Diapers to Underwear in 3 Days!
Day 1: We did not want to spend money on another book, so after a little googling and very little reading we decided to give the 3-day potty training method a try. We found another family's “highs and lows” in a Today’s Parent article, sorry Lora Jensen (that’s the author of the method).
It really was about as gross as described in the link above. Lots of puddles around the house, lots of denying anything had happened and even refusing to sit on the “potty”. Understanding the concept that you NEED to sit before you have an accident was really difficult to explain! They would both say, “but, I haven’t peed in my underwear!” Umm, hello! That’s a good thing! We’d say over and over again.
At first, we’d set 20-30 min timers after either of them had something to drink. In retrospect that’s probably why they kept saying they hadn’t had an accident. Now the couches are covered in beach towels to catch any “liquids” and to better let them learn what it feels like just before needing to sit on the potty. And, guess what? It worked!
Day 2: Guess who woke up in the morning after sleeping in their underwear without any overnight accidents? All four us! It was truly surprising. On occasion one of them would wake up in the morning and their diaper would be dry, but it wasn’t every night. This was a total success.
Yes, there were plenty of accidents throughout the day, but almost all of them happened while standing in front of the toilet. They recognized the need to use the bathroom, but on a few occasions, they weren’t able to make it there fast enough. In fact, they were upset when that happened and would cry, “I wasn’t fast enough and had an accident!”
We did our best to use each time the girls took it upon themselves to stop whatever they were doing, walk to the bathroom and correctly use the potty to celebrate. We have our own little potty dance the girls loved to do with us after they finish.
Doing #2 has been much more difficult for them. At least three pairs of underwear were thrown out because they were just too messy. Even if we caught them in the beginning stages and rushed them to the toilet, they would refuse to finish and simply say they didn’t have any more to do. Maybe they simply need more time in that respect.
Day 3: Again, we woke up to overnight success. No accidents in bed! They’ve been reluctant to use the bathroom as soon as they wake up each morning, but it’s starting to become more of a routine. We always use the bathroom as soon as we wake up in the morning, before quiet time in their bedroom and again just before bedtime.
Throughout the day we’re having phenomenal success letting the girls decide when they need to use the bathroom all by themselves. That still results in a few “I didn’t make it there in time” accidents, but watching them run to the bathroom out of the corner of my eye is exciting. Plus, they’re excited every time they are successful and yell out from the bathroom, “I did it!”.
There’s still plenty of work to do in order to reinforce the need to “stop and go right away”, but we just came home from our first trip out of the house in more than three days and had ZERO accidents!
When asked for potty training advice we say, just do it. It’s going to be a little messy, but with some patience, extra underwear and lots of paper towels, you’ll get there.