I have some very exciting news to share: Colton is potty trained! My husband and I couldn’t be more proud of how quickly he grasped the concept. It’s been a month and he’s had very, very few accidents. So, I think it’s safe to say he is successfully trained! And it was honestly easier than I thought it would be. Here’s how to potty train in 3 days or less…
I’ve always heard that boys are harder to potty train and that they will generally train closer to age 3. Our second baby is due when Colton will be 2.5, so my husband and I had decided to wait until Colton was 3 to potty train. Baby would be 6 months old and (hopefully) on a bit more of a routine by then. We figured potty training would be easier when Colton was a little older, and we didn’t want any additional stress with Baby on the way. We were both fine with this, until…
One weekend, I was browsing Pinterest and some potty training posts came up on my feed. I clicked on them and thought, hey, we could do that. And that was it. That night in bed, I told my husband, “I think I’m going to potty train Colton next week.” He looked at me and just said, “OK.” After 12+ years together, he doesn’t usually argue with my crazy schemes.
Sunday night, I told Colton we would go on a special shopping trip the next morning. We were going to pick out his potty training supplies! No more diapers! He’s always hated diaper changes, so I hoped the promise of a diaper-free existence would motivate him.
We’ve been lucky to receive a lot of hand-me-down books, so I dug through and found a couple potty training related ones. We read those before bed and I crossed my fingers that I had changed one of my last diapers (for Colton, anyway).
The next morning, we headed out to pick up potty training supplies!
As I’ve learned throughout the past 2 years of being a mom, Sam’s Club is a great place to stock up on all sorts of kid necessities.
Potty Training Necessities
- Pull-Ups® Learning Designs® training pants
- Disinfectant Wipes
- Juice Boxes
- Prizes for a Job Well Done!
I highly suggest letting your child pick out their own potty training supplies! Colton thought it was a lot of fun to be in charge of what we put in the cart. Pull-Ups® Learning Designs® give your child a choice of favorite characters to pick from. As a mom, I appreciate the underwear-like design of Pull-Ups because they help teach how to put them on and take them off. This is huge, especially because preschools often won’t be able to help children with that task. Colton will be starting a Mom’s Day Out program one morning per week this coming school year, so I want to be sure he can dress and undress to potty without help.
As for the potty itself, you’ll need to decide if you want your little one to use a separate little potty or a seat on your existing toilet. We use two small potties at home: one on each level of our house. You’ll need at least one potty per level. You don’t want to have your little one rushing up or down stairs when they need to go! When we’re out and about, Colton uses the regular toilet. I just hold onto him so he doesn’t fall in.
Disinfectant wipes are a must! Be prepared for accidents. I also use them to wipe off Colton’s little potty to keep it nice and clean for him.
The juice boxes are self-explanatory: you want them to need to potty frequently, and the juice will keep them drinking!
For prizes, I used a combination of toys and treats. Bubbles, stickers, coloring books, sidewalk chalk, and, of course, candy. Might as well take advantage of his sweet tooth, right? Nothing too expensive, but still lots of fun for a little guy!
How to Potty Train in 3 Days or Less
I planned to spend 3 days completely at home. This is a bit of a challenge in itself, as both of us like to get out of the house every day. I was a little afraid we would go stir crazy! In the end, it was (of course) well worth it.
When we arrived home from our shopping trip, we set up a little potty in a main level bathroom and camped out in the living room. Colton told me he needed to go potty almost immediately! Unfortunately, I was too slow getting him to the actual potty. Lesson learned. I moved the potty into the living room itself. That’s one of the nice things about the little potties: they can go where you go.
To get him to stay nearby, I turned to books and cartoons. We re-read the potty-related books I found in our stash and streamed some potty training TV shows. Soon, the juice boxes did what they’re supposed to do and Colton was going on the potty! Honestly, I was surprised how easy it was. He grasped the concept immediately. When he used his potty, I let him pick out a prize. The prizes also helped keep him contained in the living room, since he was getting lots of new things to play with.
Day 2 was almost exactly the same. I kept the little potty in the living room, we watched potty shows, read books, and I gave out prizes. I also learned something very important about my little man’s personality: he’s extremely self-motivated. The prizes were fun, but unnecessary. He was most excited to tell me that he went potty! He was also visibly disappointed in himself when he had an accident, despite telling him that it’s no big deal… especially with Pull-Ups, which have easy open sides for quick and easy changes if needed.
By Day 3, I was feeling brave enough to move the little potty back into the bathroom. I didn’t want a potty as a permanent decoration in our living room! By now, he had enough practice to give me a little lead time on when he needed to go. It was amazing how much that had changed from Day 1! Of course, we still needed to hurry to the potty right away, but that’s to be expected.
On Day 4, I was ready to leave the house. I’ll admit, I was nervous. I didn’t know how Colton would do in the car or using a public toilet, if needed. I decided to do a quick shopping trip (as in, one item) and pick up lunch from a drive-thru. The whole outing took less than an hour, yet I came home feeling like I had just won an Olympic medal! We had gone out in public without diapers and survived.
At that point, I considered him officially potty trained. I am so proud of my big kid and I can tell he’s proud of himself, too! We worked together and conquered one of the biggest mile marker “growing up” accomplishments. And that’s how to potty train in 3 days or less!
Additional Potty Training Tips
Let your child spread the word about his potty training. I didn’t mention anything about Colton potty training to anyone besides my husband until we saw Colton’s grandparents a week later. I let Colton have a proud moment of showing them his big boy potty. It made him feel special to share the news, plus I didn’t want to put any extra pressure on him until we knew he would be successful.
Check out the Pull-Ups Potty Partnership to learn the best ways to potty train for your child’s unique personality type. Take the quiz to find out if your child is a Squirrel, Turtle, Owl, Bear Cub, or Puppy… and how to tailor potty training to their strengths!
Don’t force it. This is some of the best advice that I got from the Pull-Ups Potty Partnership. Colton is shy and resistant to change (a Turtle, in Potty Partnership speak). I didn’t want to force him into potty training if he wasn’t ready, yet he is shy enough that I wasn’t sure if he would take the lead to tell me if he was ready or not. I waited for his feedback when I introduced the subject, and was fully prepared to drop it if he fought back or didn’t show any interest.
Don’t be afraid to try potty training when you’re pregnant. I was 7 months pregnant when I started training Colton. I’ve read not to potty train right before a new baby comes due to fear of regression. Here’s my take on it: of course, I’m hopeful that Colton doesn’t regress. But if for some reason he does, we won’t be any further behind than where we were before. And I already know how to train him again if for some reason I would need to. Plus, I actually feel that being pregnant has helped with potty training! I use the bathroom so often myself that it encourages Colton to try frequently, too. He always wants to follow me into the bathroom, so now he can use his potty at the same time.
Limit trips out of the house for awhile. Keeping your child in a familiar environment (and close to the potty!) will help ensure success. Sam’s Club makes it easy to stock up on essentials like Pull-Ups with free shipping, free Club pick-up, and subscription options. And you can save even more with cash back from a Plus Membership! There are so many things us moms buy on a regular basis to keep the household running, so why not save money when you can?
Keep a positive attitude. Colton definitely feeds off my attitude, so as long I kept potty training fun, he was on board. Kids can sense if you’re frustrated or upset, which will only make things worse.
Don’t forget to update your diaper bag. It’s time to replace diapers with Pull-Ups! And don’t forget to check the size on your spare outfit. I learned that one the hard way when Colton needed an outfit change and I realized my spare outfit was 2 sizes too small. Oops.
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Have you been through the potty training stage yet? What advice would you share with moms in the trenches?