Potty training is not easy. Plain and simple. I have seen many ideas floating around about the three day potty training method, and I have a friend who potty trained her oldest this way and swears by it. I believe every parent does what they think is best for their kids, but this method would have never worked on Peanut and it certainly won’t work with Pickle.
I contemplated using this method with Peanut when he reached his third birthday and showed no interest in getting out of diapers. There was a lot of competition to see whose child could be potty trained the fastest and unintentional mommy shaming because of his age. I was told over and over again to try this method, but here’s why I didn’t and I won’t.
Going to the bathroom every 20 minutes isn’t being potty trained.
In my opinion, the kids doing this aren’t potty trained, their parents are. I’ve seen countless times where parents are taking their children to the bathroom every 20 minutes to make sure they don’t have an accident. The child isn’t potty trained. The parent is tied to an impossible schedule to keep up with. Sure, my 20 month old could be “potty trained” if I took her to the bathroom every 20 minutes, but who’s the one really being trained?
Strong willed children are not ready to potty train until THEY are ready to potty train.
We tried sticker charts, a few Skittles or M&M’s if he went, buying fun “big boy” underwear, plastic underwear over top of those, guilt, a cute, little potty, a big boy potty chair for the toilet, letting him watch us go to the bathroom, putting his hand in warm water, putting his little potty in the bathtub and dumping warm water over him, and on and on I could go; if it was out there for potty training, believe me, we tried it. And NOTHING worked. There was nothing we could do to get him to potty train.
If you’re not familiar with the three day potty training method, it pretty much amounts to this. The child runs around on a non-carpeted floor without a diaper for three days. The theory is that if the child goes to the bathroom without a diaper on, they will soon learn how it feels to need to go to the bathroom, thus training them to use the toilet. I just couldn’t and still can’t get over the fact of letting a child run around naked for three days and having to continually clean up after him. As a working mom, I would have to take time off of work and stay home for three days straight. Not my cup of tea. Period.
Know YOUR child. Don’t get mommy shamed into something that’s not the best for YOUR child.
I believe this method might work for some children. I really do. But you have to know your child and know that it may not work for your cherub. And that’s ok. Don’t be guilted into pushing your child to do something they just aren’t ready for. Kids have to WANT to go to the bathroom on the toilet and really be ready to make any progress. I know this from personal experience.
One weekend when Peanut was about 2, he pooped in the bathtub. He took a bath around the same time the next day, but this time I was ready. I saw that look on his face, grabbed him, and put him on his little potty. He went on the potty and I was ecstatic! But for Peanut, it was an awful and fearful experience for him. I don’t know what it is, but there is something about kids feeling like part of them is being flushed down when they to the bathroom. I believe this set Peanut way back on his potty training journey. He had been showing signs that he might be getting ready to begin, but that day stopped him in his tracks.
It wasn’t until about three months after Peanut’s 3rd birthday that he was really ready to begin. My grandparents were visiting and my grandma kindly, but bluntly, asked him why he was still wearing diapers. The next day he sat on the toilet to go to the bathroom, and after that, potty training was SO EASY! I swear, this three day method seems like so much more work than compared to what we went through with Peanut. From that day on, he transitioned into training pants. Other parents said that training pants were a bad idea because they are glorified diapers, but that’s why I LOVED THEM! Plus, the pictures on the front were SO inspiring for Peanut. If he peed, the diggers, wheels, or whatever picture was on them would disappear. He was so excited when he kept his picture from fading. He would wear these to bed and for the first few nights, the picture would be gone in the morning, but after that, he was dry throughout the night. No tricks, no bribing, just straight and simple: if you want to keep your picture, don’t pee!
Every child is different and there is not one right way to potty train.
When it comes to potty training Pickle, I will not let anyone shame me into pushing her before she is ready. We have exposed her to the bathroom, have set out the little potty, and had her sit on it, but that’s it. And when she’s ready, she’ll let us know. I will not push the issue like I did with Peanut. Kids will potty train when they are ready to.
Parents, if the three day method works for your kiddos, great! Who wouldn’t love to be done with diapers in three days? But know your kids. Know if this method will really train them, or just train you. Each kid is different and will be ready at his or her own pace. Expose them to the bathroom and try some different things out. But take it from me, don’t push your child to potty train and don’t feel ashamed if it doesn’t meet someone else’s expectations.
Do you have any tips or tricks on potty training? Did the three day method work for you? I’d love to hear what other parents have to say on this topic.