WHAT is The 3 Day Potty Training Method? What potty training supplies will you need? What to do if the 3 Day Potty Training Method is not working? Our BEST 3 Day Potty Training Method Tips, Tricks and Hacks! Plus, a 6-month update after the 3 Day Potty Training Test!
We’re adults now. Or at least we look like it! We’re all moms, dads, or legal guardians. We’re capable in our own lives and have learned how to juggle multiple tasks.
Yet, one thing still strikes fear in the hearts of parents and guardians everywhere… The long dreaded, potty training.
More specifically, how do we do it? And, what are the best methods for training our little tykes with as little collateral damage to our furniture and carpets as possible?
I, of course, was particularly interested in the 3 Day Potty Training Method, simply because I wanted to do the training in the least amount of time as possible!
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I’m somewhat of a thinker and like to review most everything in life before I really dive in to it. I’ve been dreading potty training and pushing against my husband on doing it with our two-and-a-half-year-old for a couple of reasons.
One, he is speech delayed. He only says a few words and a bunch of gibberish (language of light, maybe?) But, one of his few words isn’t potty. We have taught him a few signs, which he can do, but he seems pretty content to just point at what he wants and say, “This”.
The second reason I wanted to wait on toilet training was because I heard if he isn’t waking up dry after sleeping through the night, he isn’t ready. Which isn’t the case. From my research, I’ve learned that daytime potty training and nighttime potty training are two very different things.
But, last week, my husband got his wish. My son started immediately pointing to his diaper upon waking and wanting it changed.
He also began letting us know that his diaper was stinky by pointing at his bum and sniffing loudly after he’d poop.
Then he’d run and get the diaper changing pad, wipes, and a diaper, and lay down on top of the pad. He used to be fine walking around with a messy diaper, but suddenly he became very aware of the smell and wanted it changed immediately.
I begrudgingly told my husband and we decided it was time to start potty training just to see how it went…
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What is the 3 Day Potty Training Method?
- You ditch the diapers and pull-ups and willingly decide to basically be a shut-in in your own home for at least 3 days.
- You buy your tot some big boy or girl underwear and put them in just these (no pants on the bottom, although some do naked training) for at least 3 days.
- You put your child on the potty every 20 – 30 minutes like clockwork until they get the general idea, usually for at least 3 days.
How to do the 3 Day Potty Training Method
We got our son a Fisher Price Potty Training Toilet, that he absolutely loves! It sings a jaunty tune when pee or poop hits the container. A tune that gets stuck in my head and drives me insane as I try to fall asleep at night (but all the songs his toys play do this, so what’s one more?).
We stripped him down to just a shirt and his Big Boy Underwear, featuring his favorite cartoons and characters. (PJ Masks, Disney’s Cars, and The Justice League (although this is a little more daddy’s favorite than his!)
We put him on his new potty, showed him how it flushed, and made sure he saw mommy and daddy sitting down to pee on the toilet next to him. We explained that he now had to go in the potty, or there would be mess.
We showed him the treats he would receive for going in the potty. We opted for Sparx brand berry-flavored mini candies, since they are super small (wouldn’t ruin his appetite) and sweetened with xylitol (which is actually good for teeth). Some parents choose M&Ms, but we are a more natural, organic, low sugar household.
We also got him Fun Stickers that he could stick on the potty after using it successfully, as well as a five-pack of Small Cars for successful pooping on the potty (since these are his favorite toys). But you can use anything that your toddler loves for this purpose!
We ripped off the bandage and set our oven timer to remind us when to put him on the potty. We told him when the timer went off, it was time to get back on the potty.
At first, it took a few times of putting him on the potty, for him to actually go pee. We were elated when the potty song started playing!
Meanwhile, our carpet was taking heavy fire. Now that he had big boy underwear on, he was very aware that he was peeing himself, and we’d immediately run him to the potty when he’d start to go and ask him to finish.
Each time he finished in the potty, he’d get a sticker and a treat, regardless of if he successfully made it in time. Day 1, he peed through 24 big boy underwear!
3 Day Potty Training Tip – Make Note of your Child’s Potty Patterns
I started noticing his potty patterns. About 30 minutes after he’d drink a juice, milk, or water, he’d have a huge accident, and we’d rush him to the potty.
Then 15 minutes later, he’d have another accident, and we’d rush him to the potty. Then another 15 minutes later, he’d start dribbling, and we’d rush him to the potty.
It seemed that our kitchen timer going off every 30 minutes wasn’t enough after a large drink, so we adjusted it according to his schedule.
Then after the initial 3 times of going potty every 15 minutes, I could set the timer back to 30 minutes.
Day 2 of the 3 Day Potty Training Method
He had far fewer accidents and was enjoying going to the potty! He’d run and give us a huge hug because he was so proud of himself.
He peed through about 3 big boy underwear in the morning and then started running into the bathroom when he felt the urge, potty timer or not.
A lot of times he’d start dribbling before he could get his underwear down all the way, but we continued to let him know that this was okay and that he was doing great!
3 Day Potty Training Method on Day 3
On Monday his daddy had to return to work. Between my son and our five-month-old, I had my hands full.
After a terrible night of sleep due to my daughter waking me every half-hour, and two accidents on the carpet, I threw in the towel. (I’m human after all). I put a pull-up on my son and told him he still had to go in the potty. He didn’t go in the potty and seemed just fine peeing in the pull-up.
I decided it was okay to go back to diapers for the day because I was exhausted. I took off the pull-up and put a diaper back on him.
He didn’t seem to mind at the time, and I plopped down on the couch with an exhausted sigh. He ran out of view as I began playing on my phone. Suddenly, I heard the potty song!
My son had run into the bathroom, taken off his own diaper, and peed on his own! He started yelling, “This”, from the bathroom! The training was working!
He was okay with pull-ups, but he refused to be demoted back down to diaper! I was sooo proud! I decided if he could stick with the training, so could I!
I praised him and put him back in his Big Boy Underwear, but by the end of Day 3, he grew very tired of the 30-minute potty timer, and started screaming when my husband or I wanted to take him in.
Since he can’t or won’t say “potty” when he has to go, this was especially frustrating.
We decided we didn’t want to force him to do it, and make him hate the potty, so we gently asked him if he had to go at the timed interval, but if he turned away or ran away from the potty, we’d let him. Day 3 didn’t end too badly though.
Our Results with 3 Day Potty Training Method – Pooping:
Day 1 and Day 2, he held his poop. This is very unusual for him, and we became concerned. Day 3, we forced the issue with milk (which usually does the trick, but didn’t this time), and finally, apple juice.
This did the trick, but he pooped in his underwear and yelled, “This,” from the bathroom. My husband went in and he was holding his underwear with poop in them.
My husband dumped it in the toilet to show him where it needed to go and again showed him the cars he would receive for pooping in the toilet and not in his underwear.
That was the end of our 3-Day Potty Training Method Test. Our son was not fully potty-trained but had made huge improvements in using the potty.
He had gone from wetting through 24 pairs of underwear on Day 1 to only slightly dribbling in 3 or 4 pairs by Day 3, mostly because he couldn’t get his underwear down in time.
Potty Training Method Day 4: (Yes, Day 4)
Even though this is a review of the 3-Day Potty Training Method, I’m including Day 4, to show continued success and some flexibility on my part.
3 Day Potty Training Method Nighttime
Day 4, I tried to take my son to the potty upon waking and he refused. (We are still using diapers at night, since he sleeps 12 hours straight, and never wakes up dry.)
I put him in his big boy pants and reminded him that he needed to run to the potty when he felt the need to go.
After one accident on the carpet and a few almost making it to the potty runs, resulting in dribbles, he seemed to get the hang of things and stopped having accidents.
By early afternoon, I was feeding my daughter and my son ran into the bathroom. I came around the corner and he had his underwear down and was sitting on his potty.
I ran in to see if he’d went yet, and he hadn’t. I told him to push, (something I didn’t learn until Day 4) to help him squeeze all the pee out in one sitting.
(He was having a lot of accidents just 5 minutes after peeing. Once I told him to push and made sure he squeezed until just dribbles came out, he had far fewer accidents).
He squeezed, and nothing came out. I told him if he felt like he needed to go, he could sit for a few minutes and read his book, and yell for me when done.
A few minutes later, I heard the potty song, and went running in to help him wipe and pull up his pants. He was pointing in the toilet happily yelling, “This!”
I looked in and lo and behold, he had pooped! He ran in to the bathroom on his own and stayed and read a book by himself until he pooped!
I was ecstatic! I made a huge deal of it! High fives and the fact that he could now use our special mommy and daddy flushable wet wipes.
We wiped, flushed, and waved goodbye to the poop! He washed up using his New Stool, got his treat, put a sticker on the potty, and received his long-awaited car reward for pooping in the potty!
Be Flexible with the 3 Day Potty Training Method
By Day 4, I was going stir-crazy, and really needed to go to the store. After a successful poop in the potty, I decided to load up the kids and head to get groceries for dinner. My son had just drank a huge amount of water, but I needed to time the store visit with my baby daughter’s nap schedule.
I decided to put a Pull-up on my son for the quick trip to the store. I explained to him that the pull-up was just for very special occasions and we’d go back to big boy pants as soon as we got home.
He didn’t argue and had fun driving the “police car” shopping cart around the store. I also told him if he needed to go potty in the store, he could tell me using the potty sign, and I’d be happy to take him.
He never did.
We got home, and as suspected, he had a full wet pull-up. I took it off immediately upon returning home and redressed him in big boy underwear.
I explained to him that he was now to use the potty again, because he would pee through his big boy underwear.
Then, we had two more dribble accidents on the way to the potty before bed. But, all in all, I consider the day a success over Day 3.
Potty Training Supplies:
- A Training Toilet or Potty Training Seat with Ladder for toddlers to make use of your big toilet. We now use a Toilet Seat with built in Potty Training Seat. This is a toilet seat that replaces your toilet seat and has a smaller built-in ring on top for widdle bums! This is working great for our 3-yr-old!
- 20 to 25 pairs of underwear or Special Training Underwear (extra thick padded underwear that are washable, but reduce the chances of pee going on the floor or through their pants when out and about).
- Pull-ups or Natural Diaper Equivalent(such as Honest Company Training Pants, that are plant-based, bleach, latex, and fragrance-free).
- Lots of towels and patience.
- Pet Spray carpet cleaner to get the urine stains out of your carpet.
- Special treat or stickers kept by the potty and only used for potty training. If you can’t find SparX, maybe tic-tacs??? Or whatever your child really likes.
- A special bigger toy for pooping in the potty.
- More towels, more patience.
- A Step Stool for washing their hands in the sink.
- More patience! (Unfortunately, not available at Amazon, but they should really get their developers on this!)
- A Potty Training Watch (optional, we just used our oven timer).
- Portable Travel Potty, (also optional), such as the ONEDONE Portable Travel Potty. Super easy to fold up and take on the go with you, whether you’re camping, at the beach, or just in your yard. This potty is right there when your little one needs to go fast!
- Foaming Kid’s Hand Soap – Makes it fun to wash their hands afterwards!
- Plastic Furniture Covering (optional), Some people choose to cover their couch with a plastic covering wrap that urine can easily be wiped off of with a paper towel. You can find a super cheap Scotch Sofa Cover here.
3 Day Potty Training Method Supplies Needed:
Potty Training Toilets
Toilet Seats with Built-in Child Seat
Padded Potty Training Pants
Disposable Training Underwear
Pet Cleaning Spray for Carpets!
Toddler Step Stool
Potty Training Watch
Portable Travel Potty for Kids
Foaming Hand Soap for Kids
Plastic Furniture Covering – Optional
Potty Training Charts – A Must-Have!
Potty Training Books – Helpful, but not necessary
By Day 5 of the 3 Day Potty Training (LOL!), the Boy Revolted
He woke up and wanted nothing to do with the potty! And quite frankly, I was getting sick of the training as well. He screamed and kicked whenever I suggested taking him to the potty.
So, we went back to pull-ups in the morning. I still asked him a few times if he needed to go potty, but he continued to scream, so I backed off and gave him a break.
We went on a long walk outside and got plenty of running around time in while he had his pull-up on.
Day 6, he woke up and immediately pointed at his diaper and wanted it off. He walked himself directly into the bathroom, pulled down his pants, took off his diaper and sat on the potty!
So, we tried big boy underwear again. The morning went very well with only a few dribbles in his underwear while trying to get them off on the way to the potty.
The afternoon, however, was a different story. The mere mention of the word “potty” threw him into a tizzy fit.
So, I told him it was ok if he needed a little break from the potty, and we paused our potty training with a pull-up for some much needed “rest” and bonding time of reading books and playing tag.
After a couple of hours, I asked him if he’d like to try the potty again and gently reminded him of the treats he would receive for going.
He walked over and pulled his pants down and sat on the potty by himself and went. We then continued our training in big boy pants throughout the rest of the day.
My Conclusion on the 3 Day Potty Training Method:
I’ve seen a lot of success videos about the 3 Day Potty Training Method on YouTube, which makes me wonder if they made the video at the end of the 3 days, and then never did an update???
Yes, now on Day 6, my son has made amazing progress since Day 1, but I wouldn’t exactly call him “potty trained”. I still plan on using Training Pants or Pull-ups for day excursions and taking his little toilet with us to friends and families houses for a while.
I do not expect him to be night trained anytime soon, as he sleeps a solid 12 hours and has never once woke up dry. I’ve read that this usually happens sometime between the ages of 4 and 7.
I will continue to use positive reinforcement and encouragement, even though this has almost been as draining on me and my husband as it has on our son.
And, I have decided it is OK to be flexible and use Pull-ups when my son just really needs a break from the potty.
As far as the speech delay goes, I haven’t found it to keep him from going potty. He knows the potty sign and is also great at pointing into the bathroom and saying, “This”.
Bottomline is, if you value your carpet and furniture a lot, I wouldn’t try the 3 Day Potty Training Method… But, ours were both already crappy, so we figured, Why not?
If you don’t want to clean up multiple messes per day and want to ease your child into using the potty, I’d suggest Pull-ups and putting them on the potty every couple of hours for a couple weeks before attempting to switch to big boy or girl underwear.
Just remember to go easy on your child and yourself. Every child is different and will learn things in their own time, in their own way.
Be flexible. Take breaks if you or your child have had enough. Good luck and may the force be with you!
6 Month Update on Potty Training a Boy!
After a loooong winter and holiday season with a lot of sick family members, we decided to hold off on potty training until our son was more ready.
He hated using the potty! And it showed! We got sick of trying to force him onto the potty, so we decided to wait until he was more ready.
The waiting paid off, and he was a lot easier! At 3, he is now able to pull his own underwear up and down and jump up on the potty. He still isn’t talking much, but lets us know when he has to go just fine.
Because of his increased maturity, he is able to hold his pee a lot longer than the first time we tried to potty train! He can go a whole hour no problem!
Before, he would dribble about every 20 minutes. (We also got a new potty chart with new stickers which helped his motivation a lot!)
We are now 7 days in on our 2nd attempt at potty training and things are going so much smoother! If your child simply isn’t ready to potty train, don’t force it.
Just give them and yourself the break you both need and revisit when it’s a lot easier on both of you!
Like this post? Please share or comment below! Have you tried the 3 Day Potty Training Method? How did it work for you? Are you potty training a boy or a girl? Do you have any potty training tricks/hacks for other frustrated parents? Comment below!
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