When I took Annie to see Dr. Looove last week, I told Mike I was putting Annie in a pull-up in anticipation of the inevitable “How’s potty training going” question. Sure enough, it was asked, and I replied, “oh well…you know….it’s been a busy summer what with my emotional breakdowns and all…Annie seems pretty happy in diapers…okay fine I am pretty happy with her in diapers.”
Dr. Looove was nice about it, but told me that we really should start trying to potty train Annie and yeah….she’s probably right. I bought her princess underwear (of course) last week, and she has the Princess Potty 4000. But uuuuggggghhhh I am dreading it. I don’t want to switch her out of a crib yet. And she’s so strong-willed that this could go…badly. Of course, the strong-willed thing could also work in our favor.
My friends Leslie and Nanette each potty trained their kids last year with the three-day method, and they swear by it. I figure it’s worth a try, right? I mean three days, I can handle three days of potty-training hell if it means we’re done at the end of it. So…we’ll probably attempt it in the next month or so. I am going to need to talk myself into it. But hopefully in a month or two I’ll be posting “Hey y’all, she’s potty trained, ooh-ooooooh!”
I will not be posting pictures, partly because it’s gross but mostly because I don’t think Future-Annie would be happy about that. I will also not be taking her out to restaurants and having her sit naked on a potty chair as if it is a booster seat omg. Yes. That really happened! I can’t even. My eyes would fall out of my head if I saw that.
Anyway, here is where you give me a pep talk and tell me that the three-day method is magical and not only will Annie come out of it potty trained, but also with the ability to read. I can do this, right? Because I really don’t want to. Team Diapers!
I’m sorry. I can’t tell you the three-day-method is magic. Not because it’s not, but because I have no idea what the three-day-method is.
I don’t really get the whole concept of potty ‘training’, to be honest. When a child is ready to get rid of his/her diaper, s/he’ll let you know. Before they can be ‘potty trained’, they have to be able to hold their pee/poo for a while, and to ‘feel’ when they need to let it go. As long as they don’t get that, they won’t be able to potty train themselves (that is, after all, what need to be done). If they are not there yet, all you can do is tell them to go potty at regular intervals and hope they don’t mess up in between. That’s not “Being potty trained!”, that’s “If you put him/her on the potty often enough, something is bound to fall in there eventually…”
My two year old son (he’s about a month younger than Annie) is starting to come to me when he needs to poop (he feels safer doing it while I hold him), so he’s getting there. I ask him if he wants to go to the toilet/potty. He says yes, sits on it, says ‘psssssss, all done!’ and gets back off. That’s it. He doesn’t pee, doesn’t poo, just pretends he does.
Fine by me. We’ll get rid of those diapers eventually.
And if that isn’t by the time he is three, I will just start bribing him…
With any luck, by that time he will actually speak more than the 20 words he does now (we’re working on it), which will make it easier to explain things to him and for him to let me know what’s happening.
But. If there’s enough commenters here telling you that three-day-method IS magic, I might just start believing them and give it a go myself…
I SO totally agree with this. I’ve been a daycare provider for 23 years and have helped potty train at least 50 kids and until that child can actually recognize that they have to go, you’re only fooling yourself. I’ve had many parents bring their children to me and tell me that they’re totally trained when, in reality, it’s the parents who are trained. I’ve always found that the longer you wait the easier it will be on both you and your child. Don’t let doctors, parents, grandparents or friends guilt you into trying to train Annie before she’s ready. There is no magic age when your child ‘should’ be trained and every child is different. What I always tell parents who are overly-anxious to have a potty trained child is that I know of no child who has ever gone to kindergarten in diapers. Relax and let it happen when it should happen. You’ll know when Annie is ready.
Can’t agree more. My oldest was ready for underwear when she moved into a new room at daycare (shortly after 2) but still didn’t fully get rid of diapers for 6-8 months. And we worked with her but it was frustrating. The second I thought – she’ll be out of diapers but 2 1/2! NOT!! She could, but she didn’t want to and took her good old time (past 3 yrs). Then one day at school, she went and came home and announced – “I went to the potty at school!” and never went back to diapers. Two different methods but the result was still they both did it on their own terms!
When people tell you – “they’ll do it when they’re ready” believe them! If Annie isn’t showing any readiness signs or wants to go on the potty don’t rush into it b/c you will only get frustrated. And frankly, its a pain in the ass to do excuse my language. Running to the bathroom a gazillion times when you are out. Asking a million times. Ugh, I’d take diapers over that any day.
Yep. I’d like to add, just because they can say “poopy” or “wet” doesn’t mean they understand their own mechanics yet. My daughter is 22 months and is already pretty good at telling me her diaper needs to be changed, but that’s all she can do. She can rarely catch herself before it happens. I’m a lot better at being able to tell when she’s going #2, and sometimes ask her “Are you going poopy?”, to which she nods.
But… She’s not ready to potty, even with a mom assist. The one time we tried to use the potty, she was fine with it until she realized that she had eliminated in her potty, and then cried and cried until her potty was clean again. That tells me that she’s just not ready to grasp that THAT is what a potty is for.
Yes, I agree as well. When Annie is ready it will go very quickly. If it is not until she is 3 it won’t the end of the world. And I agree, in a lot of ways diapers are way easier. Give yourself and Annie a break and begin when you are both ready. You will know when she wants to start to wear her big girl undies. Once she does do not let her go back to the diaper, keep her in the undies and keep the potty pretty close by. You will be done before you know it!
We knew my nephew was ready for potty training when he used to go behind the sofa and squat down whenever he needed to poo.
with me, my mom used to take me to the toilet and turn the taps on and i used to associate that with peeing. she was taught that method by her friend who used it on her kids. however no when ever we hear running water we all need to pee!!
good luck with the potty training!
I always tell parents that it’s a war that they will never win and trying to force the child when they’re not ready will only cause you to either lose your hair or gain more grey hairs.
So…I agree w/ Mijke & everyone who agreed w/her!
I think that talking about going potty, asking them to tell you when they have pooped or peed in their diaper is a great way to start awareness of these bodily functions. Having them tell you when they are done pooping in their diaper is great too.
But really, they need to be aware of their functions and WANT to be trained–’cause then it can basically happen in a day! And using diapers or pull ups during naps or at bedtime, until that insults them is, fine too during the process.
When my niece decided she was done w/diapers, she meant it. And boy could she HOLD her pee if she had too because it has taken an extra year to get her to go freely (without hysterics) in a public bathroom. If she had to triple cross her legs & push on the back of the car seat ahead of her on road trips til we reached our destination, then by God, she would! An accident brought tears…she had maybe 5 accidents. Total. Ever. Including at night. But she was ready!
Having helped potty train dozens of kids as a preschool teacher, I can tell you, they have to be ready, they have to want it, or it just doesn’t work. And I, personally, am not a believer in potty chairs: I prefer step stools & (if necessary) smaller seats that go over a regular toilet. Might as well get them used to it now, cuz guess what, the rest of the world doesn’t pee in the kitchen.
The best potty training experience I had was with a little boy who was 3+ and was simply too lazy to bother w/being potty trained. His parents were despairing: finding diapers that fit him was becoming next to impossible. So we sat him down & said, here’s the deal: it’s time for you to use the toilet. Everyone else your age does. We’re having to use duct tape to keep your diapers on & frankly, we’re all tired of it, so here’s some underwear, k? Kid laughed & never had an accident! LOL
Potty training is at minimum a stupid myth and at worst, potentially damaging. We train dogs, not humans.
Self-toileting is a developmental process, like walking and talking. It starts with awareness of the urge to defecate/ urinate and moves up to an interest in why everyone else uses toilets, and then an idea that not peeing and crapping in one’s diaper is desireable, and then becomes, over a process of working out the logistics, self-toileting. When she is ready, she will let you know. Even if you DO NOTHING AT ALL other than demonstrate that you use a toilet and Mike uses a toilet, she will learn to self-toilet.
Think about it: do you know any cognitively normal human beings without spinal-cord injuries over the age of five who do not self-toilet? Eventually everybody gets it. And the ones who get it on their own with their own developmental schedule have fewer mishaps at night and are less likely to have severe freakouts over the things which can become emotionally charged: the flush, wiping, hand-washing, the occasional unavoidable accident.
You Can Do It!!
YES You Can!!!
If Anyone Can do it…
Heather, Mike & Annie Caaaannnnn!!!! GGGGOOOOOOOO TEAM UNDERWEAR!!!! (The fans go wild).
Here’s what worked for our littlest little when nothing else did. We packed up all of her Pull-ups and told her we were giving them to a baby who needed them. It helped that she knew the baby. I think it made her feel like she was part of something beyond herself. We had the mother of the baby call her and thank her for being such a big girl and giving up her Pull-ups. Then we put her in the panties she picked out at the store and never looked back.
BUT before we did this we knew she was ready. She was waking up with a completely dry Pull-up. We knew she COULD use the bathroom, but preferred the comfort and convenience of the Pull-ups.
I’m a total lurker and never comment but potty training is something I feel compelled to comment on. If you can, wait until you feel like you and Annie are ready (is that where you guys are now?). My older daughter potty trained a few months before she turned three and I think she had 2 daytime accidents ever. We waited until we knew she was ready and we waited until we felt like we could deal with the process and weren’t going to get frustrated. Our strategy was to set a timer with a buzzer and take her to the bathroom every 45 minutes for the entire day, no matter what. She sat there for maybe 5 minutes and either something happened, or it didn’t, but we knew she’d have another chance 40 minutes later. We gradually increased the intervals over a week, and she got much more proactive about telling us she needed to go. She got M&Ms for successes and the buzzer was her reminder, so she got in the habit of using the bathroom. It was annoying but it worked. It was simple and pleasant for all of us, which was my goal because holy crap (ha!), I dreaded potty training!
That said, the kicker for us was that she absolutely NEVER stayed dry at night. I mean, never. The whole “wake up dry” thing? Never happened, not once, so she was in pullups for months after being fully potty trained during the day. Long story short but she also didn’t know she could get out of her big girl bed so, to address the overnights, we had to tell her she could get out of bed to pee. Once she realized she could use the bathroom after bedtime, she stayed dry at night. She also pees about 5 times (no kidding) between bedtime and going to sleep. It’s hysterical but explains why she was never dry overnight!
Bless her heart! I picture her laying there thinking, “I gotta pee, but I can’t get outta bed…” What a dilemma! LOL Good for you for figuring it out! And for sharing that, because I think parents often make such a big deal about staying in bed when a child is moved to a big-kid bed, but I doubt it crosses many minds to say the exception is to pee! (I know it wouldn’t have crossed mine initially!!!)
My sister had a very small bladder and was a very deep sleeper and while she never had an accident during the day, she wore diapers at night for several years because she simply wouldn’t feel the sensation of having to pee once she was asleep. She had to do keigal (sp?) exercises during the day to strengthen her muscles there & my mom had to wake her up in the night and she slowly got better at not wetting the bed.
I think a three day method can work if your kid is ready. We started before my son was ready and it took us a full year to fully potty train him ( mostly in the poop department). He was stubborn and not ready and OMG that year almost killed me. Starting to train daughter now and this’d far it’s easier. Also? Pull ups are good for nap time and sleeping but otherwise, keep her in underwear. I’m convinced pull ups just prolong the process. They’re essentially diapers.
We put the potty out and every so often (once a day maybe) ask our kids if they would like to try it out while they are still in diapers. When they are ready they will do it. My daughter made the switch right around two but my son didn’t show interest for another year. Forcing the issue didn’t seem worth it to us.
I agree with the other mommas- do it when Annie seems ready and take it slow. Approach it was a positive, laid-back attitude secure in the knowledge she will not enter Kindergarten in diapers. My 6 year old self-trained at about 23 months. We put a few potties around the house and he started by just “sitting”- fully clothed…which led to sitting naked…which led to being fully day-trained in under a week (he wore diapers at night for another 6 months before he was ready to stay dry).
Then came my now 4.5 year old daughter. I assumed 2 was the time to train- after 3 days of peeing all over me, our house, our yard, etc….she was back in diapers! She wasn’t adverse to training (i.e., no crying fits or attitude about it), she just wasn’t ready. We waited another 8 months and then tried it again. In under 3 days she was potty trained!
I’m now working on baby number 3. She’s 17 months and wants to do everything her siblings do. She is obsessed with the potty and insists on sitting on it frequently….and often ends up doing her thing! I’m going to put the baby potties out around the house again soon and see what happens.
My last bit of advice- something I’ve learned from experience with friends- they will train when they are ready! I have friends with stubborn, troublesome toddlers who quickly train at 20 months, and friends with very bright, easy-going kids who tried and gave up a 1/2 dozen times before finally training at 3.5! Roll with it and do not take it as a sign of your success as a parent. She will not be in diapers forever!
the 3 day thing isn’t magical, and potty training sucks but it over prett quickly and then life is easier. I potty trained my daughter this last winter starting the day after christmas when she was about 2 and a half–I teach and wanted a full week and weekend at home with her while working on it just in case. the first morning when she woke up I put her straight into panties, kept her drinking tons of juice (a special treat since we never have juice at home), and walked her to the potty every 15-20 minutes. if she peed or pooped she got one m&m and I bought a sesame street sticker potty chart and told her when it was all filled she would be potty trained and would get a special prize (which officially marked the end of the m&ms). we hung out around the house for a few days–videos helped we had an Elmo potty video and an “I am a potty princess” video. the videos were better than books since she could really follow along with the process and watch the “kids” going potty. the first few days were tough, but we stayed strong and it worked. by the middle of the week she was potty trained at home and by the end of the week we took her out of the house without a problem. it has been 8 months and although she wears pull ups to sleep she is day potty trained. she has had a couple of accidents–usually when she is too far from a toilet and we can’t get there in time or at naptime (she refuses to wear pull ups at home during nap and they aren’t allowed to at her daycare). I know potty training is stressful, but you’ll be glad when you are done and so will she.
Heather I just wanted to say that I echo your sentiments. I’m not eager to potty train Nate and he isn’t eager to use the potty. I’m okay with diapers for awhile longer, at least until it’s more his idea to get out of them. I’m not willing to take on a big battle with him right now. She will get there when she’s ready!
If you don’t think she is ready, that 3 day method will NOT work. I got a lot of pressure to start potty training my son when he turned 3 and it took almost a year for him to go full time on the potty. This isn’t the case for all kids but he is very stubborn and no amount of bribery, praise and whatever else is supposed to work was gonna get him to do it until he thOught it was a good idea. With my daughter (just turned 2), I’m pretty sure we will start potty training when she tells me “I have to go to the bathroom, and I want to do it on the potty”.
I have three kids (1 girl, 2 boys) and none of them trained before age 3. Your son sounds like my kids…bribery has never really worked with any of them. The offshoot is their being so ‘old’ is when they were ready, they were completely ready…and that means, they were night trained at the same time. I would have liked them to be trained sooner, but I have to say that being night trained simultaneously and never having to deal with pull ups and bed wetting (save a sporadic accident here and there) was definitely nice.
All I can say is whenever you decide to do it…it is going to suck!!! Suck because you really can’t go anywhere…need to stay close to a potty. You just have to do it and not look back! It will be frustrating, but it is so worth it if you just commit to it and stick with it! Annie is older and very smart! She will get the hang of it in no time and if she has an accident it is not a big deal!! YOU CAN DO IT! I just trained my little guy and kept him in a tshirt and undies and took him to the potty every 15-20 min the first 2 days…these are the hardest days! BUT YOU CAN DO IT!!! Beck hated the potty chair he preferred the Elmo seat that goes on top of the big toilet.
I’ll tell you that I wanted my boys potty trained but at the same time I dreaded getting rid of the convenience. But after you haven’t changed a poop diaper in a week or so you realize how awesome it is!!! My boys potty trained at 26 and 25 months – as soon as they could communicate well enough. The older one with almost no accidents, the younger one with more.
Anyway, what we did. We made sure they could go pee and poop in potty first. Peeing came first, then poop. Did this by taking them strategically – before and after sleeps and meals. Set them up for success. But as soon as we had the first poop success, the next weekend we went cold turkey to underwear. Just took them every hour and after every meal, before and after every nap. After a few days they start holding longer and longer but we still take second son every 2 hrs a few months later. He asks us to go but not reliably yet. We stayed close to home the first week or two to allow for less accidents but I never used diapers or pullups again (only at naps) – I didn’t want to confuse them. I just took extra clothes – no big deal.
I know Annie communicates well enough to do it. You will feel great to get this monkey off your back!
We didnt potty train for night time. We used diapers uny it happened naturally. With our oldest it took a little over a year after day time training. My ped said its just something they have to grow into.
Heather–I run a home daycare, and I have had over 100 kids in my care now. The 3 day method CAN work…but only if the kids are ready. I have had about 8 kids go this route. The others just began by telling mom and dad when they had to go…or said they wanted to sit on the potty. Otherwise YOU are the one being trained by putting them ON the potty every hour…not them.
That being said, I had good luck pee-training all 3 of my kids during the day, but 2 of mine had issues at night forEVER and one of mine refused to poop on the potty…to the point that she would take off her undies, put on one of her sister’s diapers, poop in it, take it off, shove it under her bed (OH YES SHE DID!!), put her undies back on and rejoin the family like nothing ever happened. It was only later when I’d go into her room and was almost knocked over by the smell that I knew what had happened. This happened for months before I finally got her to poop on the potty. ACK!! I am happy to say they are all perfectly great, normal kids now…but well, potty training sucks.
At least she was kind enough to put on a diaper & not poop in her pants & then hide those! LOL
I have to echo the others…Annie has to be ready for it to work and for you to not go crazy. I did the 3 day method with my girl at 25 months and after the first day and a half, she didn’t have any accidents at all during the day. She wore a pull up at night for a LONG time after that though, she just wasn’t ready to stay dry at night. I would keep the rewards non food based. I did a sticker chart- a sticker for anything on the potty and a small prize after 5 stickers, plus tons of high 5s and dancing. Keep lots of clean undies everywhere and forget pants in the house for a while.
My son is 25 months now and nowhere near ready, although he claims to be. We’ll wait a while longer for him.
I don’t know if it works for girls, but for both of my boys (different times) we hung outside on our deck where no one could see us. They played around nudie and when they felt the urge they ran to the potty seat, or their favorite, between the posts of the gate. I rarely let them go diaper free inside because I just didn’t want to clean up messes. When we were inside, I put on underwear first and then a pull up on top so if they had an accident they felt it but it was easier to clean. No more diapers!! It only took a few days and I lucked out with a poop just happening. And when I got excited about it, so did they. Get a small waterproof pad and double sheet the bed for easy night time cleanups. When she is outside, have her drink a lot but not as much toward the end of the day for drier nights. Don’t ask if she wants to sit on the toilet, just say it’s time to sit down again. Read books, sing songs with your beautiful voice, play dolls etc to have her sit longer periods.
You say that Annie is a determined, sort of strong willed girl right? I would really hold off until she shows interest so it doesn’t become a months-long battle!
I never tried a “method”, but I can say that when they are ready it’s really not bad! It’s the whole trying before they are ready thing that is hell lol. And until you try you’ll never know!
I tried at 18 months (pure hell) and then again at age 2 (a little better, but still sucked)….gave up after a couple days each time and then at 2.5 years I pumped myself up and tried again and I could tell immediately that it just clicked. In about 4 *hours* she was totally trained!
Here’s to hoping you have the same luck
Also, I used a ring for the big potty no little potty. That was gross to clean up!
We did tons of high 5s and cheering but also an M&M for pee and lollipop for poop. My oldest stretched the rewards out forever but the youngest dropped pretty quick. They responded really well to the bribes.
If it makes you feel better, my daughter wasn’t out of her crib until she was almost 4 and a little after that before she was night trained, even though she was day trained by 3ish.
I attempted the 3 day method in January and didn’t work for us. But, there was another major factor in that I was 8 months pregnant and could not watch him like a hawk constantly. He also was not wanting to and kept having accidents. Seven in the first day I remember and it drove me insane changing his clothes a million times. I gave up after that first day.
Fast forward 2 months, I had a newborn so once again wasn’t going to be able to watch him 100% of the time, but I put my almost 3 year old in his underwear one morning. He had one accident and that was it. He has been trained ever since. I had so many people telling me he should be trained by now, but I just proved the theory when he was ready it would happen. We haven’t looked back. He doesn’t even need to wear pull ups to bed. In almost 6 months we have had 3 over night accidents.
I think potty training is only a nightmare if they’re not ready, and you don’t know if they’re ready until you give it a go. Good luck
I have no idea what the 3 day method is, so I cán’t comment about that. I do have 4 children of my own, but I’m by no means an expert. I will say that you are beating your head against a wall if the kid isn’t ready. As the mom of 2 little princesses I think my girls were ready before my boys because they wanted to be wear “big girl” panties. No matter what you do, when you do it, or how you do it, it is a big rite of passage for you child and you, also a big chunk of work. You can do this, Annie will be glad you when it’s over and be soooo proud of herself for being a big girl. I hated training my last child, because I was letting go of the last of the babyhood for her and me, but in the end it was time for her, she needed to quit being “the baby”and be a little girl that was ready to move on…
I will say after training 4 kids, all a year apart in age, after all the work and the letting go of the baby years, the sound of the flushing toilet is still music to my hears.
You CAN do this!
Last sentence should be ….music to my ears, not hears. Geez! It’s to early to type or I’m a sorry typist. Whichever, take your pick.
I have twin boys and they were each potty trained in 3-5 days . They were about 2 1/2. We put them in long t-shirts with nothing on the bottom and they said you can NOT pee or poop on the floor. We put m&m’s in every bathroom in the house (which is gross) but it had the effect we needed. Every time they went candy was eaten. I wasn’t crazy… We stayed home for those days so they were not going from diaper to undies. Then we made a big deal out of undies and how elmo didn’t want pee pee on him. Diapers at nap and bedtime until the sleeping diapers were dry 99% of the time. We used night night diapers for a long time b/c I couldn’t not handle the middle of the night accidents! Good Luck to you and Annie.
Autumn Canter says:
I basically did the three day thing with my son when he was 2 years 8 months. I also dreaded starting and did it spur of the moment when the last of River’s peers went into underwear. It worked very well. The key was the leave him completely naked below the waist for a month 1/2 at home and put a potty in every room. Ikea has them for very cheap. We read books on the potty. He watched his cartoons on the potty. And to clean up accidents, try bac-out. All natural and contain enzymes that get the remains of human waste.
And because I couldn’t find info on potty training on any of my favorite blogs, I did write about it on mine!
If you haven’t moved her out of a crib, I’d do that before potty training. She’ll go on the toilet…everyone does, right? Lol. My kids did it closer to age 3. The 3-day method worked great for my older son, no so much for my younger son. Even though he beats to his own drummer, once they make the connection that going potty in your pants is revolting you’re golden!
Yes, 3 day method works great. The best thing about it is – you will know at the end of that time period whether or not she is really ready. My one DS was totally mentally ready, knew exactly what we wanted him to do, and he tried to comply, but he just couldn’t physically do it. He could never get to the potty in time. We shelved it for 2 months – tried again and that was that (pooping took a bit longer. OK, a lot longer). He was 3 the first time we tried. His twin didn’t want any part of it – pretended like he didn’t know what we wanted – but once he came around he was trained for poop, pee and overnight in 1 day. By the way, the boys were still in cribs – you don’t have to get rid of the crib to p.t. You’re probably going to need pullups for sleep anyway, most kids don’t train for overnights right away.
My DD also knew what we wanted her to do, but she hated the feel of it. Difference between boys and girls. She really couldn’t hack it. She was almost 2.5. I shelved it for a couple of months and when we did it again, she still didn’t like the feel, but she was also trained in a day or two.
Good luck. It will happen.
We did the 3 day method with my daughter (born in March 2010) two times. Why twice? Well the first time she was 2 years, 2 months and she peed in 12 pairs of underwear in less than 4 hours. Who pees that much?! We went against the 3 day method “rules” and decided to stop and try again later. We tried again 3 months later with great success…if you consider success pooping in your pants once a day for two weeks. (Which apparently I do!) So I think the 3 day method is a great starting point, but don’t believe the hype that they are fully trained in just three days. And don’t worry- it’s probably not going to be as bad as you think it will be! Good luck- hope those three days go quick!!!
Heather — a few pieces of advice. Everyone says to wait until your kids shows signs that she is ready before potty training. Neither of my kids showed any interest, and still — they were both all set in a week’s time. I also strongly prefer the potty seat that you put over the regular toilet seat (I think ours was made by Bjorn), rather than the stand alone plastic potty. It’s less yucky to deal with, and much more the real thing, in my opinion. One downside of the princess undies — my friend’s daughter realized that the more accidents she had, the more pairs of her fabulous princess undies she got to wear per day. So she would try to blow through them. Hopefully Annie won’t go down that road. GOOD LUCK. I found it really wasn’t all that bad.
Oh yeah! The over the toilet seat is the bomb! I forgot about that-it’s been too long but I agree 100%.
I agree with the thought that it’s not necessary to wait until your kid shows interest. I honestly think I waited too long with my oldest because it became a battle to get him to sit on the toilet (but, once we held our ground he got over it, 2 year olds have super strong wills!). He was 2 years and 9 months by the time we were sure he was trained.
With number 2 (child, not poop, lol) we started putting him on the toilet when he turned 1. It wasn’t a forced thing and there weren’t any expectations, but we wanted him to know that sitting on the toilet was something you did before you took a bath. Most of the time, he did something in it. He was in underwear (with the occasional accident) by 26 months. We are doing the same method with our third child, and he is already going over to his little potty and sitting on it when he pees in his diaper. He’s 16 months old.
But, above all, do not stress yourself out or Annie out about it. She will get it eventually (although, I do have a friend who’s kid was FIVE before he got it, but part of that was his grandparents stressed him WAY out about it).
When I taught preschool we had this awesome little seat that went over a regular toilet that had 2 little steps & a handrail so the kids didn’t feel as though they were going to fall off–plus it was great for those boys who wanted to STAND while they trained. (Then it was all about target practice!!! LOL)
I don’t know what the 3 day method is but I do remember feeling that I had to potty train my 2 year old within the 5 days that I was off from work….ohh, what a nightmare for both of us! We both cried each day and she’d cry so much while on the potty seat (I used a chart to mark down when she ate or drank anything and when I put her on the potty and what the result was) that at least 3 times she fell asleep from the trauma while sitting on the potty. I decided to put her in pull-ups and for an entire year, we tried off and on with underwears and then all of a sudden, by the time she was a few months older than 3 years old, we both decided it was time and it just all fell into place without much stress or drama.
Best advice, start when you and Annabel are both ready and screw this whole time frame of when and at what age a child “must” be potty trained. It’s different for all children. And another thing, my daughter is very strong willed so if your Annabel is not into the potty training, relax, relief, release…just let her be your guide as to when you should introduce it again. No sense in stressing each other out over it.
I kept putting off potty training because my son had no interest, and because I was too lazy to force it. I would get a full report from him after picking him up from pre school as to who had peed in the potty (or on the floor), but he thought his friends were crazy for giving up their diapers. One night after giving him a bath, he was running around naked until he started crying he needed a diaper because he had to poop. The next day, we put him in underwear, and never looked back. He was out of diapers at nighttime and naptime within 2 weeks. I got a lot of flack from our friends and family over him not potty training until he was 3.5, but waiting until he was ready made is SOOOOOO much easier – on both of us.
We had great success with the 3 day method, its a long 3 days but totally worth it , good luck!
I trained all three of my kids using a similar method. My advice to you is to let her wear dresses with no underwear and try to stay away from carpet! When they feel the wetness on their leg, they learn pretty quickly that feels gross. Try to do it over a three day period when you can hunker at home and not have to worry about taking her out. Good luck… you can do it!!
I also trained 3 kids in more or less this way, the third one being 2 weeks younger than Annie. I let them walk around in their underwear the whole time and try to take them to the potty every half an hour. They have to feel the consequences that the diapers mask to a certain extent, for them to know how their body feels like before they pee or poo (or that is my theory at least :-)). The way you do it depends on you, but personally I prefer the messier, but quicker route, rather than the long drawn out, cleanier option. Key is to not start and stop, but to keep at it once you have started.
All my kids were potty trained before they were 2.5 years old (I have 2 girls and a boy) and in my experience girls are ready for it earlier than boys, so Annie should be ready. There are children who are only ready by around 3 or so, but anything after that and then it is just a lazy parent in my opinion.
Jen K. says:
I’m totally in the camp of don’t force it until they are ready, even if it is later than everyone else thinks it should be. People who didn’t know that my older son has autism gave us a hard time because he was still in pull-ups at 4. We tried a bunch of times, and it always ended in frustration because he was not ready. When the switch finally went off for him, he was “trained” in no time. It was so easy on us and him when we followed his lead.
The 3 Day Method works beautifully. I just potty trained my son at 24 months and it actually took less than the full 3 days and he is day and night trained. We are a 100% diaper free household! The whole process was remarkably easy (I too was dreading it). My son hasn’t had a single poop accident and he’s been potty trained for several months now! Good luck!
The key to any method is readiness. Is she interested? Does she respond to positive reinforcement (M and M’s)? I think her cooperation and enthusiasm for her swimming lessons is a big, green light. If I was a betting woman, I would wager she is ready. I have no idea what the three day method is. We just waited until the kids semed ready, bought the panties of choice, and never looked back.
Good luck! It’s a good time to introduce the concept. And I promise she won’t go to kindergarten in diapers. Both of mine (boy & girl) were potty-trained (still had a few accidents) at 3.5. She’ll get it when she’s ready.
Potty training was easy with both of my daughters… give it a try! Either they’ll get it and you’ll be done in a day or they don’t and you try again later. I put my daughter in underware and she wet herself one time… after that she ‘got it’ and we didn’t have any problems. We didn’t use a ‘kid potty’ for the simple reason of I didn’t want to clean it. We put a kid seat on the toliet and a stool in front of it right from the start. It’s not hard! Annie will get it and you’ll realize how glad you are to be done with diapers!
My daughter (also strong-willed, to say the least) fought potty-training for five months. Five months. It’s not that potty-training was unsuccessful. It’s that she wouldn’t even sit on the darn potty seat for me, let alone pee in it. But when she finally would? Oh my gosh, it was like magic. I didn’t use the 3-day method, but I swear to you, it was like one day she used a diaper, and the next she didn’t. The transition was almost seamless. Have there been accidents? Sure. But I can count them on one hand. And only having to wipe one kid’s butt? It’s like free time back that I never realized I was missing.
cindy w says:
HAHAHAHAHA *wheeze* AHAHAHAHAHA!!!!
I’m sorry. I just remembered potty training Catie (it took a year. A WHOLE FREAKING YEAR!) and I experienced some kind of weird PTSD-induced hysteria.
Sometimes I think about the fact that eventually I’m going to have to potty train Lucy, and I want to curl up in a ball and cry.
Good luck, mama.
I have never heard of the three day method, and will be looking it up after this. But I will say..as a mother of four….three boys and a girl…the girl was super easy. SHE CAN DO IT…YOU CAN DO IT!!
Laura H says:
Definitely wait until Annie is ready. No amount of bribery will work if she isn’t interested in learning and you will both end up frustrated.
Once you get into training I would recommend a couple of things. First, stay positive. Accidents will happen and you can’t let them discourage you or her. Second, go straight to big girl undies. No pull-ups! In my opinion pull-up are a little confusing for kids because they are like a diaper but they aren’t…Sometimes kids just need to feel what it is like to have an accident (no, it won’t be pretty) but it can be effective.
Please note, that this suggestion is for daytime. My son wore a diaper for naps for about 6 months after he was potty-trained and is still in pull-ups for overnight and he has been potty-trained for over a year! He wakes up dry most nights but I still haven’t been able to make the switch ;). So for night time I am still team diapers! Ha!
You don’t always know when they’re ready, just put the potty down, talk about using it, have her sit on it with or without clothes, and then pick a weekend to see what happens if you ask her to try it. I pushed my daughter a little at 2-1/2 but it wasn’t too bad. With my son I waited til 2-3/4, and seriously the first time I showed him the potty he sat down, used it and never went back. And never wet the bed ever. It was one hour. So don’t freak out, just see where Annie’s at, and if she’s not there yet, wait a few months.
You can do it! Or more appropriately, someone in your house can do it! My husband and I tried the one day method on my son (Book called Toilet Training in less than a day). I read the book and attempted it when my son was a little over two. I had no patience and cracked after being stuck in the bathroom with him for an hour. We tried again about 2 months later and I made my husband do it. He has much more patience. It worked! One day locked in the bathroom with my son (and little distractions) and he was potty trained. He’ll be 3 in January and has been potty trained for about 2 months with just an occasional accident here and there. Good luck and choose the parent with the most patience
I say wait till shes ready to tell you. I tried training my kid when she was a little over 2.. and it was such a power struggle between us. I finlly said EF IT! You can stay in diapers, not worth my time asking every 2 seconds if she had to go potty (hearing no, then watching her pee her pants 2 seconds later). 2 weeks after she turned 3? Magically, Mom, Im ready for panties. Never looked back. Only a couple accidents. so all in all? Wait till shes ready!
Talk about it with Annie. Read her fun kid books about using the potty, but it will only work if SHE wants to do it. I have 3 girls. My oldest, easy. One of the twins, even easier. She wanted to be like her big sister & almost a year ago decided she was wearing undies & that was that. Rarely an accident since. Het twin sister, not so much. They turned 3 in July. She’s terribly stubborn & blatantly refuses. She’s in pull ups, pees on occasion, but her doctor said she’s just not ready. It’s frustrating because there’s no preschool for her until she’s potty trained.
Good luck, but let Annie be the boss on this.
Sonya aka Glam-O-Mommy says:
Good luck Heather. Potty training is hell. We tried the three-day method (two different times) and it just didn’t work for us. We started when Sophie was 22 months old working on it and she wasn’t fully trained until she was about 42 months old (3.5 years), and that was the longest period of my life. She eventually caught on to the peeing on the potty, although she wasn’t consistent about it and would have lots of accidents, but she literally didn’t want to poop on the potty and only started doing that two weeks before she was completely trained. Once she finally did it, she turned a corner and that was it. In the span of two weeks, she went from not pooping on the potty at all to pooping on the potty to GOING to the potty on her own for pee or poop without prompting from us. Which was great, but it took TWO YEARS to get to that point! And she was going to preschool all day four days a week where they worked on it all day long! Ugh.
So again, I say, GOOD LUCK!
Sonya aka Glam-O-Mommy says:
Just to clarify, we didn’t work on it for two years straight…as others have mentioned, we started, she didn’t seem ready, so we backed off for a few months, then the school got really big into it, so we tried again, then backed off again…really got hardcore into working on it when she started preschool at 3 in August 2011 and she finally turned the corner this past March 2012, so starting extra early just made it feel like it was going on FOREVER.
I don’t think you can go by the age about when it is time to start potty training. You have to go by when the child is ready. They will let you know. If you start before they are ready, it will be frustrating for all.
My son completely failed every single potty training method known, including the three-day one. It may be because I broke down in hysterical tears on day two and quit. I now subscribe to the, “they’ll do it when they’re ready” method. With my son, it was because I gave up on anything else. The sticker chart yellowed, withered, and fell off the wall. I had a whole closet full of unopened potty training presents that I was able to re-wrap for Christmas. The bathroom m&m reward jar grew mold from non-use. I’m not even kidding. He finally did it himself in a day at age 3 and 3/4. My daughter decided it was time right after turning 3. Save yourself some agony. Lie to the pediatrician if you have to. One day she’ll decide the potty is for her and that will be your day. Why torture yourself in the meantime. You deserve to enjoy life with your little toddler, not turn your home into a boot camp.
Sonya aka Glam-O-Mommy says:
I had this experience too! We tried stickers, M&Ms…and finally quarters (one for pee, three for poop) and that finally worked, but only because by the time we started that she was 3.5 and finally ready!!
I now tell other moms-WAIT. Don’t start too early. Let the kid show you when they are ready!
1. pull ups were always “nighttime” underwear. Always wore regular fancy/cool ones during the day.
2. waiting until they are ready is key
3. Toilet Training in Less Than A Day by Nathan Azrin is totally worth the read. I used it for all my kids and we NEVER had daytime accidents. Worth the read.
Jessica Makuh says:
I didn’t do the three day method or anything. I just put her in underwear and we sat on the potty every 20 minutes or so. I had to try twice. The first time was at 30 months. I decided she wasn’t ready. The second time was 32 months. It actually wasn’t that hard. There were accidents, but we just cleaned them up. Do you have a carpet cleaner? A Bissel Green Machine works well on carpet and upholstery. I kept a basket of her favorite books next to the potty. She was potty trained really easily. We did have some issues with #2, though. So, we bought several books on Amazon including, “Where’s the Poop?”, “”Zoo Poo”, and” Chugga Chugga Poo Poo.” The books helped a lot! Do you have any books?
As far as the odd lady with the potty in the restaurant, we put our daughter in pull-ups when we went out.
I love the book “Everybody Eats And…” At least that’s what it was called in Japanese.
Don’t stress it, no one goes to Kindergarten in diapers!
For one of my children he decided that he didn’t want to wear diapers and that was that. For the other child I told him he would have to wear underwear when the diapers were all gone and that was that. They were both closer to age 3.
Potty training is actually training of the parents to remember to take their kids to the bathroom. We tried a “three day method” and by the end everyone was soooooo stressed that I said enough.
As for night time training….both still wear pull-ups. They sleep so deeply that I don’t expect them to wake up. That will come in time.
I’m with those who suggest waiting until Annie is ready. We never really pushed our daughter, but had little toilets available for her in every bathroom, which she started using a little after she turned two.
We tried to be very laid back and did not pressure her. The summer this transition occurred (she was two, going on three) I tended to put dresses on her, so she could ‘go’ easily. She always wore regular underwear during the day, which helped her realize when she was wet. And we would say, “Do you have to pee?” And then ask her to use the bathroom, which also helped build awareness. As did being utterly open about our own bodily functions (we have an open-door policy, bathroom-wise, at home, at least while she’s little).
We did bribe her into using the toilet to do, uh, number two. She would tend to hide in her bedroom to do so, until we promised to buy her three big balloons if she pooed on the toilet (we explained the concept of a bribe). It worked wonderfully, and I don’t think she ever failed to use the toilet after that.
My daughter just turned four, and we still use pull-ups if we’re going on a long trip, but she always uses the washroom.
The only problem is that she’s not night-trained — at all. The advice we’ve been given is to wait a little longer; apparently it’s normal for kids’ bladders to develop until they are five or six. We’re prepared to wait — although I have a feeling that if we put her to bed in underwear, after a couple of nights she’d get the message. I’m just not prepared for the laundry!
My daughter will be 4 but was fully potty trained before she was 3. Started at 2 and half. She is in a home day care so I have to say they were the ones who really trained her. We put under wear and plastic pants over it. this way it held in the mess. She would be put on the potty every half hour. The first day was horrible didn’t pee in the potty at all. I thought we’d have to start and try again, but the next day got better and, the following better than that. She trained fairly quickly for #1, but #2 she would still ask for a diaper. Her peditrician told me not to force her on the potty for #2 because you don’t want her holding it in for too long. So I allowed her the diaper until I really felt like she was ready to poop on the potty. Diapers are so easy. Going out for the day now requires visiting the bathroom in every store. For long car rides I do put a pull up on her because I don’t know how long she can hold it in. But I definitely agree with most everyone else, that if’s shes not ready then it might be worth it to wait.
replying because I wanted to add that I never had to use any bribery or sticker chart though I was prepared to do all sorts. She took to it better than I though so I figured if I could get her to just do it, without expecting something then great. However, we did take a trip to toys r us 2 weeks in to celebrate being a big girl.
You absolutely can do it, and so can she, in a really short time. But only IF you are ready. If you aren’t, and you don’t want to, don’t attempt it yet. It will only be a long process that you have to repeat over and over – kinda like when people don’t really commit to the sleep training and try it half-assed.
BTW – My daughter was princess crazed like Annie, and I swear telling her not to pee on Princess Belle or poop on Snow White (disrespectful!) – that got her doing it more than anything.
Potty training sucks and there is no magic method…the kid HAS to be ready. If she is not, you will fight a loosing battle, EVERY time.
So my first born was potty trained by 2. For about 3 days. She had a little sister already and was majorly regressing! We figured that she wanted to be a “baby” like her sister and that she was too little to understand. I recommend that you get her up from her nap and first thing in the morning and just put her on the potty. See if anything happens. If it does, yay, if not, no biggee. We did that for a few months with oldest before telling her that by (random date, it was Christmas break for us), we weren’t using diapers anymore. For my youngest, we waited longer…2 1/2ish? She was more than ready and as soon as she got it, there was no turning back. Maybe in 2 days? BIGGEST ADVICE: No pull ups. Just go oldschool training pants-those cotton thick things. They are gross and there will be accidents, but don’t turn back. Make the switch and commit to it. That means staying home for several days. Once she gets that the diapers are gone, and that being wet (or worse!) is gross, she won’t want to have pee going down her leg. If you are outside in back, take the potty chair. Have it ready and available-she will get it. Both my girls are incredibly strong willed and hard headed. If you don’t go back and forth with the pull ups -she will get it! Good luck!
I haven’t read through the other comments yet but just wanted to say that Annie is the exact same age as my daughter (birthday twins!) who is also not potty trained yet. She shows a little interest, and sometimes she’ll sit on the potty and once in awhile even go pee (but I think that’s just a lucky coincidence), but, like Annie, Audrey is also very strong willed (and still sleeping in a crib), and trying to force her to do something she’s not ready to do usually just ends in tears from everyone.
So we’re taking it slow, not stressing, and ignoring other people’s opinions. We talk to Audrey about the potty and underpants all the time, read her potty books, let her watch Elmo potty videos and kind of figure that with continued encouragement and exposure to it she’ll let us know when she’s really ready/interested.
Anyway, try not to stress, you’ve got a lot on your plate already, and as I’m sure somebody has already said, Annie won’t be going to college (or even kindergarten) in diapers. It’ll happen. (Potty training, that is.)
I will be the first to confirm your belief that potty training SUCKS! What I learned from it though is that we make it worse than it is. My daughter was in the “potty training class” at her day care. The duration of the stay in this room is typically no more than 2-3 months. She was socially and emotionally ahead of her classmates so I figured she would be one of the first that would move on to the next room. Well, was I wrong! She bacisally refused to do it. She would take a step forward and four back every week. We tried the 3 day miracle thing, and it did not work of her.
I know many of others that tried it and it worked for them. And she did try, but then would decide that she just didn’t care. Next thing I know, the entire class moved on, and my little darling was still there, with a whole new group of potty trainers. I started to get really anxious and wondered what was wrong with my child, but what it really was that she was just not ready. It took her about a month longer than her original group . So the lesson learned was every kid is different, they will get it in their own time and most kids (including ours) still wear a pull up at night until 4 yrs or older. Some kids do learn in the 3 days, but not all of them are all that interested. I would try that with Annie because you may get lucky. If not, let her do it in her own time is my best advice. Otherwise, you will start questioning your child’s IQ like I did, and really freak yourself out unnecessarily. And don’t sweat the pull ups, especially at night. It is a little insurance policy that we all need. Ava actually said one night, “these are for babies and I am not wearing a pull up any more”. That was her indication that she was ready to wear underwear only. Worked for me!!
Everyone talks about waiting until they’re ready or whatever, but a couple things to think about: imagine not having to spend money on diapers! It’s very freeing. Also, the sooner she gets out of the diapers, the less diapers end up in landfill. Those things won’t biodegrade for a thousand years. Get rid of those things!
Also, dry during the day and dry at night are two separate animals. It may come together and may not, depending on Annie. My kids were dry during the day and still in the crib until almost 3. (Crib tent. I loved them being trapped. Mean mom!)
My daughter is potty trained, 2.5 years old, and STILL IN THE CRIB. They don’t have to go hand in hand! She goes to bed at 7pm, with a potty trip beforehand. I wake her up to go potty at about 10pm, she goes. Then she’s good until morning. Very rarely, like maybe once a month, she wakes up in the middle of the night to go pee, but other than that, it’s easy to keep her in the crib.
Wait until she is 2.5 years old (I forget how old Annie is, sorry!). That is the magic age from my perspective Then go cold turkey – no pull ups or anything, just underwear. It will take a week for her to train if you just go cold turkey, if you use pull ups it will last for months as they are the same as diapers IMO. Good luck! It is not as hard as it seems! Bring diapers with you in the car or a little potty so she can go when you are out shopping, etc and cannot find a bathroom! She will pee all over your house for a week if you go with this approach, but it will only last a week, not several months
I was like you, very un-interested in potty training and dealing with the struggles. Tried it and long story short, it was no where near as trying as I thought it would be. My little one is just a few months younger than Annie and we have been potty trained for a couple months and things are going well. We just put her in underwear, no diapers, no pull ups. There were accidents but not as many as expected. The biggest challenge we found was getting her to stop playing and go sit on the potty. So we then just set an alarm on our phone for every twenty minutes and that did the trick. We are still working through public bathrooms, what with the loud scary automatic flushing but it is getting better. Someone suggested carrying post it notes with you to cover up the automatic flush so it doesn’t scare her. Would have been good to do that before she ever went in a public bathroom!
Either way, you will get through it and so will Annie, you will find what works for you and hopefully look back and wonder why you were so nervous to begin with. Good luck!
Oh and PS she is still in her crib!
Try the DVD, “Potty Power!” If she loves the songs and the princess story line it will help motivate her.
I’m totally team diapers! She will do it when she is ready not a moment before. Take it slow, make it fun and if she’s ready she will do it. If she’s not she won’t and that’s totally fine! Also, everyone around me cant believe my four year old still wears a diaper at night. Not naps but at night. Her pediatrician assures me this is totally normal even up to age 8. So if into the process she still needs a diaper at night who cares! It’s so much easier anyway! Also, if she’s not crawling out of her crib and potentially injuring herself leave her in it. She’s safe and content and that’s all that matters.
I posted a reply to someone earlier & said that my sister wore diapers to bed til she was 6 and still had accidents til she was 8…she had a small bladder and was a deep sleeper. It was killing my mom to have to wake up to wake her up to take her to the bathroom at night!
The key was keigal (sp?) exercises during the day, few/no drinks after 5p, taking her to pee before the last in the house went to bed (I’m older than my sis by 8 years & was a bit of a night owl so that included me) and eventually she began to 1) be aware of having to pee during the night & 2) being able to hold her pee longer.
But, for her sake, I’m glad we had an understanding doctor & family–she never felt ashamed! And when she did start to feel embarrassed is when she became more aware of the urge to pee at night. Problem solved.
My little one took a lot longer to stay dry at night after she was potty trained during the day and during naps (and Auntie M, it was my comment you replied to upthread!). My pediatrician also said it’s totally normal for kids to be in diapers for years, and said one of her own was in diapers until he was at least 5 or 6. While my daughter figured out a way to stay dry by the time she was 3.5, I think it’s perfectly normal for kids to take much longer than that at night.
Yup, I can’t say much about the three-day method. I read a lot about it when “potty-training” each of our boys, but in the end, it wasn’t for us. You really have to be able to stay at home (or close to it) for three full days. For our older son, when he was right around 3, he seemed to have pretty regular “functions” (for lack of a better term). He was consistently dry when he woke up from his nap and in the morning. It took a lot of time just sitting on the potty bare-bottomed and reading, singing, etc. but eventually he went. He picked up peeing in the potty pretty quick. #2 took some more time, but eventually he got there too. He was fully trained by 3 1/2. Since the time we started training him up through today, he has had one accident (at the park near home). Our other son, 3 now, started a little later. He was the same way, peeing was a breeze, but #2 was another story. He eventually got that down and is now pretty much good to go. He still wears a pull-up at night (frankly, i’m not a fan of changing sheets every.single.night), and when he starts waking up with a dry one, we’ll know he’s ready to transition to underwear overnight. From the time he’s awake until the time he goes to bed, goes in the toilet and not one accident so far. Sorry for the lengthiness, I guess my point is, Annie will do it in her own time. Yes, it’s ahhh-mazing when you don’t have to deal with diapers anymore, but at the same time, pressure to go and the stress that comes with it doesn’t speed things up at all. It’s hard on the child and it’s hard on the parents. I have a friend who’s daughter was “trained” around 2 – 2 1/2 and she has regressed. She is 4 now and still having some issues. Just keep an eye out for dry diapers, consistent bm’s, and you’ll know when she’s ready. Good luck!!
I have no idea what the “three day method” but it makes me think that if it doesn’t happen in three days, you’re setting yourself up to think you have failed. Every child is different and will learn at a different pace; a time limit, so to speak, isn’t going to help. That being said, I found our kids trained a lot quicker when we took them out of diapers and put them in “real” underwear. The pull up and diapers were just too absorbant and they could never feel when they were wet so didn’t care. Sure, I was washing a lot of underwear in the beginning, but the kids caught on pretty fast. Good luck!
My daughter and granddaughter live with me. We started when she was about 2.5, but she wasn’t interested. We didn’t push it. Then at 3 we started again, she liked the one on the toilet better than the stand alone one. She took awhile to “get it” but we just were patient and didn’t freak out about it. We used pull ups at night until she was 5, then “just like that”, no more wet pull ups!!! I think they have to want to do it before you can even try it. Do sweat it, let it just happen on her terms.
Amy K says:
Do you have books about the potty to read with Annie? The two favorites in my house were Potty by Leslie Patricelli, and No More Diapers, which is an out-of-print Sesame Street book that you can find on Amazon for next to nothing. When my daughter read about little girls getting rid of their diapers and picking out their own undies, she wanted to do the same thing. That also made it more “her idea” instead of us pressuring her to do it.
I have to say, despite pressure from family or doctors, I’d wait until Annie brings it up. From the time my daughter was 2 we tried to potty train about every 2-3 months, determined each time was going to be the time it actually works! Yeah, she is SUPER strong willed and it just wasn’t happening. Then, one day soon after she turned 3, she just woke up one day and declared that she was no longer going to wear diapers, and it was time for the panties. Literally, she basically potty trained herself. Next time I’m waiting until at least 3 to broach the subject at all. It’s so much easier and less stressful to wait until they’re a little older.
My daughter is 3 weeks younger than Annie. She loves watching Annie videos every Friday.
After seeing all of the comments above, I am in the fetal position at the mere thought of starting this process….
We did the 3 day with both, and it…went. My son was a breeze in comparison. All kids have their hiccups with potty training, and control issues, because it’s really one of the first things they can control and also the first thing they really fail at. By day 2 with my son, it “clicked” and it took us another few months to work out the kinks, but overall, it was pretty good. He’s my pleaser, though, so that helped. My girl, however, is very much like your Annie. She’s strong willed, and stubborn. So, it’s been about 6 months and she still has accidents, and she holds it and refuses to go. We try to trick her. We’ve used the little potty far longer than I’ve wanted and don’t even get me started about going in public. It’s not her thing. I have the book if you want it.
I swore I’d potty train after my son turned 2. He’s now 2.5 and has no interest really. He’ll sit on the potty and pretend to pee, but not actually pee. The other day he had a diaper explosion and was totally oblivious to the mess running down his leg. After that, my husband and I were like okay he still isn’t ready. He could care less.
We’ve had a tough year too, losing a baby and all kinds of other stuff. I don’t care much about potty training him at some magical age just because everyone says so. I’m okay leaving him in diapers a little longer. In the grand scheme of things, who cares if they’re potty trained at 2.5 or 3.5? We all know they’ll start college potty trained.
I read through most of the comments since I’m sorta in the same boat. It seems fruitless to try this before age 3. Everyone has always told me none of their kids trained until age 3.
Don’t believe all this “when a child is ready they’ll tell you” stuff. Team diapers sounds cute but ultimately we all know diapers are gross and you are supposed to outgrow them with mom’s help and support and a gentle nudge when the time is right – even your doctor is agreeing! Don’t worry about it too much and just jump right in and get it done – you can do it, and sounds like all signs point to it being the right time!
It depends on the kid, honestly. Some kids need to be pushed to readiness, but for others, it’s the worst thing you can do.
A fellow grad student recently related this tale about potty training. His sister got tired of always changing diapers, and was hoping she’d get a respite for a few months before she could start actively planning for a new baby with her husband. So she tried potty training her 2 1/2 year old son. He wasn’t having it. She tried everything, and what it ultimately did was make the kid toilet averse. A half year later, she asked help from the rest of the family because he wasn’t just not potty trained yet, he was also coming up with the most creative excuses why he couldn’t give up diapers.
His advice to her (one I agreed with completely) is that potty training had turned into a power struggle that mother and child were locked into. It’s a very common pattern with a smart and willful child. Until she’d relent, nothing would happen, because he just didn’t see it as something other than what his mom wanted him to do. Not only was it frustrating because he didn’t care to do it, but even when he put effort into it for her sake, he couldn’t quite succeed, so of course he was more and more reluctant to try.
Instead, she might want to give both of them a break and pause the potty training until he hit Pre-K: seeing other kids his age who were using the potty might actually convince him where his mom’s explanations of why he was a big boy now and needed to use the potty wouldn’t. Surely enough, he asked if he could learn to use the potty again within a few weeks of starting Pre-K, and since it was HIS idea, he was ready to accept the temporary setbacks along the way.
My daughter was potty trained at 26 months. It is really not that hard! I don’t know about the “3 day method” but I will tell you what NOT to do. Do NOT switch back and forth from panties to diapers. That is confusing. The day you decide to start, you do not go back, ever! You might wash 32 pairs of little princess panties in 1 day, but you just deal with it. It took my daughter 2 days to get it, and the first day she only had a handful of accidents. You put her on the potty, and read her a book, or sing songs. Hopefully she will go. If not, you try again in 10 minutes. Yes, every 10 minutes you will take her to the potty! We wear pullups at bedtime, but other than that, it’s panties. She turns 3 in February and I am so thankful she is out of diapers already! Good luck!
Allison Y. says:
LOVED the 3 day method. Worked with all 3 of my kids. It may have taken a few days longer before I would say we were 100 percent, but we were past the worst of it after day 3.
My main tips:
1. Buy the plastic underwear covers. Used to be sold in Target/Wal Mart, allow you to put them over regular underwear at night so they still get wet and feel it, but you don’t have to change sheets. Pull ups suck, don’t use them. Same as diapers. Use underwear with these things on top.
2. Wake the kid up and make them go potty when you go to bed. For about 6 months after I trained my kids, I still got them out of bed at about 11 p.m. and put them on the toilet. Helped them get through the night with no accidents.
3. Make them go. Whenever I see parents failing at training, they are asking the kid if they have to go. You don’t ask, they HAVE to get on the toilet every 30 minutes at first, then every hour, and so on until they really can feel when they need to go on their own (kindergarten?).
Ok, I’m bossy I know but those are my best tips!
OMG, I wish someone had told me this. Though, the newer mom me might not have believed it. In fact, I think it was likely told to me and I tossed the information aside as hogwash. You don’t really train them. There is no magic method–eventually, when they are ready, they just do it. The one piece of advice I would offer. Once she is doing it regularly during the day, immediately eliminate the night time pull-up. I have two still in pull-ups overnight and one is 6. I fail.
Your little Annie is so smart and on-the-ball. It won’t take three days to see if she’s on board with the whole potty training thing, it will take maybe one morning. If she’s ready, you’ll be pretty much done and if she’s not, you’ll know it.
Keri P says:
I agree with the others, when she’s ready it will be easy. Both of my kids seemed ready around 28 months (a boy and a girl) and I bought underwear I thought they’d like (Mickey Mouse for him, Disney princesses for her). I put them in the underwear and took them to the bathroom every hour for the first couple days. I rewarded them with candy for the first week, along with stickers on a chart. They never had daytime accidents and I only put them in Pull-Ups only at night/naptime for about a week. Pee was no problem. Poop on the other hand was tough. My son had accidents for a couple weeks, my daughter still is (we’re about three weeks in). I need to find tips for pooping, but in my opinion the pee part is easy, when they’re ready. Changing diapers is a pain, but dirty undies are way worse, so just follow Annie’s lead. Good luck
Heather, I did the 3 day method with my daughter when she was 26 months old. She was day trained in those 3 days and night trained within a week. Not gonna lie, I totally wanted to give up on day 2, but it worked. Good luck!
We actually used the book “Potty Training in Less Than a Day,” which I think the 3-day method is based on. I was extremely skeptical. My sister and mom (5 kids and 2 kids, respectively) had both used it, and the way they foisted it on me, you’d think it was the key to happiness, or the TARDIS.
So I was very skeptical.
And then I wasn’t. My daughter was completely urine-trained that very day, aside from naps and nighttimes (runs in the family). Naps came pretty quickly, though. She has only wet her pants twice. Once when she drank a ton of water, and we couldn’t get to a bathroom in time, and once when we were on a high-stress vacation with a bitey cousin.
She had a phobia of #2, so it took a long time for her to come around to doing that in the toilet, but she NEVER had an accident; she just waited until we put a diaper on her for the night. So, not perfect, but I chalk that up to my kid’s weird anxiety, not the method itself.
So. It’s totally possible. I’m planning on using it on my second kid here shortly. I just need to stock up on some booze first (it’s only a day, but it’s hellacious).
Amy C. says:
Okay, I didn’t read any of the above comments so I apologize if there is any repetition. Okay, well I paid my dues with my first kiddo. I also made too big of a deal of out it with calendars, tons of new undies, a whole bucket full of wrapped gifts, and generally being downright terrified. He was different too because of his delays. So with my second kid there was no way I was going to put myself or him through all that. So, what I did was let him pick out the undies for himself, bought a little potty for him, gave him a peptalk regarding going potty. That it may take a while to understand, that it is okay if you have accidents they will be expected. Just try and keep their underwear dry. Then put the diapers away. Period. Done. The only time I used pull ups was to go OVER his underwear when he would go to sleep. He learned in one day. I put the potty out in our living room and left him to it. Now granted this doesn’t work for everyone. In fact I think only a handful? LOL! That’s okay though, just treat it as if it is no big deal when they have an accident. No expectations at all. Your job is simply to put them in underwear, model how to go potty, then show them how to use their potty. That’s it. Now, the best part is when they actually GO. That is when you go wild!!!! Cheer, take pictures (you don’t have to post them or anything!!! :). Yes, take them. My boys were just beaming when I took their picture. You could see how proud they were of themselves. Then take them out and buy them a gift. Set a little budget and do it. This is for the first time only :). After that they can get little candies or praise or what not. When they go poop then they get a prize too! The main thing is to not make a big deal out of it and really let nature take it’s course. Bring an extra change of clothes when you go places and always have it with you. If Annie is scared of big potties bring a little transportable one. If you are worried put the pull up over her undies that way she will still feel the wet :). You can do this, Heather!!! It will be okay. I was really nervous too. All kids are different and sometimes they really surprise you! :). Yes and if she is really interested in pottying, knows when she needs to be changed, etc. then she is ready. I didn’t train my first until he was 4 and my second until he was 3 1/2.
I have five children, ages 3-20, and I will tell you what worked with us. Waiting til they were ready. All of mine were just over 3. The longest it took any was a week. No accidents. They were ready and they did it. Pretty much themselves. We started talking about getting rid of the diapers close to their 3rd birthday when their natural curiosity kicked in. With my last, we started about two months before her birthday talking about how big girls go potty, we got her pretty panties but didn’t put them on her, got her a little potty but didn’t make her use it. Then about a month before her birthday, we started talking about how on her birthday, we were going to throw her diapers away. On her birthday, she started going to the potty on her little potty. A week later, we switched to the little seat on the big potty. No accidents. I think waiting is the key. Who cares what other people think? Make it easy on yourself!
the same method worked for both my boys – (7 years apart). At a couple months before age 3, they’d start talking about it and I’d say, “no, not ready, you have to be a big boy before you can wear underwear”. Then we picked a weekend, put them in underwear and they trained in just a couple days because they knew they were now “big boys”
Katrina @ They All Call Me Mom says:
Okay. I’ve potty trained all NINE of my kids and let me tell you something….the FIRST child was the hardest to train, and that wasn’t because of HIM, but because of ME listening to everyone (my mom, my mother-in-law, grandmas, aunts and great-aunts) who all told me that “they had so-and-so completely potty trained at 18 months!” and tsk=tsked me for still having my boy in diapers at the age of two. Being a new mom, I fell to the pressure of the matriarchs in my family and started potty training him when he was just a little over two years old. DISASTER. The kid (baby) was just not ready. After two months of frustration and many, many, many poopy and wet Superman underwear, I put him back in diapers. Then, when he was a little over three and a half, I tried again, and it took seriously just two or three days and it was a done deal. After that, with all my other children, I have WAITED until I could tell that the child was ready. For some that was 2.5 years, for others not until after they turned three.
Don’t frustrate yourself. Wait until you know she wants to get rid of the diapers. One of my daughters, while we were shopping in Target one day, would NOT let me put a box of Huggies into the cart. She kept yelling, “Noooo! No more diapers! I don’t want to wear them!” and so I just put the box back on the shelf. At home, we were completely out of diapers, so she had no choice but to wear the big girl panties that I bought in place of the Huggies. And that was that – she was trained! It was that easy. Of course she was 7 years old at the time, but still.
(kidding! she was a few months shy of turning three!)
HA! This literally made me laugh out loud. You crack me up!
Sorry, the 3 day method didn’t work for us. But we have boys (who are harder apparently) and they are twins.
BUT, our boys were simply not ready when we tried it.
We ended up waiting until the boys were 3.5 years old because they simply weren’t ready before then. We knew it and their daycare providers did too so we waited. When we finally tackled it they were so ready it was almost instant. They were trained within a day or so. For pee anyway. Poo was another story.
AND – don’t worry about the crib thing. She won’t be trained at night right away so you can leave her in the crib for a while.
Don’t worry or rush her. I have 4 boys. She will do it when SHE is ready and she will give you signs. My oldest pretty much potty trained himself (So I magically thought all the boys would do this…WRONG!!!!) My youngest was not ready, we urged, he wound up with a bladder infection and severe constipation..HE decided he was not going to do anything in his potty, diaper, or pull-up. Peds said let it go…we did and a month later he decided to give it a whirl and it was a couple of weeks and a few accidents and we were set.
Oh, you are going to rock this!
My children were potty-trained after a naked 3-day palooza of potty-training madness (at about an average of 25 months). It worked for each of them, and it was so, so worth it. Good luck if you venture forward!
I don’t know about the 3 day method, specifically… But I’m sure that, if Annie is ready, you’ll be able to make it work, no matter what approach you choose! She’s a smartie.
With that said… As far as “readiness” is concerned, I know a lot of people say that one of the necessary signs for being ready to potty train is waking up dry in the morning. Well, not here! My daughter basically self-potty-trained at 25 months (copying her big sis) and had very few daytime accidents. She is nearly six and STILL wears Underjams at night because she pees EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. she sleeps. Doesn’t matter how much she’s had to drink. Doesn’t matter if she’s placed on the potty right before bed or 28 times overnight. She is just an EXTREMELY sound sleeper and she doesn’t wake up when she needs to pee. Her pediatrician isn’t worried; some kids just don’t wake up for a few years. So be it.
In any case (!), just wanted to illustrate that, no matter what the “experts” say, only you and Mike will really know when Annie’s ready… But when she is, I’m sure it’ll be good! Either that, or you’ll learn to appreciate rum and tequila a lot more.
Oh my goodness! That story on the mom potty training in the restaurant is awful! How terrible! There’s just something so degrading about that! I hate it when parents make their children do something that they’d never do themselves. (Or maybe their mom *would* do her piddles in the middle of a restaurant and therein lies the problem!LOL)
I used the 3-day method and it worked okay. I did it with twins, and that complicated things a bit! LOL
I do have a funny story to share, though. Like they recommend, we made a big deal out of pottying — when we went, when the dogs and cats went, etc. We pointed it out, etc. Just like they say in the books.
Well, one day, a few days after our “potty training weekend,” I’m on my laptop when I hear my little girl yelling from the bathroom.
She decided to try to go in the cat’s litter box! “Just like Baxter.” (The cat). I got called in because she couldn’t reach the toilet paper!!!
We have one of those round automatic flushing litter boxes hooked up to the plumbing, so I can see how in her eyes, this isn’t all that different from a toilet, plus it’s more her size! And it’s right next to the toilet too!
Talk about mixed signals! LOL I admit I was a bit horrified after the laughter wore off. I imagined visiting a friend’s house and trying to explain to friends why there was a human-looking poo in their litter box and so forth. But it only happened once, thank goodness!
Moral of the story: be careful when you tell them about your pets going, like they recommend in the books!
My only real advice would be: don’t invent a potty monster! My parents told me about a potty monster (“time to feed the monster”) and it horrified me! (How gross is that, really. The monster eats what?!?!…) He was supposed to be a nice monster, like on sesame street. But to this day, toilets freak me out. I always keep the cover down and so forth and if I stay on for any length of time, I get the heebie jeebies, like someone’s going to grab my bum!)
So yeah, no toilet monsters!
I meant to add….
I totally agree with the above comments about “feeling” that they need to go. If she can’t feel it, it’s not time yet.
When they feel it, they tend to give you those visible signs — crotch grabbing, “dancing,” etc. in my experience. But if she doesn’t really do that, then it may be best to wait a bit. The one thing I learned was that trying to train too soon just never works!!
A million people have already said this, but when Annie is ready, she will potty train. My three year old son still isn’t ready–even though I am MORE than ready. I had a breakdown at his three year checkup with his pediatrician. She said something that really stuck with me–she said “I’m not one for letting the little people dictate what I do, but there are two exceptions for that. When it comes to what comes out of their body and what goes in. If they aren’t ready for potty training, it won’t work. And if they don’t want to eat something, no amount of forcing will get them to eat it.” Makes sense to me. She also told me that a majority of kids that she sees aren’t potty training until three or later–but that the kids that start the process later do it faster. It will happen when it’s supposed to happen. I promise Annie won’t go to kindergarten in diapers.
Kerstin Pepper says:
How bad is it that I read this post and immediately went to the Target website to check out the Princess Potty? My daughter is 2.5 years old, and we face the same quandary. I suspect she may well be ready….but she has a 4 month old brother, and it all just seems like *so* much work. The diaper conveyor belt seems so much simpler. So, dear Heather, I’ll let you do the hard work, and hang on your expert coat-tails w hen I’m good and ready, OK?! Good luck! x
Potty training my daughter has been the worst part of motherhood, so far. I hated everything about it. She really got the hang of it right after she turned three; she’s now four. The night training without pull-ups happened at about three and a half. And I kept her in her crib until almost three and then when we converted the crib to the toddler bed, she still called for us to get her out. It took her a long time to figure out she could get out on her own. Good luck!
My accidental potty training for my 2 1/2 year old might work for Miss Annie! So Kadence has a deep love for Minnie, like Annie to princesses. I happened to find a sale of the new Minnie/princess pullup packs… I showed them to Miss K and said “okay, make sure you don’t peeped on Mimi or she’ll be sad”, holy crap it worked for whatever weird reason. She had on accident and was pissed. Pee trained for over a month now. We struggled with poop, she would hold it until she got so backed up it hurt. She wouldnt go in her pullup or underwear, she just wouldn’t go for 3 or 4 days and damn near passout she pushed so hard. A few days Of miralax and problem solved! Fyi it took me about two weeks to stop using the pull ups for trips and I still use them for bedtime. Good luck!
My advice, for what it’s worth:
Before you begin in ernest, talk to her (if you’re not already) about going to the toilet, let her come to the toilet with you (if she doesn’t already). If you know the tell tale signs that she is doing a wee or a poo in her nappy/diaper then say: ‘Are you doing a wee wee/poopie?’ or whatever the words are that you use for number 1’s and 2’s. This way she will recognise the words you use for these things and the bodily function occuring in herself related to a word.
I think she is old enough to talk to about going to the toilet and you can use the ‘now you’re a big girl….’ talk (or whatever you want) to try and encourage her to use the toilet. She’ll probably be raring to go! My daughter was.
You just have to be patient because once she gets the hang of it, she’ll probably want to visit the toilet ALL. THE. TIME. You just have to do it….the novelty will wear off…..eventually.
Also, some children find doing a poo on the potty/toilet quite difficult. Be prepared to give her a little longer to get the hang of this. As long as she is dry, changing one diaper per day isn’t too much of a big deal, as long as she can tell you when she needs to go.
Personally I’d forget pull-ups. For kids, they have the feel of a nappy – for them, what’s really changed? OK they can pull them up and down? By this age she can take her nappy off anyway if she wants. Instead get her lots (and lots) of little girls pants and go for it.
I haven’t heard of the three day method, but in my experience I think it sounds to good to be true…toilet training is a process that begins with talking about it, seeing it done and having a go themselves.
Good luck. At the end of the day it’s not like she’s never going to get the hang of it. You’ll be fine!
Potty training was one of the major highlights of parenting a toddler for me (twice). I am not joking. I thought it was great. So did my kids.
I didn’t use much of a method and don’t know about the three day thing, but that’s about how long it took for my 22-month old. She had been in disposable diapers her whole life. I took them off, she peed and pooped on the floor, was shocked that this stuff was coming out of her, and then started to use the potty. We put one on each floor of the house and just let her go without a diaper. Oh, and there was me squeezing my big ass onto the little kiddie potty to show her how it works. Maybe that wasn’t a highlight…
I have to admit that I was overcome by guilt about using disposable diapers and so was into early potty training with my second daughter because I couldn’t stand washing cloth diapers. This was as easy, maybe easier. She gets off on the independence (though I don’t get off on the streak marks she gets when pooping by herself and announcing that she wiped all by herself). She is a very strong-willed child, I mean, VERY, and as long as you get such a child on your side, it should be fine.
Do it when she and you are ready but you can help her along. We always let our two watch us go to the toilet so they knew what was involved and they saw other children using potties.
As for being dry at night, she doesnt need to be to be dry in the day. My eldest wasnt dry at night until he was 13! Yet he managed fine in the day. What I will say is that if its past 7 years and they arent dry at night then seeing a GP is a good idea!
There is a saying that goes something like “you can start potty training at 2 and be done at 3 or you can start at 3 and be done at 3.” The point is that potty training can be smooth when the child is ready. If you do it before she’s ready then you’ll be up for a fight and the last thing you’d want to do is get frustrated with her when she’s trying to learn a new skill. I tried to potty train my daughter several times before she was 2.5 years old and she never really got it. She understood what to do and the process, but she just wasn’t interested and preferred her diaper. It was more me pushing her than her actually being ready. The time it did stick was so smooth and it had me continually saying, “wow, when she’s ready, she’s ready!” The first few days we had her in underwear (definitely get fun looking ones) and were constantly asking if she had to go to the bathroom. By the second day she was doing a potty dance she invented and was excited every time she used the bathroom. Granted, we gave her a treat (m&ms, gummies) after each time she used the bathroom but at this age they are all about rewards.
Also, if YOU aren’t ready don’t push it. You need to be able to commit to it. I don’t think I was ever really ready to potty train until we did because the minute she had an accident or I started thinking about being cooped up in the house all day, I put on a diaper.
I also swear by 3 day potty training. If you can make it through the 3 days! The second day was the absolute worst for me but day 3 we only had 1 accident and day 4 was accident free. I’m not saying she never had accidents after that but they almost never happened and after a few months, they never happened.
Hi my name is jeannine and the 3 day method was a TOTAL FAILURE for us. so there, three day method.
i believe children will let you know when they are ready. They have to want to be ready. I learned this the hard way with my daughter. My eldest son, we tried forevvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvver with him and he was stubborn (like he is) and would not do it.
Til one day.
He realized (while camping) what a PITA diapers are and how much hotter they are and voila. Came home, put on underwear and Never peed/pooped in a diaper again. 3y4m.
With my little guy now.. im not even TRYING til he’s 3 unless he shows signs. (He is 2 m younger than annie).
Why do doctors have to do this to us? Convince us to start before WE are ready?grr.
Krystle P says:
I don’t comment often but had to on this. I’ve potty trained both my girls now 5 & 2 at 21-23mths roughtly using the 3 day training method. Its not cruel and they catch on really quickly. Some as in my youngest took the full 3 days to catch on but its wonderful. I used the specific 3 day website and I was amazed with my 1st who is now 5 yrs old tomorrow. Never had a problem. Go for it stay strong no matter what happens day 1 & 2.
Every child is different. The only advice I have is be PATIENT . And remember, you cannot get too upset, for we’ve all had to learn
Jen L. says:
The three-day method worked really well for my son. He was almost 3 1/2 when we used it. We let him toss all his diapers and literally spent an entire weekend staring at his crotch. But at the end of it, he was trained. I hope whichever method you choose for Annie is as quick and painless as possible!
You just need to set aside a few days to totally dedicate. I dont think pullups are good b/c they are too much like a diaper. Personally we stayed around home and did long shirt and no undies – I think they are more aware if there isnt anything there to ‘catch’ the ‘potty’. I also recommend training undies at first – they are thicker – and help absorb a little better if there is an accident. Unfortunately you are going to get well acquainted with you bathroom for a few days – consistency is key with very frequent trips to the bathroom. Whatever she loves – use it as a reward incentive.
I totally agree they have pretty fancy pottys out there but ICK the cleaning is horrible. I would get the little seat that sits on top of the toilet.
I haven’t read through all the responses, so this may have already been suggested, but get Annie the Potty Power video. She will LOVE it! It is a fun video loaded with catchy songs and there is a story about a Princess and her potty chair.
I would just be very nonchalant about it and pop it in the DVD player and be all, “Hey, look at this!” “This is the best movie ever!” lol…
Mommy Boots says:
We are (mostly) potty trained. My #1 piece of advice?
Stock up on vodka because OMG. Most frustrating. Ever.
Love the 3-day method! It worked wonders for us! The first two days totally sucked, but Day 3 was like it all clicked and it was fantastical! I have other friends who have also had success with it!
We were in a time crunch for her to get it done due to preschool, but she was showing signs of readiness and interest. I should also note that my daughter was 2.5 when we did it.
I’m not going to lie…it’s going to be the longest 3 days of your life, but after that…it’s a cakewalk!
Hang in there! And drink lots of wine!
You can DO IT!!!