Potty Training Quickly

Need to get your little one potty trained fast? Can you even do it over a weekend? Here parents share what they did to get their kids potty trained quickly.

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NOTE: The "book du jour" for Potty Training right now is "Oh Crap."  Comes up again and again on our toddler groups and Advice Group.  



"I'm a full time working mom with a 2 yr old whom I think is about ready to potty train. My husband works from home also and our nanny has our daughter out of the house in different classes and play spaces throughout the day per our instruction. My question is, when and how do we squeeze in potty training? Can it be done over a weekend? Does that mean confining ourselves to our apartment and just doing potty runs every 30 min til it works? What about during the week? Do I just hope that the nanny will be able to get her to a bathroom frequently throughout the day til she has the hang of it? Working parents- please tell me what you did. Non working parents, any tips are equally appreciated. At this point I feel like we have a long future with pampers and I'm ready to break up!"


Quick tips:

  • Do it over a long weekend
  • Stay home for 3 days
  • Find rewards




Stay home for 3 days:

"My husband and I both work full-time out of the house and I potty trained my almost 3 year old in 3 days!! Someone told me about a 3 day crash course in potty training, and when I was home with him over Thanksgiving break, we did it... Successfully! He still has accidents now and then, but 75-80% of the time is great with no issues.  I just googled "potty training in 3 days."  there is a lot of literature out there, but I don't have much free time.  The key to our success was we stayed home for 3 days- no out of house outings, and kept him without pants/diapers/underwear all day.  I promise him a "prize" for each time he successfully made it to the potty- which was great motivation for him.  Without pants on, they are much more in tune to what is going on down there ... so he would tell me that he thought pee was coming, we would run to potty together, and if he made it, I would give him a sticker, little toy, big hug, etc., anything to make him feel special and like he really achieved something great and to show I was porud.  I did not make a big deal about accidents, and after 3 days was up, I took him back to school and told his teachers to help him and be supportive, and they were.  He has more accidents with poop as opposed to pee, which I have heard most children do.  We dont make a big deal about it, and we have continued to work on it when we are home together."


"We stayed home for many days in a row and then carried around a travel potty for a long time thereafter."


Levarage what your child feels rewarded by:

"This may be of limited help, but we did it over a long weekend when we would be close to home -- in our case, Rosh Hashannah (Thurs and Fri, and then we had the weekend). The key for us was finding our kid's currency. Turns out, she needed an audience -- we'd worked on it a little bit, but having friends over for RH lunch so she could show off, two days in a row, and then show off for grandparents on Skype, got us the four days' worth. We weren't in the house the whole time, but we were more around than not. Maybe keep an eye out for a bad-weather weekend when you're likely in the house most of the time anyway?"


Is 3 days too good to be true? One parent says yes:

"In my experience (I know every kid is different) one weekend would not have been enough to solidify potty training. Would it be possible to have your nanny stay at home with the kid for one week? Possibly your husband could work at the library or some other work space for that week? Then you could introduce potty training over the weekend and nanny would have a week to reinforce and get comfortable with it before needing to deal with using toilets out and about all the time."


 Try a gentle version; go without diapers and play naked:

"I have friends who did crash course potty training — locked themselves in their house with their child for 2-3 days and it worked, but I think it was pretty brutal on everyone. I’m sure you can buy a book or read up online about how to do this if you want to. The gentler way is to let your child run around without any bottoms on when he/she is home and keep the potty nearby, When the child can reliably make it to the potty at home you can start trying to go out without diapers. if you find yourself constantly running to the bathroom to get there before they go in their pants it means you are training yourself, not them and they aren’t quote ready yet (been there).  This is all much easier in the warmer weather and many parents do wait until spring/summer to potty train. It’s easier to let them be naked at home, you don’t have to deal with getting as many clothes off them when they are out. And If a child has an accident outside the house in the warm weather it’s no big deal to change their clothes outside or let them go naked or be wet for a few minutes until you can change them. In winter wet clothes are way more miserable and carrying around extra clothes, which you will need for a while, is very bulky."


A useful resource:

"We used this method for our older daughter when she was 27 months old, and it worked like a charm: http://www.3daypottytraining.com/.  My sister-in-law used this method for her son, when he was just shy of 3, and it also worked. That said, we just tried two weeks ago to use the exact same method for our second daughter, who is 28 months, and it completely failed. The method basically requries 3 days, so if you can spare an extra day (like maybe a Monday of a long 3-day weekend), it'll be enough.  It requires you to be housebound for at least a day, and up to 3 days, depending on how quickly your daughter catches on."