Potty training in 1 week is the only way of potty training that I have an experience with. I won’t be trying any other ways any more as all my 3 kids are successfully toilet-trained now. I’m not saying that potty training in a week is the best option for you and your kids, every mum knows the best so you need to decide by yourself how YOU want to potty train your child. I just want to share my experience and tell you how I did it.
Case study: Child number 1
Girl, age: little less than 2 years 3 months
I took the nappy off in the middle of the day. She’s very surprised by the first accident. As the day progresses, I try to look for the signs that she might need to go and put her down to sit on the potty. Whenever she does something INSIDE the potty, I sing her a happy (and quite silly) wee-wee song (I made it up myself…), do a wee-wee dance, throw her in the air 3 times and give her a little dinosaur shaped biscuit as a praise. No matter how much wee-wee ended up on the floor, I’d still do all of those things if we manage to get any drops into the potty.
Down side of potty training in a week
Problem is, that she’s very excited about being able to make her own puddles on the floor to play in so it’s hard to motivate her to do anything into the potty. The only drops that go where they belong are those which I catch into the potty by moving here there in the middle of doing wee-wee.
She drinks incredible amount of water so there’s an accident every 10-15 minutes. My little angel also enjoys watching mummy cleaning up the mess, so when there is an accident, she commands: “Mummy, tidy up!” with a big smile on her face.
By the end of the day, I’m completely exhausted. Every part of my body hurts from lifting her up a thousand times and tidying up… I feel like she doesn’t get it and she never will. She’ll be in the nappies forever!!! HELP!
I introduce stickers for dry time. After every try (sitting on the potty) I set a kitchen timer to 20 mins. When there’s no accident during this time, I will ask her to sit on the potty and let her choose one special sticker to stick on the potty training card as a reward for staying dry. During this distraction on the potty, she might go wee-wee, which is even better and she gets all other rewards too (song, dance, throwing in the air and a treat).
If there is an accident, I ask her to wait in one spot until I clean the floor (I don’t want her to run around in the wet socks and get wee-wee all over the house) and then she needs to help me with changing her clothes. She’s too young to undress and dress up by herself but as soon as she shows initiative and is trying to help (e.g. she tries to pull down her pants), I help her get changed and praise her again for being a good girl trying to change wet clothes by herself. When she’s all dry, we’re going to practise going to the potty. We pretend that she needs to go, pull down her pants, sit on the potty (just for few seconds). Then she gets dressed again. We repeat this 3 times after having an accident.
When the day is over and I count the number of accidents, I feel even worse than the day before. I think that the rewards have stopped working and she wees on the floor on purpose. I want to start crying 🙁
We continue everything the same way as on the day 2 except I put kitchen timer on for a longer time span as she can stay dry longer (40mins, 1h). The important thing is that she knows that when the timer rings, she sits on the potty, tries to do wee-wee and gets a reward.
In the middle of the day, she finally gets the idea and goes to the potty by herself to do a wee-wee. It’s like a click inside her head. She needs to go, she goes to the potty.
Tah-daaah! Mission successfully accomplished. From this point, it only gets better and we even get to go outside, to the shop to buy few things without any accidents. On the day 3 of potty training.
By the end of the week, she even learnt to pull down her pants by herself and is using potty all independently. She also says if she needs to go when we’re outside.
There still are few accidents every now and then. But that’s ok, she just needs to practise.
Case study: Child number 2
Boy, age: 2 years 3 months
I took the nappy off in the evening, maybe an hour before going to bed. He has an accident and it surprises him quite a lot.
He wakes up in the morning and I ask him to go potty. Big sister (3,5 years old) goes potty to show him what I mean and gets a reward. He comes to me asking for a reward too, but I just tell him: “Did you go potty? Do a wee-wee into the potty and you get a treat.” He turns around, sits on the potty, does a wee-wee and comes to me to get a reward. Tah-daaah! Mission accomplished as he knows exactly what he should do and where.
The only problem is, that as soon as he has his clothes on, he forgets that he’s not wearing nappy. When I let him run around the house half naked, he uses potty independently from the day one. But when we go outside, he always forgets. There’s a lot of clothes changing and shoes washing at the end of the day. It took him about 2 weeks to learn that he has to ask when he needs to go. But as I knew that he knows exactly what to do where, I couldn’t put him back into the nappy. All effort would have been wasted.
Case study: Child number 3
Boy, age: 2 years 3 months
I took his nappy off, he had an accident and I started explaining what goes where. He doesn’t drink much and he can stay dry forever (or at least it felt like forever). I had to be concentrated for a long time to be ready and to try to catch a drop or two into the potty, so I could demonstrate to him what happens in case of success.
After the first success, he’s very excited about the song, dance and throwing in the air thing, but he’s frustrated that he cannot eat all the treats at once. After few successful tries, he doesn’t even want the treats any more. He knows that he cannot have them all, so he ignores them.
I keep explaining what goes where and want him to help with clothes changing but he refuses maybe 9 out of 10 times. He doesn’t want to “practise” going to the potty after he had an accident either. We have to go outside twice (I have 2 other children, remember…) and he has an accident outside each time.
I introduce a sticker book for dry time even though he’s really good at staying dry. I want to motivate him to sit on the potty every now and then, I give him sticker every time, but he couldn’t be less bothered. He can’t have all the stickers at once, he can’t run around with them and stick them wherever he wants in the house so he doesn’t want them.
By the evening, I’m getting a little frustrated. He hasn’t had the click moment yet, he’s not cooperating, he doesn’t show any interest… But the bright side is that he doesn’t do wee-wee often so it’s manageable. I’m determined to keep on trying.
I’ve decided to try one more thing. When I’m more-less sure that he needs to go, I don’t let him get up from the potty until he does something in it (as it happened a thousand times that I let him go and he did wee-wee on the floor within 60 seconds after that.) So now I do whatever I can to make him sit on the potty for a longer time. We play with cars, trains, read books, watch TV… After 2 or 3 successful tries he realized that as soon as he goes into the potty, he can get up, he gets a treat, song, dance and throwing in the air too. From now on, he goes within few seconds every time he’s on the potty. It’s a great progress. At least I know that he’s able to do it whenever he wants (at least few drops at the time).
CLICK! He brings me by hand to the potty and shows me that he wants to go. Mission accomplished.
Now, It’s been two months since the initial potty training. Sometimes we have several days in a row when he’s all dry and sometimes (e.g. today), there are few accidents (like making few drops into the pants before going to the potty). He doesn’t wear pull up potty training pants during the nap time any more and sometimes even wakes up to go potty at night. He’s trying to be all independent. He doesn’t want me to help him going to the potty any more. He can pull down and then up his pants all by himself.
He only says “wee-wee” so it’s hard to know if he wants a wee-wee or poo-poo before he goes but it doesn’t matter. Main thing is that he asks to go or he goes by himself when we’re at home.
Read also how to prepare for potty training in our previous article.
Here’s a bonus at the end: singing a happy wee-wee song to let mummy know that he did it 🙂