Potty training in three days (ages 18 months and up)

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Potty training in 3 days is what we have done with all four of our kids (three boys & a little girl).  Potty training a toddler can seem harder than it actually is, so I want to shed some light on why it is easier and quicker than most people assume.  It is very possible to potty train quickly and to even potty train in a weekend! 

I always start by picking a 3-day span and then I go for it and we Potty Train in a Weekend.  Weekend potty training works so well, so today I’ll share how you can get started, and I’ll answer some of the most common questions I hear about toilet training.

Update: This post about Potty Training in three days has recently been updated and republished with new information.  I hope it is helpful.

Potty Training in 3 Days is not a new method

While 3-day potty training is not new, it has become something of the past.

In fact, in the 1930s, most parents started potty training babies at 6 months old.By the 1950s, 95% of children were trained to use the toilet by 18 months and it takes American children nearly twice as long too complete toilet training now as it did in the 1950s.Today, only 10% are today toilet trained early and quickly. 

Potty Training in 3 Days is not stressful 

Our society makes toilet training quickly seem complex like it is too much to take on in the modern world that we live in, but the truth is that fast potty training does not have to be complicated all.   

It isn’t stressful or forceful.  It is a simple, positive experience that is very effective when done correctly.


The potty seat in the picture above is in the top 3 on my potty training comparison chart.  It’s my favorite. Here is our affiliate link to find it. 

How Does Potty Training in 3 Days Work? 

The 3-day potty training weekend method is what worked for our family (and for thousands of others).

It is effectiveIt is positiveIt is quickIt is all about focus and consistencyIt is a way to connect with your child so your child enjoys the process of learning. 

This method, which is described in detail in my  Potty Train in a Weekend book, was passed onto me from my Grandma (she taught her four children this way and her mother taught her that way). 

When I was getting ready to potty train our first son, she told me exactly what to do.  Because it isn’t “modern”, I didn’t have any friends training their kids this way, so I relied solely on her advice and my instincts.

My 3-day Potty Training Weekend Experience:

I listened to my grandma’s advice.  I tweaked it.  I planned for it.  I tried it. It worked. I shared my method with local parenting groups. It worked.I shared my method with friends & family. It worked.I wrote a potty training book about it to share it with the world. It worked. 

The potty training methods that I did not use: 

I did not wait until my kids are self-potty trained.I did not give out rewards.  They were self-motivated.I did not punish them for having accidents. I was firm but positive.I did not wait for them to be able to talk before I began potty training.

Can You Really Potty Train in 3 Days?

Yes!  3-day toilet training is often clouded with negative talk of how hard it will be or how you are forcing your child, but that is the case… at all.   In fact, I found it to be extremely positive, effective and my children loved our weekend of potty training.   It was just us, working on a goal together.

There is so much talk of “waiting until the child is ready to start”, but just like anything, we need to guide our children.  Think of breastfeeding with a baby or teaching a toddler to eat: it is natural, but it is often very difficult and we need to guide our babies to understand how to do these things.

Potty training is similar. 

We need to guide our children to learn how to use the potty.  We can either let the child take the lead, or we can research the many potty training methods and teach our child.   We have found that taking a long weekend or a 3 day time frame works best for our family.

I suggest reading Potty Train in a Weekend before you start potty training.   

The book teaches you how to help your child go diaper-free without resorting to the pull-ups (disposable training pants), M&Ms, reward charts or any sort of rewards.  Because I know that everyone can do early potty training with their child (and quickly!) when given the right method.

This is a method that naturally and gently, yet firmly teaches your child to go diaper-free and stay dry without rewards in 3 days.   It is so fun to watch a child who pees in the potty chair and understands why this is a great thing.  To watch a child have bowel movements in the toilet and cheer for himself.

About the Potty Train in a Weekend book:  

I wrote the book Potty Train in a Weekend after I potty trained my first three children, my niece & nephew and many other children (my friends’ kids, my clients, etc…).  After writing the book I potty trained our fourth child, our daughter. 
I updated the book several times to answer questions and I also included a chapter on potty training a child with a disability.
  This chapter comes from experience working with my clients during play therapy.

The book was written by me.

♡ It’s not fancy.  It’s not filled with fluff. 
It is to the point and it is direct.  I want you to get the most of reading it.  (I know you are busy!!)

♡ I am a mom.  I wrote this book, as a mother, for other parents, grandparents, and caregivers.  Yes, I am a child development therapist, a teacher and I have a certification in play therapy for early childhood, but I gathered the most experience from simply training my own children and others.

I created a Facebook Group for readers of this book.  It is a private group on Facebook dedicated to helping each other.  We ask questions, give answers, share stories & laugh together in this group.   Everyone helps each other and no one is judging anyone because we are all in it together.

This book was a best-seller on Amazon, which brought such joy to my heart to know that I was helping others.

I do not claim to be the leading expert.  I do not claim to have a book that will magically solve any childhood issue.  I do not claim to have written a book without editing mistakes (in fact, when I wrote the book, I had just started this website, so  I just asked friends & family to help me by reading it over & correcting my mistakes).    It was just a way to share our story, steps & method with the world.

I hope that you have the same success as so many others that have written and shared their success stories with me.   It makes me so happy to know that I can reduce stress because honestly, potty training does not have to be stressful.  It is a fun weekend with your child (or children) and it can be a great memory for everyone involved.

You can find Potty Train in a Weekend here

How do I toilet train a toddler in three days? 

As I said above, 3 day potty training isn’t the most popular choice anymore. 
The delay of training is thanks to the invention of disposable diapers and diaper companies pushing diapers for as long as they can through marketing, commercials, and ads.   It also lost popularity when Dr. Spock told parents to “Let the child tell you when they are ready”.

I’m here to tell you it really can work.  Boys and girls everywhere are potty training successfully with this method. 

Here is how I helped my children potty train in 3 days:

I started them after 18 months (the golden window is 18-23 months, but using this method, any age works).I looked for readiness signs and I found a weekend when I was going to be ready to start.I cheered for them and praised them when they do well, but I was firm, as well.I trained them in three days.I went into it knowing that regression will probably happen and I came up with a solution.I understood the hurdles (like when a child uses the “day potty” but not the “nighttime potty” or when they pee but won’t poop.  I have figured out how to overcome them easily.I helped our children to be proud of themselves, and excited to be out of diapers.  They were eager to learn!I gave them opportunities to get excited about using the potty, by giving them coloring sheets and books.You can download this coloring book for free.  This is a 13-page coloring book that I made.  You are welcome to it for free.

Can you potty train in less than 3 days?  What about potty training in 2 days?

While I tell my readers to allow three full days, I have potty trained several of my children in less time. 

One of our children was completely potty trained in the day by the end of Day one and also potty trained at night by the end of day three.   My nephew was potty trained this was in two days.   My neighbor was potty trained (by me) in one day.   

So, yes, it is possible.   It isn’t always the norm, but it is very possible that your 3-day potty training method might work quicker than 3 days.   

How long does it take to be fully potty trained?

For a child to be fully potty trained, without any accidents, I would give it between 3-7 days, because every child is different.
Most children will have an accident here or there during the first week, as it is a newly developed skill.  

Setbacks, along with accidents, are a normal part of development. 
Potty training is not an exception to the rule. 

However, based on the research that most children take 3-6 months to potty train when not using the Potty Train in a Weekend method, I am always excited at the thought of being done with potty training by this time next week.   

You can say bye bye to diapers right away, but you will still need to remind your child to go to the bathroom often.   While training, we have our kids go often when we are home or if we are getting ready to go somewhere (even big kids need to be reminded before leaving the house), and we take them to public restrooms if we are gone for more than an hour. 

What Do You Need Before You Potty Train Your Child?   

A clock (to keep track of when to take your child to the bathroom)Cleaning supplies (for that first day)A training toilet (free comparison chart available with the purchase of the book)PatienceUnderwear (I will tell you the specific ones that I use).Baby Leggings (look at the bottom of the post for this tip!)Books or coloring books to keep in the bathroom.I suggest this 13-page coloring book.  It is free for a limited time.Potty Train in a Weekend book with a break-down of EXACTLY what to do.

When Should I Potty Train My Child?

I started potty training my children after 18 months.  This is the age when healthy children become ready physically and emotionally.

The golden window is 18-23 months. 

This is the easiest age to potty train your child because they are old enough to understand, but young enough not to be stubborn or set in their own ways just yet.  With that being said, when you use the 3-day potty train in a weekend method, you can potty train your child at any age with success.

What are the signs that your toddler is ready to potty train?

There are certain signs that your child is ready to be potty trained. I’ve listed several below, but more often than not… the question is: are YOU ready to potty train your child?   Are you ready to walk step by step with your child to meet this next milestone: Potty Trained Toddler.

Pulling at a wet diaperPretending to go to the bathroomPretending to wipeInterested in body partsHaving a dry diaper for more than an hourInterested in watching others use the bathroomWanting to flush the toiletInterested in toilets 

How Do I Toilet Train a Boy in 3 Days?

Q: Is it easier to potty train boys or girls?
A: Research (and experience) shows that potty training your son can be easier than potty training your daughter.

I know that people say it is easier to potty train a girl, but in my experience & based on the research that I’ve done, boys were just as easy (some were easier) to potty train than the girls. I teach them to use the potty sitting down, just like I would for a girl.  Eventually, we will transition to standing, but first, we just want them to master the skill of emptying their bladder into the toilet.

I have an entire post about how to potty train boys, as well as why I think girls may actually be harder to potty train than boys.  

What Age Should a Child be Dry Through the Night?

Nighttime potty training is completely different than daytime potty training.  While it is possible and several of my children were nighttime trained by the end of our weekend of potty training, I remind parents not to stress over nighttime training.

As a child development therapist, I have talked to many doctors and experts in this area and I know that it is not uncommon for children to have accidents at night years after they have been trained during the day.

There is such a wide range of ages when it comes to bedwetting.   

While many children are toilet trained between 18 months – four years of age, they are not able to stay dry until years later.   
In fact… 

15% of six-year-old children wet the bed nightly.   Around 5% of children will still wet the bed at the age of 10-12.   2% of adults wet the bed, so don’t stress about your child wetting the bed just yet. Plus – you just might be the one to blame for it (it’s hereditary)!

It is well known that if mom or dad was a bedwetter, there is a very high chance that the child will be, as well. 

Other factors include low levels of the hormone that regulates the production of urine at night (called Vasopressin), a small bladder or if your child is a very deep sleeper.

How Do I Get My Toddler to Pee in the Potty?

Check out these helpful Potty Training Resources that will get you started:

Potty Train in a Weekend ebook
 A potty Training Coloring book (free)
 Potty Training Toilet Comparison Chart (free) 

More About the Potty Train in a Weekend Book:  

As I mentioned previously, I wrote the book after I potty trained my first three children and other’s children. It’s been updated several times and contains a direct and to the point instructions.

About me (the author of the book)

 I am a child development therapistI am an elementary & early education teacherI am a mom of fourI hope that you have the same success as so many others that have written and shared their success stories with me.   It makes me so happy to know that I can reduce stress because honestly, potty training does not have to be stressful.  It is a fun weekend with your child (or children) and it can be a great memory for everyone involved.

You can find Potty Train in a Weekend here

There is also a paperback version of Potty Train in a Weekend available on Amazon, but as I said earlier, I can’t help you with your order if it is done through Amazon (they take care of all of it).

If you order the Potty Train in a Weekend ebook from me directly with this link, I can help you with any issues that you have along the way.   Just e-mail me at becky@yourmodernfamily.com and I’ll be glad to help you. ♡

Ps- A Helpful tip that I forgot to mention:   I use these BabyLeggings when I potty train!  I can keep them naked, but warm.  (If you go to BabyLeggings and use the promo code YMF5, you will get them for FREE!)


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