Potty Training in our Happy House

Potty Training in 3 days is possible!

If you missed our Potty Training Tips and Tools click here, it is extremely important that you are sure that your child is ready before starting this.

Before you get started:

  • Pick a week that you don’t have much on the calendar so you can devote your time and attention to potty training.  You will need to stay home for at least three days straight before heading out into the outside world with big kid underwear.
  • Plan easy meals and have your house chores (laundry etc.) caught up before you start.
  • Talk to your child about starting to wear big kid underwear the days before so they start to get excited and know that they will be using the potty soon!
  • Make sure you have all of your supplies in the bathroom (potty seat, books, wipes, stool, stickers, chart  and m&m’s)
  • You need to push fluids for the first couple of days so that your child will need to go a lot.
  • Make sure you are mentally prepared to handle this week with a positive attitude.  Talk with your family about staying positive and encouraging their younger sibling about using the potty.  The next few days are going to be stressful and tiring but so worth it!
Day One
Make it a habit for them try to go potty after they wake up every morning.  After this initial potty session, set a timer for every 20 minutes.  When the times goes off, its time to sit on the potty.  Read your potty books to them while they try to go, this can be a fun time to sing songs and tell stories. Give your child a small sticker and one m&m every time they try to go, even if they didn’t actually go.
If they do actually go potty make a big deal about it-sing a happy potty song, dance and be silly.  Just don’t do what I did with my first daughter and get so excited that you scare her, lol!  Make sure you help your child wash their hands every time they try to use the potty so they also learn a good washing habit.

7a301975ec6546980fe8b77de701235e {This is such a cute idea!}

{Little Sis had at least 6 accidents on the morning of day one, but something clicked after her nap and she started going potty almost every time she tried.  She only had a few accidents the rest of the day}

Day Two
Continue to set the timer and still give the sticker and a m&m for each try.

{Little Sis went all morning before her nap without an accident.  She thinks its fun to re-start the timer on my iphone so whatever it takes to keep her excited. She had a few accidents in the afternoon but not nearly as many as yesterday}

Day Three
Today we stop setting the timer and this is the last day that we will be giving rewards when they go potty.  At this point they hopefully have started to learn the feeling that they need to use the potty and will tell you,  plus you are going to ask them throughout the day if they need to go.{Little Sis was accident free on day three!  She had been dry all morning and when she went down for a nap I put a diaper on her but she said that she wanted to wear panties, so we compromised and she wore her panties over her diaper. Surprisingly she woke up dry, which is usually not the case. I thought for sure there might be at least a couple of accidents this afternoon or evening but she did awesome!}

~*I’ll still be putting on diapers for nap and bedtime for awhile until it becomes consistent.  I’m more concerned with day time training for now*~

Leaving the house
Now the next big step is leaving the house and staying dry. I do not put my girls in pull-ups when we leave the house.  In the past I have used the Gerber plastic diaper covers over the underwear, but Little Sis was doing so great that we skipped this.
~*Make sure you have a couple of change of clothes, underwear and a wet bag or something to put wet clothes in case there is an accident.*~
This is not a necessity but a few friends told me about a great travel potty that I bought and am keeping in our car.

{Kalencom 2-in-1 Potette® Plus Travel Potty & Trainer Seat}
The bags have an absorbent padding in the bottom and then you just tie it up and throw it away.  (I don’t see me buying more replacement bags, I’ll just recycle my grocery store bags and fold up some paper towels in the bottom)
I have Little Sis try and go potty before we leave the house and then again before we go into the store or whatever errand we are running.  That way this germaphobe Mom can try to avoid using the public restrooms but that isn’t always possible.  I also recommend carrying hand sanitizer in case there isn’t a clean sink and soap to use.
An Update on Little Sis
We potty trained almost three weeks ago and she is doing AWESOME!  She has only had a couple of accidents and I take blame for them.  We were busy and I should have paid more attention to how long it had been since she last went.
There were a couple of times where #2 was scaring her so I went back to giving her a m&m for that and since then she is doing much better.  It’s very bittersweet that Little Sis is potty trained.

I’m looking for other bloggers to share their Potty Training Stories, tips and recommendations for a new series, email me at Lindsey@Happyhouseof5.com

I would love to help with any questions or concerns you may have.  You can find me on Facebook, leave a message on this post or Tweet me.  Please share your success stories too :)



  1. We love that travel potty. We also take it when we go to playgrounds and hiking. Basically, if there’s room in the bottom of the stroller it goes with us if there’s question about if a bathroom will be close by! I put grocery bags in an old wipes case and keep a roll of paper towels in my car. It has been used many a times out and about! So excited that things went smoothly with training!!!!!

  2. I love this and hope to use it this summer. My daughter will be two in July so I would like to give it a shot if she’s ready. Ill definitely be referring back to your advice!

    • I’m so glad to be helpful to all of the Momma’s out there reading this!! Please let me know how it goes :)

    • I started this yesterday with my 3 yr old son minus the m&m’s. day one was accident after accident but in the evening he finally went in the potty and we all praised him and did the happy dance. Today was day 2… only 3 accidents all day and by afternoon he was going in the bathroom on his own without telling us until after… again we’ve praised him all day each and every time he has gone. Tonight he wanted to go to bed in his big boy undies… crossing fingers he’s dry in the morning. So excited!!!

    • Oh my goodness Nena! Sounds like you’re doing a great job :) Hope to hear that all is going smoothly!!! GOOD LUCK

  3. How do I know my daughter is ready both of my boys were older she’s close to 2

  4. Going to try this with my nephew his already going to b 3 in july & his not potty trained yet my sister says his too small but i on the other hand think he should of been potty trained already!his gone number2 on toilet he jst wnt pee but i really think this will help especially yhe m&m’s

    • I’ve heard that boys can take awhile longer than girls, I don’t have any experience with boys though since I have all girls. Best of luck, let me know how it goes :)

  5. Do you think 18 months is too young to start using your method to potty train? She is showing all the signs that she is ready (waking up dry, pulling up and down her own clothes and even tells me that she has to go “poop” before she goes). She has sat on the potty a couple of times because she has seen her older nephew use it and wanted to sit but she hasn’t gone yet. I just don’t know if its to early to start potty training full force.

    • I say if she is showing that much interest give it a try. I’m not an expert but go for it and dont worry if it doesn’t go as planned. The key is not to stress her or yourself out over it. You could try again when she is a little older. Please let me know how it goes :)

  6. Where can I find the boy version of “Once Upon a Potty”

  7. Hello-If you have advice on PTing, i’d appreciate it. I started on 2/13/13 with my 22 month old daughter. she had no pee accidents but did poop in her training pants. she doesn’t like to pee right when she wakes up. i’m not sure if she’s peeing in her diaper when she wakes up before i go in to get her so when i set her on the potty she doiesnt have to go. yesterday, she started the day out doing well. she had one accident on the floor. then we went to my parent’s house. right away she had 1 accident on the floor (went in the corner behind a chair and peed). then i put her training pants on, told her that it wasn’t a diaper it was her big girl undies. she did pee in these but i think she didn’t like the feeling because she quietly walked over to her potty chair and sat down and i noticed they were peed in when i went to her. the rest of the day at my parents, no accidents-all pee in the potty. oh, and i do reward her pee’s with m&ms as well. i put her diaper on to drive home. when we got home she pooped in her diaper. she then did continue to pee on the potty and had one more floor accident. my concern is that when she has a diaper on, she just knows that and never asks to go on the potty. but i know she knows when she has to go because when she’s bottomless she primarily goes on her own with little reminders from me. are these accidents also a sign she’s not ready? i feel like she’s doing so well since she has told me when she has to go even when i don’t ask her. I also think maybe she doens’t feel comfortable pooping on the potty ebcause she hasn’t yet and almost always waits for her diaper to be put on. even when she wears a diaper, she hardly ever will admit to pooping in it. not sure if maybe she’s embarrassed about it. im sorry if this is a lot. i’m just a first time mom trying to figure it all out!

  8. How long do you let them sit on potty.snd for a lil girl what potty books do you recommend, where can I find them

  9. i have twins girl/boy but I am ready to really hit this hard- this was helpful- thanks!
    also saying hi from the hop at house of rose! thanks

  10. I’ve had so many friends use this method and swear by it. I did it and it did NOT work. Obviously every child is different, but I seriously don’t know what else to try. She is 3 months away from her 3rd birthday and still not potty trained.

  11. Hello! I just wanted to let you know that I found your blog about this last week via Pinterest and started potty training my 3yo son the next day following your instructions — and it’s been amazing! Thank you so, so much! (I did give the timer a break on Day 2 because it was driving me a little nuts — but he had more accidents because of it. I brought the timer back for the morning of Day 3 — and he got the hang of it again.) We are 7 days in to potty training and he had no accidents yesterday or today. Thank you, thank you!

    • YAY!! So glad you found me and had such great success with your son!! It warms my heart to know that my post is helping families, thanks for your sweet comments!

  12. Hello! My son turned 2 in January and has been sitting on the potty 2-3 times a day and even goes…both! He knows when hes wet or has a bm and hates it! However, I have not been consistent enough to fully train him, as I have a 5 month old too…but I know he is ready and so am I! This weekend it is:)
    Question, did you fully stop using the diaper during the day(except at nap) and just used underwear? Thank You:)

    • Hi! Yes I kept her in training pants all day except for at nap and night time. It sounds like your son is showing signs of readiness, best of luck to you! Please let me know how it goes :)

  13. SO, i love your advise and i just hope it will go as easy for us. my LO is going to turn 2 in july we have been doing an inconstant potty training where is a hit or miss successes. and its hit or miss. my questions, what do you tell her/him when there is an accident? and what do you do/say when you ask her if she wants to go sit on the potty and she says no? I don’t want to force her and then run the risk of turning her off.
    thank you

    • Hi Alexandra,
      When the times goes off you don’t ask you tell them nicely that its time to sit on the potty. If there’s an accident you need to be patient and kind. Talk to them about making it to the toilet in time and to try again next time :)

  14. When sitting them on the potty every 20 minutes how long you recommend letting them sit?? I have a 3 year old and it drives me insane that he isn’t potty trained. I plan on giving this a try this weekend. He hates being wet and immediately wants to be changed. He even sits on the potty sometimes but I’m not consistent. I know he’s ready!!

    • I would recommend reading a book or two and sing a couple of songs to make it fun. I never really watched the clock while training. Consistency is key, good luck!

  15. For my boys, I used cherios as target parctice… once they were good with that we upgrged to fruit loops for a point based
    game… and they learned thier colors too

  16. I did almost the exact same thing with my son but I did a few different things. I gave him an m&m every time he tried, 2 for every time he went #1 and 3 when he went #2. I kept giving these quantities even after day 3 even though he was full potty-trained by day 3, and within 3 days he stopped asking for m&ms. This strategy worked for me 2 years ago and since then it has also worked for many of my mom friends. It’s important to STAY HOME those 3 days.

  17. Georgi Silverman says:

    Okay, End of Day Two on the 3 day Potty training program and my 34 month old (that’s 2 years 10 months) has only peed in the potty twice on the 1st day not at all today and pooped once next to the potty – he stood up when the poop started coming. I maybe didn’t use a loud enough timer – used the oven timer. He doesn’t seem to mind going to the potty – although he did get really tired and cranky by the end of day 2. We are now at the end of the day approaching bedtime on day two and I don’t think he’s ready at all and I am not sure what I did wrong – I tried to maintain the 20 minutes as close as I could most of the day. The one thing I haven’t done is get him up and to the potty immediately upon waking – partly because he is a slow waker-upper and likes to be held and snuggled and I don’t want him to view the potty as a negative intrusion into his morning mommy time. I am probably over concerned that he is going to fear the potty – after all as my husband stated – he is a human being and he will use the bathroom eventually. My question – how should we approach tomorrow – technically day 3? I do have to leave the house tomorrow to take my daughter to camp and pick her up and to take him to his mommy and me music class? Given that he is not really potty trained – do I maintain the timer and m&ms at home and use the travel potty on the road? Is it going to confuse things to put him in a diaper when we go out? Should I use the gerber cloth training pants and rubber pants when we go out? He just had his potty time with books and what not and then got up ran over to my desk and peed on the floor – maybe he is just not ready. HELP!!!!

    • Lindsey says:

      I wish potty training wasn’t so hard sometimes don’t you?! It sounds like you are trying really hard. Rather than stress yourself and him out maybe taking a break for a few weeks wouldn’t hurt and then try again? If the child isn’t ready its sometimes better to just wait. Every child is so different so its hard to make the decision as to what is best for each. Follow your heart and don’t stress, it will happen eventually. Hugs and thanks for reaching out!

  18. One Happy Mama says:

    Hi! I found this email address on your blog & hope it still reaches you. I
    want to thank you!! I have been trying to potty train my 3 yr old for
    Months to no avail. He was capable & ready but completely uninterested. I
    found your blog on Pinterest & thought “it’s worth a shot!” It just about
    wore both of us out, but by the end of day 3 & ever since, we’ve been
    Pull-up FREE! WOO HOO!!! Thank you!!! Your 3 day “20 minute” method WORKS.
    I can testify!!
    Happy Summer!
    One Happy Mama

  19. I just have to say this method works WONDERS for me, but I was skeptical at first! What child could be potty trained in 3 days, let alone by extremely stubborn 2 year old son :-) I am a stay at home mom with an 8 month old daughter as well. We put up the pack-and-play by the bathroom so she could go in there every time we had to “potty”. It is the start of the 4th day now and he was accident free yesterday!!! He is also so good at telling me he has to go; I think having the accidents as well as going every 20 minutes helped realize the feeling. He also stopped needing any “treats” the second day. He just loved being able to empty his potty into the “big potty” and flushing, haha! I thank you so much and I am so, so, so happy to have him out of diapers! I will be passing your technique along!

    • Lindsey says:

      Hi Lacee,
      I am so happy this worked for your family! What a blessing to hear from you. Have a great day and thanks so much for sharing our blog with others :)

  20. My second son is almoat 3 1/2 years old and is porty training. His older brother was 2 1/2 years when he began training but disnt “get it” until age 3. With little brother, it took one week of just sitting on the potty added with “Naked” time every day to even gwt him to pee on the potty by the ending of week #2. I don’t ise pull ups except for long outings, which keep to a minimum during this phase. He wears underwear and shorts during the day when thwrw are other kids around ( I am a home child care provider) and as soon as the last xhild leaves he is on “naked” time! He uses the potty whenever I take him and only has an accident if I leave the decision to ootty up to him; we are still working on him knowing dor himslef when its time to use the potty but it will come. In the fall he will be attending lresxhool 2 or 3 mornings a week and I’d like him to ne able to use the potty independently by then (October).

    • Lindsey says:

      Sounds like you are headed towards success Faith. Sometimes it does take awhile longer. I myself was a home daycare provider as well years back. Keep up the great job and keep checking in with me to let me know how its going!

  21. Help! My 3 yr old son shows ALL the signs of readiness, but when we try the potty thing it is an all out war! He screams, tells me no, you name it! I’m at my wits end!

    • Lindsey says:

      I’m so sorry to hear that Tara! Have you tried finding a reward that he is really into? Has he picked out his favorite charter underwear? I can tell you that a few of us Mom bloggers are having a weekly twitter chat on tuesday nights at 9pm EST join us by using #pottytrainingchat and ask away!

  22. I plan on trying this with my 23 month old daughter this coming Monday. How long did you have your daughter sit on the potty before letting her get off?

    • Lindsey says:

      Hi Stacey,
      There is no certain time amount that I would ask her to sit there. Focus more on reading a book or sing a few songs. Make it fun and lighthearted. Best of luck!!!

  23. I’m so trying this ideas! I’ve been having a hard time with my son. He’s 31 months and he just won’t do it.. Wish me luck!! And thanks for sharing

  24. Should I force him to go when the timer goes off, even when he tells me he doesn’t want to. He is 3 and ready, just stubborn.

  25. I used this system. It has worked great for my 25 month boy. The first two days I only wore a shirt on him so I could catch him easily when he started to go and then I would rush him to the potty. On day two he went accident free. Then on the third day I used Gerber Training Pants. He had two accidents on the morning of the third day but was accident free the remaining of the day. I really believe the first day is the key taking him every 20 minutes to the potty. By the end of the second day he started telling me when he needed to go pee and was really catching on to telling me by the end of the third day. I would highly recommend this way. Thanks for sharing!

  26. I loooove this post and you made potty training look and sound easy. We just have to be consistent and persistent. I am researching about potty training my 26 month old daughter. I have a question. My daughter usually is embarrassed after doing number 2 in her diaper. and Does not let me touch her until she is ready to be cleaned up and change. You talk about dealing with pee but what about poop?

    • Hi Karla, sounds like she is showing signs that she understands what she is doing when she poops. I would take that as a sign of readiness. Let me know how it goes once you get started, be consistent and keep patient :)

  27. We are on day 3 with my 27 mos old grand daughter. First two days she did pretty well and was happy with her treats and praises. 3 day she runs to potty but the either cries because she says no peepee or sits on quickly for a sticker and gets off. How do I know if I should continue or stop and try again? Help

  28. Awesome post. My son is turning 2 in a week and I want to start potty training asap. He’s our first and this gives me a much needed guide. Thanks

  29. I think this can be done in a short time as I did this over a 4 day “mini potty camp” with my daughter. However I think most people would cut back on first day accidents if you follow the tips of book “oh crap! Potty training” and spend the first day with your child being naked and working back towards being fully clothed by day 3. It discusses how anything including big kid underware being too snug like diapers and suggests going commando in pants for up to a month. This has really worked for us. But dedicating 3-4 days of just focusing on potty training is a must!! As stated here.

  30. Thank you so much for posting this! We are starting potty training tomorrow and fingers crossed that it will go well! :)


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