3 Day Potty Training Tips & Advice

Note: This post is about potty training so lots of talk of poop and pee is ahead – you’ve been warned!

Here is my final 3 Day Potty Training post! I want to share my experiences that your child might be ready to potty train at 22 months, according to the 3 Day Potty Training Method. I know that boys, for some reason, get a bad reputation that they aren’t ready as fast as girls and that they can’t be trained until they’re 3 or 4, but I wasn’t willing to settle for that reason and he did wonderfully when he was 2 years 3 months old. He did not show any interest in potty training, but I’ve proved that that didn’t matter for us.3 Day Potty Training Method

After the 3 Day Method Update

  • From day #4 on…he had no accidents. Just like the 3 day potty training method says – he learned his cues and would tell us “go pee on potty” and we’d happily take him
  • On day #8 or so, he had a decent sized accident, he never told me, and I never discovered until he asked to go to the potty before nap time! Oops! This was a healthy reminder to me not to take for granted that he’s “100% potty trained” and it’s okay to give him reminders about the potty, especially when he’s busy!
  • We had/have a poop issue. He saved his poop for his nap time “sleepy bum” [diaper] as we call them. Once last week and then again 2 days ago. He didn’t nap either days, and as soon as I went in to get him…I could smell why he didn’t nap. I did tell him he needs to tell mommy when he has to pee or poop and that he needs to put his poop in the potty
  • He did have 2 small poops, 2 days in a row after that first incident, but I can see him getting a bit constipated or again saving his poop for his nap diapers
  • He did ask for “no sleepy bum” once, so I obliged. He didn’t nap that day, or have an accident. I think that in his head he thinks that if he doesn’t have a diaper on…he doesn’t have to sleep! Sorry kid!
  • I’m working really hard on increasing his fibre among other things in his diet to get him more regular, it would be easiest for potty training and also better for his health. I’m trying to cut out some dairy, giving him more fruits (especially pears), and offering him a bit of natural fruit juice with probiotics every morning…hopefully it helps!
  • Once his treat jar of M&M’s/Smarties were gone, I filled it with fruit gummies and told him these new potty treats are only for POOPS on the potty, seems to be working well and he still goes pee in the potty no problem, even without treats
  • He made his first trip to town (1/2 hour away) last Monday for groceries accident free, but had yet to pee in a public toilet
  • When we all went to the city, he did pee twice on the potty before we left, but still managed to have a huge accident in the car seat – he didn’t tell us about it either. I guess I’ll have to kind of restrict his fluids for awhile when I know we’re going out
  • He did pee in the public potty twice on our outing though, so I’m happy that milestone was reached!
First pee in a public potty! Isn't that the cutest?!
So am I sold on this 3 Day Potty Training MethodAbsolutely. So grateful for friends and their suggestions and advice! If you’re interested in trying the 3 Day Potty Training Method here’s my experience, do not use it to replace buying the eBook, however I will tell you from personal experience that they did not answer the question I posted in their forum like they said they would when you buy the book and have “access” to asking questions.

Summary of 3 Day Potty Training

  • You must remember to be positive and patient. This potty training method does not involve discipline or punitive measures whatsoever.
  • In all honesty, this is NOT for the lazy parent. It takes 3 days of pretty intense focus and dedication to your child. But as I say with sleep training – short term pain, long term gain.
  • The author states all children are ready at 22 months, verbal or not
  • As the title suggests, dedicate 3 days to stay at home and be at your child’s side
  • Say goodbye to the internet and “you” time for those 3 days, stick by your child at.all.times. Repeat – at all times!
  • Supplies: potty chair (using big toilet is fine too), lots and LOTS of underwear/panties, lots of fluids for your child to drink, lots of rewards/treats
  • Keep potty chair in bathroom – to associate going to the bathroom…in the bathroom!
  • Have your child only wear a shirt and their underwear for the training days
  • On the first day of potty training, this is a huge step: PACK AWAY ALL THE DIAPERS (if using cloth) OR THROW THEM ALL AWAY (if using disposables) AND GET YOUR CHILD TO HELP/DO ALL THE WORK!! This is SO key! It really helped my son make that association and he said “bye bye diapers” and then I could remind him of that if he asked for a diaper during potty training
  • I also moved the change table out of his room that morning, another diaper-related association that I wanted gone
  • For you: get rid of all your “emergency” diapers in the car, diaper bag, etc to avoid temptation of YOU reverting back to using diapers
  • Do NOT use any type of  “pull up” cloth or disposable, no more diapers (I only used a pull up for nap time & bedtime and it didn’t confuse him)
  • Now take your child to the bathroom, show them the potty and explain to them that their “pee pee and poop” now goes into the potty
  • Tell your child to “keep your underwear dry!” and give them frequent a million reminders/quizzes throughout the day and give LOTS of praise when their underwear is dry
  • Frequently say to your child “tell mommy when you have to go pee” as opposed to asking them “do you have to go pee?” we want THEM to tell US when they have to go
  • Do not take them to the potty on a timed schedule or even to “try”
  • Offer plenty of fluids, we want them to have to pee lots!
  • Remember to FOCUS on your child…you want to spot the second they are having an accident, when they do scoop them up, carry them to the potty and say “your underwear isn’t dry anymore” and set them on the potty to see if they will be able to finish
  • Keep reminding them to keep their underwear dry, ask them “is your underwear dry?“, it may take 20+ times but they will eventually get it
  • Don’t remind them of potty rewards like “if you pee on the potty – you get a treat!” don’t try to coerce them to pee, it’s negative and we want to stay positive
  • When they do pee in the potty – PRAISE, PRAISE, PRAISE! Remind them that their underwear is still dry, they’re such a big boy/girl whatever works for you. Call daddy, call grandma, share the good news and get them really excited
  • Throughout the day(s) keep asking them if their underwear is dry and to have them tell you when they need to pee. Seriously – I said both these things every 5-10 minutes for 3 days straight! But it really stuck and he loved checking to see that his underwear was dry
  • Some kids don’t get it until the end of the 3rd day – but they will (some exceptions take more than 3 days)
  • As weird as it sounds, accidents help them learn, it finally “clicked” with Braden when he had his 3 small accidents in a row, and then finally released it all and had a big pee in the potty and he was SO proud of himself, and of course I was too!
  • Try as hard as you can to stay positive, when they do have accidents, even when Braden still does say “Braden, remember to tell mommy you have to pee in the potty, okay? Pee goes in the potty.

Personal Experience

  • Don’t use any devices to “keep” them on the potty, that defeats the purpose of the child learning their cues
  • I found he “got it” when he peed in his little potty – he could literally see his results, whereas when he went in the big potty it’s like he didn’t know he’d done anything, he REALLY liked to empty his pee/poop in the big potty and flush it away
  • Reading him “The Potty Book” months and months ahead of time, with his learning skills, really helped him to get the idea of the potty down. Luckily he really loved “The Potty Movie” too
  • The fancy charts I made for him…not worth it. Maybe it’s a “boy” thing, but he didn’t give one lick about the stickers on the chart!
  • You can read about my pre-potty training thoughts here
Potty Trained

My Personal Potty Training Q&A

  • How do we handle our first road trip (3ish hours away)? Restrict fluids and bring our small potty with us so he can go whenever, wherever are my thoughts… I did restrict fluids and asked him before every town we hit, which is about every 45 minutes. He did very very well and we brought our small potty with us in case he had to go on the side of the road – which has happened.
  • He doesn’t always nap in the car and I do NOT want to get in the habit of using diapers in the car…even if I think he might nap. I never had to use diapers in the car seat. He just “got it”. He has had 2 car seat accidents in his life, you just wash it and move on!
  • We are going on a big 8 hour road trip to BC in June…same as above, but hoping he WILL nap. He did nap and we just didn’t have any troubles. LOTS of potty breaks. LOTS of potty breaks! Sometimes every hour, but it was worth not having to haul diapers on the trip.
  • I’m considering training him through his nap time…not 100% convinced yet! But going to at least give it a try, especially with the pooping in the nap diaper thing. He just told me one day “no sleepy bum” a few months after he was trained. He would consistently wake up dry from his naps so it was an easy transition. He did have 1 or 2 accidents but he coped well! 
  • When will he train overnight? He just magically did this himself too. About 6 months after he was potty trained he would consistently wake up dry. I bit the bullet and put him to bed in his underwear and he has only ever woken up once absolutely soaked, but we forgot to take him to the bathroom that night, so we consider that a parenting fail! Oops!

I am no expert, nor am I associated or affiliated with the 3 Day Potty Training Method. If you would like more info, please visit the website, but I am happy to answer any questions I can too! There are a lot of special circumstances that I have not covered.

You can also read about 3 day potty training day #1, 3 day potty training day #2, and 3 day potty training day #3.

Update: Since writing this I have potty trained another little boy. You can read on that experience here:

Potty Training When They're (Mostly) Ready

Sarah
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I'm a nurse who married a farmer and I'm a boy mom of 3 to Braden, Ethan and Jonathan. I love blogging about family life, agriculture, recipes and embracing my role as farm wife and mom. I'm knee-deep in tractors, trains and trucks and I'm often seen with my camera in my hands catching life's moments.

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  1. I really like this article. The only thing I can’t seem to get on board with is the throwing away of diapers. If you want to rid yourself of them complete I think you should donate them. I’ve been so broke that buying diapers came before other important expenses. Some mommy out there is waiting for a totally loaded diaper to change it because she can’t afford to buy more. Donate! Don’t throw away!!

  2. I never heard of this 3 day thing before, and gave it a go with our 4th (and only girl). She is currently 26months, so right within target age, and I prepared myself by reading about it on free sites and watching videos. I only have 1 potty chair and just brought it everywhere we went in the home. I Followed the said program otherwise exactly and I Must say hands down a tough 3 days, and initially stopped on the 4th day feeling defeated. Although she did use the potty nearly 20 times in all during the days, all of which was my putting her on there or transferring her mid "accident". She also equally or moreso just wouldn't cooperate. So after I stopped the training program, we left her diaper free (in which many more accidents obviously occurred) and just really left her alone (no more pressuring to go) other than showing her YouTube potty videos and songs. a few more days later she just decided to start running to the potty and go! Utterly flabbergasted. So something worked!
    http://pottytrainingdaily.blogspot.com/
    My recent post 20 tips for potty training

  3. Pingback: The Art of Potty Training - A Variation of the 3-Day Method | Iowa City Moms Blog

  4. Hi i have a 3 year and 3 month old boy. I have been trying to potty train him going on over a year now and he still has accidents i remind him to go to the toilet as when he gets side tracked he does forget and that is when he has accidents mostly. He also has accidents at night just about every night i have not had any dipers on him for about 6 months now. He has no problem at all pooping in the toilet and never has poop accidents but always seems to have wee accidents. Any tips on what might help and how i can provent him from having accidents in his bed? I remind him to go to the loo before he goes to bed and has a small drink before he goes to the toilet but i am still struggeling on keeping his bed dry. I dont want to convert back to dipers as he is over 3 years of age and in my eyes too old for nappies. Please help

    • The only tips I can offer are to toilet him before YOU go to bed. A lot of parents put their child down for bed, wake them up before they go to bed (say, 10:00 PM) to use the toilet and then they make it through the night. Bed wetting can be a genetic issue too, some kids wet the bed until they're 8 years or older and it's their genetics, it's just how it is.

  5. I think it's great that more people are potty training earlier … they totally get it and we don't give them enough credit, you yourself have to be willing to go cold turkey on diapers basically! My 18mo old is now day trained (most days) but there is still the issue with nap and night time diapers considering he is still in a crib, that's the next step I guess. I started with Elimination Communication (baby potty training) with both my boys at 6 mo old. This was awesome so many fewer diapers! Thought I'd share the following links with you that I used alot, great resourses … Oh crap Potty Training (http://www.jamieglowacki.com) and http://ecsimplified.com/

  6. I tried emailing you today, and it said your box was full? Anyway, I'm doing 'round 2' now with Audrey – she's 22 months – and it's been pretty awful so far. Things are different with a second child, and we couldn't get rid of Clara for 3 whole days, so she presents a challenge as well… Anyway, I'm questioning this method at the moment. After 3 full days, Audrey still doesn't really seem to get it…
    My recent post Potty Training Round 2, Day 2

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  9. I have a 22 month old and he holds his pee in when hes sleeping but goes 5 k ins after waking….my problem is he doesn't talk at all….how do I go about potty training he just doesn't like to sit on the potty….I want to catch him while hes young since hes so good at holding it in his sleep….andlike mmost moms I hate diapers lol

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  13. Just found this via Pinterest. SO happy I did! I am also a mother of 2 boys ( from BC), and potty training has been a challange! I'll be a blog follower from now on!

    • Yay! Thanks for your interest, Jodie! Feel free to email me if you want me to send you the eBook on the 3 Day Method. I just have a "pay it forward" policy! 🙂

  14. Great Post — I love reading about different thought processes on potty training! Differences make the world go round, right?! I'm the exact opposite — the anti-potty-trainer! Don't worry, it drives my mom crazy too! BUT my son was completely potty trained on his own three weeks before he turned 3 – there was no stress, no accidents – he just told me one day that he was ready and that was it – we never looked back! 😉 It was pretty awesome! p.s. Your boys are SO cute!! 😉 and really great job — I don't think I'd have the stamina! 😉
    My recent post Toddler Fun: Pom Pom Bath

    • I really appreciate positive feed back from the \”other\” side! Thanks so much, Whitney! I know I\’ve heard a lot of stories about kids telling their parents when they were ready…I\’m not that patient! 😉 One of my things before we had Ethan was to get rid of the diapers so it was nice to have a 6 month break!

  15. I had my little one almost potty trained by 18 months. She was showing the signs was asking and even telling us she had to go potty. Then life happened and we reverted. She's now on the cusp of 21 months and I'm ready to say goodbye to diapers, I think she is too again. This post just reminded me to keep on it. Thank you 🙂

  16. Wow! Thanks so much for this! I really would love for Clara to be done before the baby comes, I’m just nervous about my energy levels not being high enough right now. Also, do you think she’s likely to revert after the baby is born? Should I wait until after?

  17. Wow! Thanks so much for this! I really would love for Clara to be done before the baby comes, I'm just nervous about my energy levels not being high enough right now. Also, do you think she's likely to revert after the baby is born? Should I wait until after?

  18. Thanks so much for this big update — I am contemplating doing this with Lennox – I don't think she is 100% ready yet, but when she is, I think it may be worth a good try! I will have to come to you with questions when the time gets closer 😉

  19. Yay Braden!!!It took Livi until 3 months after originally PT to REALLY be 100% with poops, not holding it in. My boys still have accidents, (some days seems really bad, but I have to remind myself that its always x2.) But I am lazy & do revert to pull-ups out of the house. We just did a 7 hr car trip this weekend. We took a little potty along (& some bottled water to rinse & some chlorox wipes). So we could just stop alongside the road instead of always having to use a public restroom. We did do the "stop & try" thing & not always let them tell us when they had to go for the car trip. But on the way there, the boys were each only wet once & Logan stayed dry the whole way home & again Hayden was just wet once. Livi of course stayed dry, but I expected nothing less from her. I would just restrict fluids before & keep reminding him to tell you when he has to go. Maybe practice pottying outside in the little potty (my kids were a little off put to pee alongside the road in a travel potty).

    • Yeah, I still really don't know what we're gonna do with poops. I really didn't wanna do ANOTHER potty post so soon after this…but he held it in for 4 days (not unusual for him anyway) and finally had a big poo-splosion accident in his undies. He was mortified, home with his daddy, so I need to get him more regular and get him to sit and be patient to actually poop on the potty. It'll take awhile to get 100% poop trained, but we're 100% pee trained, but haven't had a big travel yet.Thanks so much for your advice on traveling, it sounds really good. With our 8 hour trip, a 20 week prego and a 33 week prego and 2 little boys…there will be plenty of opportunities for lots of potty breaks that's for sure. But I did buy an extra potty today at Ikea to bring along with us.

  20. Great job Momma!! you rock, I read the method, I totally agree that you really need to invest the time, you cant wing it. Hopefully Frankies dr gives me the A OK go ahead next monday and we can start, Im SO ready to be done with diapers!! Im scared of doing this with 2 kids at once, but it has to be dome, they are practically twins so I will have just have to treat it as such, need to go get another potty so they each have their own!

    • I'll be looking forward to your updates, Jill and wishing you the best. Yup, this method isn't for the lazy mommy…it's so worth the effort you put in! I almost had to double check that Frankie and Ava WEREN'T twins!

  21. Nice job, mama! This is really encouraging. A lot of people have told me boys are harder to potty train, and that a lot of them aren't ready until around 3. I'm hoping we will be able to PT Colin earlier than that!

    • Yes, I had heard how dreadful boys are, but Braden is potty trained before a lot of girls around his age now…and it makes me beam with brags that boys can be just as smart as girls!

  22. Awesome post! I have been following your "potty journey" and really appreciate you sharing it with us. I have a 21 month old boy and plan on using this method when he is ready. Thanks again!