If you’re new here and are wondering if the title of this post is legit and if you really can POTTY TRAIN IN ONE SINGLE DAY, let me assure you that this method REALLY does work! I’ve trained all five of my children using this method and there is no chance I would ever do anything different.
However, if you’re just now finding this blog and this method of Potty Training in ONE single day is something you are interested in learning, please begin first by reading my Part 1 AND my Part 2. What you’re reading now is the third post for very specific reasons and if you miss Part 1 and Part 2 you’ll miss crucial information for you to move forward with this style of training. Part 1 will give a better framework for why this method works like magic, Part 2 will help you with exactly what to buy and how to prepare. This Part 3 is the actual steps for the day of. The mindset going in, the time leading up to training day, and the actual training day itself all work together. All of the steps are very important so don’t miss out by only reading this post!
If you’ve been through both prior posts and are ready to get started then you’ve come to the right place!
POTTY TRAINING IN ONE DAY! Yep just ONE!!!!
Greet your child and excitedly remind them that their day has finally come!
Leave your child’s diaper on and let them eat breakfast in a relaxed environment with you.
Watch Daniel Tiger on Netflix. It’s an episode called Prince Wednesday Goes to the Potty / Daniel Goes to the Potty.
It’s such a cute little show and it walks through all of the steps. It also has the cutest little song (“If you have to go potty STOP and go right away! Wash and flush and be on your way!”) and we sing it together ALL throughout potty training day. Obviously, if you don’t have Netflix, don’t worry about this step. This is just a fun way to get the steps into their minds as well as give them a little song to sing to keep the mood light and fun. So, if you DO have it, watch it together!
Read one of your potty stories. Talk together about what the day will be like and begin to introduce all of the steps your child will soon learn.
After the show and after you’ve read your story, show child the new items (the doll, the potty, the stool, etc.). Show and explain what each one is for.
Let him/her pick a new beverage of choice and start to drink.
Let child name new doll. Refer to the doll with their chosen name for the remainder of the day. Let’s say “Jack” for now.
Teach Jack to use the potty. Go through each of the steps for the child. Let your child hold the doll and make the doll do the commands you are giving. “First Jack needs to walk over to the potty. Then Jack needs to pull down his underwear. Next Jack needs to sit down on the potty….” and so on….
Round one: Go through all of the steps: walk to the potty, pull down pants, sit on potty (boys push penis down with small wad of toilet paper—trust me, this works like a charm— and girls close legs), pee/poo in potty (use the bottle to make water come out of doll), get toilet paper, wipe, stand up, pull pants up, take the insert and go wash it out at the normal potty, return it to the kitchen potty, wash hands…finished.
After child teaches Jack, tell your child that Jack did so well he deserves a treat. Have your child act out feeding treat to Jack…then tell child that he can actually have it instead.
Round two: Repeat same instructions once more all the way through giving a little less instruction and asking if child can remember what is next.
Let child pick a salty snack and take a small break…
Round three: While child is distracted with new snack, wet Jack’s underware to pretend that he had an “accident.” Point it out to your child and make a big deal about the fact that “we don’t like wet pants. This ISN’T a good thing. Jack has not gone to the potty and he made a big mess. We need to teach Jack where he should go to pee and poo.”
Tell your child that he needs to make Jack practice to get it right. Start Jack at the spot where it was wet, and quickly have your child walk Jack to the potty. Then take Jack back to the wet spot and repeatedly say “we don’t like wet pants, Jack”…repeat this 10 times. Yes, ten times. Walk quickly back and forth from the wet spot to the potty 10 times. I know it sounds like a lot, but trust me, this step is key.
Then, help your child to change Jack’s clothes into fresh ones, clean up the mess, and then take the wet ones over to the washing machine. It is important that your child teaches Jack these steps because it will soon be what is happening to your child. It will be uncomfortable, and will upset your child to feel themselves wet, but this process in teaching Jack will give them some framework as to what is happening to them.
Keep this lesson at or around 15-20 minutes. Timing matters because you have been giving your child drinks this whole time…your child is going to need to “go” soon…so be ready…
Remove your child’s diaper. Replace diaper with new, loose underwear. Putting a child back in diapers is NOT an option from this point on and make sure your child knows that this is the turning point. Let your child help you bag up the rest and tie it up to give to a friend. Say goodbye to the diapers. And let them know that this is the moment they become a big boy/girl!
It helps to tie up their shirt so that they don’t have to mess with it when trying to learn to pull their underwear up and down. I just used a hair tie.
Give your child more drinks through the early steps (as much as he/she is willing to take in).
Then have your child walk over to the potty, and go through all of the same instructions, but this time with himself instead of the doll. Once you get to the stage where your child is literally sitting on the potty, encourage them to try to let their pee out. If child wants to get up right away, ask them in a fun, yet firm and encouraging way, to sit still and really try to focus on getting it out. Help your child to tune out all distractions. Help your child focus on you, what you’re saying, and their own body.
Stay right by him/her and speak in soft tones as if you are waiting for a big surprise. Say something like, “Let’s see if you can let your pee out and let’s be reaalllllly quiet to see if we can hear it hit the potty. Can you let it out? Just relax.” And then be quiet and wait.
Once the house is quiet and movement stops and you have helped him to slow down, your child may go right then and there for first time…if so, then praise him/her!!! And go over and above!!! Go crazy celebrating…but I would warn you here, don’t go so far as to scare your child. Keep it contained enough to let them know you are absolutely pleased, but watch to not be overly loud or overly animated. Give stickers and give one of the bigger candies/treats! Celebrate the huge accomplishment! Make sure your child begins to connect what that feeling was as a GOOD thing to happen in the potty!
If child does not go, stay in the kitchen and continue rehearsing teaching the doll. Go through the process of teaching the doll 2-3 more times, letting child do as much as possible. After he completes a few more rounds, tell child it’s his turn again.
Go through all of the motions just like he taught the doll. When you get to the part where your child is on the potty again, slow it down again. Very soft tones, listening ears…talk to them in whispers and ask them if they can let their pee out.
If child pees on the floor while in this stage…child must stay in wet pants!!! Don’t hurry to change him. Keep the wet underwear on for this step. It is important for your child to feel the discomfort of being wet while walking back and forth. Use the spot where they peed as beginning point A and the potty seat as point B. Take their hand and have them walk quickly from point A to point B. While walking, explain to them that this is where we go when we need to let out the pee and poop. Once you get to the potty, have them pull down their wet pants (only help if you have to), have them sit down and then stand, pull them up and walk through the whole exercise again. Your child may begin to cry. Don’t let this stop the process though. Comfort, connect, but be firm in what must be done. Love them through this, it isn’t fun for your child to have to figure this all out.
Repeat 10 times. Yes, 10 times. Yes, still in the wet underwear. Walk from the wet spot to the potty and back again 10 full times. At about round 6 or 7 you’re going to probably think “oh, that’s got to be enough” but please don’t stop short. Get through all 10. Encourage your child, love them through it. But be steadfast and keep reminding them as you walk together that we do not pee or poop in our pants. Keep saying, “We don’t like wet pants. We do not pee or poo in our underwear. We go to the potty to pee now.”
Have the child then get cleaned up. It will take longer but have your child be the one to take off their wet pants and then use wipes to clean off the urine off of their legs.
Then have them throw wipes away. Have your child put the new underwear on himself/herself. Have him walk his dirty pants over to the washer. Let him begin to understand how much work it takes to have a mess like that.
Now, you’re back to dryness again, but probably have hit a very low point with emotions.
Love and encourage your child, but do not tell them that peeing in their pants was a “good job.” Make sure you are explaining that they cannot do that anymore and that they must pay attention to their body now. Your child will most likely be in tears, but do everything you can to help them understand that although they can’t do that anymore, but you’re there for them, and you’re going to show them everything they need to learn. Remember Part 1 of this series and remember to be their best friend in this. You’re the momma and in those moments you’re the only one your child has to lean on.
Start again with salty snacks. Have another beverage.
The trick is to get as MUCH practice as you possibly can during this training day which means give more and more liquids. Without practice the skill won’t be mastered. Without drinks there won’t be much practice! ☺
So, give them as many fluids as possible. Keep reading and singing together, and keep watching the Daniel Tiger show.
Make up your own potty song and try as best as you can to keep focus on things regarding toilet training, not talking about other topics, but staying on anything related to potty training day. Distraction from the potty won’t help.
Read a story. Play with cars.
Spend time together, staying in the kitchen in order to keep him/her as close to the potty as possible. Play with blocks, do some puzzles, play with dolls or play dough.
After about 20 minutes ask the child if they have dry pants. If child says yes, then give them one of the small candy treats. If the answer is no, then once again go through the entire process from above.
If pants are dry, then set the timer for 10 more minutes. Keep close watch on your child to see if body movements give you any warning that the feeling to pee is near. After 10 more minutes ask again if their pants are dry. If yes, give another small treat. Set the timer again for 10 more minutes. The longer your child goes without peeing the more heightened your senses need to be to help them recognize when it may be coming. You can choose to sit them on the potty each of those times to help them re-learn the steps of how to get their underwear up and down, or you can choose to let them wait and tell you it’s time to go. I typically have gone the first 20 minutes and ask if they are dry, give the small treat and then go through one more segment of 10 minutes totaling 30 minutes since the last pee. If my child had not gone at that 30 minute point I would have him sit down on the potty to “try”. If my child did not “go” at that 30 minute point I would make them sit and “try” at every 10 minute interval that followed until he did finally go.
Keep going this way all the way until lunch. Offer a lunch, but more than likely your child will not eat much because of all of the liquids and snacks they have consumed by this point.
By early afternoon your child has (hopefully) had numerous times of peeing in the potty by now. Most likely your child would have had at least one accident, maybe more. Typically for mine, the kids were fully trained and could recognize the feeling to have to pee by about 1:30-2 in the afternoon.
Most likely you’ll hit that point in the day when your child begins to get tired and you are thinking you aren’t quite sure if they’ve got this new skill mastered or not. Whenever nap time comes, go ahead and make the choice if you want to put your child in pull ups, plastic covers over normal underwear, or in just underwear. It’s totally your choice. When I first trained Kate (our oldest), I bought a package of Pink Dora the Explorerer Pull-Ups. I wasn’t sure the method was going to work, so I had those on hand just in case. I put her in a pull up for that first day’s nap and then during the first night. The next day, though, she said she didn’t need them and told me she wanted to wear normal underwear. So, I told her if she could stay dry in the pull ups for 3 nights I would never make her wear them again. Sure enough, she stayed dry, so we kept our promise to her. She’s never wet her bed.
When I trained Kai, I had actually saved the same package of pink Dora pull-ups that Kate never used. I put one of those on Kai for that first nap and first nighttime. He hated wearing pink so he told me there’s no way he wanted to keep wearing them! So I made him the same deal. If he could stay dry for 3 straight nights he would never have to wear those silly pink Dora pull-ups anymore either. (Maybe the trick with boys is to get them pink pull-ups!!!!) It worked like a charm and he’s never wet the bed.
With Corban AND Canon I still had the same package of pink Dora pull-ups! And both of them were the exact same as Kai. No way they wanted to wear pink! So, they also asked to not have to wear them anymore.
Every child is different. Whatever you decide to you use, the one thing that is NO longer an option is diapers. And if you DO choose to do pull-ups refer to them as “night-time underwear” to make sure they still think of them as big boy/girl pants instead of diapers.
After Nap Time
Once your child wakes up, immediately take your child to the potty to try to pee. Change out of a pull up right away and remind them of the steps they learned that morning. Make sure you’re still encouraging and make sure they realize that they need to continue learning to recognize that feeling. If your child pees as soon as they wake up, set a timer in your mind to have them try again about 30 minutes later. If your child does not pee, set a timer in your mind to have them try again in about 10 minutes (or less). Most likely it will come soon so be ready.
That’s a WRAP!
Keep practicing, keep practicing and keep practicing! The more drinks you give your child, the more they will have to pee. The more practice they have, the more you are able to re-enforce the skill. Once you feel your child has mastered the skill, meaning they have told you a number of times they need to go and have successfully peed in the potty, your child is considered trained. Spend a few moments celebrating with others in your family. Have a list ready of people (family and close friends) to call that can congratulate your child for a job well done! Notice the time on the pic below when we made this phone call, we waited until he had peed successfully right after his nap was over.
I plan to still write one more final post, I’ll share more specifically what the days that follow will look like, what to do if things have gone badly with potty training already, and what to do with a few circumstances that are less than ideal. There’s some advice that may help with troubleshooting how to move forward if things haven’t gone well so far.
Please let me know if you have ANY questions. I would love to help in any way I am able! And Happy Potty Training to you and your little one!