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Potty training in 3 days is what we have done with all four of our kids (three boys & a little girl).  Potty training a toddler can seem harder than it actually is, so I want to shed some light on why it is easier and quicker than most people assume.  It is very possible to potty train quickly and to even potty train in a weekend! 

I always start by picking a 3-day span and then I go for it and we Potty Train in a Weekend.  Weekend potty training works so well, so today I’ll share how you can get started, and I’ll answer some of the most common questions I hear about toilet training.

Update: This post about Potty Training in three days has recently been updated and republished with new information.  I hope it is helpful.

Potty Training in 3 Days is not a new method

While 3-day potty training is not new, it has become something of the past.

  • In fact, in the 1930s, most parents started potty training babies at 6 months old.
  • By the 1950s, 95% of children were trained to use the toilet by 18 months and it takes American children nearly twice as long too complete toilet training now as it did in the 1950s.
  • Today, only 10% are today toilet trained early and quickly. 

Potty Training in 3 Days is not stressful 

Our society makes toilet training quickly seem complex like it is too much to take on in the modern world that we live in, but the truth is that fast potty training does not have to be complicated all.   

It isn’t stressful or forceful.  It is a simple, positive experience that is very effective when done correctly.


potty train in 3 daysThe potty seat in the picture above is in the top 3 on my potty training comparison chart.  It’s my favorite. Here is our affiliate link to find it

How Does Potty Training in 3 Days Work? 

The 3-day potty training weekend method is what worked for our family (and for thousands of others).

  • It is effective
  • It is positive
  • It is quick
  • It is all about focus and consistency
  • It is a way to connect with your child so your child enjoys the process of learning. 

This method, which is described in detail in my  Potty Train in a Weekend book, was passed onto me from my Grandma (she taught her four children this way and her mother taught her that way). 

When I was getting ready to potty train our first son, she told me exactly what to do.  Because it isn’t “modern”, I didn’t have any friends training their kids this way, so I relied solely on her advice and my instincts.

My 3-day Potty Training Weekend Experience:

  • I listened to my grandma’s advice.  I tweaked it.  I planned for it.  I tried it. It worked.
  • I shared my method with local parenting groups. It worked.
  • I shared my method with friends & family. It worked.
  • I wrote a potty training book about it to share it with the world. It worked. 

The potty training methods that I did not use: 

  • I did not wait until my kids are self-potty trained.
  • I did not give out rewards.  They were self-motivated.
  • I did not punish them for having accidents. I was firm but positive.
  • I did not wait for them to be able to talk before I began potty training.

Can You Really Potty Train in 3 Days?

Yes!  3-day toilet training is often clouded with negative talk of how hard it will be or how you are forcing your child, but that is the case… at all.   In fact, I found it to be extremely positive, effective and my children loved our weekend of potty training.   It was just us, working on a goal together.

There is so much talk of “waiting until the child is ready to start”, but just like anything, we need to guide our children.  Think of breastfeeding with a baby or teaching a toddler to eat: it is natural, but it is often very difficult and we need to guide our babies to understand how to do these things.

Potty training is similar. 

We need to guide our children to learn how to use the potty.  We can either let the child take the lead, or we can research the many potty training methods and teach our child.   We have found that taking a long weekend or a 3 day time frame works best for our family.

I suggest reading Potty Train in a Weekend before you start potty training.   

The book teaches you how to help your child go diaper-free without resorting to the pull-ups (disposable training pants), M&Ms, reward charts or any sort of rewards.  Because I know that everyone can do early potty training with their child (and quickly!) when given the right method.

pin for potty training in 3 days

This is a method that naturally and gently, yet firmly teaches your child to go diaper-free and stay dry without rewards in 3 days.   It is so fun to watch a child who pees in the potty chair and understands why this is a great thing.  To watch a child have bowel movements in the toilet and cheer for himself.

About the Potty Train in a Weekend book:  

I wrote the book Potty Train in a Weekend after I potty trained my first three children, my niece & nephew and many other children (my friends’ kids, my clients, etc…).  After writing the book I potty trained our fourth child, our daughter. 
I updated the book several times to answer questions and I also included a chapter on potty training a child with a disability.
  This chapter comes from experience working with my clients during play therapy.

The book was written by me.

♡ It’s not fancy.  It’s not filled with fluff. 
It is to the point and it is direct.  I want you to get the most of reading it.  (I know you are busy!!)

♡ I am a mom.  I wrote this book, as a mother, for other parents, grandparents, and caregivers.  Yes, I am a child development therapist, a teacher and I have a certification in play therapy for early childhood, but I gathered the most experience from simply training my own children and others.

I created a Facebook Group for readers of this book.  It is a private group on Facebook dedicated to helping each other.  We ask questions, give answers, share stories & laugh together in this group.   Everyone helps each other and no one is judging anyone because we are all in it together.

This book was a best-seller on Amazon, which brought such joy to my heart to know that I was helping others.

I do not claim to be the leading expert.  I do not claim to have a book that will magically solve any childhood issue.  I do not claim to have written a book without editing mistakes (in fact, when I wrote the book, I had just started this website, so  I just asked friends & family to help me by reading it over & correcting my mistakes).    It was just a way to share our story, steps & method with the world.

I hope that you have the same success as so many others that have written and shared their success stories with me.   It makes me so happy to know that I can reduce stress because honestly, potty training does not have to be stressful.  It is a fun weekend with your child (or children) and it can be a great memory for everyone involved.

You can find Potty Train in a Weekend here

How do I toilet train a toddler in three days? 

As I said above, 3 day potty training isn’t the most popular choice anymore. 
The delay of training is thanks to the invention of disposable diapers and diaper companies pushing diapers for as long as they can through marketing, commercials, and ads.   It also lost popularity when Dr. Spock told parents to “Let the child tell you when they are ready”.

I’m here to tell you it really can work.  Boys and girls everywhere are potty training successfully with this method. 

Here is how I helped my children potty train in 3 days:

  • I started them after 18 months (the golden window is 18-23 months, but using this method, any age works).
  • I looked for readiness signs and I found a weekend when I was going to be ready to start.
  • I cheered for them and praised them when they do well, but I was firm, as well.
  • I trained them in three days.
  • I went into it knowing that regression will probably happen and I came up with a solution.
  • I understood the hurdles (like when a child uses the “day potty” but not the “nighttime potty” or when they pee but won’t poop.  I have figured out how to overcome them easily.
  • I helped our children to be proud of themselves, and excited to be out of diapers.  They were eager to learn!
  • I gave them opportunities to get excited about using the potty, by giving them coloring sheets and books.
  • You can download this coloring book for freeThis is a 13-page coloring book that I made.  You are welcome to it for free.

potty coloring packet freebie

Can you potty train in less than 3 days?  What about potty training in 2 days?

While I tell my readers to allow three full days, I have potty trained several of my children in less time. 

  • One of our children was completely potty trained in the day by the end of Day one and also potty trained at night by the end of day three.   
  • My nephew was potty trained this was in two days.   
  • My neighbor was potty trained (by me) in one day.   

So, yes, it is possible.   It isn’t always the norm, but it is very possible that your 3-day potty training method might work quicker than 3 days.   

How long does it take to be fully potty trained?

For a child to be fully potty trained, without any accidents, I would give it between 3-7 days, because every child is different.
Most children will have an accident here or there during the first week, as it is a newly developed skill.  

Setbacks, along with accidents, are a normal part of development. 
Potty training is not an exception to the rule. 

However, based on the research that most children take 3-6 months to potty train when not using the Potty Train in a Weekend method, I am always excited at the thought of being done with potty training by this time next week.   

You can say bye bye to diapers right away, but you will still need to remind your child to go to the bathroom often.   While training, we have our kids go often when we are home or if we are getting ready to go somewhere (even big kids need to be reminded before leaving the house), and we take them to public restrooms if we are gone for more than an hour. 

alternate pin for potty training in 3 days

What Do You Need Before You Potty Train Your Child?   

  • A clock (to keep track of when to take your child to the bathroom)
  • Cleaning supplies (for that first day)
  • A training toilet (free comparison chart available with the purchase of the book)
  • Patience
  • Underwear (I will tell you the specific ones that I use).
  • Baby Leggings (look at the bottom of the post for this tip!)
  • Books or coloring books to keep in the bathroom.
  • I suggest this 13-page coloring book.  It is free for a limited time.
  • Potty Train in a Weekend book with a break-down of EXACTLY what to do.

When Should I Potty Train My Child?

I started potty training my children after 18 months.  This is the age when healthy children become ready physically and emotionally.

The golden window is 18-23 months. 

This is the easiest age to potty train your child because they are old enough to understand, but young enough not to be stubborn or set in their own ways just yet.  With that being said, when you use the 3-day potty train in a weekend method, you can potty train your child at any age with success.

What are the signs that your toddler is ready to potty train?

There are certain signs that your child is ready to be potty trained. I’ve listed several below, but more often than not… the question is: are YOU ready to potty train your child?   Are you ready to walk step by step with your child to meet this next milestone: Potty Trained Toddler.

  • Pulling at a wet diaper
  • Pretending to go to the bathroom
  • Pretending to wipe
  • Interested in body parts
  • Having a dry diaper for more than an hour
  • Interested in watching others use the bathroom
  • Wanting to flush the toilet
  • Interested in toilets

How Do I Toilet Train a Boy in 3 Days?

Q: Is it easier to potty train boys or girls?
A: Research (and experience) shows that potty training your son can be easier than potty training your daughter.

I know that people say it is easier to potty train a girl, but in my experience & based on the research that I’ve done, boys were just as easy (some were easier) to potty train than the girls. I teach them to use the potty sitting down, just like I would for a girl.  Eventually, we will transition to standing, but first, we just want them to master the skill of emptying their bladder into the toilet.

I have an entire post about how to potty train boys, as well as why I think girls may actually be harder to potty train than boys.  

What Age Should a Child be Dry Through the Night?

Nighttime potty training is completely different than daytime potty training.  While it is possible and several of my children were nighttime trained by the end of our weekend of potty training, I remind parents not to stress over nighttime training.

As a child development therapist, I have talked to many doctors and experts in this area and I know that it is not uncommon for children to have accidents at night years after they have been trained during the day.

There is such a wide range of ages when it comes to bedwetting.   

While many children are toilet trained between 18 months – four years of age, they are not able to stay dry until years later.   
In fact… 

  • 15% of six-year-old children wet the bed nightly.   
  • Around 5% of children will still wet the bed at the age of 10-12.   
  • 2% of adults wet the bed, so don’t stress about your child wetting the bed just yet. Plus – you just might be the one to blame for it (it’s hereditary)!

It is well known that if mom or dad was a bedwetter, there is a very high chance that the child will be, as well. 

Other factors include low levels of the hormone that regulates the production of urine at night (called Vasopressin), a small bladder or if your child is a very deep sleeper.

How Do I Get My Toddler to Pee in the Potty?

Check out these helpful Potty Training Resources that will get you started:

  1. Potty Train in a Weekend ebook
     Potty Train in a Weekend
  2. A potty Training Coloring book (free)
     potty train in 3 days
  3. Potty Training Toilet Comparison Chart (free) 
    best toilet training toilet

More About the Potty Train in a Weekend Book:  

As I mentioned previously, I wrote the book after I potty trained my first three children and other’s children. It’s been updated several times and contains a direct and to the point instructions.

About me (the author of the book)

  •  I am a child development therapist
  • I am an elementary & early education teacher
  • I am a mom of four
  • I hope that you have the same success as so many others that have written and shared their success stories with me.   It makes me so happy to know that I can reduce stress because honestly, potty training does not have to be stressful.  It is a fun weekend with your child (or children) and it can be a great memory for everyone involved.

You can find Potty Train in a Weekend here

There is also a paperback version of Potty Train in a Weekend available on Amazon, but as I said earlier, I can’t help you with your order if it is done through Amazon (they take care of all of it).

If you order the Potty Train in a Weekend ebook from me directly with this link, I can help you with any issues that you have along the way.   Just e-mail me at and I’ll be glad to help you. ♡

Potty training book.

Ps- A Helpful tip that I forgot to mention:   I use these BabyLeggings when I potty train!  I can keep them naked, but warm.  (If you go to BabyLeggings and use the promo code YMF5, you will get them for FREE!)

free babyleggings promo code


Hi there!

I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.

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  1. My son is 20 months, and we have always done sign language with him. He has recently started signing “diaper” when he poops, sometimes before (yay!), so I am thinking he might be ready! I better get on this…

    1. I bet he’s ready! Good luck! Our first son was really young, too, and did great! 🙂 Good luck!

      1. Hi! I’m in love with this method and it worked except…. we are stuck – she goes potty when she needs, doesn’t even tell me. Great!!! Except now with underwear in she sits and goes but doesn’t pull them down or tell me she needs them down… so she goes in the potty but through her undies too… so no I’m stumped – any advise? She’s 21 mos

        1. With me I loved my dark blue stripe undies that I always pulled my dark blue stripe undies even if I pottied through my dark blue stripe undies and sob bitterly that I couldn’t pull down my dark blue stripe undies! Then, I tried to open the fly that I less seriously pottied through my dark blue stripe undies and sobbed less bitterly! I am of profound mental retardation! The same for her! She must love her new dark blue stripe undies that she always pulls up her new dark blue stripe undies even if she seriously potties through her new dark blue stripe undies and sobbs bitterly that she can’t pull down her new dark blue stripe undies! Then she tries to pull the bottom and back of her new dark blue stripe undies to one side that she less seriously potties through her new dark blue stripe undies and sobs less bitterly!

  2. My daughter is just 15 months but VERY bright. She is starting to take her diaper off when she’s wet, and grabs me a diaper when she wants her bum changed. She also sots on her potty for a couple minutes at a time and always comes in the washroom with me and copies what I’m doing on the toilet. Do you think she’s too young to start something this rigorous? Should I just work on getting her introduced to the potty more and then train? Or would training like this now work? Your advice would be greatly appreciated! 🙂

    1. My neighbor’s daughter was trained at 15 months using our method. 🙂 Good luck!

  3. Im a first time and teen mom. My son is almost 1 year old and when he pees his diaper he takes it off on his own and when he’s poopy he tells me “eewy”.
    I know he’s still a little guy, but would it be worth trying and seeing what happens or wait a little longer?

    1. Is he around 11 months? I think that is a bit too young, but you could try looking into elimination communication for babies.
      If he is almost two, I would definitely give it a try! As with all things- you never know until you try, so if you feel that your little guy is ready, give it a shot & see what happens.

      1. I know this is a late post but I had to comment on the early training. When my oldest daughter was a baby I started sitting her on a potty when she was just sitting up well, a couple months later if she “accidentally” peed in the potty I would clap and praise her and make a big deal of it and she would get excited too and she began to realize that using the potty was a great thing. She was completely potty trained with no diapers even at night and no accidents by 11 months. My second daughter was born when my oldest was 14 months old and the oldest would bring me diapers and bottles for the baby. She could also talk and walk by 12 months and threw her bottle away before she was a year old. My second daughter took a while longer (about 20 months) to be trained. So don’t be afraid to start young if you feel up to it, it may work or may not just don’t get upset if they stand up from the potty and go in the floor – there is always the next time and if they make the potty sing high praises!!

  4. I have a 5 and 3 year old and my 5 year old pretty much potty trained his self at 3 by watching my niece. So he was very easy. But my 3 almost 4 year old is a lot harder. He has been naked for the past week or so and it is still hit and miss. I have tried every thing and he just isn’t getting it fully. When he is naked he will do pretty good maybe one or two accidents, but when I put him in underwear he always pees in them. He does the same when we go out even though I make him go before we leave. I don’t know if he thinks his underwear are pullups or what. I need so advice. Do I keep going or change things up or just give him a break again? Please help. The doc says he is healthy and normal but just stubborn.

    1. I have to agree w/ your dr…. I think he is just being stubborn. At 3, almost 4, I would not allow him to wear diapers anymore (except at rest/bed time). I would definitely keep working on it. I would resort to rewards for no accidents & peeing on the potty and time outs or taking something away for accidents.

      1. Hello…l am in search of something and came across your book/site. I have a son who just turned 3 and refuses to go potty. He used to tell us when needed to go but now fusses when we try and bring him. I have been reading other comments and just read this reply about time outs or something for accidents…but i thought you should not punish for accidents? Thank you for any feedback/help.

    2. Try the Super Hero underwear. My son really loved his and didn’t want to have them dirtied up. We also used Toasted Oat cereal like “Cheerios” to put a couple in the toilet, and let him stand on a small step stool and aim at them when he is peeing standing up. It made him want to pee in the toilet.

  5. I did this method exactly with my two year old daughter before reading this post, and I had the same results. My daughter was completely daytime potty trained in 3 days. So this method works very well!!! I even used the same potty chair too. I think one of the biggest things that works for this method is waiting until the child is a little older ( between the 20-24 month range) and can understand the potty training concept.

      1. Our daughter will be 18 months in a few days . She sometimes pulls on her diaper when it’s wet and comes in the bathroom with me . Does that mean she could be ready to start potty training? She says simple words like hi, bye , ma ma, da da but she can’t fully talk yet .
        What is the first step to starting since we’ve already went and purchased a potty or could she be too young

        1. If she is pulling at her diaper, that’s a great sign that she is ready to start. 🙂

  6. I appreciate your tips so much. My son is 23 months and I am pregnant with my second child due in march. Potty training was a must, as diapers are so pricey. He is on day 2 of the bare bottom method you suggest. He is learning quickly and no accidents this morning. He didn’t pee til I took his diaper off and put him on potty when he woke up! so proud of him. Thanks again

  7. My son is still doing very well although today I put him in undies and he will still go on potty but will not pull down undies to go. Any suggestions?

    1. Do you have my book? This happened to us a lot, so I have suggestions in there. Our 3rd son did this more than the others. This is the hardest day! Ugh. I feel for you- its frustrating!

  8. I tried to do this with my twins when they were 17 months old. My Bri seemed like she was getting it, but Kyla every time she peed she would seriously freak out and suddenly hates the potty seat even though before they would just sit on them while I read to them. So I had to stop after the second day because she seemed so emotionally stressed out about it (and she wouldn’t stop sitting on my lap and I didn’t want her to pee on me. . .) Any suggestions? I also stopped because it was SO much work and I have a two month old. My girls are about to be 19 months. I have three in diapers- help!

    1. If it were me, I would give them another month & then try again. I had to do this with our 3rd son. You could even just train one at a time, to make it easier (or try having someone help with the other two.) It would be so hard with a baby- I trained mine before the new baby came (each time), so I am sure you are so busy right now!!

  9. Great advice. All my children potty trained at different ages even though I tried when they were really young. One child was potty trained as early as 21 months while another wasn’t ready until she was almost 4! The latter had constipation problems that contributed to the problem and had been on laxatives since birth. I used to believed that all children were ready at a young age and that it was just so much effort on the parents part that some parents would just delay (which is what I did with my first child). Now I realize that child readiness is a very important factor. I guess my point is every child is different but it doesn’t hurt to try early. I have one more on the way and I will for sure try all these methods. Thank you for sharing.

  10. Hello. How long should I leave my little girl on the potty during the 20 minute intervals? I dont want to leave her on too long if she is not going, since she will be back on in 20 minutes. Thanks in advance.

  11. My first took to potty training very easy. My son 3yrs on the other hand is very stubborn. He gets very mad if we try to get him to go potty. Will fight if you put him on potty. Any advice.

      1. Same problem here, we had our 3yr old trained except sleeping time), then he regressed after a stomach flu (lots of diarrhea) a couple of months back. Now he cries and screams, I’m at the end of my witts, since hes fine once he actually sits…

        1. This happened to a lot of friends of mine. I think because they had belly aches, so they are associating it with using the potty. Good luck!

  12. I love this post thanks. if you need more tips and techniques you can learn on my site . How to potty train a boy

  13. So glad to hear regression is normal after a few days – especially with introducing undies. We had lots of accidents today with undies on – and off – with our 16 month old, even though we had no accidents the past few days!!! Really reassuring. Thanks so much for your post – it was so helpful!! Everyone thinks I’m crazy for training a 16 month old but I wanted to start before she had an aversion to the potty or enjoyed/preferred going in the diaper. This method really gave me the confidence to try – and its working. THANK YOU! 🙂

  14. Great tips for potty training! I’ve just started potty training my 18-month old son. Do you recomend keeping the potty in the bathroom or keeping it close by to where he’s playing, etc? Thank you!

    1. I keep it where we are playing and then I move it into the bathroom when I think they are ready (after the initial training, once they are more used to it)