how to potty train a toddler
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How to Potty Train A Toddler in 72 Hours

how to potty train a toddler

Are you thinking about potty training your toddler? You probably already know that it isn’t an easy task to do and if you didn’t well now you know.  Potty training is one of the most stressful duties parents have to face, but every parent gets through it, and it is possible to do in 72 hours. Every child is different; therefore, the method of potty training will also differ from one child to another. However, remember your child will not go to high school wearing a diaper so stay calm and know it will work out eventually. Here is everything you need to know about how to potty train your toddler in 72 hours.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. This is just for informational purposes. Also, this post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission at no cost to you.

When To Start Potty Training?

Most children show signs of readiness between the ages of 18 months and 24 months. But, some children show it later, and that is completely normal. Keeping an eye on the signs of readiness is very important because starting too early (when the child is not ready) can cause many complications and cause children to be fully potty trained beyond the average age. Also, keep in mind that girls are usually trained earlier and faster than boys, and most children by age three are fully potty-trained.

Click here to take the potty readiness quiz.

The signs of readiness (toilet training signs) include:

 1. Decreased amount of wet diapers

If your toddler is wetting his/her diaper less frequently (stays dry for 2 hrs or more), he/she could be ready.

  2. Verbal or Behavior Signs

Your child will show signs that he/she is ready either by communicating or through body language. For example, hiding when he/she has to go or pulling on a diaper are signs of readiness. My son used to run and hide under our dining table every time he had to go.

  3. Gets irritated by dirty or wet diapers

Your child shows you he/she is annoyed by having a dirty diaper on, and they show this by either communicating (like saying ouch) or pulling off the diaper.

  4. Ability to pull off clothes and diaper

If your child can pull down his diaper and pants, he/she may be ready. This may cause a mess.

  5. Ability to understand potty words

If your child can understand potty words like pee pee and poo, then he/she may be ready. Your child does not need to speak to be potty trained.

  6. Has scheduled bowel movements

It is very difficult to potty train a child if bowel movements are not scheduled. For example, my son always has bowel movements after drinking a cup of milk.

 7. Capable of imitating what you do

If your child can imitate what you do, sit on the potty in front of them so they can learn to do the same.

 8. Can follow basic directions

If your child can follow directions, that is a sign.

Your child does not need to be capable of doing all this before you start potty training.

Click here to see children’s busy books!

How To Potty Train Any Toddler

how to potty train a toddler

Before beginning training your child to potty train in 72 hours, introduce the potty to your child and let them sit on the potty fully clothed for a few days. Reading books and singing songs about potty training is also very effective.

Every child is different and here is how to train any toddler. Here are some tips you should use for all children.

  • Show them where the potty is.
  • Model for them what they should do.
  • Stay consistent.
  • Take them every 30 minutes.
  • Show them how to remove their diapers and pants.
  • Make a reward system.
  • Praise them when they do it.
  • Stay calm during accidents.

Now let’s talk in-depth.

How to potty train boys?

Potty training boys is a bit more difficult. They get bored easily but also learn with repetition. These two things don’t really work together. The trick is to make potty training a game. Playing copycat is perfect for potty training. Let dad sit first. This will encourage your child. Also, having a buddy with him will encourage him to go. Having siblings will make this easy, but if your child doesn’t have a sibling you can ask another mom to allow your child to learn with their child.

Another potty training game you can play is to target the pee in the toilet. However, teach him to sit to try to poop before standing up to pee. You can also distract them by giving them something to do as they wait for it to happen. I gave my son a toy to play with every time he went.

-How to potty train girls?

It is easier to potty train girls because they are less distracted. Buy cute underwear with her and reward her every time she can go. Having a friend with her will also encourage her to go, but make sure she is ready to be potty trained. Girls are more irritated by having something dirty on them than boys. Take off the diaper and put underwear on her if you don’t want her to stay naked to help encourage her to go.

-How to potty train a stubborn toddler?

My son falls under this category. I tried motivating him with things he liked which in my son’s case was cars. After getting a car, he would literally stand up and leave the bathroom. But, staying serious during this time is very important. Your child needs to understand that he should use the potty. I told him more than once to sit on the potty and I stood by the door. He tried getting up many times, but I kept placing him back on the toilet.

The next day he was complaining and whining but he stopped getting up. Next, I told him to try to go, and I took a step away from the door. Every time I disappeared, he tried getting up but I kept placing him back on. The very next day, he stayed on the toilet whether he could see me or not, and he started trying to push and use the bathroom. Stay consistent and strict with stubborn children. They just need guidance.

-How to potty train a 2-year-old toddler?

If you are potty training a 2-year-old, make sure they are ready because if they are not they may take longer to be potty trained in the future. Show them where the potty is, use simple words to describe the potty, and model how to use the bathroom.

-How to potty train a 3-year-old toddler?

Most kids are potty trained by age 3. Rewarding a 3-year-old is very effective. 3

-year-olds are capable of communicating when they have to go and what they want. Use rewards that they like to encourage them to go every time.

-How to potty train a 4-year-old?

If your 4-year-old is not potty trained, it is likely because they are distracted by what they are doing. Dump the diapers and time to get strict. Tell them you will give them a big reward once they are fully potty trained and remind them every hour if they have to go. Make it clear, this is what’s expected from them.

How To Potty Train In 72 Hours?

how to potty train in 3 days

– DAY 1

  • Take off the diaper and leave the diaper off for the whole day.
  • Introduce the potty.
  • Model what they should do.
  • Take them every 20 minutes.
  • Put diaper back on during nap and sleep time.
  • Stay at home.

-DAY 2 and 3

  • Introduce underwears.
  • Remind them to go every 20 minutes.
  • You may go out for a short period of time.
  • Praise them for going and stay calm during accidents.

When you think they are ready, take your child to the potty before bedtime and don’t give them anything to drink an hr before naptime and bedtime. Place underwear on them when sleeping. Kids are usually fully potty trained at night by age 5–7

General Tips

  • Keep watching your child during these three days.
  • Don’t clean or cook. Focus on your child.
  • When you see the signs, take your child to the potty quickly.
  • Accidents will happen.
  • Stay calm at all times.
  • Make sure to teach your child about hygiene.
  • Keep extra clothes with you at all times.
  • Introduce a routine. Children learn things better with routine.

If you would like to check out my toddler’s routine, click here.

When Should I Not Potty Train?

  • When moving
  • If your child is sick
  • A new family situation like divorce, a new sibling, new school, etc, …
  • When your child is not ready

Read this article to know if your child is not ready for potty training.

When Should I Stop Trying To Potty Train?

It is okay to stop trying and delay the training. You don’t want your child to hate the potty and cry because of it. So, if your child is not getting it, or having too many accidents, hold off a bit and try again calmly after a few months or when they ask for it. Most children grow up and hate having dirty diapers on them. That could do the trick.

For more information about this, I recommend reading this article.

Potty Training Must-Haves

  • Potty or Toilet Training Seat
  • Underwear and Pull-Ups
  • Potty Training Books
  • Reward System
  • Timer
  • Flushable Toddler Wipes
  • Training Pants
  • Waterproof Mattress Cover
  • Cleaning Supplies

I recommend reading this article for more potty training must-haves.

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21 Comments
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Gervin Khan
Gervin Khan
4 months ago

These are definitely nice and helpful tips to all moms. I need to share this with my niece.

Shayla Marie
4 months ago

This is really interesting, I might try these on my youngest.

Clarice
4 months ago

This is helpful. My sister is having a hard time potty training her son. Shared this post with her. Love the idea of reading and signing songs about potty training. It just lightens up the mood.

Marysa
4 months ago

Potty training is so challenging. I struggled with finding things that worked. These are all useful strategies.

Kheyla
4 months ago

These are good tips! I think every child learns differently though. Unfortunately the three day method didn’t work for my child. We took a more gentle approach but he’s been potty trained since 2.

Erica h
4 months ago

Mine is 5 and thank God trained herself almost solo around 10 months. I refused to give up pullups though until 1.5 yrs. I cosleep and didn’t want to be subjected to night time accidents. Once we totally ditched the pull up, it went super fast. Great articles and tips!

Marjie Mare
Marjie Mare
4 months ago

I will definitely share this with my sister, she is struggling with my nephew.

Kimmy
Kimmy
4 months ago

This was really helpful for me. I have a stubborn almost 4 year old boy Im trying to potty train right now.

Flossie McCowald
4 months ago

Great suggestions! I wish we’d learned about the just-remove-diaper-let-them-run-around-barebutt method sooner; it took FOREVER to train my two girls, but once we finally tried this hack, they were there in no time!

Amanda
4 months ago

These are great tips! Important to remember that what works for one may not work for another! My boys potty trained completely different and on different time periods too! Oh kids! 🤦🏼‍♀️

Marysa
4 months ago

We definitely struggled with potty training for more than a few days. I would have liked to try your tips.

Sonia Seivwright
4 months ago

Perfect potty training plan for new mums.

gabby
4 months ago

I’m nervous to get started on potty training, so much poop! but it needs to be done! thank you

Sacha
4 months ago

I don’t believe that it will take a few days. It is an ongoing scenario especially when toddlers have accidents or set backs.

vidya
4 months ago

very useful tips indeed.. i think having grandmoms with us for each of our kiddos at that stage helped a lot!

Danielle
4 months ago

All of these are great things to keep in mind while potty training.

Len Swegart
4 months ago

We potty trained both our girls in 72 hours as well with much success!

Cathey
4 months ago

I waited until all my kids let me know they were ready. I have two with Asperger’s and that made it a little more difficult with them. But once they decided it was simple to get them potty trained.

Yani Alemdar
Yani Alemdar
4 months ago

My son is just 2 now, I want to start potty training this year later.
I hope he learns quickly. Thanks for the suggestions.

Diana
4 months ago

I disagree with being strict just because your child passes age 3. The pediatricians and nurses we talked to said if you make potty training not fun and put pressure on them, they are more likely to rebel or maybe will revert once trained due to not actually being ready. They told us it was normal up until age 8 to not be fully potty trained. Parents put too much pressure on kids.

We took the she’ll do it when she’s ready approach and at 3.5 our daughter did it all on her own. It only took 2 days to get her peeing on the potty. She’s 4 and we’re still working on poop, hence why we have talked to so many doctors and nurses. We were worried, but they weren’t.

Bri
4 months ago

My daughter was SO stubborn with potty training! She ended up doing it when we took away all forms of underwear and she went commando for an entire weekend doing your system of scheduled potty times and rewards.