My son first began to show signs he was ready for potty training shortly after his second birthday. He would run to a corner to poop. He would do the pee-pee dance. He would follow us into the bathroom.
When I saw this opportunity to ditch the diapers, I dived in headfirst. I bought a cute little potty. We picked out his Paw Patrol big boy undies. We started watching “Potty Monkey” on Youtube. I Googled “How To Potty Train My Toddler Boy” and found a ton of results with details on potty training in three days.
Naturally, any parent that’s had their share of changing diapers can understand the excitement in learning potty training could all be done over the course of one long weekend. After reading several articles that broke down the logistics of how to successfully potty train in three days, I felt pretty confident baby boy would be fully potty trained by the end of the third day.
But boy oh boy, was I wrong.
The three-day style potty training approach is effective as long as you fine-tune it to match your little one’s needs. I couldn’t potty train my son in three days because he needed five.
Potty training my son was such an off and on experience. We attempted the three-day method so many times I’ve lost count. I followed the suggestions provided in those lovely articles to the T and nothing seemed to stick for us. One moment we’re going full force with sitting him on the potty every half hour. Next, I’m throwing my hands in the air as my son kicks and fusses because he doesn’t want to sit on the potty anymore. I began dreading the experience, and my son was sensing it as well.
I felt drained by the entire three-day process, and it made me want to delay potty training him for as long as I possibly could. But I realized by giving up on the third day, I was not allowing him time to show things were starting to click by the fourth day. I didn’t understand this initially until we accepted that potty training in three days wasn’t the set standard.
One thing about being a mom is constantly learning your child’s personality and understanding what may work for one may not work the same for another.
I couldn’t sit our son on the potty every thirty minutes because it felt too frequent for him. Rewards didn’t work and this kid was really really good at holding his urine for hours until he would go pee-pee in his sleep during nap time.
I assumed if he couldn’t potty in a matter of three days, it was a clear indicator that he wasn’t ready. We would try it again in a few weeks but still ran into the same pitfalls later. He needed more time to grasp it, and he needed more time for consistency.
Potty training in five days can be a stretch because there’s so much to do in your day-to-day life. Between work, cleaning, cooking and tending to other responsibilities, it can be difficult squeezing in the time to fully commit to ditching the diapers. But it was what our son needed.
I will say that each article I found on potty training in three days offered a ton of great tips that I used during our five-day stretch. For example, allowing my son to just run around naked without pull-ups or getting him to help clean up whenever there was an accident.
When we took a different approach, by the fourth day, my little guy was using the potty with barely any accidents. By the fifth day, he was a pro.