Three Day Method, My A**

It doesn’t feel like that long ago I potty trained Ruthie (probably because it wasn’t). I wrote a post on it here. It was a long and arduous process. I made many rookie mistakes, including going on a week long vacation a few weeks after beginning her training. Before that vacation, we spent weeks never leaving the house. It was . . . . . a bit traumatic. For both of us. I finally just resigned myself to reminding her to go to the bathroom every 2-3 hours for months on end, because she would only tell me when she had to go #2, but never #1. Now, nine months later, she finally is fully day trained and will tell me if she has to go pee pee. And I am starting the process all over again with Rose.

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If it were up to me, I would have waited about another ten years before starting this all over again, but Scott let me know in a very subtle way that he was tired of changing toddler-sized dirty diapers. He decided to train her himself one Saturday. In his spare time since he had some work to do as well. In about two days since obviously he had to go to work on Monday. I know any of you who have potty trained children are maniacally laughing right now, but things related to parenting have come so effortlessly to Scott up to this point, I decided to sit back and watch this play out. He made some headway in getting her to pee on the potty, but the whole thing had the conclusion that most of us would expect. She was still having accidents, and he was getting frustrated. I had some appointments and things I had to do the next week, so we just put her back in diapers.

Well, I had run out of excuses for not training her, so I decided to spend this past week potty training Rosie. Because I love my husband and these are the things we do to show our love. I started scouring the internet again to reread all of the potty training advice blogs to refresh my memory. I, of course, found all of the miraculous three day method blog posts after being taken in by that dang lady who promises to teach you her failsafe method in a video that turns out to be an 8 minute advertisement for her potty training book. (She draws me in every time!) Now, maybe I am just terrible at implementing the three day method, but it has never been the rainbows and unicorns method it is touted to be. I’ll tell you why.

The title of the whole thing. Potty train your child in a weekend! Be done with diapers in three days! Puh-lease. I don’t know what kind of clockwork plumbing your children have, but I don’t even have a guarantee that we will have more than 2-3 poops in three days, and the poop was the main reason we wanted to potty train! And a child being able to never have any #2 accidents after two tries is quite impressive. I don’t think I could completely acquire a new skill after only two tries. Furthermore, maybe my expectation that the child will be able to tell you when she needs to go pee without constant reminding was an unreasonable one, but all of the rosy blog posts about it sure made it seem like that would be the case.

Using a little potty. This is just a personal preference, but I just cannot deal with cleaning out those little potties. Gross. The whole potty training process involves close contact with too much raw sewage already.

Bare butt. This is all well and good if you have boys, but having a little girl going around all day long without anything on her little bottom is a big no-no. That is a surefire way to give her a urinary tract infection. I don’t know, maybe everyone’s houses are much more bacteria-free than mine (I mean, we do wear our shoes in the house) but there is no way I can spend the day catching accidents AND making sure she never sits down on the floor. So, we use regular underwear from day one.

Never using pull-ups. I can totally understand this from a training point of view. If what they are wearing feels like a diaper, they are less likely to realize a drastic change in the status quo. They can’t feel when they are wet and need to run to the potty. However, I am not a big fan of going out of the house and risking a lot of public embarrassment for the child and unsanitary clean up for the establishment. So, we have no shame in using a pull-up if it is going to be a long car ride (sometimes they pee in their sleep) or an outing in which we are unsure of the proximity of the restrooms. I have a travel stand alone potty, but have never used it because, well, see my above explanation for my aversion to the little potties. Again, this might be the reason why Ruth took so long to figure out how to tell me that she needed to pee instead of my constantly reminding her, so I’ll chalk this one up to personal preference as well.

The magical window of opportunity that snaps shut if you miss it. This one bothers me the most about the three day method posts. It leads moms to agonize over spotting all of these telltale “signs” that the child is ready to be potty trained that come for a magical few months after the child has learned to walk and that window slams shut for another year or so if you miss it. Now, I do think children are either ready to be potty trained or they are not, and each child is going to be ready in her own time, but there is no need to try and read the tea leaves about it. If you are ready, and feel like they might be ready (you know your child best), then give it a try one week. If it is proving unduly frustrating for both of you, put them back in diapers and try again later. No typical child is going to high school still in diapers. So don’t fret about it. It will happen in its own time.

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All of that being said, I am happy to announce that Rosie is fully potty trained after . . . . . drumroll please . . . . five days. And I am pretty pleased with myself. I did use the three day method (with the above modifications) and it worked very well, but certainly not with rave results after three days. We still remind her to go potty every hour or so, but when she goes she still has dry undies. We went to the park and out to lunch today with Rosie in her big girl underwear, and we arrived back home with dry undies. I consider that a success. She has been waking up from her naps with a dry diaper, and if she keeps that up consistently, I might even switch her to underwear for that too.

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What have been your experiences with the three day method? Was it the foolproof method for you that it is advertised to be? Hey, I am totally willing to allow for the possibility that I just fail miserably at implementing it. Potty trained in five days is way better than nine months, though, so perhaps I am improving and I can shave off those extra two days like an expert with Wren.

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About sylcell

Wife, mom of four girls, Catholic, insatiable sweet tooth
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28 Responses to Three Day Method, My A**

  1. I love your blog. πŸ™‚ And your belly is not huge. Nope. You look great–unless you want it to be huge, in which case, it’s huge compared to mine….only there is no baby in mine, not even a little one. Ha!

    Liked by 1 person

    • sylcell says:

      Thank you! Yeah, still trying to make peace with my post baby love handles that have never gone away :/ Oh well, my husband hasn’t noticed and they were so worth it!

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  2. Pingback: Re Re Regression! | Tales from the Mommy Trenches

  3. Ashley P says:

    Yes so addicting! I have never eaten crawfish out of state though. We are picky about food lol. I think what a lot of people don’t realize is that we basically have two cultures in Louisiana. Creole which is more New Orleans style and Cajun which is more of the southern parishes. Most Cajuns, including myself, do not enjoy Nola food. It’s funny how the same state can have two totally different tastes for things. For instance, I will not eat gumbo or any type of rice and gravy from Nola because it just does not taste the way we cook it. Now… I will eat way more than my cholesterol level would allow me of fried food there lol I hope that you and your family could come once to try out all of the places. It’s really a great state with a lot of great Catholics πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ashley P says:

    Most bakery shops around here do Mail them to people out of state. To me, the best I have had is from Gautreaux’s Donut Kitchen in Rayne, LA. But maybe I am biased because that is where I am from lol. Theirs is more like a big cinnamon roll than a homemade bread. As of now, I cannot eat another bite of a King Cake until next year. Too much in one month! And I am sure by next month I will feel the same about boiled crawfish… Ahh the joys of living in a food loving state πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • sylcell says:

      Good to know! I am definitely going to have one mailed to me next year. I prefer the cinnamon bun ones to the bread ones (and my girls do too). Oh my gosh I love crawfish. The last time I had really succulent crawfish was in Biloxi, MS. I’ll bet it is even better Cajun style.

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      • morgan says:

        Oh I love a good crawfish boil! Found a recipe a couple years ago and thought “oh well, you just throw it on the table and… what?!? the kids will love that one…” and it was delicious!!! Although we have to make it with frozen crawfish or shrimp because we cannot get fresh ones. And I have to mix my own seasoning. But ONE DAY I’ll get in a plane and go for a real one.

        as for the real topic of this post: well spoken, Sylvia! As with everything involving kids, there just is NO THING like “will work every time”. haha. It still is possible that even our eldest one (who now is potty trained for almost two years) ends up peeing his pants because he falls asleep at the wrong moment or gets way too engrossed in a game…

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Ashley P says:

    Saw your Instagram about the king cake. I don’t have an account but wanted to tell you I am from Louisiana. Most places leave the baby on the side so that one person can put it in the cake themselves or choose not to put it at all. Pretty much all places began doing this a few years ago, I am assuming so that it is less of a hazard. Hope you enjoyed the cake.

    Liked by 1 person

    • sylcell says:

      Yeah, I figured it must be a liability issue. Obviously, I am a king cake novice. We did enjoy it and no one choked on a little plastic baby because I couldn’t figure out how to put it in the cake, lol. Someday, I would love to go to NOLA and have the real thing!

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  6. Libby says:

    ahh potty training and mothers, a sure fire way to increase anxiety! I had 3 boys and a girl (in that order) and didn’t sweat it. Too often. Well, when I wasn’t out in public anyways or overtired or just tired. I started them at 18mos. with an introduction to the toilet (I agree with the little potty thing) and talking about how their body felt when they peed and pooped (usually right after the event). I didn’t start putting them on the toilet until maybe 2, depending on what I was doing at that point. I had only one I was sure was going to go to kindergarten with a diaper in his snack bag or be yelling from the washroom that he was finished. It all worked out before the first day. My daughter was (& is) her own person, I tried the reward with candy but that didn’t work (I ate it all). Again it all worked out.

    I think those “how to potty train in 24hrs/2days/3/days” are crock. Talk about inviting emotional disharmony in the kid’s psyche! (not that it’s a guarantee the child will be scarred for life if they actually train in three days).

    Don’t sweat it. Yep, easier said than done & I disliked diapers as much as the next person. I personally think you moms of kidlets now have quite the hurdle. When my kids were little I used cloth diapers so when the kid was wet, he/she knew it and it was a soggy & eventually, cold diaper hanging off them. They would peel it off to get rid of it. The key was not to let the kid get used to that feeling & really point out that it must feel yucky (oh my, a mother playing mind games with her kids!).

    Just be assured that it will become important to your child and they’ll use the toilet on their own and eventually even wipe their own bottom! And most likely (barring any developmental issues) before kindergarten.

    Liked by 1 person

    • sylcell says:

      I love all of this! Such good (and reassuring) advice. Thank you for sharing your wisdom. Especially about the sensation thing. That is my biggest hurdle with both girls is for them to figure out when they need to go pee before it happens.

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  7. It didn’t work for us at all! We did naked baby with the boys coupled with undies. I really think every kid is different with his or her own set of challenges. But when they’re ready, it’s a breeze for them. I unfortunately do know people who missed that window though and it is true that some children will completely refuse to do it if you miss the chance early on, but again I think it’s one of those every kid is different things!

    Liked by 1 person

    • sylcell says:

      I agree. Every kid is different. My eldest was very stubborn, but I really feel like she would have been stubborn at any age. She is a complete champ at using the potty now, though (thank God). I can’t help but be proud of her. It’s the little things with toddlers;)

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I have been meaning to write this exact post…I will now put it off a while, maybe another year when I potty train JD, since you just wrote it. Ha! Couldn’t agree more. And even after 5 days, or whatever, accidents will ocassionally happen. Window doesn’t exist. I wish they would stop freakin’ out the new moms.

    Liked by 1 person

    • sylcell says:

      Right?!! And then making a profit off of it! That makes it seem even worse for some reason. Please write a potty training post!! I would love to hear it from your perspective. You have potty trained more than I, and maybe boys are different?

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      • I had certainly never thought of the UTI bit. YIKES! But nobody runs around my house naked either. They wear underwear and pants, so it makes them feel disgusting if they wet themselves. You know? I figure I’ll do a potty post when JD starts that journey, and he’s not allowed to start that journey until he at least hits 2. BTW, Rosie and Ruthie look so much alike and have such similar names. I always have to read and re-read and look at their photos to figure out who is who. Ha!

        Liked by 1 person

      • sylcell says:

        Yeah, my mom is so mad at us for naming all of our children such similar names. I tell her we are just trying to keep her mind sharp, lol.

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  9. manhattandouble says:

    Way to go!! I never have been able to get potty training down that fast. The worst is when you think you’ve got it and then out of no where it’s like back to square one… The good news is at some point it works out and soon you get past the diaper stage!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • sylcell says:

      Yeah, I definitely do not expect that she will never have another accident, but it is nice to get to the point where she will stay dry in between reminders to go potty. I really think it helps that she sees her big sister going potty. She always wants to be doing whatever big sister is doing! Although, now big sister wants chocolate chips for going potty too. Oh well. You do what you gotta do.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. katylady says:

    That’s it, you’ve inspired me — I’m training the almost-20-month-old this week. Say a prayer for us!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Ashley P says:

    Well I had no luck with that lady’s method because I bought it last summer and decided right after purchasing that my son wasn’t ready (he was only 21 months). A few months later when I felt he might be ready, I went back on the website to get the information that I had purchased only to figure out if you don’t download it right after you buy it you lose it. I emailed the company and NEVER got a response. Good bye $40! And not long after, he lost complete interest in the potty so here I am with a 2 1/2 year old, a 15 month old and one on the way with no one trained. I will try this summer with him when I am off (teacher). I think he will be ready by then since all of his friends at school are learning. Congratulations to you AND your wallet LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    • sylcell says:

      He will get there, he is only 2 and a half. I didn’t start Ruth until she was a few months shy of 3. Yeah, the potty training method thing is such a racket. I’m all for capitalism, but I’m also for helping fellow moms out as much as we can just out of the goodness of our hearts. The 3 day method is overwhelming as heck when you read about it, but it is an effective way to train. It just isn’t as effective as I was hoping.

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  12. Sara says:

    We did 3-day with Keelin. It was by no means fool proof (she was still in diapers for naps and bedtime for a long while – and even regressed at night when we moved – and we had many poop accidents that made me want to vomit for days) but I do think the whole premise of having them naked and confined to an areal close to the bathroom makes sense. I think we used the same method (Rebecca Mansfield???) and that first day of having her sit on the potty every 20 minutes or so definitely was a drastic enough shift to make her pay attention to the urge to go. I don’t think the author touched on how truly frustrating it is (or at least can be) when you aren’t able to chuck all diapers on day 4. But then again, “potty training in a weekend plus a few months plus possible regression” isn’t a book I would buy. πŸ™‚
    I’m already dreading potty training with G, even though it’s a ways off. Boys. AHHHHHH!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • sylcell says:

      That is true, that title would be a total turn off, LOL. Ruth still isn’t night or nap trained because she still pees in her sleep. But I know she will eventually grow out of that, so I’m in no hurry. She goes to the bathroom for the important things at night and during naps, namely, pooping and throwing up;) So, I’m good.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Erin says:

    I’m pretty absent-minded, so with our now almost 4 year old, we set up a “when I have to pee, you have to pee (or at least try)” system, and then I drank like a gallon of water a day for the duration so I had to go a lot. We saw results in a week or two, and by a few months we could take a long car ride without diapers. We used the padded training undies, and then she just kept wearing those until she outgrew them and got regular undies after that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • sylcell says:

      That is a good way to time it! The every 20 minutes on a timer thing was such a failure with Ruth, I didn’t even try it with Rose. I just did it whenever I thought of it, in addition to before eating and before and after naps. I like your way better for next time, I think.

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