I was SHOCKED when my toddler was potty trained in one day, for it had never taken this short amount of time with my other three children! In fact, with my other children, the whole potty training process was a stressful one and took at least a week. However this time around, I had done things differently and it definitely paid off!
Getting familiar with the toilet
One of the first steps I took towards potty training my child was getting him familiar with the toilet beforehand. When my son was about 2 years old, I started putting him on the toilet just for fun. There was no pressure for him to go pee, the purpose was to just get him comfortable while sitting on the toilet. Sometimes, he would sit on the toilet and read a book, and other times he would just sit there and watch me get ready for the day (i.e while I brushed my teeth, washed my face and so on).
After about a month of putting him on the toilet just for fun, I let him go pee in the toilet. I knew every morning he had to go pee, so I would take off his diaper and put him on the toilet in the mornings to go pee. Afterwards, I would put his diaper back on and we would go about our day and not use the toilet again until the next morning.
Seeing if he was ready
When my son was about 2.5 years old, I tried potty training him, but he wasn’t ready. How did I know he wasn’t ready? I would put him on the toilet throughout the day, but he would only go pee after I took him off, and I would spend the day changing his pants and cleaning pee off the floor numerous times. I never yelled at him nor did I get angry, I just realised he wasn’t ready yet and stopped trying to potty train him.
I tried potty training him again when he was 3 years old and the same thing happened, so I stopped trying to force him into doing something he wasn’t ready for. Again, I never yelled at him or made him feel bad for his accidents.
Showing signs of readiness
Fast forward, and now my son is 3.5 years old. He had been asking me questions like when he would be wearing “big boy underwear” and why he still wears diapers. He was also getting uncomfortable in his diaper and wanted it off as soon as it was wet. I took these as signs to try to potty training him again, I just had this feeling he was ready this time- and I was right! Below, I will be sharing exactly what I did and I’ll also give you an update on if there has been a regression and if he’s been potty trained at night too.
But before you read the method I used, it is SO IMPORTANT (like VERY IMPORTANT) that you read my blog post titled, What I wish I knew before I started potty training my child. PLEASE read that blog post first, as it is fundamental before you start potty training your child.
Step by Step Potty Training Method
*Please note, on the day you plan to start potty training, try to stay home all day and make sure you have lots of underwear available. Also, be prepared for accidents!
I took off my son’s diaper and pants, and put underwear on him only. I also removed the rugs on the main floor, making it easier for me to clean any accidents throughout the day, if there should be any.
I chose not to purchase a toddler’s potty for him, as he was already familiar with the toilet, but I did put a stool by the toilet making it easier for him to get on and off the toilet. I also put a chair for myself to sit on, right outside the bathroom, as I know children can take a while on the toilet.
Next, I put a timer on my mobile phone for every 20 minutes. As soon as the timer would go off, I would tell him that this means it’s potty time and we would walk together to the bathroom. He would take off his own underwear and get on the toilet. If he urinated, then I would give him a high five and praise him. If he didn’t, I told him not to worry and maybe next time he would have to go. We did this for the rest of the day until bedtime, and there were times where he would tell me he had to go pee himself before the timer rang. For nap time and bedtime that day, I put a pull up over top my son’s underwear and let him sleep that way.
Throughout the day, he would urinate in the toilet, but I noticed he did not have a bowel movement and I was starting to get worried. Not having a bowel movement can mean your child is not ready to potty train and he or she is “holding it in” due to the fear of being on the toilet. Holding it in can also lead to constipation, so it’s important that your child is urinating and passing a regular bowel movement while potty training. So when 7 PM came around and my son told me he had “to go poopoo” I was relieved!
Day one was a success. We started the potty training process at 8:30 AM and a few hours later he was telling me he had to go on his own and surprisingly there were zero accidents! He was pretty much potty trained by the evening.
On day two, I put pants and underwear on him, but this time I was taking him to the bathroom every 30 minutes instead of 20 minutes. I stopped using a timer by the afternoon, because I noticed he was telling me had to go on his own since the morning, so there wasn’t a need for timer.
I let him tell me whenever he had to go to the bathroom, but I would also ask him if he had to go after he woke up from sleeping and before we left the house that day. I even took him to his siblings swimming lessons with me and he successfully used a public washroom for the first time.
Fast forward to today, it’s been about 3 weeks since he’s been potty trained and everything has been going smoothly! He still needs someone to go to the bathroom with him to turn on the light, but he knows when he has to go and puts himself on the toilet. He hasn’t had a regression so far, and I could not be happier!
This was by far the smoothest, easiest, and quickest I have ever potty trained any of my children I think it is largely due to the fact that my child was ready. He was also familiar with the toilet and I was very calm and collected throughout the process. There was no pressure from me for him to go, and I think my relaxed attitude helped him feel more at ease.
I was also noticing that his pull-ups were dry (since day 1) after he woke up from his naps and in the mornings, so I stopped putting them on him altogether. Yes, my son was potty trained in one day, but that doesn’t make me some kind of super mom or a better mother than anyone else. Every child is different and every child will be ready to potty train at his or her own time. Having a positive attitude and remaining calm throughout the potty training process is going to help your child, so it’s important that you do not get angry over accidents and don’t make your child feel at fault for not getting it right away.