“YAY! It’s time to potty train! I love potty training,” said no mother ever. Potty training is a hate/love relationship… You HATE doing it, but you LOVE the results.What if potty training just took 3 days and you didn’t even have to buy pull ups? Yes, you heard me right. Only 3 days (with the minor accident or two every now and then) and your sanity is saved! It’s time to take a 3 day potty training vacation with your little one!
Let’s say your son… let’s call him “Junior”… just turned one.
First things first… Teach him about the potty.
Introduce him to the potty at an early age, between 14 – 16 months old. Sit him on the potty every day as soon as he wakes up, so he is familiar with it and understands what to do.
Next, let him practice with the grown-up potty too. I learned that one the hard way. With my oldest, she had only used the toddler potty. On day 3 I tried to get her to use the big potty and she was terrified. It was ok as long as we were home, because she could use her toddler potty. When we left the house though, she cried and had to get used to using a bigger potty. I made sure with my second child to let her use the grown-up potty more before we started. She also saw her big sister do it, so that helped too.
Another way I helped them to understand how to use the potty was telling them what they were doing each time I caught them doing it. If I knew they were pooping, I would say, “You are pooping.” If I knew they were peeing, I would say, “Pee, pee.” Obviously not in public, but when we were home and I noticed, I made sure to tell them what they were doing to help them become familiar with their body and be more ready for potty training.
When your toddler is a little older – between 18 months and 3 years old, you need to decide if your toddler is ready to be potty trained. My first child was ready at 21 months old. Not all children are ready at 21 months like my firstborn. My second child was not ready until she was 2. It just depends on your child. Sometimes boys are not ready until almost 3 years old. This is normal. Don’t push it if he isn’t ready. Try again at a later time.
Signs Your Toddler is Ready for the Potty:
- Your toddler has a dry diaper after nap or after sleeping through the night frequently.
- Your toddler wants to sit on the potty and shows interest in doing it.
- Your toddler tells you when he is pooping or peeing.
- Your toddler asks for his diaper changed immediately after pooping or peeing.
- Your toddler can sit still in one position for 2 to 5 minutes without getting up.
If your child fits this criteria, he or she may be ready for potty training vacation!
Go ahead and reread… I did say potty training vacation!
STEP 1 and the MOST IMPORTANT:
TAKE A POTTY TRAINING VACATION! Your world must completely shut down for 3 whole days. You must devote all of your time and energy to your child for 3 whole days. You take off from work to go on a trip with your family, but you can’t take off 3 days for your child, when the results will be SO worth it?!? Think about it, if you can just spend 3 days devoted to potty training, you will no longer have to buy diapers or worry about changing a stinky, poopy diaper anymore. It is definitely worth it! Not only do you take a potty training vacation, but you DO NOT leave your house any, not for anything at all! Call up all of your friends and family and tell them you are on potty training vacation for 3 days. They do not need to come over and you don’t leave the house. PERIOD. FOR NOTHING! I cannot stress this enough. This is where most moms fail at the 3 day potty training. They think it will be okay to go to grandma’s house for a little bit, or go to church for an hour. Plan your vacation maybe from Thursday – Saturday, that way you aren’t missing out on church and you may only have to miss a few days from work. IT IS NOT OKAY TO LEAVE! When you leave your house, it messes everything up. Ok… I’m going to get off my soap box for now. On to Step #2:
When your toddler wakes up, take off the diaper and tell him “no more diapers.” Do not put a diaper or pull up on him. He should be naked from the bottom down. If it is winter, I would possibly put some leg warmers on him for warmth, but make sure you have multiple pairs, because they will get wet.
Give him juice and lots of it ALL day long. While you are giving him the juice, let him sit on the potty in the family room while drinking it. Tell him this is where you will go pee and poop from now on. Repeat, “no more diapers,” again and again each time he sits on the potty. You need to stay in this room all day. If this room has carpet, I suggest you get a tarp to put down, because your carpet will get peed or pooped on. Play with him, read to him, watch some cartoons, and drink lots of juice!
Every 20 minutes, sit him on the potty to try. Do this all day. Set your timer so you won’t forget it. Also, don’t forget to pay attention to him all day. Don’t leave the house and just think of this as quality time together. When you see him begin to use the bathroom on your floor, scoop him up and place him on the potty until he is finished. Do this EVERY single time he starts to have an accident. If you want to offer a little reward for every time he goes on the potty on his own, you could do some fruit snacks, crackers, or stickers for prizes. Most crucial thing, is do not give up yet. It is going to take some time….3 days worth of time for him to figure this out. The first day there will be LOTS of accidents, so be prepared. This is something completely new to little “Junior.”
Nap time… I’m sure you were wondering how to handle nap time. When little “Junior” sleeps is the ONLY time you will put a diaper on him. Actually, I would wait until he is asleep to put it on. As soon as he wakes up again, take it off and sit him on the potty to remind him of how he will use the potty from now on. Keep saying, “No more diapers for ‘Junior.’ You are a big boy now.” By the end of the day, “Junior” should be going to sit on the potty SOME on his own when he begins to pee or poop.
Step 6: Moving on to Day Two
On Day two, you will do the EXACT same thing as day one. You should not go anywhere or invite anyone over. Drink lots of juice and have “Junior” sit on the potty every 20 minutes. Leave him naked all day from bottom down except for nap time. Don’t forget to keep it warm in the house if it’s winter. We don’t want little “Junior” getting sick. Introduce him to using the grown-up potty a few times today.
I highly recommend this potty seat ladder for the grown-up potty! We have been using it for about 3 years and it is heaven sent! The kids can take it off and on and climb up on their own. It has saved me from so many aches and pains from lifting on my kiddos too much.
Sometimes regression happens on this day. Don’t give up! For my oldest child, she did great in the morning of Day two, but seemed to regress some in the afternoon. Every child is different though.
Step 7: Moving on to Day Three
The morning of day three should be the same as day one and day two. Keep little “Junior” naked and keep the potty near. You should also give him lots of juice and let him use the grown-up potty as well some.
Step 8: Time for the Undies!
Around noon, it is time to introduce him to underwear. Put them on him and make sure to tell him and show him how to pull down his underwear and then sit on the potty. Let him practice doing it over and over. At first, depending on the age, he may not be able to do it. It will take some much needed practice to get those little hands to pull them down. I think it may have taken my two oldest about a week to really get it down the right way.
After putting underwear on little “Junior,” expect to have a few accidents. I remember when I put the underwear on my oldest child, I walked away for a few minutes and came back to find her sitting on the potty with her underwear still on and peeing. Ha!
She used the potty correctly like she was supposed to. She just didn’t understand how to pull down those undies. I went ahead and gave her a fruit snack. We had a jar of them ready to go close to the potty. Next, we practiced every 20 minutes pulling down the underwear and then sitting on the potty. After a couple more accidents, by the end of the day, she was doing SOO well with no accidents.
Remember, you are still on potty training vacation until day 4.
If they are still having a lot of trouble at the end of day 3, I would give it one more day at home. If by the end of day 4, you don’t see much progress, then your child is most likely not ready for potty training. You may need to wait until he is older.
You did it! You made it through the 3 days of potty training vacation!
Now, you have another challenge… teaching them how to use the potty in public. You may want to start at Nana’s house, before you go straight to public bathrooms. It’s a little overwhelming to a 2 year old. You may also want to try a portable potty seat cover that you can carry in your purse like this one:
Here are few tips to remember:
- Please don’t put pull ups or diapers on him while you go out. This will not help! He will regress completely back to the beginning.
- Pooping was the hardest part of it for me. There were still a few accidents with pooping that first week. Be prepared, but without a diaper or pull up on.
Okay, now….do you remember what the MOST IMPORTANT part of the lesson was?
Take a potty training vacation and stay home!
AND … PLEASE Don’t give up. Little “Junior” can do and WILL do it. Be persistent with it and you both will be saying, “No more diapers for good!” You CAN do this!
How is the potty training going at your home? Comment below to share what you are doing to help potty train your child! I look forward to talking with you and helping you on this journey of motherhood! God Bless!