Potty training can be tough! I’m sure you have come across many 3 day potty training methods that promise you can take care of potty training in 3 days or less—but you are still left wondering if such methods are just gimmicks? Same here! When I started potty training my daughter, I had a very difficult time. She was very afraid of the potty and of letting it all go. I started looking into potty training methods for girls; I was quick to read all of the books and programs out there. I was so desperate and wanted a quick fix! Only 3 days? I thought…that’s awesome!
So, which program or book should you choose? What potty training method is most effective? There are so many programs out there, and they all promise different things. They all differ in how to approach potty training. My daughter was so scared of the potty and stubborn at the same time, so I had to find a program that was going to consider her temperament and fears. I decided to do what any good blogger would do—review some of the most popular programs! I did this for myself and now for my readers…you’re welcome!
First let’s answer the question…
Well, that depends on how you define potty training! If you mean that your child will be completely accident free after 3 days, then the answer is a resounding NO. Any program that promises you that, you should definitely stay away from. Your child will still have accidents, but that is completely normal.
If you think that your child will be diaper-free at nighttime after only three days, then the answer is also a resounding NO! Being able to hold urine in during the night is developmental; your child’s bladder has to be capable of signaling the brain to wake her up so that she can go pee in the toilet. That is something that happens with age, and we cannot rush it. This is not something you can train or control. Sure, a few lucky parents will take away diapers during the day and their child will manage to stay dry at night too. However, those are a lucky few and, typically, the child many already have achieved that certain physiological development.
Now, if you define potty training as your child being able to control pee or poop and let it go on the potty or toilet, then yes—potty training can happen in 3 days! You can still expect a few accidents here and there, particularly at nighttime. However, during the day, your toddler can generally control themselves!
There are a few different potty training methods and programs. Keep in mind that they all have pretty much the same basic rules—like getting rid of diapers, devoting yourself to at least three days of staying at home, and to not using pull-ups to sabotage the process. So, I am happy to discuss the main differences between the well-known programs, as we all know that potty training is not as simple as just taking off the diaper.
After reviewing several programs, this is my favorite 3 day potty training method. This program is created by a mother of four and daycare owner; she has tons of experience with potty training toddlers. In this program, Carol teaches you an easy-to-follow method of potty training, with no pressure to nighttime train right away. This part was huge for me!
What I really love is that she covers a variety of topics; she talks about differences between potty training boys and girls, has a special section in the program for special needs children, a section for twins/multiples, and a section for older children who may be more difficult to train. However, the best part of this program is the “bumps in the road” section, where she clearly details common obstacles that every potty training parent will likely face during potty training. In this section, she addresses fear of pooping, wetting the bed, tantrums, regression, public restrooms and so much more! She also teaches you how to handle outings to places like the mall, fairs, pools, and even traveling via airplane. Without the bumps in the road section, I would have been lost. That’s where I felt the other programs fell short.
This program also goes way beyond a quick 3 day potty training method; Carol Cline literally helps you through EVERYTHING. Carol even offers a “lifeline,” where you can reach her directly with any unique questions you may have during your potty training process. There isn’t a topic that she doesn’t cover. You are truly getting your money’s worth. Don’t be discouraged by the gimmicky sales page; even I will admit that the site could use a little work in the marketing department. I bet many parents are turned off by the silly video, but if you overlook that, it really is a great program. Another great thing about the program is that it’s available for immediate download, so you don’t have to wait to start potty training!
Here is the newest version of the Start Potty Training Program
No-Sweat Potty Training is another popular training program. Along with many of the other programs, you are encourage to ditch the diapers, and offer your child tremendous praise and rewards for success. The main difference with this program is that your child is allowed to wear diapers at night. Dana considers daytime and nighttime training as two separate events, so she says, “You should also understand (and let your child know) that he’ll still be using diapers at nighttime, and that nighttime diapers are OK — even for big kids! (The fact is that bladder control at night takes longer to master.)”
This advice alone is a huge plus in my book! I needed a program that was going to offer a realistic method and approach, and not a quick gimmick. This program is great—not as extensive as my first pick—but still a good and honest program to try!
The 3 day potty training program by Lora Jensen is a program that quickly gained popularity (I’m guessing it has something to do with title!). The gist of this program is that you take away all diapers, put on underwear, and don’t revert back to diapers. You offer liquids and high fiber foods to encourage peeing and pooping. You provide extensive praise and reward your child for using the potty successfully. It’s a pretty simple program—straightforward and easy to follow.
However, there are a few things about this program that I did not like. First, Lora has you refer to accidents as “yucky” or “pew”. If you remember my potty fear article, my daughter had a very bad fear of the potty and of letting it go. I learned that this is a very common fear for children and one of the major reasons that many potty training efforts fail. I also learned that kids with these fears usually view their “doody” as part of themselves and their body. As such, you can imagine when we used words like “yucky” or “pew” how this may make our children feel even more upset and ashamed.
The other thing that was a deal breaker for me was that Lora has you take away diapers, even at nighttime. I agree that taking them away during the day is an important potty training step, but as mentioned, nighttime training is a developmental milestone that comes with age. Lora says that if your child is at least 22 months old, they should be waking up dry and gives you a few different options for “nighttime training”. I tried her method and it just didn’t work; there was no way my 22-month old was going to stay dry at night. But, that is not something you can “train”. My daughter just wet the bed over and over again; when she would wake up, the diaper had cold pee and she had had no idea she peed the bed while sleeping.
Waking my daughter up from her sleep throughout the night to take her potty just wasn’t an option for us. I am a sleep consultant, so sleep is extremely important for me and my family. Disturbing it with potty breaks, in my opinion, is not a healthy way to handle night training. And, you can’t really change things on this program up either; Lora says you have to “follow the program to the T” for it to be successful. This program may work for others, but it certainly didn’t work for us.
So there you have it! A quick guide to the most popular 3 day potty training programs! If anyone would like me to review a different program that I haven’t mentioned, please leave a comment below and I will try my best to get a potty training PDF for review!