Have you heard of the 3 Day Potty Training Method by Lora Jensen? It’s a 23 page e-book which outlines exactly how to potty train your child. In 3 days. From nappies to no nappies – just like that. Thinking it’s too good to be true? Well it is. Kind of. Read on to find out how our 3 days played out.
The 3 Day Potty Training Method – A Real Life Story.
Before we started:
- We assembled the essentials: a Thomas the Tank Engine themed toilet seat (we decided to skip the potty), loads of the cutest little toddler undies you’ve ever seen, stickers and Peppa Pig chocolate treats, flushable wipes (ok, not essential but easier on little bottoms than loo paper).
- We ditched the bottle. Cold turkey, overnight. About a week before we ditched the nappies. I don’t think even I could go all night without wetting the bed after downing that much milk!
- We planned 3 days at home – no where to be, nothing that had to be done.
- I also got a few new books and a couple of new (to us) toys to help entertain us during the 3 days.
- When the day arrived I was a bit apprehensive about getting started. Once you start there is no turning back. Well, I guess you could turn back then start again another day but we were ready to go so go we did.
- The first step is choose the undies for the day. And by day I mean until the first accident. We picked pirate ones, making a big fuss of how cool the undies are – “such a big boy in his cool undies!”
- Now it’s time to get rid of all the nappies in the house. We made it in to a bit of a game, hunted them down then gathered our pile of nappies and together we threw them in the bin. I had made sure not to stock up for a while before the big day so we only had half a dozen to throw away. It does seem like a bit of a waste but it’s part of the process – you need to trust the process.
- We started talking about being a “big boy” and not needing nappies any more. Unfortunately this didn’t go so well for us – our little dude is already a bit upset about the future arrival of the new baby and how he will no longer be the baby. So we didn’t dwell on the “big boy” stuff for too long.
- Now get ready to repeat the following a thousand times (at least): “Tell Mummy when you need to go toilet.” It’s not a question. Have you ever asked a toilet training toddler if they want to go to the toilet? Can you guess what the answer will be? No. Every single time. So you just repeat this statement every few minutes. You may keep saying it in your sleep. That’s how you know that you’ve said it enough during the day.
- Don’t leave your cherub’s side. Not for a moment. You need to catch every single accident. You need to learn their cues – the quirky little things they do right before they soil their new undies. You want to catch them as soon as they start going and quickly rush them to the toilet to finish. Even if they’ve made a lake in the lounge and there’s no way they could have anything left, pop them on the toilet. And if they do even the smallest amount in the toilet, it’s time for a potty party!
- My little dude is highly motivated by chocolate (like his mother) so we had Peppa Pig Muddle Puddle chocolates as his reward for going in the toilet. Accompanied by a lunatic mother dancing around the smallest room in the house, telling him that he is the best thing since sliced bread!
- Repeat steps 5, 6 and 7. Over and over again. Give them loads of liquid so that there’s even more chance for accidents. I even added food colouring to milk to get him to keep drinking during the day. For us, we had about 6 accidents during the day, including a code brown. We tried to stay outside as much as possible. And we just hung out, played, and every so often we made a mad dash to the loo. And it was exhausting. I was reminded of the newborn days, watching the clock until it was time for Mr Mac to come home. I can’t quite explain why spending 100% of your time with your kid is so exhausting but it just is. There’s no nipping to the laundry to chuck on another load. Or popping the rubbish bag out to the wheelie bin. It’s just the two of you, all day long.
- I was very apprehensive of putting him down for a nap with no nappy. It may not be in the rules but I waited until right after he had been for a pee then popped him down. He slept like a log for 2 hours and woke up dry. Then did a great big wee on the toilet – brilliant!
- Bedtime didn’t go quite so well. He had a shower earlier in the day so our routine was a little off. We had stopped liquid a few hours before he went down but he hadn’t yet figured out how to make himself pee, despite trying repeatedly. We knew that he would need to go soon so we popped him down on a waterproof sheet and let him fall asleep. 20 minutes later we snuck in – yip, pee everywhere. After a change of PJs and stripping off the sheet, he was back to sleep and stayed dry right through to the morning.
- Day 2 was just like day 1 – lots of accidents, lots of rushing to the loo, lots of carpet scrubbing. Day 2 was when I was seriously questioning the method. Should we try a difference approach? Should we wait? Luckily Mr Mac was home in the afternoon to help me keep my resolve.
- No code brown today which made me worry that he was holding it. I gave him a whole apple thinking that that might help.
- I started to notice that, depending on his liquid intake, he general pees every 2 to 3 hours. This seems like a mammoth effort for a pregnant women. I had to start bribing him with videos on my phone to get him to keep coming to the toilet with me!
- Again, I put him down for a nap just after a big wee. He stayed dry again.
- I got sick and tired of repeating, “tell Mummy when you have to go to the toilet.” Considered making a recording on my phone and just pressing play over and over.
- Back to our usual night time routine. He did a big pee in the shower. We encouraged him to go again after story time, right before sleep. He humoured us but nothing came of it. But come 6am he was dry.
- This was the hardest day of them all. Exhausted, craving some “me time”, not seeing any results, repeating yourself non-stop – it’s not much fun. Luckily I had friends who had just been through it and they encouraged me to keep going. The weather wasn’t so nice today so there was lots of carpet scrubbing.
- About mid-morning something magical happened – the little rugrat told me he needed to go to the toilet. We ran down the hall together and the little angel sat on the bog and did an amazing poo – I’m not ashamed to say it was the coolest thing ever!! Time to break out the big guns – an $8, second hand car track set. Woo hoo!
- Back to more accidents on the carpet. Just when you think they’ve figured it out, they just pee their pants. Back to imagining the conversation with his future bride-to-be on why he still wears nappies and why she can toilet train him.
- Again, big wee in the shower, nothing during his last pee of the night, dry bed in the morning.
- Ok, I know it’s called the 3 Day Method but this is the thing – the 3 days lays the foundation. It begins to teach them how to feel inside their bodies what it is like to have the urge to pee, and then to release. They will not be magically toilet trained by the end of day 3. Well, some might but not my little chap. But I can tell you by day 4 he was recognising when he needed to go. He would start in his undies, stop then tell me he needed to go. And he could usually stop it before it hit the carpet. And he nearly always finished on the loo. He was finally getting it!
- We decided to spend the morning at home then pop round to my Grandparents house in the afternoon – a “safe zone” where it wouldn’t be the end of the world if he had an accident. But there were no accidents while we were out, or in the car, or in his bed during his nap or his night sleep.
I’ve heard the 3 day method referred to as the $45 method, as that is what it costs to hire a steam cleaner to clean the carpets when you’re done. And that’s a fair call. It is messy. Methods where you set a timer and take the kid to the toilet every 15 minutes or so would definitely be cleaner. But are they really feeling the urge to go, learning how to anticipate and how to hold on when they need to? Every child is different and I have nothing to compare it to but this method worked for us.
One week on and we still have the odd accident – maybe one or two a day. He’s still dry every nap and every night (touch wood). He seems to anticipate the urge to poop a lot better than the urge to pee but overall I am so very proud of my little dude and would happily recommend the 3 day method to all of my readers. But be warned – it is exhausting. And it’s all or nothing. You need to be present 100% of the time – much easier said than done.
I highly recommend getting Lora’s e-book if you are going to give it a go. It has loads of tips and information, the answers to heaps of frequently asked questions and what to do when things go wrong. It a good, quick read but do read it. You can buy the e-book online at www.3daypottytraining.com
Have you recently toilet trained? Did you follow this method or do it a different way?