Tired of diapers, rewards that don’t work and drawn-out potty training that take forever? Learn about potty training in three days with these instructions!
My husband and I had been lazy with potty training. As expensive as diapers cost, I love the convenience of not rushing to the nearest bathroom. Or feel pressured to keep outings short should my kiddo need to use the restroom.
Still, the time finally came when we decided to take the plunge and learn how to potty train our toddler in three days.
“We potty-trained our two boys by keeping them naked around the house for a few days,” a coworker shared. “Without diapers, they were more aware and didn’t like pooping or peeing naked. So they were more inclined to use the potty,” he said.
Other words of wisdom came from my mother-in-law. She recently potty-trained another one of her grandkids using the same bare-bottom method. She kept him naked from the bottom down, and when he felt the urge to pee or poop, he’d run to the potty.
Potty training in three days
“This is too good to be true,” I thought. “Just keep them naked and they’re potty trained? I’ve got to give this a try.” And so I did, on a three-day weekend. My toddler was even excited about “potty practice,” as I called it. Well, it turns out these tips on potty training in three days seem to work after all.
And if you’re not convinced, take a look at Natalie’s results, who not only potty-trained one toddler, but her two twins:
“I have to say I am quite shocked on how easy this is especially with two. It’s my first day alone as daddy has gone to work but no anxiety at all. I think my boys have nailed it. I 100% recommend.”
Day 1: Stay home all day with your toddler bare bottom
Stay home the entire day and keep your toddler naked on the bottom. I was scared and expecting the worst: puddles of pee on the carpet, poop smeared everywhere. Surprisingly, he wasn’t as messy as I thought, even for the first day.
Yes, one all-out pee fest took place where it was as if I took a watering can of pee and just poured it on our carpet. But usually he would start with a few drops before looking up at me. At that point, we’d run to the potty and he’d finish his business there.
Day 2: Take a one one-hour outing with only pants or shorts
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Day 2 is a repeat of the first, except this time you should leave the house for one full hour without diapers or undies. I like to stress no undies because kids can mistake them for diapers and think they’re able to pee and poop in them.
Instead, have your child wear pants or shorts and enjoy your outing. We kept ours simple: just a walk to our local park.
Come prepared for your one-hour outing. Bring:
- a change of clothes and undies
- a plastic bag in case he soils himself
- a roll of paper towels and wipes for potential clean up.
Day 3: Take two one-hour outings with only pants or shorts
Again, remain bare-bottom at home like the first two days. But this time, take two outings with just pants or shorts on (no diapers or undies again). For us, my husband took him to the park just like the previous day, and for a walk around the block.
Don’t push if he’s not ready
My son looked forward to potty practice, so he surprised me when he cried after I removed the diaper. . I held him close and asked, “Are you not ready? We can move it back a few weeks if you’d like. But if you think you’d like to try today, Mama is here to help you.”
Maybe a little consolation was all he needed. Because soon after, he stopped crying and allowed himself to remain bare bottom. Still, I was willing to hold off for a few weeks if he resisted—you can’t potty train a toddler in 3 days by forcing him.
Keep rewards internal
I didn’t give rewards. The most he received were stars we’d draw on a poster hanging by the bathroom. We offered lots and lots of support and praise instead. He can feel good about his progress all on his own without external validation for now.
Accidents will happen
From little trickles to full-on poop plopped on the carpet, expect some accidents. That’s why I referred to these past few days as potty practice—it takes practice to master this skill.
My toddler improved: he had more accidents that first day than on the others. At the same time, he also regressed and had bigger accidents on subsequent days than on the first few.
Just as with most things in life, learning a new skill can be a two steps forward, one step back kind of thing. Take it as it comes and praise for the hard work your child is putting in.
Pooping progress will take some time
Even with regular bowel movements, my toddler didn’t poop those first two days. And while caught on with peeing in as little as a few weeks, he still had poop accidents several months down the line.
Wear diapers for naps and bedtimes
Even though I’ve eliminated diapers while he’s awake, I still put them on him when he sleeps. Kids won’t be able to control their bladders during sleep for a while.
Regression is normal
If day two of potty training seems worse than the first, don’t worry. Consider potty-training a “two steps forward, one step back” kind of progress. Your son may have done well the first day because it was new, or for the gold stars and rewards.
Slight regression is okay so long as you continue to see a general trend of improvement. But if you notice that he’s resisting and regressing too much, then try again a week later.
Useful gear to potty train a toddler in 3 days
Below are the items we used for potty-training our son:
- Potty chair to place on the floor
- Toilet trainer to place on the toilet seat
- A step stool to reach the toilet and to wash hands
- Lots of towels to cover the couch and common play areas
- Overnight diapers for sleep
Where we are now
I’m still holding off on taking him on longer outings. I want to make sure he’s comfortable using public restrooms and able to hold his pee in for several minutes. But I’m so proud of my toddler for strides he has made so far. He hasn’t had any pee accidents in the last few days. He tells us when he has to pee and even holds it in until we’re able to sit on a potty.
This has been such a huge change in his life, and I’m so pleased he was willing to give it a try.
Get more potty training tips:
- How to Respond to Your Toddler’s Poop Anxiety
- Secrets to Fixing Potty Training Accidents
- Is Your Child Afraid of Public Restrooms? 6 Tips to Ease the Fear
- 8 Simple Ways to Prepare for Potty Training
- Your Toddler Refuses to Sit on the Potty? Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Worry
Your turn: Have you tried to potty train a toddler in 3 days? What obstacles did you face? How are you faring after three days?
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