Potty Training in Three Days or Less – Day 3

by Heligirl on July 27, 2010

in Daily Ramblings,Parenting Tidbits,Potty Training

Welcome to Day 3 of my little experiment to see if I can finally save $100 a month in diapers. After two years and 10 months of diapers I decided to try a little experiment to see if my little Sweetness, who was showing all the signs of readiness for potty training, would take the leap. If you’re just joining the fun, I recently heard of a program where you could potty train in three days or less. While I seriously doubted the validity of that, I figured three days would at least get us on the right track. If you’re just now joining us, you can catch up on the action at Day 1 and Day 2. And thanks to my buddy at My Momma Drama, I’m now referring to this as Butt Camp (my own take on Boot Camp).

Day 3, July 26, 2010:

Right around 2:15 a.m. Sweetness woke and started crying. I wrote about this in yesterday’s post. My only guess is her little brain was working overtime on the whole potty training issue and it woke her up. She was back asleep by 3 a.m. or so.

Despite her early morning wake up call, she was up at 6:40 a.m., so I got her up and dressed her in a sundress. As I was taking off her diaper, which was still dry as I’d changed it at 2:15 a.m., she told me, “no diapers.” Ahhh, progress. This was a step up from me having to explain why I wasn’t putting one on her yesterday morning. “That’s right, no diapers anymore during the day so as soon as we get up, we have to sit on the potty.” This time, she said “no,” but then went into the living room and sat on the potty. That’s where I left her, reading a book, when I went to work.

I left a long list of things to do and look out for with the nanny, and called her every hour or so to see how things were going. By my 10 a.m. call, the nanny hadn’t seen any sign of her going to the bathroom, even though she’d sat on the potty several times. However, they had gone outside, where it was already 70+ degrees, and she had spent some time in the kiddie pool.

We concluded she’d probably gone in there, so the nanny dumped the water and refilled it.

I got home just before 1 p.m. to the kids having lunch. The nanny informed me that Sweetness did pee on the hall floor (hitting the hardwood) not long after I called, but nothing since then, and nothing in the potty. My heart sank. Maybe she just wasn’t going to get this after all.

After they finished lunch I put Sweetness on the potty and we read a book. When she stood up, there was just a little bit in the potty. “Look, you started to go, honey. Go on and finish.” She had a pained look on her face and wanted to get up and leave. I’m beginning to recognize this behavior, start to pee on the potty, stop and try to go off and hold it as long as possible until it can’t be held any longer. I suggested we go out and play.

We went out together, with the potty. Not long after we got outside she pulled up her dress and sat down on the potty. That pained look was on her face again.

I sat down next to her, held her hand and told her, “that’s ok, honey. That’s what it feels like when you have to pee. Go ahead and relax. That’s the way. You can do it.”

She was looking at me with this total look of worry and as it started to go away I heard her pee with the force of a fire hose. She was pushing and holding back at the same time, trying to figure out which was right. As she went, I smiled and talked her through it, “that’s it honey! You’re peeing. That’s how you do it! You did it!”

She suddenly got a very proud look on her face and hugged me. Then she looked down, “that’s pee! I did it!”

I felt so excited that I could talk her through it, maybe help her make the connection lovingly. Then she floored me.


“Oh hell,” I thought. I’d just decided I wasn’t going to do the reward thing. She wasn’t interested in it yesterday. But she was sure in the loop today.

So we took the potty in, dumped it out in the toilet, washed hands and she got a candy.

I figured at that point I had enough time to sneak in a shower. (I skipped the morning shower in favor of a few more minutes of snooze, having been woken in the middle of the night.) The kids joined me in the bathroom, alternatively screaming and crying (Mr. Man for God knows what reason and Sweetness because Mr. Man was crying and she hates that). After the world’s fastest and most stressful shower, and as I was getting dressed again, Sweetness ran out of the room then returned with an “uh, oh.” She had a few drips down her leg.

“Where’s the pee?” I asked and she showed me a spot on the hardwood (thank you Jesus, she missed the carpet) that was only a few drops. Then she sat on her potty. After a few minutes she announced “there’s the pee” and showed me her potty. It was just a little bit. We carried the potty out to the living room (it had been in the bathroom with the kids while I was in the shower) and she sat down. She let out a few more drops and got up. I went into the kitchen to begin rinsing the lunch dishes. Sweetness came in and stood by me for a minute, then said those magical words:

“I have to go potty!” as she reached between her legs.

YES! I turned off the water as I told her to go to the potty. I followed her over. She sat down and got that pained look. I again sat on the floor next to her, held her hand and talked her through it. She squirmed and said “no,” then the dam broke and she filled that potty in four seconds. I laid on the encouragement, “you did it, that’s the way, you went pee in your potty!”

She just smiled and said, “yay, one piece of candy.” Sigh.

With that release we had a couple of hours of play time and as I made dinner, Hubby encouraged her to sit down on the potty and talk to him before dinner. After a couple of her few drops at a time maneuvers, he sat her back down and handed her her digital camera so she could scroll through her photos. As she did that, the dam broke again.

During dinner she announced she had to go, sat on the potty, but didn’t do anything. We expect she had to poo, but wasn’t emotionally ready for that leap yet.

The Day 3 Potty Count: 3 full potties, 6 very little amounts, and twice she said she had to go potty.

Final verdict: This three days to be fully potty trained is a bunch of hooey in our house. Maybe it works for kids who were already using the potty from time to time when prodded, but it’s not a sure thing for kids who weren’t. Regardless, she’s clearly starting to get the hang of it. She only had one full accident and a few drips of accidents the third day were she was peeing all over the place the first day. I’d say this method has it’s merits. Just don’t hang your hat on the 3-day thing. I recommend setting aside several more than three days.

We decided to do this at a time where we could pull a 5-day stretch just to be safe. Given I only work from 7 am to 12:30 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, and have Wednesday off, we’re pushing through five days.

The program does call for your child to be diaper and underwear free during the day for three months. Yes, three months, before you introduce underwear. I’m not sure we’ll get that far. In fact, the daycare she attends on Thursday and Friday demands Pull-Ups for 30 days AFTER she’s stopped having accidents before she can wear underwear. I’m a little concerned about regression with the Pull-Ups, but there’s not much I can do in that area.

So I’ll continue the next two days and will report back. This has been long and tiring, and not a little frustrating, but it’s working. Slowly, but surely, it’s working.


Melissa (Confessions of a Dr.Mom) July 27, 2010 at 8:14 am

It does sound like she’s on her way…sounds like everdyay she is making progress! My daughter is also 2 months shy of of being 3…we just started this week…kind of haphazardly and lazily on my part, we ran out of pull ups and I said…okay, today is the day:) But, like you I had worried that I was a little on the not wanting to push it too early part but then realized many of her counterparts were already potty trained and boys too! You know, to each his own…she will get it and kuddos to you for gently guiding her without all the tears and drama:)
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Beverly July 27, 2010 at 8:59 am

Hi Jen,
She’s doing great! Our day care went straight to underwear when it was time to potty train. We just had to provide 5 extra pairs of underwear and back-up clothes. They said pull-ups don’t really work because the kid doesn’t feel the full effect. Worked well for the little one. Once she started at home she seemed to be fully potty trained after a week of school potty training.

Of course, the first kid was kind of like yours and just didn’t pay attention to her body. She was having accidents well past 4.

Good job keeping it up!

Heligirl July 27, 2010 at 9:56 am

Thanks Melissa and Beverly. I am really concerned about the pull-ups thing because so many people tell me they don’t work. But it’s only two days a week for about half the day, so what can I do. They just started that rule, basically because the daycare lady didn’t want to clean up or change anyone. It was getting too messy.

Carol Ann July 27, 2010 at 9:33 am

Progress! Definite progress. It’s a long process. The 3 day thing probably works for kids who are more than ready physically and emotionally.

Our daycare used pull ups for about a month for all the kids, and then took them away. We had lots of accidents, but it’s part of learning. They just cleaned up after them and rewarded them with stickers when they made it to the potty. It worked.

Heligirl July 27, 2010 at 9:59 am

Thanks Carol Ann. My hopes are high for eventual success. Peer pressure will get them out of diapers before high school in the end. 🙂 I agree about the 3-day thing working for the more physically and emotionally ready ones. I was getting a little concerned she’d start making the connection it was easier to just use her diaper than stop what she was doing and go to the bathroom. I needed to try this out to see if she’d bite. So far, so good.

Colleen July 27, 2010 at 5:07 pm

Sounds like she had a lot of progress today. I hope she is able to keep working with it even though she will have to put the pull ups back on. It seems her major issue was letting it go which I believe is a pretty normal reaction.

She has definitely come through some strides in the past three days and that is something to be excited about.

Good Luck!!
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Michelle Nist July 27, 2010 at 5:47 pm

Ah…you’re showing the patience of a Saint! This brings back memories for me!! Good luck with the continuation of the project! 🙂

Heligirl July 28, 2010 at 3:31 pm

Oh it’s soooooo hard. Patience is NOT my strong point.

Rebecca July 27, 2010 at 6:20 pm

Your newest follower! Love your blog! Just out blog surfin and came across yours! – such a fan! Come follow me back!


have a great day! 🙂

Momma Drama July 27, 2010 at 6:34 pm

Yay! she went potty AND told you she had to go!! I say that’s success in Butt Camp (that’s awesome by the way)!!

I think everyone has an opinion about pull-ups, so I wouldn’t let it get you down. We still called them “big boy pants” and not diapers, so I think that helped him too – we stressed that he couldn’t pee in them either. Even if she thinks she can pee in the pull-ups and not the panties, that’s a step forward!
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Heligirl July 28, 2010 at 3:30 pm

Yeah, she peed in them today. Grrr, but when we got home I put her in panties and she made a run for the potty when she had the urge, so she’s starting to make the connection. Thanks again for all the words of encouragement!

s0nicfreak August 2, 2010 at 10:44 am

Use stickers instead of candy and get rid of the diapers completely. You might have to wash the seats a couple of times, but it’s worth it. And don’t make things an option; don’t say “do you want to sit on the potty,” say “it’s time to go potty.” Period. Don’t leave room for discussion about it. MAKE her go to the potty every 45 minutes. If going potty in the potty is the only option, she will go potty in the potty.

s0nicfreak August 6, 2010 at 11:58 am

Oh, I meant sheets, not seats 🙂
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August 6, 2010 at 4:07 pm

I truly don’t believe forcing her to do anything is the right answer in any way, SonicFreak. In the end, I listened to the needs of my daughter. She wasn’t ready, so we’ll revisit this later. Thank you for your suggestions, though.

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