.
- Go to your dedicated room with your potty and put them on it. It’s unlikely they will use it right there and then but it’s setting up the intention for the day. Remember, there will be no nappy or pants today.
- From now on, you are going to put them on the potty every 15 minutes. Yes, every 15 minutes! Let them know it’s time to do a wee. If they don’t wee, encourage them to stay for at least 5 minutes. This is where your distractions will come in handy. If they don’t wee, let them get off and start the timer again. Once they do actually use the potty, set the timer from there. By having putting them on the potty every 15 minutes the aim is that once they do actually wee, it will be on the potty rather than on the floor and they will see what they need to do.
- You’ll need to be wee alert. Looking for it, listening out for it and watching for the signs that your toddler might need to wee. The moment they wee on the floor, pick them up and put them straight on the potty. Continue to be encouraging, reminding them to wee in the potty and not on the floor. Do not scald them for weeing on the floor.
- Having your toddler poo in the potty is usually more difficult. If you see signs that they need to poo, such as holding their bum, the face they make when they poo or other signs that are usual to your child, ask them if they need to poo and discuss how it’s OK to poo in the potty. Again this book or this book is a great help with that.
- Make sure your toddler is drinking plenty of water. You will want to do this until they happily use the potty themselves continually. If they are using the potty without being reminded by the end of day 1, you should be able to ease up by day 2. If it’s day 2 that they start to use it by themselves, you should be able to ease up by day 3.
- Eventually, your toddler should wee on the potty during one of the 15 minute potty trips. Now is the time to CELEBRATE! Do your potty dance or get the reward, whatever you do, now is the time to make a big deal! You want your toddler to see that it’s an exciting moment as this will encourage them to do more inside the potty rather than out of it!
- During nap time, the same applies, no nappies. Sit them on the potty before their nap and as soon as they wake up.
- At some point during the day, your toddler should feel the urge to wee and sit on the potty themselves! Result! This doesn’t mean you should ease up on the 15 minute intervals just yet. Keep going until you can consistently see that they are going by themselves.
- By the end of day one, they should have started to show some use of bladder control. At bedtime, you are going to want to do the same as during nap time. Have them wee in the potty before bed and again as soon as they wake up. If you are nervous about bed wetting, wake them up and have them use the potty just before you go to bed. This might ease your nerves but you don’t want to make a habit of this. Two or three days of this should be enough, as once they are potty trained, you don’t want to have encouraged a habit of waking up in the night. If you’re feeling brave, just go with using the potty before bedtime and when they wake up. Of course, put some pyjama bottoms or a nightie on for bed.
- Repeat the same process for day 2. However at this point, it’s likely you will be able to ease up on the 15 minute timer. I would suggest by day 2 if they have started to use the potty themselves to simply ask them every 15 minutes rather than put them on the potty.
- By day 3, your child should be using the potty without you telling them to do so during the day. During the night, continue to have them use the potty before they go to bed.
- It’s common for your toddler to have accidents even after they seem to have gotten the hang of this whole potty training thing. Simply let them know it’s OK and remind them where they need to go to the toilet.
- Yes! You survived 3 intense days of potty training! On day 4, you should be ready to get out of the house! Have your toddler wee before you leave the house, they should be able to wee on demand now that they have some bladder control. I think one of the best things you could do at this point is grab yourself a portable potty! There are some really great ones out there. I used this one with my first and it’s brilliant! She could use the potty anywhere and her wee was contained in the bag which is especially good if you aren’t near a public toilet. The potty also converts into a toilet seat to use if you are near a toilet. You might also want to consider this portable urinal, with a girl version available too.
- Of course your child will have to wear trousers now but skip the pants and knickers for this week, just to avoid any confusion.
- If they are going to be in childcare, pack more spare clothes than usual. They might not have any accidents but it’s possible that with the change in environment and the distractions at their childcare setting it might lead to a few accidents. They might forget because they are having so much fun or just not ask to use the potty in time. At home, you’re right there with them when they are ready. In a childcare setting, this is not the same. However, the older they are, the easier it is to communicate with staff. I wouldn’t call accidents at childcare a set back, it’s just your toddler getting familiar with how they need to approach potty time whilst there. Make sure the staff discuss the potty process so your child knows where the potty’s are located. Make sure to let the staff know the phrases your toddler uses or signs you know your toddler uses when they need to use the potty.
By the second week, your child should be used to the potty during the day and waking up dry after sleeping. If your child is going about their day accident free, allow them to graduate to big kid pants! This is worth another celebration of course!
You’ve mastered potty training in a very short time, congratulations! Let me know how you get on in the comments below!