Monday, March 19, 2012

Our experience with Potty Training in a Day

Sometime last week, I saw this on Pinterest:

It was a link for potty training "in one day". I knew that Lizzy was 100% capable of going to the bathroom in the toilet, but just preferred to be able to play all day. Also, in our previous attempts, I hadn't done a very good job of being really, really consistent. I also hadn't done a great job of giving Lizzy my absolute, undivided attention. So, I thought this might be a good fit for us, and immediately started telling her that on Friday, we were going to have a "special potty day". On Thursday, we went to pick out special snacks and juices, and started talking about how the day was going to go on Friday.

Honestly, I was totally skeptical that it would work. I thought the method was pretty corny, and couldn't imagine myself running back and forth 10 times every time she had an accident. But, I did it, and I do think it worked.

The first day we had lukewarm success. I felt like we'd have strings of successes and then strings of accidents, and it drove me crazy. But overall, she really seemed to "get it", and by the end of the day, Lizzy was hopping up and running to the bathroom on her own whenever she needed to go, not just when the timer went off.

The second day was great--Lizzy had no accidents all morning and so we celebrated with lunch at Taco Bell (her choice). We had no accidents into the evening as well. I was shocked that this was working!

The third day we began to encounter some resistance. Lizzy wanted to do everything all by herself and wanted no one in the bathroom with her,. Only sometimes she wouldn't sit on the toilet long enough and would go as soon as she hopped down. Also, I was totally stir crazy--I had pretty much been sitting on the bathroom floor since Friday morning. We went on a few errands while she wore a pull-up. Lizzy did a great job sitting on the toilet in public, but didn't ever actually go. She did end up going in her pull-up without telling us, but I think that had more to do with the fact that we ended up staying out longer than anticipated and sort of lost track of time and waited longer than usual to take a bathroom trip.

A few things:
-We elected to continue doing diapers at night for now, even though the plan recommends against it.
-We also elected to occasionally do a pull-up when we're out and about (or when one of us isn't the person who is responsible for her primary care, such as in nursery or at Mom's Group). This is partially because Lizzy still isn't great at actually telling someone when she needs to use the toilet. But we do strictly underwear at home when it's not time to sleep. Honestly, I feel like this is a good first step!

So, is Lizzy 100% potty trained in a day? Nope. But she's miles away from where she was last Thursday, and I'm happy with that.


  1. Wow! What an impressive first run. Good job Lizzy and Mommy!

  2. One step at a time!

    For us, we did the 3 day method - and by day 3, Jax was accident free and never used diapers at nap/bed time or anything. For us, our struggle really came in the following weeks. Once the newness wore off and I got less excited about it and he got less treats, he started going in his pants frequently again.

    Good luck, it's a process but once you start just vow NO MORE DIAPERS and don't look back :)

  3. YAY for LIZZY!!! Keep at it mama!

  4. You are a brave woman. :o) I simply don't have the guts or energy to do it just yet. I think in a couple more months time Ryann will be really ready, and maybe we will give this method a go. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Yay for Lizzie! I have to respectfully disagree with Megan about vowing not to go back to diapers- I truly believe that some children like the "idea" of PTing, but regress when the novely wears off. I do think in that case that taking a break and going back to diapers is best for both mom and kid in that situation.
    Our first attempt at PT with Cameron was fairly successful for 2-ish days, but he could NEVER tell us when he had to go. He could keep his pants dry but only if I made him go every 30 minutes. After 3 weeks of constantly making him go, I made the decision to put him back in diapers. He was clearly not ready. About 4 months later, we tried again. He had an accident or 2 the first day, and not one after that. I never had to tell him to go, either. It was SO easy and that time made all the difference.
    GL! For the record, Cam still wears pull ups at night. He wakes up pretty full so I feel like we will be doing that for awhile!

  6. Congrats on the big success! It is a trying time this potty-training thing. Serious business (pun intended) :)

    Landon is still in pull ups at night. There is no way he could make it through the night without a pull-up and he is almost four! I know that's probably the "wrong" way to do it. But the way I see it we all just do what works for us. It will all work out eventually.

  7. Yay for Lizzy!

    We are on day two of serious potty training. OMGosh, so. much. pee.

    So much. He does great and then, like to said, he has strings of accidents. He didnt have an accident all day until 4, then he had three in a row in the course of an hour. Agh.

  8. Sounds like progress for sure!
    And let me share something--I love your kid. She wants to celebrate at Taco Bell!? Glorious. :)

    P.S. When I saw that you pinned that picture, I thought it was you and Lizard!

  9. very interesting ! I was eyeing this on Pinterest too. What a great first fun for that big girl of yours!

  10. Aww! Good work! Congrats on the first steps!

  11. This is encouraging! I am so okay with waiting on this step for awhile, but I'm glad the method works - I'll put it in my back pocket!

  12. Thanks for sharing! I tried the potty training in one day with my daughter at 20 months, but even though she could go, she couldn't pul up or down her own pants so it was a ridiculous amount of work for me. I was pregnant with my second so I just forgot about it until one day when she was 2.5 she told me "I wear panties now", and that was it!
    My son is 2 3/4 and hasn't had that epiphany yet, so I might have to actually "train him":)


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