How the 3-Day Potty Training Method Works

by Christine Coppa

How the 3-Day Potty Training Method Works
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Whether you’re potty training boys or girls, “You will seriously be spending all waking hours with your child for three days,” says 3-Day Potty Training author Lora Jensen.


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.

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“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.


1 of 10 Image Credits: Amazon

Potty Chair

Summer Infant My-Size Potty


First things first, you’ll need a child-size potty to make things comfortable for your child. This best-selling potty chair looks like an adult-sized toilet, so they should quickly catch on to what it’s meant for. Fun details like a moving handle that makes flushing noises add to the “big kid” feeling your kid will get from using a potty like mom and dad’s.

2 of 10 Image Credits: Walmart

Baby Wipes

Huggies Natural Care Baby Wipes


The diapers may be done for, but baby wipes are still the best thing for cleaning your little one’s bottom. It’s fine to encourage and let them use toilet paper, but cleaning up number 2 messes from baby butts is still done quicker and more comfortably with baby wipes.

OXO Tot Transition Sippy Cup 2-Pack

3 of 10 Image Credits: Nordstrom

Sippy Cups

OXO Tot Transition Sippy Cup 2-Pack


Keep a couple of sippy cups on hand—being well hydrated is the key to efficiently teaching your kid to “go”. Little kids are notorious for abandoning cups in random places, so keep a backup or two filled with water in the fridge to give them when you see them empty handed.

4 of 10 Image Credits: Amazon

Juice Boxes

Honest Kids Organic Juice Boxes in Assorted Flavors


An easy way to make potty training feel like a special treat is to let your kiddo have some juice boxes to add to that “gotta go right now” feeling. Honest Kids juice boxes are a good choice because they’re sweetened with natural fruit juice, so you don’t have to worry about pumping your kid full of added sugar and sweeteners.

5 of 10 Image Credits: Carter's


Carter’s 3-Pack Cotton Underwear for Toddlers


In general, parents who do the 3-day potty training method let their kids go naked, or at least diaper-less. If the idea of your kid’s bare butt touching everything you own kind of stresses you out, Jensen says using undies with no pants is OK for potty training both boys and girls.

6 of 10 Image Credits: Walmart

Bath Mat

Mainstays Memory Foam Bath Rug


A bath rug? This surprising potty training hack makes avoiding stains and lingering smells. Bath mats have rubber bottoms and can serve as a barrier between an accident and your couch or rug when teaching your boy or girl how to potty train. You don’t want to make a huge deal of an accident. Just clean your kid up and move on.

7 of 10 Image Credits: Amazon


Playskool Reward and Motivation Sticker Book


You may not need 400 stickers, but this affordable reward idea comes with that many just in case. Motivational stickers are a great tool to use to encourage good potty training behavior. Give your little one a sticker, or let them put a sticker on a DIY “potty chart” every time they use the potty. Make sure your child knows the stickers are for using the toilet only.

8 of 10 Image Credits: Amazon

Potty Training Book

P is for Potty! Sesame Street Book


This Sesame Street potty training book written by Naomi Kleinberg is Amazon’s #1 Best Seller in Children’s Toilet Training Books. You’ll be spending tons of time with your kiddo over the next three days, and reading this book to them is a great way to pass the time and introduce them to the idea of their favorite Sesame Street characters using the potty.

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Waterproof Mattress Cover

Sealy Cozy Dreams Waterproof Fitted Crib Mattress


“You will be training for both day and night. Training for both at the same time keeps the child from getting confused…If you train for both day and night, you eliminate the crutch or feeling they can just go in their diaper or pull-up,” Jensen says of potty training. Basically, go big or go home! Cover those mattresses and get ready.

10 of 10 Image Credits: Amazon

Car Seat Cover

Summer Infant Deluxe Piddle Pad


The general rule is to try and stay homebound during the 3-day potty training method, but we realize that’s not always possible. Not to mention—accidents can still happen (and likely will) well after your child has caught on to the idea of using the potty. This Summer Infant Piddle Pad is the perfect way to protect your little one’s car seat from messes when you’re on the go.