If you follow me on Instagram, it’s super likely that you’ve seen all of my posts the last few days about our three day potty training experience. It was a roller coaster of emotions with lots of tears, some laughs, and lots of time sitting on the floor of the bathroom. Ha! But, it worked. Our little one is officially potty trained and hasn’t had an accident since the morning of day three. Keep reading to see how we did it, and some of my top tips.
OUR THREE DAY POTTY TRAINING EXPERIENCE
So like I mentioned, this definitely wasn’t easy, but I have a play by play, hour by hour account of our three day experience. About 4 days before actually starting the 3 day method, we tried the naked method at home, and we ended up stopping 3 hours in because it just wasn’t working. I also didn’t feel prepare enough and didn’t feel like we did enough research.
It was then that a couple of friends recommended a PDF they’d purchased written by a mom who proclaims herself the “potty training queen”, and the title is definitely accurate. After reading the PDF (it’s only about 50 pages) I knew we had to start over and try again.
HOW WE PREPARED
We went out and got fruit-based popsicles, lot of oranges to make fresh-squeezed orange juice, some organic fruit snacks, and a book of stickers with construction paper. The night before made a potty-training chart, and got a little kid’s sized toilet. We had a kid toilet seat that went on the big potty too, already, but we started with the small potty and switched to the adult potty with kid seat on day three. Not everyone does this, but it worked for us.
We obviously read the manual, and if you read it it will tell you to stock up on kid’s underwear. The method doesn’t promote naked potty training. It’s all about keeping the child’s underwear dry and praising them for keeping them dry/clean. I used the Hanna Andersson training unders and they worked like a charm. I highly recommend these over the cheaper brands, because they’re thick and feel like shorts. They were also very easy for Grace to get on and off.
The whole premise of the potty training method is to rush them to the potty when they start showing signs they need to go, or they tell you “mommy, I need to go potty”. It really did teach her how to realize her own body signs and she does now. The e-book is really good at explaining everything.
THREE DAY POTTY TRAINING DAY ONE
Per the e-book we read, we got ready for the day, ate breakfast, and changed Gracie’s diaper for the last time. The directions say to do everything you can to prepare to watch her like a hawk for the first day, and even the second and third days. This meant either getting takeout or preparing meals ahead of time. We did both.
Friday, 10:00 AM: We let her throw her diapers in the trash can, and got out her big girl underwear. She was excited to put them on. We told her “let mommy or daddy know if you need to go potty” and made sure not to make her try (the creator of this method explains the reasoning behind this.)
We gave her a ton of fluid and started out by doing some puzzles and just sitting with her to keep her busy. We kept our full attention on her. Much to our surprise she held it for quite a while so we just kept giving her fluid — she loves water, and we don’t do juice. I did make her some fresh-squeezed orange juice and she sucked down like three cups of that.
Friday, 12:00 PM: She was very distraught and probably could tell she needed to go. She was pretty confused, so we took her to the potty. She was crying but we rushed her in. We sat her on the little potty but and she went a tiny bit but held it in. Then, she had an accident about five minutes later, right next to the potty. Haha.
We changed her underwear and told her next time to tell us, and that we have to keep her undies dry. We didn’t reprimand her or react negatively at all.
Friday, 12:30 PM: Went pee on the potty for the first time, and COULDN’T believe it. She was so proud. We praised her and offered her a fruit snack after washing hands, etc.
Friday, 1:30 PM: Tried to put her down for a nap before this, but wasn’t having it. Peed on potty again. We noticed she was spending a lot of time on there, but didn’t think anything of it. Kept up fluids.
Friday, 1:45 PM: Went #2 for the first time ever on the potty and was so pleased with herself, hahaha. It took her a long time to go though so we sat in the bathroom for quite some time.
Friday, 2:00 PM: Finally napped for two hours, and WOKE UP DRY.
Friday, 4:00 PM: Had an accident right after her nap, but didn’t seem too scarred by it. We put on dry underwear and went about our day.
Friday, 7:00 PM: Went on potty. We rewarded her with a fruit snack.
Friday 9:30 PM: Went on potty.
Friday, 10:30 PM: Bedtime. Went to sleep with underwear, and no diaper or pull-up. (We co-sleep so we were pretty afraid of an accident) haha, we put some towels underneath her spot in our bed. This method requires you to throw out diapers, and go straight to underwear full-time. Much to our surprise she stayed dry all night. We made it a point to not give her much fluid before bedtime.
Thoughts for the day: Overall, the day was pretty stressful but truly better than day 2 or 3 to be honest. She definitely cried the first few times going on the potty. I think she was very confused by it all, and the sensation of actually going was just something she needed to get used to. The key for us on this day was catching her in the act if she did act like she needed to go, and having to remind her every 15 minutes, “Tell mommy or daddy if you need to go.” We kept her in underwear all day and continued to praise her for keeping them dry. Plus rewarded her with a game, potty tv show, or a snack each time she went.
THREE DAY POTTY TRAINING DAY TWO
Saturday, 7:30 AM: Woke up dry!!!! We couldn’t believe that she went all night without going. I expected her to go right away when she woke up but she didn’t…
We gave her a ton of fluid but she still didn’t go for like HOURS!
Saturday, 11:00 AM: She finally went, but it was #2. I think at this point she was still trying to figure out the difference between the two and how to maneuver if she need to do both.
Saturday, 11:05 AM: Had an accident.
Saturday, 11:10 AM: peed in potty. We rewarded her.
At this point we were pretty antsy from being home for over 24 hours, so we let her play outside. Bad idea. One of the things mentioned in the e-book is that you have to stay inside, within close proximity to the potty.
Saturday, 11:30 AM: Let her play outside, but had an accident. We rushed her inside to potty, and changed her underwear, the reminded her to tell us when she has to go.
Saturday, 1:30 PM: Peed in potty.
Saturday, 1:35 PM: Laid her down for a nap with no diaper/pull-up. Kept putting the nap off and told us over and over that she had to go. We were in and out of there for SO long.
By this point, she started becoming obsessed with sitting on the potty out of fear of having an accident. We probably spent a good two hours sitting on the potty. We were at a loss and didn’t know what to do. The creator of the three day method doesn’t endorse having your child sit on the potty to “try” to go, so we tried everything to get her off.
Saturday, 1:40 PM – 3:00 PM: #2 on the potty. Sat on potty….After sitting on the potty for a really long time, she peed. Then refused to get off, and peed again at 3 PM.
Saturday, 3:00 PM: Finally got her to nap. Woke up dry after nap.
Saturday, 7:00 PM: Gave her fluids this whole time, and she peed on potty.
Saturday, 7:30 PM: Pooped on potty.
Saturday, 8:30 PM: Laid her down for bed in underwear. Didn’t give her much fluids before bed.
Thoughts for the day: Day two was great, except for her having a tough time getting to sleep for her nap. We realized we can’t let her play outside or be too distracted while she learns her body’s cues for using the potty. She only had two accidents the whole day though, so we’ll call that a win!
THREE DAY POTTY TRAINING DAY THREE
Sunday, 6:50 AM: Woke up a bit earlier than her usual wake-up time, but asked to go potty right away. Peed on potty.
Sunday, 7:25 AM: Told us she needed to go, and peed on potty again.
Sunday, 9:20 AM: Had an accident – went #2, but not a ton. This is where stuff got scary, haha. She literally refused to get off of the potty after she had the accident. We were literally on the toilet from 9:30 AM to 11:55 AM. She went pee three times and #2 once during the duration but she refused to get off each time which was very frustrating and exhausting for us. Especially since she needed me to hug her the whole time.
During this time, we made the switch from the little potty to the kid toilet seat on the big potty. We thought this would be a huge obstacle, but we just hid the little seat, and gave her the kid toilet seat during one of the times she asked to go and surprisingly she was okay with not having the little one. I was super relieved because I was dreading having to carry that big huge thing around in the trunk of my car and dispose of human waste in the parking lot… LOL.
Sunday, 12:30 PM: Napped, finally, but took a few minutes to go to sleep.
Sunday, 5:30 PM: Asked to go and peed on potty.
OUR FIRST OUTING SINCE THURSDAY – Sunday, 7:00 PM: We went on our first outing since potty training. We took her to Target (which is like five minutes from our house) and brought our special potty bag with a kid toilet seat, Clorox wipes, wet wipes, a towel, a change of underwear, a change of clothes, and stickers. I was fully prepared, haha. I still carry this thing around with me, a week later… just in case! She didn’t end up having to go at all, and did go again before bed.
Thoughts for the day: By this point in our training, I was so discouraged. My husband was going to be working all week, and gone, and we also had a tumbling class first thing in the morning at the library. We were expecting for me to just spend the whole week in the bathroom with her, on the potty. Day two and three were pretty much that. Both days we spent several hours in the bathroom. She would sit for a long time, then go. But we were SO surprised by how the rest of the week went.
THE REST OF THE WEEK
MONDAY: TUMBLING CLASS:
I seriously considered putting a diaper or pull-up on her for the class because I was terrified she would have an accident and be scarred for life. BUT when she woke up that morning, she went potty on the potty about ten minutes before we needed to leave. (Which I totally didn’t expect) so she was good to go for a couple of hours.
She spent the whole tumbling class dry, and we stayed after to talk with some friends. It was a good two hours since we had left the house. She said “Mommy, I need to go potty.” So there we were — about to try and go potty in the public restroom for the first time. I had my to-go potty bag and we went in.
It was so gross but I wiped down the toilet with a sanitation wipe and put her little seat on there. She sat there for a good fifteen minutes and I started to get flashbacks, haha. I was so worried that she would make me sit there forever. She probably would have, but I got her to come home with me. I could tell she needed to go #2, but it was loud and uncomfortable.
I took a chance and had her get in the car, and took her home – we were only about five minutes away. As soon as we got home she went #2 right away, and afterwards got right off of the potty.
The rest of the day she completely surprised me. She didn’t have ANY accidents and told me every time she needed to go. She also didn’t need to sit there forever. It’s like it finally clicked day four and she could make herself go all of a sudden. I cannot tell you how relieved I was!
The rest of the week was the same, only she got really really sick on Tuesday, and somehow STILL didn’t have any accidents. She had a high fever and even woke up in the middle of the night to tell me she needed to go potty, and went on the potty right away no problem. She is such a trooper.
Honestly, I can’t believe how easy it was — I say that now, but with how discouraged I felt after day three, I couldn’t believe how she just woke up on the fourth day and was a completely different kiddo. She even went in a public restroom today (Saturday), only a week after being fully trained, and hasn’t had an accident since the morning of day three.
If you are on the fence about the three-day-method, I honestly can say it worked really well for us. I am pretty fortunate that Gracie doesn’t wet the bed at night or during nap time. When she was wearing diapers, she truly didn’t ever wake up wet, so we got lucky. She also breastfed to sleep for a really long time, but doesn’t do that anymore, so all she drinks is water. We don’t do a cup of milk before bed or anything.
If your child does struggle with these things, the writer of the e-book does address them! So be sure to check it out! Let me know if you have any questions, and thanks for reading this novel. Haha.
SHOP THE PRODUCTS WE USED: