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How do I Potty Train my Toddler? A Guide to 3-Day Potty Training

Updated: Jan 12

Introduction

If you're here, you're probably asking yourself, "How do I Potty Train my Toddler?" Well let me tell you that embarking on the journey of potty training with your child can be both exciting and very challenging. One method that has gained popularity is the 3-Day Method, a focused approach that aims to potty train your child in a short span. In this comprehensive guide, we'll delve into the key steps, tools, and tips to successfully implement the 3-Day Method.

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Before You Start 3-Day Potty Training


Choosing the Right Time

Selecting the optimal time to start potty training is crucial. If you're a stay-at-home parent, any time works well. For working parents, consider a week-long holiday or a three-day weekend. Summer is an ideal season, but winter can be suitable too, especially during bad weather. Clear your calendar for these days, ensuring you have minimal stress and distractions because trust me, there'll be enough stress at home.


Preparation

  1. Educational Resources: Familiarize yourself with potty training methods. A highly recommended book is "Oh Crap Potty Training" by Jamie Glowacki, offering valuable insights and guidance.

  2. Gearing Up: Assemble the necessary tools, including a potty seat or chair, underwear, stools, and optional items like a potty doll, potty books, treats, flushable wipes, and a piddle pad for the car.

Optional Tools

  1. Potty Books and Movies: Introduce your child to the concept of using the potty through engaging books and movies. Sesame Street's "Elmo’s Potty Time" is a popular choice. We also really liked Daniel the Tiger's episode on potty training (season 1 episode 11).

  2. Potty Doll: Some parents find success using a potty doll as a learning tool. Show your child how the doll works, making potty training a fun and interactive experience. Our daughter is currently in the "mommy" phase so this one was a no brainer.

  3. Character Underwear: Capitalize on your child's excitement by letting them choose underwear featuring their favorite characters. This adds a layer of motivation, encouraging them to keep their beloved characters dry. We personally went for Paw Patrol and it was a hit!

Define Your Space

Establish a "safe space" during the training days where accidents won't cause undue stress. Ideally, choose a non-carpeted area, such as hardwood or tile.


How do I Potty Train my Toddler? The 3-Day Method Unveiled


Potty Training Day 1

  • Ceremonial Start: Kick off the first day with a ceremonial farewell to diapers. Emphasize that your child is now a "big boy" or "big girl."

  • Clothes Off: Keep your child as naked as possible during the initial day. This facilitates easy access to the potty and encourages quick recognition of bodily sensations.

  • Fluid Intake: Encourage increased fluid intake, using juice as an incentive. Aim for frequent potty trips (every 15-20 minutes) to reinforce the connection between the urge to pee and using the potty.

  • Potty Doll Introduction: If using a potty doll, introduce it and involve your child in training the doll. This adds a playful element to the learning process.

  • Treats as Incentives: Employ treats, like small candies, as incentives for successful potty trips. The goal is to make the experience positive and rewarding.

Day 2 and Day 3

  • Continued Routine: Follow a similar routine on the subsequent days, incorporating pants on Day 2 if the first day goes well. Use easily removable clothing to minimize obstacles - speaking from experience: avoid onesies or anything with buttons in the crotch area.

  • Regular Potty Trips: Maintain regular potty trips every 20-30 minutes, adjusting based on your child's needs. Reinforce the "pee and poop go in the potty" mantra. We also sung the song from Daniel the Tiger which helped reinforce going right away. It goes, "when you have to go potty stop, and go right away!"

  • Short Outings: If Day 1 is successful, consider short outings on Day 2. Always visit the potty before leaving the house. Gradually extend the duration of outings based on your child's progress. The pride you'll feel when you're out and your toddler asks to go the bathroom is worth all the stress.

Handling Accidents

  • Learning Opportunities: Accidents are part of the learning process. Use them as opportunities for teaching rather than expressing frustration. Emphasize that pee and poop belong in the potty. One trick that we used is to show her the wet underwear and have her touch it with her hands, reaffirming that no one wants wet underwear.

Addressing Poop Concerns

  • Comfort and Support: Acknowledge that pooping on the potty can be intimidating for children. Offer reassurance and supportive phrases to alleviate any fears. If constipation is a concern, adjust the child's diet to include more fiber-rich foods.

How do I potty train my toddler? 'Poop like a champion'

Napping and Nighttime

  • Gradual Transition: Decide when to transition from diapers for naptime and nighttime. Some children adapt quickly, while others may take more time. We took this time to switch from 'traditional' diapers to 'pull ups' for in the evening. Personally, we've been potty trained for about 3 months now and we still use pull ups for nap and bed time. This way we were able to tell Esmée that she wears, 'big girl undies' in the day, and 'big girl pull ups' in the evening.

Daycare and Other Caregivers


Communicate effectively with daycare providers and other caregivers. Ensure they understand the potty training plan and encourage consistency. Emphasize the importance of maintaining progress made at home. We personally got told that Es wasn't ready after she peed on one of her caregivers, but every one's journey has to start somewhere right?




In Conclusion:


Embarking on mastering potty training in 3 days requires commitment, patience, and a positive mindset. By creating a positive environment, employing effective tools, and maintaining a consistent routine, you can guide your child through this developmental milestone. Remember, every child is unique, so be adaptable and celebrate each success along the way. Good luck on this exciting journey of potty training and remember - it might not work the first time and that's okay too!

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