Yes, I’m serious.
No, it isn’t a gimmick.
No, you don’t have to give me any money to learn about how I potty train.
This is the third time I’ve potty trained. So far, I’ve consistently managed daytime potty training by 2 1/2 years old, and nighttime potty training by 3 years old.
Here’s what you need:
- a toddler who is showing signs of being ready.
- potty chair (I use the basic one from Wal-Mart)
- a gated room with hard floors
- drinks and salty snacks
- a timer (I use a free app called Potty Baby)
- washable toys in the gated room
Pick a room. When we lived in a different house, I used the kitchen because there was a bathroom attached and it was the only hard floor in the entire house. Here, it’s the dining room.
The potty chair and the toys go in the dining room, and a gate gets put across the doorway to keep the accidents on the hard floor. The toddler plays in this room all day for the three days while she is being potty trained.
So, here’s what you do.
- On day 1, make a REALLY BIG DEAL out of not wearing/needing diapers anymore: “Since you’re such a big girl, you don’t need diapers anymore!”
- Give the toddler lots to drink, and snacks like crackers and watermelon.I allow sweet tea and punch in larger quantities than usual.
- Sit the toddler on the potty EVERY FIVE MINUTES until she goes once, then every fifteen minutes after that. (Yes, this is a very labor intensive 3 days).
- You may have to build awareness of elimination. This is why you go COMPLETELY NAKED below the waist. She can directly see what she is doing, as it is happening.
- If the toddler starts to have an accident, whisk her over to the potty chair before she finishes. Praise her for making it to the potty before finishing.
- Get SUPER EXCITED every time she goes in the potty!
For the first little while, I give a small piece of candy every time she succeeds in using the potty. This time around, I’m using chocolate chips because I had them on hand. Two chocolate chips for #2, and one chocolate chip for pee. Eventually the candy is phased out, but it really helps at first to build motivation.
I do still use diapers during naps and at night, until I start to see consistently dry diapers during these times. Then I put a waterproof pad on the bed and try a diaper-free nap!
Oh, I should probably note that the poor kid isn’t by herself in one room for three days! Her siblings are with her a lot of the time, and I’m in there most of the time too. I sit at the table with my laptop, sewing machine, or a book.
You can read more about the three-day method here.