3 Day Potty Training—A CafeMom Road Test

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Sydney is potty training today

How's this for a great New Year's resolution?! Today mommacan is potty training her 21-month old daughter, Sydney! She is going to try the 3 Day Potty Training Method that you've probably heard other moms ask about every so often.

I'm curious myself about this cold-turkey approach, invented by Lora Jensen and made into a copyrighted e-book. I didn't know about this when I was potty-training my kids, so I used the 5 Months and 17 Days method for my son. Not fun.

The gist of the 3 Day approach, mommacan tells me, is that "you throw away all the diapers in the house, dress you child in big kid underwear, give him liquids, and rush him to the potty when you catch him in the act. Within those first three days of staying home and being focused on your child, something will "click" and your child will just get it!"

I talked to mommacan, owner of the 3 Day Potty Training Support Group, today while she was readying the last of the diapers for the trash can.

How do you know that Sydney is ready to train?

She started to tell me she was wet and stinky about 2 months ago out of the blue. She is very vocal about being "stinky" and wants to be changed immediately when wet.

In addition, I want to potty train once and not over months or even years. I have two children under two years old and have limited time to prolong the process. I am willing to give up three days and clean up a lot of messes in order to make it easier for me and my daughter in the long run.

What about the method appeals to you?

I do everything with my child cold turkey. She seems to adjust to it better that way. At 12 months I took away the bottles and took her down to one nap a day. At 15 months I moved her to her new room in her big girl bed and never used the crib again. When deciding to potty train, I wanted to find a method that fit my usual cold turkey approach and the 3-day method fit the bill.

How are you preparing for the event?

I have purchased two potties (one for upstairs and one for downstairs). I have 20 pairs of cheap underwear and all her favorite liquids and snacks.

My husband and I will be tag-teaming. He will be home with us and if one of us needs to leave the house, then the other will stay with my toddler and continue the training. I also have a 3 month old who is breastfeeding, so my husband will be potty training while I nurse.

We plan to stay home at least 95% of the time. If we do need a house break, we will not put her in a diaper, we will plan to run her to the potty. We are devoted to make these next three days as effective as possible.

What steps do you follow?

On Day One, I'll dress Sydney in underwear and a T-shirt only and I'll throw away all the diapers. It's the potty or the floor. I'll go about my day as usual. I'll give Sydney plenty of liquids, as much as she will take and keep a close eye on her. When I catch her in the act, I'll rush her to the potty (saying yuck!) and then praise her for finishing in the potty. She'll get snack. I must ask her if she has to go potty or tell momma when she needs to potty at least once every half hour.

That night, I'll stop her liquids two to three hours before bed, dress her in underwear, and put her to bed. In the morning, I'll wake her up right before she is fully awake and put her on the potty. Most bed wetting happens right when the child first wakes up.

Day 2 and 3 are the same as day one. During the 3 day process something will "click" in the child and she will just get it. Hopefully, soon she will be running to the potty before me.

What if it doesn't work?

True success for the method is determined on how devoted the parents are to make it work! You have to realize there is no going back. Not during the three days and definitely not after! If at any point a diaper or pull-up is put on the child, then the method fails. The child just received mixed messages from her potty trainer and the potty training process just became A LOT harder!

My fingers are crossed for mommacan. Read Three Day Potty Training The Verdict to find out if it worked or not. Have you tried this or another method? Which one worked best for your tot?


potty training