A few weeks back I updated y’all in this post on how toddler potty training was going just a few days in when things were very up in the air and uncertain. Well, here we area little over two weeks in and I am happy to say that we have made great progress with potty training! I feel comfortable saying that she is actually potty trained; except for nap and bed time. The 3 day potty training method did not work for us as far as her being trained within 3 days. Instead it was a really good jump start to getting her trained. I know the 3 day method works for some and not for others, so I wasn’t going to be upset if she didn’t show much improvement after the 3 day window. I told myself I would give her one week to show progress. She definitely had really bad days and good days. Regression happened on about day 5 and lasted for about 2 days. I really thought that we were going to have to give up after a week. I asked friends and read some things on the internet who all said this was normal, so I felt like I should keep going since she had been doing well the days prior. I am so glad I did because the next day was a huge success and most of the days after that went very well. I finally felt like I could really leave the house with no worries about a week and a half in.
So, what exactly did I do? Well, I followed the typical 3 day method plan and I did not leave the house for 3-4 days, stocked up on all the potty training necessities and played outside a lot. In the days before we started training I tried to emphasize good behavior around the potty. For instance, I let her flush her own poop from her diaper, praised her for sitting on the potty while I sat on the potty, we started a hand washing regimen (she loves to wash her hands), we went to the library and found books to read throughout the day, let her pick out her own underwear, and we talked a lot about the potty. We started doing this on a Monday and then started loose potty training on Thursday after her nap. I wanted to give it a half day just so I could see what she even thought about it- that was just a personal choice. It was weird for me to jump into it, I felt like I had no idea what I was doing. I set alarms through the potty training app for 15 minute intervals and just sat her on it a lot those first 2 days. There was some resistance with even sitting on the potty, so I rewarded her for sitting with an M&M each time she just sat. I wanted to make it known from the beginning that the potty=big rewards. As the days went on she wanted to sit just for an M&M which I just used my mama judgement and would refrain and talk to her about how we needed to potty first to get an M&M. Toddlers forget quickly which was what was on my side in that situation. I knew going into it that I may have that problem, but it was worth it for us and she listened well. We weaned her off of getting an M&M for sitting once she started making progress. The hardest part was the ongoing accidents that occurred at each pee or poop time. We maybe had 1-2 successes over those 3 days to be honest. But, she wasn’t resisting and she was continually trying, so I didn’t look at that as a bad thing. Often times, I felt like I couldn’t get her to the potty in enough time, so that’s when I stripped her down and we played the whole afternoon or morning outside naked. I caught her in the act or right before she was really going and was able to transfer her to her portable potty quickly enough to call it a success and for her to feel like it was a success- that was key. I wanted to finally reward her for trying. I think this is how we finally made progress through the 3 day method. If we hadn’t moved outside or I wasn’t so diligent in catching her I think she would have lost interest. There was no time to text or check my phone either, I had hawk eyes on her the whole time. I was mentally exhausted during those 3 days. Nothing could have prepared me for that, especially while pregnant. Thankfully, I started this on a Thursday so I had my husband home during the weekend to help me re group and to have a fresh perspective on what we were doing. Sometimes your child needs someone else to help them train too. Scarlett made more progress with my husband at times because she just listens to him better than me, which was key in pressing on in the potty department. As soon as we were able to reward her days 3-5 were all about really trying and doing better with making it to the potty. She got the hint and finally started going on her potty and was willing to stop playing to potty. Days 5-7 were rough as I stated earlier, I really thought it wasn’t working or she wasn’t ready. But, after reading and talking to friends I knew that regression was normal and that I should trust my gut and keep going. Days 5-7 we had only 1-2 successes. But, she continually was showing interest so we kept going. My husband got home the evening of day 7 and she went for him twice that night. I pressed on and didn’t look back. The coming days continued to go great and she made progress.
What I learned in all of this is that it takes consistency and patience to be successful. My husband was so helpful and was just as motivated as I was to get her to be trained. After about a week and a half in I finally felt like I could make long trips outside of the house. Another mama gave me the best advice in telling me to keep the portable potty in my trunk and that really saved our lives. Finding a public toilet is hard, yucky, and my toddler is still nervous to use them. This tip really is amazing and it’s so easy. She still has an accident maybe every 3 days on average, but she is doing so great. We are still waiting for her to tell us every time she has to go, but I know that will take time too. She has learned to hold it and will tells us sometimes when she has to go, so that is a win in our books. I know it will take some more time for us to really feel like she is a pro, but I know that is normal and I am just so happy to be where we are after all the hard work we’ve put in.
This was such a monumental leap in parenthood and my husband and I feel so good for all we accomplished. It wasn’t easy and it still is taking work, but sharing our story has been something I wanted to make sure I did because this kind of thing can make you feel defeated, lost, and uncertain as parent. I searched near and far for stories from parents who said the 3 days method did not work and I couldn’t find any. I am hoping that our story can help anyone thinking about potty training or help a parent who is already in the thick of it. Trust your gut and be patient. You will do great!
*If you want to read more about our progress and what we bought to start training, you can click here to read that post!