How I Potty-Trained My Toddler In Less Than A Week


The moment my oldest son turned two, I was dreading it.

I truly believed that potty-training would be the ultimate bane of my existence.

I actually pushed it aside for a little longer than I should have – you see, my son was showing the signs that he was ready to use the big boy potty (even before he turned two)…he was ready, but I wasn’t.

It was around Christmas-time when I decided to just start the potty-training. I knew we were going to be spending the next couple of days at home so I figured it would be the time to start.

I bit the bullet and jumped in.

Truthfully, it was WAY easier than I could have anticipated – and here’s the kicker: my son was potty-trained in less than a week.

And if you want to be a stickler for numbers, he was trained in three days.

Three. Days.

Yep. No joke! I still can’t believe it.

And while we’ve had our fair share of accidents and he still wears a diaper to sleep in (I’m not ready to venture into those waters just yet) it’s been almost six months with one less child in diapers during the day.

Happy mama.

Perhaps you think I’m full of it, or you’re wondering what kind of sorcery I conjured up – but I didn’t do anything crazy or hard. It just took a solid 3 days of staying home, patience, and persistence.

And I believe that you can do it, too.

Before you begin potty-training, I think it’s important to know if your toddler is ready for such a big step.

Here are a few signs that I noticed that my toddler was ready to begin potty-training.

Signs That I Knew My Toddler Was Ready to Begin Potty-Training

  1. He told us when he had to go number two.
  2. He wouldn’t like the feeling of having a wet diaper and told us immediately after he had peed.
  3. He became more interested in the big boy potty.
  4. He would wake up from nap with a dry diaper.
  5. He would take his diaper off and ask me to put on a fresh one.

If your toddler is doing all or most of those things, then I believe it’s time to break out the trainer potty and begin this lovely journey! (And it will be lovely. Promise.)

How I Potty-Trained My Son In Less Than A Week

1. Go In With a Positive and Patient Mind-Set

It will be probably be hard – no doubt about it.

This will be something completely new and different for your toddler, so please, have patience! It will get frustrating, trust me, I get that…but it’s probably more frustrating for your little one, so remember that.

You also need to have a positive attitude – don’t go in with too many expectations.

My mindset was literally, “well, I’ll try it and if he doesn’t get it then we can stop and try again next month.” I wasn’t going to stress me or my son over getting out of diapers…it’s not a huge deal! You can always come back to it in a few weeks or even a few months.

2. Gather the Potty-Training Essentials

I didn’t need much to prepare for this, but I did want to make sure that I had a few must-haves.

You will, of course, need a potty, and you will want to put it in your living room or wherever else you prefer to congregate and be a hermit for the next three days.

There will be accidents, so having paper towels and cleaning solution is important. And let’s not forget, the most important item (besides the potty) is underwear.

Lots of underwear. Buy about a dozen. I’m not kidding.

3. Ditch the Pull-Ups

No pull-ups. None. Zero. Zilch.

Don’t even try it!

You will be doing this with underwear only – yes, your dirty laundry pile just sky-rocket ten-fold but trust me on this, your toddler will only be wearing real underwear from here on out.

I honestly think that this was the number one secret ingredient to getting my son to potty-train so fast – he didn’t like the feeling of being wet in his underwear and his number two accidents have been few and far between.

4. Put Your Toddler On the Potty Every Twenty Minutes

You will want to give your child a lot of juice, milk, or water and like clock-work, plop ’em on the potty every twenty minutes.

Set a timer! Even if he says that he doesn’t have to go, do it anyway!

And keep doing it continuously for those three days (see why you need to be a hermit?) it will be very exhausting but it will be worth it.

5. Learn Their Cues

Once your toddler starts using the potty more is when you can begin to notice their cues.

Take notice of their “potty dance” or crossed-legs as a sign that they have to go! And rush them to the potty before they do have an accident – less accidents=less frustrated mama and toddler.

6. Make a Big Deal Out of It!

Once your toddler does go potty, make a big deal out of it. Jump up and down. Scream for joy. Give hugs. Give high-fives.

Show how proud you are! Let them know how awesome it was that they just used the big potty.

7. No Rewards

This one can be modified, however, I really found it smart to not give into the idea of rewarding my son for using the potty.

I wanted my son to be self-motivated for using the potty, not doing it because he knew he would get something out of it. Luckily, this worked out for us and I skimmed by with zero bribing of treats or stickers.

I don’t think it’s wrong though to go this way. Whatever works!

That’s What I Did to Potty-Train My Son in Less Than a Week

It took some time, dedication, and perhaps a few glasses of wine (on my end, of course) but we did it. My son was shy of 26 months when he was trained and I can only hope for as much success with my youngest.

In the beginning of this journey, we were averaging three accidents a day (pee only) for the first two to three weeks. My son went number two no problem but sometimes he would get antsy so I would give him a book or plop his potty in front of the TV.

It can be done, mama, but also remember that it’s okay if your toddler isn’t ready yet.

If you’re first day is filled with accident after accident and your losing your steam, it’s perfectly fine to try this again later. There’s no age requirement on how young or old a child should be before they are potty-trained… so be kind to yourself.

Laura started her blog, Excuse The Mess, as an attempt to cope with her postpartum depression and moving half-way across the world. She hopes that her words can somehow help other struggling moms that feel like they don't have this 'mom thing' totally together. She has two boys under three and in her spare time(what's that?) she enjoys being out in her garden, biking and vegging out watching Netflix. She will never pass down a warm cup of coffee and her favorite past-time is forgetting where she put her car-keys. Her work has been featured on Scary Mommy, Blunt Moms, The Mighty and Imperfectly Perfect Mama.

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Totally pinning this as I will be potty training my 2 year old this month!! Thanks for writing such a helpful post!Reply to Mallaury