A Three Day Potty Training Journal

Not a baby anymore!!

Day One

Got off to a rough start this morning. A busy weekend left me with a messy house, and an ignored alarm clock. Not to mention little time to mentally prepare myself and the rest of the family for the next few days of “potty boot camp.” But we’ve been through this before, and today is the day that I marked on the calendar. I rearranged the day care schedule, there’s no turning back now. Justin helped me get kids up and out the door. Lucy went to day care and Russell is spending the day with Justin. So that leaves me to focus on Hazel and no more diapers.

I’m following Lora Jensen’s Three Day Potty Training Method. It worked well for Lucy last summer. And I really like the idea of just getting the diapers over with. I think it’s easier for everyone in the long run. The general concept is that you quit diapers cold turkey and go straight to underwear. It involves three days of being attached to the potty trainees side, lots of positive reinforcement, and “silent” rewards.

So, after breakfast, I took Hazel’s diaper off, helped her put on some “big girls,” and showed her the potty and what goes on in there. I do believe I have uttered the phrases, “Let me know when you have to go potty,” and “Your underwear are dry, good job!” at least 100 times today.

I started out the day with about 30 pairs of underwear, and we went through all of them. Hazel just doesn’t seem to get it. I am beyond frustrated, I don’t remember this being such a challenge with Lucy. Then again, maybe it was. Lora says to stick to your guns, sometimes it takes the full three days of accidents before it “clicks.” Urrrrrrrgh, I hope not! She also hates sitting on the potty, which Lora also addresses, saying that you should simply set them on the potty and not force the issue if they wriggle right off….it will “click.” Again, I hope so…

Day Two
Justin took Lucy to daycare and Russell is spending the day with him again. Hazel still screams when I take her to the potty. I attempted to feed her fruit snacks while she sat there, but she just threw them on the floor. I’m really trying to keep the faith that she will get it, but I’ve got to admit that I’m thinking about quitting. The only thing that keeps me going is that I have blocked off this entire week for potty training, and I don’t know when I’ll be able to find the time again.  Staying postive has been a huge challenge for me today.  Thank goodness Justin didn’t have much going on on the farm and was able to take over for a little while so I could get out of the house.  (All I did was mow lawn, but I needed the break.)  Please God, let her “get it.”

Hazel took advantage of Russell not being around and played with his toys.

Day 3

I woke up with a new resolve today to keep at it no matter what.  Hazel wore that down pretty quickly though. I finally got her in the middle of peeing, got her on the potty, and some of it went in.  She was screaming and resisting the entire time.  I got super excited for her though.  Told her, “Listen! That’s you’re potty going in the potty! Yay! I’m so proud of you!”  She still didn’t care or get it.  I made us ice cream cones to celebrate.   She was ok with that.

We caught a few more accidents in progress and got them in the potty, and I can see Hazel’s resistance softening just a little.  She has told me “Mommy, Potty” a couple times, and willingly sits on the potty, but nothing happens.  At least she’s sitting on it.  Justin and Russell were busy working cattle, so Hazel and I had to pick up Lucy from day care.  That went fine, Hazel stayed dry through it.  I think it acutally helped to have Lucy around.  Hazel got excited when Lucy cheered for her.

The day ended in flames though.  I lost my patience.  I didn’t get mad at Hazel, but I did get mad.  I felt like a total failure, stressed, and disappointed.  Hazel just was not getting it.  I was sick and tired of constantly following Hazel’s every move, and I just wanted a solid 15 minutes to myself.  When I get mad I slam and throw things, and then I cry.  Justin got home about and hour after my mommy meltdown.  He took the kids into the living room so I could get supper finished.  After supper I had to make a Wal Mart run, and Justin put the kids in bed.  I saw a lot of people I knew at Wal Mart, and have come to the conclusion that after 8 on weeknights, Wal Mart is the place to be if you’re a mom.  I returned home with some new incentives (hersey kisses) for Hazel, and some Skinny Cow treats for myself.

Justin and I have decided to keep it up with Hazel until Monday, and if there’s no signs of progress, we’ll take a break for a few months and try again.

Day 4

A miracle happened today!  Just when I lose all hope, and was about to give up, Hazel said “Mommy, Potty.” I took her, she sat down, and went potty! We had a couple accidents after that, but she finished in the potty with those instead of just letting them go.  Finally, progress!  Just as I was about to throw in the towel.  Then, she stayed dry through her nap and while we went to pick up Lucy.  We got home and I was sure she’d be going soon.  We had a snack.  I told her I needed to go potty, and her response was “Mommy, Potty.”  So I held it.  She went up to the potty, matter-of-factly pulled down her undies, sat down, and went potty.  HALLELUJAH!  Lord, please tell me we are over the hump!  She’s a girl after my own heart, she just needed a little chocolate bribery with the kisses!

The rest of the day sort of plateaued.  She had some flat out accidents where she just stood there and watched the potty go on the floor.  And there were a couple other times were she asked to go potty and got some in the potty.  Then there were times where she was just looking for a treat and nothing happened.  Slowly, progress, slowly.  I guess that’s better than nothing!

We’ll see how tomorrow goes with all three kids in the house.

Day 5

Frustration and progress.  Those are the two words that defined today.  Hazel seems to be getting that potty goes in the potty, but she doesn’t seem to understand the significance of keeping her underwear dry.  We ventured to church this evening.  I figured a half an hour tonight would be better than trying to get through an hour plus tomorrow.  She did great, right up until the closing song, when she peed on the pew.  (Don’t worry, I thoroughly cleaned it up!!)

Two more days, and we’ll see what the verdict is.  Right now I’m thinking she’s made enough progress that going back to diapers would be very confusing for her.  We shall see.  Please, God, I’ll keep it up as long as it takes, but I would be ok with it being sooner rather than later.

Day 6

Today was pretty much a repeat of yesterday.  A little bit more “clicking” happening, but the frustration (and potty puddles) are still happening.  Justin “made” me go for a long horseback ride tonight.  I am so glad he did.  I REALLY needed it.

Day 7

I have decided to break one of Lora’s cardinal rules.  I am going to convince Hazel to use the potty instead of reminding her to tell me when she needs to go.  I’m also going to quit pushing the liquids.  My mother’s instinct tells me she needs to feel dry for longer than an hour, and realize that is the norm.

I’m am glad I made this decision.  We had far fewer pairs of wet underwear today, and even success with pooping on the potty!  I’m beginning to feel like maybe there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  We decided to keep her out of diapers, and keep on with the training.  Tomorrow Hazel goes to day care.  It will be interesting to see how she ends up doing there.  Could be either way, I think.

Day 8

Today is the first day I can say that our efforts have been successful.  Hazel stayed dry all day, aside from one accident that I don’t really count because she was in the process of getting her pants off at the potty when it happened.  SHE FINALLY GETS IT!  Sometimes she asks to go, and sometimes I have to convince her.  But, I feel like I can take her out in public with little fear of horribly embarrassing situations.

Day 9

Today has been good.  One accident, but she knew it and went to the potty right away.  We’re going to the fair tonight, which will be a real test.  Wish us luck!

I think I can finally say that we are done with diapers in this household.  Boy, does it feel good!

What a learning experience!!

Our first big outing in big girl undies was to the fair.

Day 10 and beyond

We’ve been doing pretty good, made a few outings, which surprisingly, she does better during them!  We still deal with an accident or two per day, but sometimes they aren’t all Hazel’s fault.  She definitely “gets it.”  She knows what’s expected of her, and soon the days of smelly diapers and wipes will be nothing but a faint memory.  🙂



10 responses to this post.

  1. God Bless You! I will be honest I took the easy route! I tried to ‘potty train’ when no. 1 was 2 – beyond frustration – I relaxed and told myself when she was ready she would tell me – and she did (now honestly she was right at 3) but one day she came to me and said “I go to the bathroom” and she never had an accident not even during the night! So I went with that theory on the other 2 and it worked perfectly! Age 3 may seem late to some but it came easy to them and they were ready and it made me much calmer!
    Good Luck!

    • Oh, I can completely understand that! I sort of tried that approach with my first child, but he was past three and showing no interest whatsoever in training, and it was a long battle for us. I do think there is a certain point where it just clicks for a child and they understand what to do…and I’m not sure how much we parents have to do with that!

  2. OH and my gosh she is an absolute doll!

  3. Posted by Katie @ On the Banks of Squaw Creek on July 16, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    We have been going through a similar thing, with a few differences. We tried off and on for a long time and one morning he woke up with a dry diaper, peed on the potty and has been pee trained ever since. But, he’s holding his bowel movements and started to get constipated. He’s scared to poop on the potty. So, we put him back in diapers at the dr.s recommendation. He said to wait a week or two and when Adam is “going” normally again, we can try the poop + potty. How old is Hazel?

    • Sounds a lot like my son. He’s 5 and we still have occasional issues with constipation. All I can tell you is, patience patience patience and a whole lot of understanding. Plus some high fiber fruits, apple juice, and oatmeal. 🙂 He’ll get there. Hazel will be 2 in a couple weeks, she’s not quite to the stubborn two-year-old stage yet, although she is definitely getting there!

  4. My youngest turned two this month and we are so close. She’ll go often on the toilet, daily actually but won’t ever tell us. We have to put her on there. I think this method will work! Wish us luck in early August when I do it. Thanks for the great tutorial!

  5. Posted by Michelle on August 9, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    Thank you for this blog post! I am on day 4 of the 3daypottytraining.com plan and my DD seemed to “click” with it right away, but yesterday (day 3) was frustrating for me. Glad to know I’m not alone in “loosing it”! Today has been accident free so far (up to nap time) and I’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. I’m so glad I followed the eBook to a “T” and did night training at the same time. Although DD pooped on the potty yesterday and today, she still asks for a diaper to poop in. If we hadn’t “thrown them away” it would have been a battle of wills that I would have lost.

  6. Posted by Tori on August 12, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    I’m so glad to read someone else’s experience with this method. We are currently on day 6 of the method, and I am SO frustrated. She got to the point of giving me a “look” during the first three days, so, in a sense, she is “telling” me she has to go (she is 22 months but doesn’t really talk yet), but I can’t see the look and get her to the potty before she pees. She’s had a few times where she’s started, stopped, and then finished on the toilet, but it hasn’t happened in a few days now :(. She hates the toilet, and if I ever suggest it in anyway besides “Tell Mommy when you have to go potty” she gets very upset. She also doesn’t seem to get the keep your underwear dry concept. Anyway, everyone thinks I’m just doing it too young, so I’m glad to see it worked for someone else. Out of curiosity, when you say you decided to “convince” her to go rather than ask, how exactly did you do that? Any suggestions or encouragement would be MUCH appreciated. We haven’t left the house since Sunday, and I think I might be losing it! 🙂

    • Tori,

      I feel your frustration! Especially the part of other people saying you’re doing it too young. That was the last thing I needed to hear when people suggested it to me. I “convince” Hazel by saying something along the lines of, “Well, I need to go potty.” And that instantly makes her want to sit on the potty before me. We also had her dolls “go potty.” Which seemed to make her more comfortable with the toilet. It sounds like you are doing just fine. Perhaps try taking the pressure off (yourself and your daughter) too. Venture out, just make sure to bring extra clothes. I think Hazel was really starting to pick up on my stress, so we sort of “went back to normal” and I took the pressure off a bit. I still watched her closely, but I wasn’t so constant with the reminders. I also backed off the fluids. I think she was getting too full, and constantly having to go, she never really knew what it felt like to not have to go. Also, don’t strive for complete perfection, it is a process. It’s been 6 weeks since we started, and we still deal with an occasional accident every couple days.

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