We’re potty trained! See how we accomplished potty training in 3 days with the tips and tools that worked for us…
Ahhhh, I could scream right now! Actually, I have been screaming with joy every 10 minutes because my little guy has been going on the potty successfully for days now. I’m so happy to say that Jax is potty trained. Not to brag, but we have him fully potty trained in a matter of 72 hours. With some wonderful help from my husband and some innovative thinking on my end – we got ‘er done. I wanted to share what worked for us with my readers because I know so many of you have toddlers at home just like I do.
Here’s what you need, how to succeed, and what worked for us…
This post contains some affiliate links to relevant potty training items, however, all opinions are my own.
A Quick Note…
I’m not here to tell you that I know everything. This is my second round of potty training efforts for Jax. We tried potty training after he turned two, and it was a total failure. While my other friends with babies around the same age were successfully potty training, Jax wasn’t there yet.
He is 2 1/2 now, and I guess that was just the magic timing we needed to give this a real go. No pun intended.
Bottom line, if your child isn’t ready, they aren’t going to do it. They’re only human, and this whole potty business is pretty vulnerable and scary territory for them. Remember to stay positive, be encouraging, and be consistent.
Potty Training Tips
Make Sure They’re Ready!
This can be tricky to determine (especially if your child isn’t really talking yet), but follow your instincts and your child’s interests. Are they interested in your potty habits, or the potty habits of their older siblings? Are they waking up from naps with a dry diaper?
Those are the first signs you should be looking for, and encouraging that curiosity is something that will prompt them to want to try going on the potty like mommy/daddy/brother/sister/etc.
Every Child Is Different, Especially When It Comes To Potty Training
My oldest son needed to pee standing up refused the potty chair, and would only go if my husband was in there with him (so they could pee together). He was 3 1/2 before he was fully potty trained.
My nephew was also almost 3 1/2 and needed constant reassuring and a potty seat on the toilet.
Jax needed something entirely different (see below…). They all learn a different way, in a way that is unique to them and their needs.
My point is, even if you’ve potty trained before, read up on all the books you can, and listened to your BFF’s tips on how she potty trained her son at 18 months – it might not be your child’s cup of tea. Finding what works for them is the key to success.
Let Them Pick Out Underwear With Their Favorite Characters
For Jax, this meant we picked out some Paw Patrol, Batman, and Mickey Mouse undies. It may seem excessive, but I picked up 5 packs of underwear for training. Because when you’re potty training, you need to worry about going, not doing laundry to keep up with all the little accidents they will have. Plus, you need some extras for your diaper bag ;).
Also, they are less likely to want to pee on their favorite TV characters.
Poop Happens Later
Children’s bowels become very skittish when it comes to potty training, so the main focus should be on getting them comfortable peeing on the potty/toilet first. You may even find that your child wakes up with a messy diaper the next day following potty training because their bowels have relaxed overnight after being so tense all day.
Don’t Leave The House
Stay focused, and don’t leave the house! Choose a weekend that you won’t be leaving the house. If you leave the house, you’ll put your child in diapers, and this 3-day method will not end up working for you! If you need something, have a friend or your spouse run out to grab your essentials.
Pick A Potty Training Reward
Whether you offer your child a sticker after each successful go, or you give them an M&M each time (hey, I don’t judge!), pick a reward that works for both of you. You need something that you have on hand (like a favorite snack that can be offered in small amounts) that you don’t have to pack up and leave the house to get.
Some simple ideas for potty training rewards include:
- stickers (try using these on a potty chart!)
- candy (like lollipops)
- coloring pages (just rip one out each time they go)
Potty Training Essentials
Potty Training Schedule Using The Chair Method
You might remember The Chair Method (also known as The Fading Method) from your sleep training days. The idea behind The Chair Method, when sleep training, is that you will sit in a chair next to your child’s crib as they fall asleep. It serves as a way to reassure them that they are safe, and you are present, but that it is time for them to sleep. Each day that follows, you move your chair further from the crib until you reach the door. From there, you can sit outside of the room, and then remove the chair completely and lay your child down to sleep without being in the room or being visible at all.
This method did not work for us when it came to sleep training, but I adapted The Chair Method to work for potty training…
Day 1: Introducing Potty Chair
For the first day of potty training, place the potty in your child’s favorite spot in your home. This might be the living room, their bedroom, or the playroom.
Give your child plenty of water, milk, or juice. Dress them in a T-shirt with NO UNDERWEAR. Play, interact, and have fun! Every 10 minutes, sit your child down on the potty and try. You can even hand them toys while they are sitting and play with them so there isn’t as much pressure.
For us, I sat Jax down on his potty chair in the living room first thing in the morning. I placed a towel under the chair, with most of the towel covering the carpet in front of the chair (to avoid any ‘accidental spraying’) since boys tend to pee in a straight line in front of themselves. Jax’s favorite movie right now is Despicable Me 3, so I put that on the TV so he would sit down long enough on the potty chair to pee. I sat with him the entire day and waited for the magic to happen.
I pumped him full of milk, water, and watered down apple juice. It worked – he sat on his chair and watched his favorite movie until he suddenly looked down at his penis and watched himself pee into the potty with utter fascination. It’s usually wrapped up in a diaper, so I guess seeing it do something cool like peeing must have been a sight to see!
Once he peed, I immediately cheered “YAAAAAAY!”, clapped my hands, and got up and danced. The more enthusiastic I was, the happier he felt about doing it. As a reward, I gave Jax a piece of his favorite snack, which right now happens to be dried papaya chunks.
We did this for the rest of the day, although he did not poop. Pooping in the potty takes longer, so don’t feel discouraged if it doesn’t happen right away, or if it seems to take a longer time.
Day 2: Introducing Underwear And Moving The Potty Chair
For the second day, introduce your child’s underwear. As I mentioned earlier, letting them choose their underwear will make it less likely that they’ll have accidents ‘on’ their favorite characters ;).
Move the potty chair out of the room it was on the first day, and closer to the bathroom.
Allow your child to play in their favorite room again and offer them plenty of liquids. Every ten minutes or so, take a break from playing, remove their underwear for them, and ask them to sit on the potty for a couple of minutes. When they go – praise them, and offer them a reward!
For our second day of potty training, I placed the potty chair in the next room. I put a movie on, and every 10 minutes I would pause his movie and ask him to sit on the chair. I didn’t require him to sit on the potty chair all day. From the previous day’s routine, he knew exactly where to sit his cute little tush down, and peed! When he was done peeing, I jumped up and down for joy with him, and he began to shout “YAY!” We took the little catch cup to the toilet, dumped it, and rinsed it in the sink together. Jax loves routine, so he enjoyed dumping, flushing, rinsing, and putting the cup back into his potty!
I offered him his ‘reward’ of dried papaya chunks, but he refused them. He was just…happy to go on the potty….like a BIG KID!
I placed underwear on him with his favorite characters and started the movie again.
We repeated the process for the entire day with success, still keeping up with 10-minute intervals. Even if he didn’t have to go, we still tried. No poop action the second day (or night). I think the process of pausing the movie and asking him to sit on the potty encouraged him to do his business faster so he could get back to doing what he wanted to do, and that was rewarding enough for him.
Day 3: Move Potty Chair Into The Bathroom OR Try The Toilet
For the third day, move your child’s potty chair into the bathroom (or use the actual toilet for this day, depending on your child’s eagerness and readiness in this process).
Allow your child to play wearing underwear, and take breaks every 10 minutes to go potty. Celebrate with them when they go!
For our third day, my original plan was to move the potty chair through the house each day, closer and closer to the bathroom so he would make the connection that we would be moving to the bathroom toilet soon. I thought the process would take me at least a week – but I was wrong! Because Jax did so well on day 2, I decided to try and see if he was ready to jump straight to the toilet. It was risky, and I have a very strong-willed little human that loves the word “NO”, but I had a feeling he was ready.
We placed his potty seat on the big boy toilet, sat him down first thing in the morning, and he peed! We kept cheering him on, praising him for peeing, and placing underwear on him. And then the poop came – he bent over and pushed, and then cried. A little bitty bowel movement was happening, and he was so upset because he didn’t want to go in his new underwear. “Poop! Poop!” he cried, and we rushed his little tush over to the toilet. He pushed, and pooped in the potty!
Suddenly, we were potty trained.