How My Daughter Was Potty Trained in 3 Days

This post is sponsored by Cottonelle, but my love for their flushable cleansing cloths is all my own! Affiliate links are also used in this post.

I eagerly started potty training my daughter at 18 months because I wanted her to be trained by age 2.  As you may have guessed, that didn’t happen!  She sat on the potty and peed right away.  Yay, right?  Wrong.  She immediately started screaming because it scared her. *big sigh*

I tried again a few months after her second birthday.  This time I had a spiffy potty seat and was ready to dedicate three full days to potty training with the naked method.  I was pregnant and getting bigger by the day so I didn’t want to have to chase her all over the house dripping pee {or worse!} so we confined ourselves to our small office to play, color, and sing.  She wore a tank top and that was it.  We had fun but she never peed.  I had an alarm go off every 15 minutes and I would get really excited that it was time to sit on the potty chair.  I thought the potty chair would be quieter than peeing in the big potty and perhaps less scary.  She complied and we had a good day….but she never peed.  Not once.  All day.  Seriously, the kid held her bladder for 6 straight hours and she drank A LOT!  As soon as I gave up that evening and put a diaper on her she peed.

Day two of naked potty training didn’t go as planned either.  We did the same thing as day one but I upped her drinking even more.  For lunch we had watery foods, I kept her favorite Minnie Mouse cup full, and she could have all the smoothie drinks she wanted {which are usually reserved as special treat}.  We sat the timer over and over but she never peed on the potty.  …then out of no where she starts wailing!  She peed a tiny bit and she was screaming that she was dirty.  It took quite a while to console her and I decided that she wasn’t ready.  Maybe if I kept at it she would have been potty trained sooner but sitting on the floor playing and putting her on the potty over and over again was too much for this pregnant nauseous mama.  So I waited.

I waited till she asked me to sit on the potty…and then I made her wait some more.  That’s right, she was asking to sit on the potty and I told her not right now.  You see, I have had friends who have potty trained and I’ve heard them talk about running them to the bathroom and cleaning up messes…several times a day.  I couldn’t do that near the end of my pregnancy.  Kudos to the moms who do but I couldn’t take on that task.  I kept talking about the potty regularly and she would usually go in the bathroom with me.

Now, I have a successful potty trained two and a half year old who has had so few accidents that I can count them on one hand.  After two days of potty training with zero accidents we tried letting her go through the night with panties on and she did great.  She was practically potty trained in three days!!  How did I do it?  A lot of prayer!  Besides prayer, I really don’t think I have a super formula but I want to share what worked for my little girl in case it will help encourage someone else.

We Talked About Going to the Potty

We talked about going to the potty a lot.  Every time one of us went we made a point to announce where we were going.  Toddlers love to imitate their parents and I had hoped that if I made a big deal when I went that she would want to as well.

We Invited Her Friends Over Who Were Potty Trained 

We spent time with other toddlers who were potty trained or at least further along in the process of training.  Seeing her friends sit on the big potty made it the cool thing to do.

Mister Rogers Going to the Potty

We Bought Her a Book About Going to The Potty

She LOVES Mister Rogers!  Not only is it her favorite show but it’s the only show she’ll watch {with the occasional animated Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood which was based off of Mister Roger’s Neighborhood}.  When I found a potty training book that Fred Rogers wrote I knew it would be good.  I ordered it from Amazon and I was very pleased with it.  Mister Rogers has a way of addressing complicated issues in such a simple, straight-forward way.  I love how he never down-played children’s emotions and talked to them pretty much as adults.  I could go on and on about my love for his work but I’ll save that for another post.

Potty Seat

We Bought Her a Seat to Set on the Potty

Feeling secure on the potty without Mommy or Daddy holding her was important in helping her relax and get the job done.  After she peed with the seat for a few weeks she is comfortable with us holding her on there without the seat but it was handy {maybe even necessary} in the beginning.  We still use the potty seat downstairs where we are most of the time but we didn’t buy a potty seat for every bathroom in our house.

We Use Cottonelle FreshCare Cleaning Wipes

They make a fabulous transition from wipes to toilet paper.  A clean bum has never been easier!  Plus, they’re great for temporarily cleaning up accidents until you can give them a bath.  They’re moist, soft, flushable, and with their new packaging they are also super convenient.

We Reward With Treats

Early on in potty training it was so tempting to give her a treat for setting on the potty and trying but I held firm and waited until she peed.  Now she gets a chocolate treat of an M&M, or a frozen blueberry, or a craisin.  She doesn’t get to pick which one, we just alternate what we offer.

Travel Potty Seat

We Bought a Handy Travel Potty Seat

This little guy folds up nicely to fit in my diaper bag.  It even came in it’s own plastic bag that I’ve continued to put it in.  This gives me peace of mind when venturing out of the house.  I hate dirty bathrooms but when a kid’s gotta go, they’ve gotta go.

Princess Panties

We Bought Her Princess Panties

Her daddy made a BIG deal about her wearing princess panties when she peed in the potty.  After one day of a dry diaper we went to Walmart together and bought princess panties.  I didn’t know if they had them or not but after we promised them I sure had my fingers crossed.  Walmart came through for us but I was very surprised how expensive little girl’s panties are…and how rough the material is.  {As a side note, the ones I bought on clearance at Crazy 8 are much nicer if you’re wanting to spend the money or wait for a sale.}

When Daddy was telling her all about her princess panties she could get he also mentioned to her that she’s growing up so fast and pretty soon she’ll be starting school, she’ll have to get a backpack, etc, etc.  She clung to the fact that she would be getting a backpack.  After it was clear that she wouldn’t forget about it we said that if she kept her princesses dry for a week she could have a backpack.  Thankfully, I found a soft and small Winnie the Pooh backpack at a local consignment sale!

That’s about it, I don’t know why it worked but I just know that it did. As much as it bugged me hearing people say that “you just have to wait till they’re ready” and “you’ll just know when they are ready”…it’s true.  Waiting really paid off for me.  I would much rather have a potty trained kid almost instantly than six months of rushing them to the potty.  Having her communicate with me that she has to go is much nicer than me trying to know her potty schedule and remembering to take her.  I can’t promise you’ll have the results I did if you do everything like me because all kids are different but I want to encourage you that it will happen.  Your kid will eventually be potty trained!

About Ashley

Ashley is very happily married and the mother to a beautiful little girl and handsome little boy. She is the main voice behind Embracing Homemaking.

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