Potty Training in a Week? Yes! It’s Possible!

I recently heard from someone who potty trained her son in a week (it’s true!), so we thought we’d share her story today. Before we let her dive right in, however, we want to point out, once again, that every child is different. What works for one might not work for another, so it’s vital to understand that patience and understanding are the key ingredients for success—as well as being willing to stop, rethink, and try a new strategy.

Potty Training in a Week

(Pixabay / TheVirtualDenise)

Now, let’s turn the time over to my friend, Megan to hear about her potty training success story:

Hi! I am a mom to three kids that are nine and ten months apart. One word to describe my house: busy! My oldest is a two-and-a-half-year-old boy who is very headstrong and persistent. (I’m sure that some of you can relate!)

Even though I know that I’m not supposed to feel pressured to start potty training, I fell into that trap a little bit. I knew that, in general, boys potty train a little bit later than girls, but I just wanted so badly to change one less kid’s-worth of diapers a day that I initially tried to push my boy to potty train before he was ready. I’d sit him on the potty, and he’d freak out, but I just kept trying. We got a potty chair (which he only used to stand on to reach things he oughtn’t), a potty seat, a cute stepstool, potty candy – the works! But every time he sat on that potty, he would act like the toilet was toasting his tushy. We tried this method for a few days, but I don’t factor it into the total toilet training time because it literally got us nowhere.

So we took a breather for a few months.

During this break, I read up on some signs of potty training readiness, and I started to keep my eyes peeled for them. Instead of pressuring him to use the potty, we watched PBS Kids episodes on using the potty, sang the songs, read the books, talked about the potty, looked at pictures of the potty, etc. Potty! Potty! Potty! When he started to show the signs of potty training readiness, I tried putting him in Pull-Ups for about two days, but it didn’t work because to him, Pull-Ups were the same as a diaper.

I was feeling a little antsy to get this ball rolling, so I bought a 3-pack of Paw Patrol training pants because that’s what was available at the grocery store. The problem was that he’d never seen the show, so they weren’t motivating for him at all (AKA, we went through all three sets in just a few hours). And that’s when I decided to pull out the big guns: Daniel Tiger underpants. Yes, they make them (you can find them on Amazon). To give some context on how much my son loves Daniel Tiger, he said “Nana Taigah” before he said “mama.”

And the rest was history. We were still putting him in a diaper underneath his underwear for bedtime and naptime, but he was waking up dry and running to the potty when it was time to get up. He pulled his pants down to show everyone Daniel and the rest of the neighborhood friends and was pleased as punch to sit on the potty so that Daniel, Prince Wednesday, and O the Owl would stay dry. It was a complete 360 from one day to the next. Honestly, I was astounded. In one week (plus or minus a day or two), we went from toilet terror to one diaper at bedtime that was dry the next morning and a toddler that was telling me he needed to go instead of my having to ask him.

Have we had a few accidents? Yes! In fact, as I was talking to my mom on the telephone this morning, he came running into the room and peed directly in my hand… #facepalm. Just another one of life’s ironic moments, I guess. SMH. Accidents have happened once every few days when they happen at all, and it’s usually just because I completely space taking him to the potty or don’t see the potty dance in time.

Is it frustrating when accidents happen? Yes! But we make a very pointed effort to keep calm, clean it up, and be reassuring that it was just an accident. We use positive words and still get excited every time he successfully stays dry and helps us clean up the messes.

So what were the magic ingredient for his success? I think it was a combination of factors.

  1. I think he just had to be ready to do it. I mentioned at the beginning that he is very headstrong, and I think he just had to want to be dry.
  2. We had to find the right motivation for him (a combination of Daniel Tiger underpants and M&Ms). Some kids do really well with incentive charts, stickers, potty candy, toys, high-fives, and character underwear. You just need to figure out what will motivate your kid best and be prepared to adapt as he changes.
  3. Positive reinforcement was also a major factor for him. Not that we were pitting our children against each other, but it took his younger sister sitting on the potty and getting praised for him to want to try. When he sat still long enough to get the praise, he suddenly decided that the potty wasn’t such a bad thing after all. And no, his little sister isn’t potty trained, but her initial interest is what spurred his interest, which was then praised every time thereafter.

Thanks to Megan for sharing her story. Hopefully this has helped you or given you at least one or two good ideas. Every child is different so avoid comparing your child’s potty training success to others’. Stay positive, find the right motivation and be patient with the process. Not every child will potty train in a week, but that’s OK. Just keep calm and potty on!

When your child has mastered daytime training, and you’re ready to tackle bedwetting, try Peejamas for an innovative alternative to disposable diapers. These soft and stylish pajama bottoms absorb urine so the sheets stay dry, but unlike plastic diapers, they leave a slight wet sensation, triggering your child to get up and use the toilet. They’re cost effective and eco-friendly, and they’ll be your friend as you move onto the frontier of overnight potty training.

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