Illustration for how I trained my child to use hypocrisy in three chaotic days

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In my profession As a father or mother, I’ve just a few accomplishments that I can’t boast of, particularly: Believing my daughter that frozen grapes are a wonderfully acceptable dessert, Educating her to like Swiffer, and Skillfully trains her flat in three days. That final one my The most important shock success, As a result of I used to be absolutely ready for the devastation that was drawn.

I’ve heard of the parable ThreeMy Fb mothers group day coaching methodology, but it surely’s not adequate to be true. Three days? You are speaking massive diaper baggage, drying accidents, And a anxious seek for a altering desk For a diaper-free launch? It took too lengthy to ship my Hughes quite than. However when my daughter was two and a half years outdated and absolutely understood the idea of utilizing the bathroom (I at all times ask her if she wished to attempt, she at all times solutions, “Not at this time, Mother”), I made a decision to offer it a attempt.

Spoiler Warning: It labored! On the day we began coaching, my husband left for work that morning, and when he returned 10 hours or so later, the boy was mainly skilled. Coincidentally past right here. On the 4th, she placed on a mini mouse underwear (and, after all) and appeared confidently into her daycare class. I couldn’t imagine it. Now each time my dad and mom ask me for particulars about these three days, I fortunately share the entire story.

Tips on how to prepare your youngster in three days?

Word right here that this of our Story, and I don’t imagine that one methodology will work for each youngster. You’ll find nice details about clever coaching on-line or in bookstores or – higher – in a dialog with Your pediatrician. There are a variety of methods from the favored methodology Oh shit! Plan, To low strain The process of retention, Systematic coaching — from pants to underwear change. You simply must be extra discriminating with the provide help to render towards different folks.

Three days of ability coaching A Chilly-Turkey system, It’s essential take away all of the diapers in the home and belief the method. I normally observe Laura Jensen’s plan 3-Day Potty Training ebook, but with 50 pages of guidelines, it is extremely specific, and I can’t say that I did everything exactly her way. Here is what I did do, and what advice I would give to those about to embark on this messy, exhausting, but hopefully effective journey.

Plan for it like the grand event it is

Find three consecutive days on the calendar—at least a week after you decide to go with the 3-Day method (Jensen recommends a full month)—when you can be 100 percent dedicated to your kid’s bladder and bowels. (This may be tough for parents working full-time, I know. If you can’t take a day off, you may have to do it during a holiday, which is, quite literally, shitty, but eye on the prize: diaper-free liberation!) Mark those days as potty training days, and cancel everything else you have going on, including routine things like grocery shopping. You kind of have to imagine yourself being holed up in a bunker.

Say bye-bye to diapers—forever

About a week before the Big 3 Days, I told my daughter that we were going to give all her diapers to Baby Jeremiah, a one-year-old friend we knew. She was on board. I reminded her about this every day before the training began. When it was finally go-time, I had her help gather all the diapers in our house and put them in a big bag with Jeremiah’s name on it. We said “bye-bye” to them. Nobody was sad about it.

Prep and stock your house for the a-poo-calpyse

Here’s what you’ll need for training:

  • A kid potty chair if you want to use one. We liked the BabyBjörn. You could go without one and use the regular toilet, having the child sit on the side of the seat.
  • Kid underwear (20-30 pairs). Check the Dollar Store.
  • Liquids and high-fiber snacks to feed your kid. (You’ll want the child to drink more than usual during potty training, but don’t force it.)
  • Small incentives and rewards like stickers or tiny treats.
  • Extra sheets in case of nighttime accidents.
  • Ready-made meals that you can easily heat up in the microwave (or a partner or helper to cook for you).
  • Towels or paper towels for the inevitable messes.
  • Stuff to do indoors with your kid. (At least for the first day or so, you’ll want to stay close to the bathroom.)

If you have any beautiful vintage rugs lying around (which, why would you? You have a toddler), you’ll probably want to store them away. It’s best to potty train on hard, wipeable floors, but of course, that’s not always possible.

How to get started with the three-day potty training method

On Day 1, you should be rested and fed. Your child should be wearing just a T-shirt and underwear. (Some parents prefer that the kids go bare-bottomed, but I think new underwear make them feel big and special. Also, they can feel the sogginess of accidents when they happen. Also, I don’t like commando butts on the sofa.)

The 3-Day Potty Training method basically requires you to do two things: 1) Say to your child “Tell me if you need to use the potty” all day, like 100 times a day, and 2) Watch the kid like a hawk.

Aside from that, you and your child can go about your regular activities. Color, do puzzles, watch a TV show. But as you do so, keep saying, “Tell me if you need to use the potty.” Say it every five or 10 minutes. “Tell me if you need to use the potty. Tell me if you need to use the potty. Tell me if you need to use the potty.” You’ll get tired of your own voice. Keep going. Don’t ask, “Do you need to use the potty?”—they’ll most always say no.

See it and run

Then, the moment you see pee or poo happening, pick up your child and (safely) race to the bathroom. Take off their underwear and plop them on the potty chair or toilet. If they get just one drop inside, go nuts. Cheer like crazy. Jump up and down. Tell them they’re a big kid. Call grandma. Give them a little reward. They’ll be really proud of themselves.

Repeat this every time. On the first day, my daughter had four or five accidents before it finally clicked. After that, whenever I would say, “Tell me if you need to use the potty,” she could say yes or no.

There were a handful of accidents after those three days, but all in all, the method was a resounding success. I was so astounded that all it took was getting rid of the diapers to potty train my kid that I had a philosophical moment, writing on Facebook after Day 2: “I just keep wondering, what are the diapers of our lives, the safety nets we use that keep us from experiencing bare-assed freedom?”

There are more specifics about the method, including troubleshooting tips, in Jensen’s book and this Mother and father A chunk of journal. Keep in mind that each youngster is totally different and it’s a must to be affected person with no matter course of you select. Positively maintain a few of these treats for you.

This story was initially printed in 2017 and was up to date on June 15, 2021 to suit the present Lifehacker model.