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For all of my kids, I have done the 3 day potty training method. Well, sort of. Some things I disagreed with. Some things we changed a bit. But in the end, all three of our children were potty trained in a fairly painless fashion. So here are my 3 day potty training tips.
The Concept of 3 Day Potty Training
I highly encourage you to read “3 Day Potty Training” by Lora Jensen. The concept is that you take all diapers away on the morning of day 1, and by the end of day 3, your child will, for the most part, be able to use the potty semi-consistently. It takes time and dedication, but it is so worth it.
Use Pull-Ups at Night
The 3 day potty training method is intense and in her book, Jensen recommends potty training for both day and night at the same time. While this works well for some, we chose to do pull-ups at night and let the kids self-train at night. Within 2-3 months of potty training, all of my kids began to hold it all at night. Sleep is valuable – for both the kids and us. We were not willing to let potty training interrupt sleep when we all needed to be rested for learning and teaching a new skill!
The Realities of Multiple Kids
Jensen also recommends that if you have multiple kids that you should have someone watch the other kids, and that you should not have to cook any meals during those three days. Your focus is to be solely on your children and it is one of her key 3 day potty training tips. As a Coast Guard wife, this is simply unreasonable. My husband works full time, and we have never lived close to family who can take the other kids. Almost all of our friends are in similar positions. So I’ve always had at least one other child with me during the potty training season. We just have fun craft days where we play and craft together all day and it becomes a really good bonding time for all of us.
I also have to cook the meals because we have to eat. The best way to do this for our family has been to incorporate the kids in preparing the meals. When potty training, all of my kids have helped me cook. They’ve had a blast and it keeps the potty training kiddo close to me so I can catch signs for when they’re about to need to go.
Lots of Juice
We don’t drink juice often, so juice is a huge treat for my kids. I purchased a bunch of apple juice concentrate and let my kids drink as much as they wanted during those 3 days. Because we usually drink water it was a giant treat! They drank lots of apple juice which meant they needed to go potty often. This was very key because it let us get tons of practice in those first three days, setting up a wonderful base for a continued habit.
Electronics make the kids lose their focus. They become so wrapped up in electronics that they don’t realize they need to go and don’t communicate or attempt to hold it. For the first 3 days, and often the first full week, we don’t let the kids have any electronics or screen time.
Wait Till They Are Ready
Yes, if you wanted to you could train your child much younger. But your life will be so much less stressful and the potty training will be so much happier if you wait till they are ready. With James, my oldest, we tried at age 2 and 2.5 and he wasn’t ready. We tried again just after his third birthday, and by day 3 he had the habit down. With Jed, my middle child, he was well past his 4th birthday. We waited due to his sensory symptoms because he was simply not ready. It was best for him that we wait and be patient with him. By the third day he was consistently peeing in the toilet. Pooping took a few more days (maybe 2 weeks?) to really get down. But once he got it once, he honestly never had a problem again.
My youngest, Jules, was potty trained earliest. She was 2.5. And honestly, I think it would have been easier if we had waited a little longer. She’s also my most strong-willed child, so she just refused to sit on the potty sometimes. But even with her, as a whole, she was going consistently on the potty by day 4 or 5. We did have about 6 weeks where she was MOSTLY going on the potty, but still having an accident or two (or three) a week. I truly think that was a combination of her being a little younger and her being my most strong-willed child. But she also got it using this method, it just took her a little longer.
Make Sure You Are Emotionally Ready
The kids need to be ready. And so do you. If everyone has been super tired and sick, then it is probably not a good time to potty train. If you are emotionally having a hard week, then wait. It is key that you are rested so that you can have a positive outlook towards your kids so that you can control your responses. The 3 day potty training method is great, but it is still a challenging skill to teach. It is key to be able to keep your frustration down and your positivity up for your children. That is honestly one of the biggest 3 day potty training tips I can give you. It is so key for you and your children to be ready to positively embrace this challenge!
I hope that these 3 days potty training tips have been helpful for you. Be sure to check out my post about essential oils for potty training to help calm and focus you and your children, as well as for natural, non-toxic, effective cleaning methods! And make sure you head on over to my Instagram account to learn more health and wellness tips on a daily basis!