Shop The Story
How do you know when it’s time to potty train? Your kid may be showing signs they’re ready when they tug at dirty diapers, hide to poop, express interest in you using the toilet and have enough verbal skills to let you know when they need to go. This time frame is different for different kids, but if you suspect your child is ready to take on potty training and you’re interested in the 3-day potty training method, read on.
“The parent(s) needs to know that it will take work and you have to dedicate a full three days to the child. This means giving up ‘me’ time. You won’t be cooking, cleaning or visiting with friends—or Keeping up with the Kardashians. You will seriously be spending all waking hours with your child for three days,” says Lora Jensen, author of 3-Day Potty Training.
And when you’re figuring out how to potty train a boy or girl, she says, you must plan ahead: “Have your shopping done and meals prepared ahead of time. Do the laundry and clean the house prior to starting. Be ready to play games, color, watch cartoons and just enjoy some bonding time with your child.”
It’s not a bad idea to arrange playdates out of the home for older kids, too. Make this three day potty training mission about your soon-to-be potty pro.
What You’ll Need for 3-Day Potty Training
Pick up a few T-shirts that will cover your kid’s private area. Why? Your child will be going commando for three days. The theory is that if he or she knows the diaper isn’t there to catch the pee or poop, it should click that he needs to get his bare butt to a potty.
“We do not put pants on the child during the training process because we want to be able to see when they have an accident,” she says.
Speaking of Accidents…
“Accidents will happen; that is part of training. Children learn from having those accidents,” says Jensen of potty training girls and boys. “The 3-Day Potty Training Method is against punishments during training. You will clean up the accident and simply encourage them to make it to the toilet next time. Praise goes a long way.”
Stock Up on Drinks
Encourage your kid to drink more than usual. This will obviously cause your kid to have to pee, and that’s what you want when potty training—that feeling, that urge.
Gentle Reminders Work
If your kid doesn’t go after sucking down a juice box, remind him to go. And when she says, “no”—and she will!—tell him to just try. Remember this is potty training, not game day. You’re the coach.
Prizes Are Important
Hit up the local dollar store for potty training incentives—stickers, crayons, coloring books and action heroes. Stay strong and remember prizes are for peeing in the toilet, not on the rug or all over themselves.
Got it? OK, Here’s How to Potty Train Your Boy or Girl in Three Days:
- When your child wakes up in the morning, change his soggy diaper and bid farewell. Have your kid throw the diaper out and say “bye-bye.”
- Get your kid naked, in an oversize t-shirt or big kid underwear and explain there is no diaper to catch the pee-pee or poop, so he has to put it in the potty.
- Give your kid breakfast and an extra drink. Afterwards, lead your little one to the potty. It should be a successful trip after all those liquids.
- Go on with the day, but remember, no leaving the house during the three day potty training. Play, read, color and watch cartoons.
- Have a constant sippy cup of water at your kid’s reach. Just like crate-training a puppy, walk your child to the potty every 15 minutes, all day long for three days.
- Cut off all liquids and snacks after dinner while potty training.
- Complete one final potty mission before bed.
- Wake your kid up halfway through the night to pee. (Yes, set an alarm.)
- Repeat for the next two days.
- Don’t get upset about potty training accidents. They’re not a big deal. Don’t react.
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.