Okay. Let’s talk potty training. It’s a phrase that I had grimaced at for months. I was absolutely dreading the moment we had to start. I only had these feelings because of all the horror stories I had heard from other moms, but when the time came, I was pleasantly surprised that everything went VERY well. That’s why I’m sharing how to potty train in 3 days – successfully!
I’ll start with a little back ground info. We purchased a potty for Jack after he turned 2. We tried it out and he even used it several times, but I could tell he wasn’t feeling it. Sitting on the potty usually incited a riot, so I decided not to push it. At the time, family members were questioning me about Jack’s potty situation. I just told myself that we needed to do what worked for us, not what others thought was best.
How we did it
The number one tip I can give you is to wait until your little one is ready! Watch for his or her queues. If your little shows interest, test it out and see where it goes. If there is a battle every time you try the potty, give it a rest. Reaching milestones is so fun, but can also be frustrating. Don’t let it get you down if it doesn’t work out at first.
I decided to give it a go one morning when Jack randomly took off his diaper. He had done this when he was younger, but I knew he wasn’t ready. This time, it was about a month and a half before his 3rd birthday. It seemed like good timing to me! Once your little one is ready, try out the steps below.
1. Remove the bottoms and stay home. No diaper, no pull-ups, and no undies for at least a few days. This sounds a bit scary, but I honestly think this is the best way to go about it. Obviously, you will be locked in the house since your kid has no pants, so be prepared with movies, games, and lots of snacks.
Why no pull-ups? It’s important that you don’t train with pull-ups in the beginning because they still catch the pee. They are just like a diaper to your little. Jack had 4 accidents during our 3 days of no pants. The first was, “Oh. I don’t have a diaper on.” The second was because we put him in a pair of pants with no diaper and the third was in a pull-up. I’ll share the fourth in a bit. We did use a pull-up at night because I did not want to deal with a wet bed every day. To my surprise, it was always dry. We removed it first thing in the morning.
2. Make the potty easily accessible. I’m talking, drag that thing into every room you are in! Think about it, your little really doesn’t know what he or she is doing. Do you think it would be easier to run to the bathroom that you don’t use, or walk over to the potty that’s sitting right by the TV? You wouldn’t even have to miss a second of Moana! We had purchased a toilet attachment in the past, but I knew it would be hard for Jack to recognize that he had to go, stop what he was doing, and run down the hallway. Invest in a portable potty and you will see results much quicker and save yourself a lot of clean up. See the one we used here.
3. Bribe, reward, whatever you want to call it. When I reached out to friends, they all told me to bribe my kid. I’m not above it. I purchased a little tube of Mini M&Ms and a bunch of Hot Wheels cars (they are a buck!!). I gave out five M&Ms for pee and a car for poop. Done. If you worry about sugar overload, Jack didn’t even finish the whole tube and he was CONSTANTLY going. I loved cheering him on and rewarding him for doing such a good job.
4. Purchase some actual, big kid underwear. On the afternoon of the 3rd day, I decided to try big boy undies. Jack had an accident the first time he wore them. I explained that undies don’t work like a diaper and then he was golden.
If you haven’t noticed, I kept it simple. I didn’t print off charts, create a potty station, or buy any special products. It doesn’t have to be a huge production to be successful.
And we’re done
On the 4th day, I really needed to go to Target. I was terrified, but it had to be done. Jack went potty before we left, but I couldn’t stop thinking about ALL THE PEE running into a puddle in front of everyone at my favorite mommy retreat. As soon as we got there, as asked Jack if he needed to go. I was shocked when he said, “Yes. I need go potty.” He was no longer in the comfort of his own home, so I knew potty training had been a success! Now, using a big ole public toilet is a whole nother battle, but we survived.
Jack is now fully potty trained and goes on the big potty (with seat attachment). I moved the portable potty we used for training to the back of my car. It is a lifesaver when we are at the park, land, or on a long drive. I would highly recommend doing this because it’s not easy for little ones to hold it.
No bottoms, a portable potty, and bribery worked great for us. If it doesn’t work for you, don’t be frustrated! You will find the method that is best for your family. Every child is different. Don’t forget that!