Ready to Potty Train? Wondering when to start potty training? Want to try potty training in 3 days? I’ve got one silver lining of the Covid-19 Quarantine…. Staying home all day is a great opportunity to start potty training your toddler! This is my ultimate guide to potty training in 3 days and how I did it for my toddler.

For those of you who follow this blog, this topic is a departure from my regular skin care focused content. I’m currently a stay at home mom and have been thinking about adding a natural, zero waste, parenting spin to this blog for a while now. So, here we go!

Just a quick disclaimer…I’m not any sort of expert in parenting or child education. Just a mom with a toddler who just figured out how to potty train and sharing my story of how we did it.

Here is Our Potty Training Story!

The background info: my little girl is currently 2 years & 4 months old. She has been showing signs of ‘readiness’ for a while. Those signs were a deep hatred for diapers, often running away and screaming bloody murder when I tried to put one on lol and also she had gone pee and poo on the potty a few times here and there over the last few months. (There is a break down the signs of readiness more below. )

One of the biggest issues we didn’t get consistent results with potty training was that on the weekend I would encourage her to use the potty, but then come Monday she was off to daycare and they weren’t interested in helping with the early stages of potty training. No matter how much I reminded my little girl about going potty and how aware she was about what she was doing, if she was wearing a diaper, she would go in the diaper. We were not in a rush, so just kept following her lead.

So, that brings us to our Journey With Potty Training!

Last week I went to the store, during the height of panic buying during the Corona Virus outbreak and the grocery store was out of our favourite diapers. YIKES. I bought a different brand, it wasn’t a big deal! It did make me think, maybe its time we try potty training with a bit more of a strategy and dedication.

My little girl has a fairly good vocabulary, so I began by starting every morning by asking if she would like a diaper or panties. She always chose panties! (we had taken her to the store to choose her own after a successful potty day a few weeks prior). That means she was super excited to wear them. So, I let her wear them and reminded her that if she had to go pee pee or poo she had to go in the potty.

That didn’t happen lol BUT she was very aware when she went, and would tell me. So after a few accidents she didn’t want panties anymore so we did no bottoms at all. This was the magic trick for us and when we started to see great progress with potty training our two year old. From when we started this, day time potty training was fairly established within 3 days. Keep reading for this broken down into a detailed plan.

Here are my Tips & Tricks to Potty Train a Toddler

  • Be ready to stay home for 3ish days
  • Don’t make a fuss about accidents
  • Start with diaper free time
  • Read lots of Potty Training Stories to your child
  • Make sure you have all the tools you need
  • Motivate with cool underwear. We let our little girl choose a package from walmart and made a big deal of it.
  • make a potty routine: sit on potty, flush pee or poo, wipe, wash hands.

(Keep reading for my section on what didn’t work for potty training at bottom of article.)

Potty Training: When to Start

when to start potty training 3 day method

Our plan / strategy was always to follow our toddlers lead, but also give lots of opportunity and praise for positive results.

I think we were successful because she was ready. From what i’ve read the average age for potty training seems to be between 2 and 3 years old. (In western culture at least!).

This study suggests that girls are on average potty trained 3 months earlier than boys. Both sexes are usually successfully potty trained by 3 years old.

I know some people have success with starting to potty train at much younger ages like 12-18 months or even elimination communication with babies. For us the waiting until 2 years and 4 months was perfect in terms of our daughters understanding and willingness.

There is a section below on all the signs of readiness my daughter had shown before we ‘officially’ began potty training. I think waiting for the signs is more important than age for potty training!

What You will Need To Potty Train

A Potty!

There are two types of potty’s you can get, miniature toilets that your toddler can access themselves, and seats that fit on your normal toilet. We had read that its super important for the child to feel comfortable. So, we bought both types! To be honest it seems to depend on our little ones mood, because she prefers both at different times. She does seems to use the ‘mini toilet’ more as it is easier for her to access.

when to start potty training, guide to potty training

The Perfect Potty

We got the simplest potty you can imagine, which is GREAT because its so easy to clean.

Our 2 year old can get on and off easily as well.

Perk, its only like $8 on Amazon. YASSS. Click to Buy

potty training in 3 days, potty training what age

The Toilet Seat Potty

This is great because you can skip the whole ‘clean up the potty’ part of potty training. I’ve also read that sometime kids are afraid of the toilet after using a small potty, so this gets them used to it from the start.

It’s only $6 on Amazon, so in my opinion worth it to get both types to see what your child prefers. Click to Buy

Potty Training Books (for the toddler!)

We supplemented plenty of encouragement and high fives for sitting on the potty with lots of story books about potty training. We’ve noticed our little girl loves seeing characters in her books do what we’re trying to teach her. It works! Potty training, brushing teeth, bed time…we’ve had improvements in all of these after reading lots of books about them. Here are some of our favourite potty training story books for your toddler. We often read the stories WHILE she was sitting on the potty!

Notes on story books for potty training – its super important that you agree with the language used in the potty training story. I know some parents don’t like using rewards or terms like ‘big girls or boys use the potty’. These feature often in these types of books. A good way to find a good fit is to go to chapters and flip through the books to make sure you like the content! The two I suggest below are aligned with this.

The potty book for girls, when to start potty training, potty training routine

The Potty Book (for Girls)

My Little girl loved this book. Its great at showing the steps of going potty and the perfect length. There is a boys version as well!

We used it when she started showing interest to get the idea of sitting on the potty & peeing across. She lost interest after a few weeks, but asked for it multiple times a day when we first got it, and that did the trick!

This book helps with teaching a “potty routine” which is key.

Buy On Amazon.

potty training story books

Potty

This is a very simple gender neutral illustrated board book on potty training which you can start reading well before potty training time. If you check the amazon link you can ‘look inside’ the book to make sure its aligned with how you want to potty train your toddler, which I love.

Buy On Amazon.

Back Up Plan: Reusable Pull Ups

We had the most success with potty training when we allowed our toddler to run around the house without ANY bottoms on. I think it made her more aware of things coming out of her body lol. With that being said, I did buy a set of padded reusable pull ups. We use these during naps right now. Eventually we will use them at night time when we start night time potty training. We will also use padded training pants if we are leaving the house (which is rare since we are in the middle of the Covid-19 quarantine). I really like them though. These are padded enough to hold one decent sized pee, but feel wet when soiled. My toddler is aware they need to be changed if she doesn’t make it to the potty.

potty training in 3 days, reusable training pants

Reusable Training Pants

I love these because they are 100% cotton, have cute prints and my toddler calls them her ‘panties’. The elastic band means there is a lot of leeway in sizing. They are environmentally friendly since they can be reused. Love.

Buy on Amazon.

How We (Daytime) Potty Trained a Toddler Girl in 3 Days

The Prep Work For Getting Ready to Potty Train in 3 Days

  • Made a big deal about mommy and daddy sitting on the toilet when we went to the bathroom so she knew what we were doing.
  • Did lots of prep with reading potty training story books.
  • Taught her how to sit on the toilet when we did
  • started getting ready for when to start potty training

Signs of Readiness for Potty Training in 3 Days

  • Did some diaper free mornings and if she pee’d we would run her to the potty so she started to understand to go there.
  • We noticed she started to do this herself over time.
  • She started telling us no diapers when we tried to put them on.
  • Started to tell us when she had peed or pooped (almost every time)
  • She started to tell us IF she was going to pee (this was rare though)

Dedicated Potty Training Time!

  • We chose a time to start potty training in 3 days and did not use daytime diapers at all for that timeframe. I believe this consistency is important.
  • Whenever she had an accident we did not make a big deal, and took her to the potty in case she wanted to finish there.
  • Cleaned up accidents and if possible showed her that we put the cleaned up bits in the toilet.
  • She slowly started to use the potty more and more. Instead of telling us she had peed, she started telling us she HAD TO pee and ran to the potty.
  • Used lots and lots of positivity when little one used the potty. High fives and telling her how proud mama and dada were.

Results of Potty Training in 3 Days for our Two Year Old Girl

Day 1: mostly accidents. One successful full pee in the potty. Massive praise and high fives for going pee in the potty every time.

Day 2: 60/40 accidents to success, but did half of one poo in the potty which we considered a big win.

Day 3: 90/10 success with one full poo in the potty. The only accident was 1 pee while mom was busy.

Day 4: No daytime accidents! Still doing mostly diaper free time, but slowly adding bottoms for part of day with lots of reminders about using potty when wearing panties.

What Did Not Work For Us With Potty Training

Every kid is individual and will respond to different methods. You know your kid best and to be honest I think its best to try and see what works and what doesn’t for potty training. Here are some things we tried with no success:

  • Asking her to sit on the potty at regular times. She had zero interest and I didn’t want to force her so let that go after a few tries.
  • Offering extra juice or fluids…my kid doesn’t drink anything unless she asks for it lol
  • Offering treats or rewards – slippery slope and we avoided it.
  • Going straight from diapers to training pants – she just treated the training pants (pull ups) as a diaper.
  • Using a potty training schedule did not work, see above about my kid being headstrong lol we followed her lead 100%

Next Steps for Potty Training: Night Time

The next steps will be to get her used to wearing training pants / underwear all day long. Once she has that down we will focus on night time potty training. I still nurse her at night though, so I think I will need to wean her before she can make it through the night without needing to pee. I’ll start keeping an eye on her diaper wetness in the morning though and if it seems like she’s making progress may switch her over to the reusable padded training pants. I can’t imagine night time potty training in 3 days will be as easy or even possible, but will update blog when we have results to share!

What has your experience with potty training been like? Did you try this 3 day potty training method? Comment below!! I’ll add an FAQ if you have questions.

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