Steps to use and what I learned from using 3 day potty training for my toddler.
The 3 day potty training method has been such a success for my littles! If you have young children and you’re like me, potty training is something you dread! It’s one of the harder things you have to go through as a parent. It just takes time, attention, effort and it can be messy. Read below to learn about my experience and steps I used for 3 day potty training.
Before You Start
Make sure you have a potty and underwear ready to go. Feel free to let your little help you pick out their favorite underwear! Decide what area you’re going to stay in while potty training. Keep everything you’ll need for the day easily accessible in that room. If you plan to do a prize for sitting or going on the potty make sure you have that too. Decide on a day to start and stick to it.
3 Day Potty Training – Day One
Take off their diaper after they wake up and don’t go back. A friend of mine suggested giving one piece of candy for sitting on the potty and three pieces if they actually got anything in the potty, so that’s what I planned to do. Talk to your child that day about going on the potty and explain about how the prize works (if you use one).
Give your child foods that contain liquid and lots to drink to help them have to go. Stay in the contained area you picked out and let your child play near you naked. You can ask them to sit on the potty and try but don’t pressure them if they say no. Keep a close eye on them and run them to the potty if they start to go. Celebrate if they get any in the potty, give them their treat (if you choose to do this), and let them help you empty into the big potty and flush!
After the first couple of accidents you can expect them to start getting the hang of it. They will usually point it out to you if they start or be able to stop it and get to the potty to finish. I chose to teach both my boys to sit for peeing at first so it’d be easier to train to go poop also but choose what works best for you.
I let mine try to go potty before nap and bedtime but chose to put him in a diaper just in case. He had WAY less pee in it than normal after he woke up the first day.
3 Day Potty Training – Day Two
On day two, put your child in underwear after they wake up. I asked mine if he had to go potty in the morning and he said no. I kept trying to get him to try to go but he got frustrated. It takes him a bit to wake up and I think he just needed a second. I backed off a little and he actually went on his own after a couple of minutes.
On the second day you don’t have to keep them contained in one area anymore. Leave them in their underwear the whole day (minus nap if you want). Plan to stay home the whole day to give them a chance to practice more without extra distraction. They still may have a few accidents so don’t worry about that. This day will help them to get a better grasp on how to control their bladder and what it feels like when they need to go.
On day two mine was completely dry after he woke up from his nap too! He was feeling so great and I made sure to keep celebrating all of his successes.
3 Day Potty Training – Day Three
For the third day plan a short outing to see how your child can handle being somewhere else. Take an extra pair of underwear and change of clothes just in case.
We went on a small outing to the local farmers market in the morning to see how he did. I tried to take him to the potty while we were there but he told me he didn’t have to go. I was worried he might have an accident since he ate a lot of watermelon. He held it the whole time and he went shortly after he got home! Sucess!
Things to Note
1. Each Child is Different
I’m going to tell you now not to have the same expectations for each one of your children. Each child grows and develops differently. What worked with one child may or may not work with your others. I thought since something worked with one of my children at a certain age that it should work with the other too. I was wrong. It’s okay to try and see, but don’t be shocked or disappointed if it doesn’t work out.
I had my first son potty trained at 22 months using the 3 day potty training method. My middle child of course was a different story.
With my first it was a breeze. I got him naked in a contained area and kept an eye on him while he played. As soon as he started to go I ran him to the potty and gave lots of praise anytime he’d get any in. After a couple of accidents, he realized what was going on and could stop and go to the potty. He was in underwear by the next day.
I tried with my second around the same age as I did with my first. This time I was much more stressed out. Probably because their age gap is pretty large (almost 6 years) and it had been a long time since I had done it. I also had a new baby to worry about at the same time which made it even more stressful. My stress was definitely one of the reasons that this attempt was unsuccessful.
2. Don’t Stress
I was SO worried about my second peeing on the floor or missing an opportunity to get any in the potty. He HELD his pee FOREVER. I kept thinking he HAD to go soon with all the juice that I pumped him with. NOPE. This only stressed me out more.
I kept trying to get him to sit on the potty. Sometimes he would but he wouldn’t stay long and other times he would refuse. He wanted to leave the room but I wouldn’t let him which led to a meltdown.
When he finally did go, it was on the floor. We made it to the potty and he got a little bit in there. I made such a huge deal yelling “YAY” and clapping that I think I freaked him out.
Because of my stress I caused the whole experience to be overly dramatic for him. He definitely didn’t want anything to do with the potty after that. I decided to wait and try again when he was a little older.
Don’t stress or put too much pressure on your child.
They can feel your stress and it can discourage them.
4. Don’t Pressure
I tried again with my second son right before his third birthday. I decided on the day, took his diaper off after he woke up and got started. At first I set a timer for 30 minutes and would try to get him to sit on the potty every time it went off.
The first time he sat on it for a couple of seconds and nothing came out. He got up and I gave him one piece of candy and told him that was a great try. I set the timer again a couple of times after that but he would refuse to sit down and try again. He wouldn’t even try for a piece of candy.
I decided that maybe I should take a different approach. I didn’t want to make him dislike the potty because I was always pressuring him to sit on it. The whole experience went SO much more smoothly once I stopped pressuring him!
YouTube has some potty training videos so I decided to play one for him. We were sitting on the floor watching the video when he started pointing to his pee-pee. He was going! On my leg! I rushed him over to the little potty and sat him down. He got some in the potty and we celebrated! I let him help me pour it in the big potty and he got his three pieces of candy.
I stopped saying anything about sitting on the potty or trying to go. Instead I sat on the floor with him while he was playing and the next couple of accidents he’d point it out and I would go put him on the potty and let him finish. I kept telling him he was doing so great and that he was such a big boy. He was in underwear by the next day.
5. Expect Accidents
During and after using 3 day potty training there will be accidents. This is a totally normal part of the process! Try to realize these will happen and don’t get frustrated at your child or make them feel bad. Sometimes they will get distracted while they’re still learning. Remember accidents will get fewer and fewer.
For example, a few days after we had started, my son wasn’t 100% when it came to pooping. If it didn’t come out right away he’d get back up and go back to playing. Then he’d come running back to the potty with it falling out on the floor! One time I was in the shower and he freaked out because he had to go. I had to hop out of the shower and help him get his underwear down. To my surprise there was already some in his underwear and he kicked them off and slung the poop on the floor! He also realized it was on his leg and freaked out about that. It was a mess!
Expect some random, not-so-fun things to happen during 3 day potty training. It will be worth it in the end I promise!
If you have any questions or funny experiences to share, message me or leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you!