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Sunday, 30 September 2012 21:29

Potty Training Review - End of Day 3

I am writing this review on our 3-Day Potty Training while it is still fresh in my mind. First, I'll say that at this moment (the end of the 3rd day), I'm not confident in saying that Clara is now 'potty trained'.  My husband, however, thinks we can now say she is based on her responses to accidents and her ability to tell us when she needs to go.

As a whole, I would recommend this method, and believe that it was absolutely the best thing for Clara and our family...  You can read my summary on this method in my Preparing for Potty Training post or check out the 3 Day Potty Training Website for more detailed information. 

The reasons we chose to go ahead with this method (and on only a few days' notice) are:

  • Clara was getting increasingly frustrated with diapers, and I think she mentally wanted to make the switch to panties
  • She had witnessed closely a friend getting potty trained over the summer while she was being babysat, and was familiar with the process
  • She had been using the potty for pooping almost exclusively since she was 8 months old, so she was also familiar with using the potty
  • Her biggest diaper-related tantrums happened after she had successfully peed in the potty, and was then put back into a diaper - in hindsight, I think she was thinking 'What was the point, then, of peeing in the potty???' - this indicated to me that she was ready for a bigger challenge, and wanted a greater reward for her hard work.  This was the biggest reason why I decided, after reading the 3-day method, that potty training suddenly and quickly would be the best thing for Clara - because she seemed to be expecting a sudden change and challenge rather than a gradual one, and was seemingly frustrated by our 'lack of motivation'.
  • Given all of the above - we decided that Clara should probably begin more focused potty training soon...
  • Because I am due to have a baby in 4 weeks (TODAY!), I knew that the amount of energy I would have to help her potty train would only get less as the month went on.  Also, it would likely be quite awhile after the baby was born before we would be comfortable enough with our new situation and able to find the time to exclusively focus on Clara for what it would take to potty train her.  If we were going to help her do this, the best time to do it was immediately.

Here is a summary of how our 3 Day Training went:

  • On Day 1, we went through 9 pairs of panties which included 5 serious 'pee on the floor' incidents in the morning.  In the early afternoon, she started coming to me to tell me she had to pee - usually as she began peeing.  She stayed dry during her naptime, and remained dry from late afternoon on.  She had one large-volume pee in the potty in the late afternoon, and she began checking her panties for dryness on her own.
  • The second morning she woke up dry, and peed successfully in the potty first thing in the morning.
  • On Day 2, Clara went through about 9 pairs of panties again, but only 2 involved pee on the floor and in both of those cases she had announced her pee - unfortunately it was just not before it had started falling. She managed to pee in the potty a number of times throughout the day, and although in most of those cases her panties needed to be changed, it was usually only because of a few drops.
  • She woke up dry again from both her nap and night #2.
  • On Day 3, Clara went through 5 pairs of panties (I think).  Two of those involved pee on the floor, but we share the blame here for 'letting our guard down', since she announced both pees and we simply weren't close enough to respond in time.  One of these accidents was in her room before naptime and required her entire bed to be stripped, and the other was standing next to the closed bathroom door as she was asking to be let in.
  • She remained dry throughout night #3.
  • On Day 4, she wore the same pair of panties (that she had worn through night #3) until she had a leak at 7:15pm.  We were at her Grandparents' for supper, which was our first outing since beginning the training. 

Some of the questions that arose as we were going through this training were:

  • How are you supposed to focus on your child 100% if you occasionally need to be cleaning pee off the floor? The method discusses finding alternate arrangements for other kids - I think it might have been helpful also if I had had some sort of help with me constantly to clean up and do things like this.  It was almost a 2 person job.
  • How do you handle situations where your child is sitting in a position where you can't immediately see a leak? In our case, when she is sitting in her booster seat at the table, I can't see between her legs to see if she might be having a leak.  We partially considered these three days 'party days', because we were giving her snacks and drinks that we wouldn't normally have given her so much of, so maybe it would have been best to have snacks and meals at her kids table, or sitting on the floor? Since we were doing everything differently anyway...
  • How do you handle stalling tactics? As soon as my daughter realized that we would indulge her every time she said "I have to go pee", this became a valuable stalling tactic before going to bed.  The first night was difficult, and I finally told her that she had to wait 5 minutes before I would take her to the potty again. After doing this two times, she finally fell asleep.  I think that after going through this for 3 days, I would recommend indulging the stalling tactic, but make sure it's not a party for them (we won't let her play with toys on the potty any more) - tonight is the 4th night, and she hasn't tried this tactic today at all.
  • What if your child wants to change their underwear? It seemed for awhile on the 2nd day that Clara might be leaking in her panties on purpose, because she would excitedly run to her drawer to pick another pair.  Too bad they make them so darn cute! It seems now, after a couple of days, that this novelty has probably worn off and no longer seems to be an issue.

Here are some of my thoughts and advice about following this method, if you chose to follow this method:

  • I think that it really is better to really jump in and go 'all the way' - no overnight diapers or anything.  In hindsight, I'm glad we had the big 'incident' on Day 1 where Clara refused to wear her pull-ups.  Funny story, check out the post here. It had occurred to me at one point that if she peed in her disposable pull-ups, she would become (or remain) comfortable peeing while sleeping, and we would have to do an entirely different set of training at some point in the future.  This way, we will be done completely now and in hindsight, I will be glad to have gotten it all over with.
  • Don't let your guard down for the entire three days - even if your child seems to 'get it' by the end of Day 1.  A lot of our accidents happened because we had taken for granted that she had gotten to a certain point when she wasn't quite there yet. Stay by your child's side! In the end, the method seems to have been successful for us anyway, so I don't think this hurt us too much, but I do feel like we could have done better.
  • To some extent, adapting to your situation will still work.  In my case, I could not find 3 days in a row where I was her exclusive caregiver, or I did not need to be paying attention to other things, or we weren't leaving the house.  I chose the greatest amount of time where I could focus on her, but she still required a babysitter while I taught piano for a couple hours on Day 1, and I was also babysitting for another toddler each weekday morning which was unavoidable without hurting our financial situation.  Also, I am pregnant which means my energy level was somewhat controlled by my unpredictable pregnancy emotions/ailments.  It would have been better to have been able to focus more on her without all of these distractions, but it simply wasn't possible for us right now.  Despite this, I am very glad we went ahead with it anyway.
  • There were times when we suspected she had to pee, and wanted to ask her but the method tells you not to do this.  By telling her instead to inform YOU if she needs to pee, you are helping her to learn how to tell for herself and to teach her that she needs to act on the feeling without anyone prompting her.  Despite the few accidents that happened that could have been avoided if we had taken her when we suspected she needed to go - I would advise anyone to stick to the 'don't ask' rule, because ultimately - they need to tell you themselves.  The only time we will break this rule now, is when we are leaving the house and she will be in the car for a stretch of time where going to the potty won't be an option - having her sit down and at least try seems like the best thing to do in this case.
  • Avoid letting potty time be 'playtime' - we used to let Clara have books, or play with little toys while she was sitting on the potty to encourage her to relax there until she peed.  It was things like this that made "I have to go pee" such a great stalling tactic before bedtime for her... so we have stopped doing all of these things.

I am obviously no expert on this, I can only tell you how this experience was for us.  If you have any questions about my personal experience, please email me at  You can also check out the 3 Day Method website at the link I gave at the beginning of this post.  All in all, I'm just thrilled to be able to say my daughter is nearly completely potty trained - and it only took 3 days!

Read 2438 times Last modified on Sunday, 30 September 2012 22:21

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