(Last Updated On: June 2, 2023)
My husband and I have two daughters. They are about 22 months apart. As of today, one is 6 years old and the other is 4 years old. When it was time to potty train my daughters, we had no problems at all. Of course, there were some accidents, but for the most part, it was a smooth transition! I’m not sure if we just got lucky, or if the techniques we used to train them worked wonders. This is why I am sharing how we potty trained our two daughters in 3 days with you!
🥰 How We Were Successful at Potty Training Our Kids
We started potty training both of them when they reached the age of about 2 years old and 2 months. They both seemed ready at this age. Not because they were telling us they wanted to use the toilet, but because they could talk well enough and understand directions well enough. One of the main signs of readiness to begin potty training is if your child can communicate clearly. If your child can express themselves to you, then they will be able to tell you when they need to go potty. If they are unable to communicate well enough to tell you that, then they might not be ready and it may be a good idea to wait a little longer before starting.
In this post, I will go over the steps we took for successful potty training. I will highlight areas of importance that need to be taken seriously for this 3-day potty training method. This is what worked for our children, but if you find that your child responds better to something else, that is okay too. Also, this potty training process is what we used for our two daughters. We do not have little boys, so we do not have any experience with this, and some steps may need to be altered or take different steps altogether.
✅ Potty Training in 3 Days Useful Tips
- Prepare by having lots of liquids and rewards available.
- Have your child throw away their diapers. It is important to have them do this rather than you.
- Put brand-new underwear on your child. They will think this in itself is pretty exciting.
- Explain how they are a big kid now and will be using the toilet.
- Practice lots of communication.
- Give lots and lots of praise and rewards.
🚽 Potty Training Step-By-Step Plan
Step 1. Be Prepared Before You Start Potty Training Your Toddler
Before the first day of potting training, you have to get prepared. This means going to the store and getting all the essentials needed for success. You don’t want to have started the training and then realize you need to make a run to the store. That could disrupt the whole process. I want to emphasize that you should clear at least 3 days out of your schedule to just stay home with your toddler and focus solely on potty training. An ideal time to do this would be a long weekend with nothing else to do. Items needed to be prepared include:
- juice boxes (or special drinks you can put in their sippy cup)
- rewards (small treats, stickers, toys)
- lots of underwear (you will need lots of pairs unless you want to be doing a lot of laundry in the beginning) 😉
- A potty seat that covers the top of the regular-size toilet so that their little legs don’t fall through and they are securely in place.
Notice how we didn’t mention the need of buying a potty-training toilet and using that before transitioning to the big toilet. In our opinion, this is an unnecessary step and will eliminate the need of having to do another transition from the potty chair to the big toilet which can be a big deal to the little ones. We believe toilet training from the start of the potty training is the way to go.
Not only do you have to be prepared with the essentials needed from the store, but you also need to prepare your mind. Understand that this is a commitment both for you and your child. The parents need to be just as committed. If you aren’t committed, your child will catch on to that and won’t commit either. This means no going back to diapers. We didn’t even put the diapers back on at night or at nap time. All day we are trying to stress to our child to go potty in the toilet, why would we want to go back to diapers at night and say it is okay then? No, it is potty in the toilet all of the time. This is what worked for both of our daughters.
Step 2. Throw Away the Diapers
Don’t throw the diapers away for your child. Let your child do it. This is a big step. The morning we knew we were going to start potty training, we woke up, got a big garbage bag, and told our child they are going to be a big kid now and wear underwear. We told them they need to throw all of their diapers in the garbage because we won’t be wearing them anymore.
When the child gets to throw them away themselves, it gets them excited and makes them more aware of what is going on. Throwing the diapers away, not only helps the child understand that we don’t have diapers anymore, but it also helps the parent not be able to give up and go back to diapers. It can be a confusing time for your little one if you sometimes put underwear on and sometimes go back to diapers. For us, it was all or nothing. We didn’t want to confuse them. It was potty all the time in the toilet now.
Step 3. Put on New Underwear
My children both were super excited to get new underwear. I think for my youngest daughter it meant she got to be like her older sibling. As for my oldest daughter, she always has been the type of kid to get really excited about new things. After throwing away all of the diapers, it was time to put on that new underwear. We started out with training pants underwear that are thicker in case there are accidents. These make it harder for any accidents to leak out.
When putting on the underwear, we explained to our children that they are big kids now and it’s time to go potty in the toilet and they need to let us know when they have to go. Tell them it’s icky to get underwear wet. If they have an accident, say “ewe, that’s icky” and rush them right to the toilet, putting them on the toilet while saying we go potty in the toilet, not in your underwear. You cannot get upset about it. You as the parent, have to stay calm and reinforce how we are a big kid now keeping our underwear dry.
Step 4. Have Them Drink Lots of Liquids
This is one of our key potty training secrets. If you are going to take the time to potty train your child over a weekend as we did, you are going to need lots of practice. How can you get lots of practice? By lots of pee! In order for them to pee a lot, they need a lot of liquids. Luckily it was easy for us because we usually only gave our daughters milk and water to drink. So, when we offered them lots of juice boxes over the potty training weekend, they couldn’t resist and guzzled down the juice.
Step 5. Don’t Let Your Child out of Your Sight
To have potty training success, we took a whole 3 days off from the outside world to focus solely on potty training with both children. We wanted to instill it in their brains non-stop for at least three days so they could really get the hang of it. It was a very long three days, but in the end, it was totally worth it.
To get as much as you can out of the three days as possible, you have to keep an eye on your child non-stop. You cannot let them out of your site. In order for potty training to work, you have to catch them in the act. That is why I suggest not wearing pants. You want to be able to see when your child starts to go and quickly catch them in the act by picking them up (mid-pee) and having them finish on the toilet.
If you let them out of your site and they are over in another room peeing in their underwear without you knowing, then you can’t catch them in the act and be able to have them finish on the toilet. If you catch them every time they start to go and get them to the toilet really fast, it starts to make sense to them. Then they will start to tell you they have to go before getting their underwear wet.
Step 6. Patience, Patience, Patience!
By the second day and the third day, your patience is going to be running thin. However, a positive attitude for you as the parent is very important. If the child sees you getting frustrated, then they will too and all of the hard work you have all done this far will be for nothing. They will regress and will start associating this process with something negative. So again, I want to express how important it is to give your child positive reinforcement, lots of rewards when they show signs of understanding and your undivided attention for at least three full days.
📢 Potty Training Communication
One of the key factors for us in potty training success was communication every step of the way. Mommy and daddy had to keep the communication lines open by constantly reminding our daughters to tell us when they needed to go potty and to remember to keep their underwear dry. Remember, we started training at 2 years old which means these little girls got sidetracked easily, so that is why communication is very important. I felt like I was saying “Remember to keep your underwear dry” and “Let me know if you need to go potty in the toilet” like a thousand times a day. It can get tiring, but the constant reminding is what helps it sink into their little brains. The more you talk to them and remind them of what we are actually learning to do right now will eventually lead to fewer accidents.
🎉 Praise and Rewards
The first time and every time our children told us they had to go potty we couldn’t praise them enough. If they actually went to the toilet and went potty and kept their underwear dry, they also got a reward. In the beginning, both children sometimes thought it was a game and would say they had to go potty just to get the praise, but then didn’t actually do anything in the toilet. That’s okay, we still kept praising, but we didn’t give out any rewards unless there was potty in the toilet. The rewards we gave out were things like a new little book, or a new little toy, or sometimes a couple of chocolate chips. You know your child best so pick things for the rewards that will make them excited to keep trying.
📅 Keep at it
Don’t give up on these potty training secrets! The most important thing is to be patient, consistent, loving, and understanding. Remember, these little ones have spent their entire two years of life in diapers and that’s all they know at this point. It can be a confusing, difficult time to get them out of diapers, but they are also smart, and they can do it with some loving reinforcement from their parents. I know it can be hard for busy parents to clear a full three days out of their schedule, but believe me, it is the best thing you can do if you want to get this potty training thing out of the way and have your two or three year olds out of dirty diapers.
Good luck with these potty training secrets! If you have read this far I hope you have nothing but success. Remember, I’m not a potty training consultant, but rather I’m just giving my own expert advice from having two daughters be successful with this proven plan. Comment below with questions or your own tips. 😀
Ex-Division I basketball player who has always loved eating food, but has not always loved cooking it. After the birth of her daughters, she now loves cooking new meals and recipes for her family to try and enjoy. She loves to stay active, work on DIY projects, spend time with family, and all things photography. More by Tammy ➜