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3 Day Potty Training Update: One Month Later

Affiliate Disclosure | in Motherhood | by | with 30 Comments

It has been exactly one month since Katie put on her first pair of big girl panties. Lora Jensens 3 Day Potty Training method helped us make a lot of progress, but things have not worked out quite as expected.

Let’s review some of the principles I shared on Day 1’s post:

She makes a case for not asking a child if they need to go potty, instead saying “Tell me when you need to go potty, ok?” It’s subtle, but I like her point that it helps the child learn when they  need to go potty instead of becoming dependent on caregivers to tell them when to go.

After the thousandth time I said “Tell me if you need to go potty, okay?” Katie began completely ignoring me. If I don’t remind/cajole/make her go my ears are regaled with the sound of splashing urine on the tile kitchen floor.

She considers using training pants or vinyl covered panties “crutches,” saying “You shouldn’t be going anywhere during the three days of training and after the three days, there won’t be a need.”

After two solid weeks of washing our bed sheets I cried “Uncle!” on this one. She still wears regular panties during the day but I called Kristi over at Hip Green Baby to talk nighttime pants. To my surprise, she offered me five pairs of barely-used trainers that her sister-in-law was getting rid of for free! Gotta say, that is one of the perks of supporting local businesses. They care and stuff.

Thank you Kristi! This pregnant momma is finally getting some rest!

She discourages letting children sit on the potty for long periods of time, saying “Let them see if they need to go, and if nothing, take them down. Your action of picking the child up and running them to the bathroom to do business helps the whole thing to ‘click’ with the child.”

We’ve actually abided by this recommendation, but judging by the number of BM accidents we’ve had I’m not sure we should be.

Oh, and remember when I said this?

We don’t use external reward systems in our parenting, but we decided to make an exception just this once and had lots of goodies ready. Totally unnecessary. Katie wore those panties like they were Cinderella’s ball gown.

Turns out when it comes to getting Katie to go potty or eat her veggies I am a reward mama after all. “Yes you can have some pineapple after you potty” is now a common phrase in this house.

Fruit works wonders with this girl.

All-in-all, I would say Katie is trainedish. She is more aware of her body and tells me immediately if there is an accident. Lora Jensen’s method gave me a strategy to get started with and we’ve made adjustments from there. So although I didn’t get the results Lora says are typical I’m still glad I bought her ebook. I think (at least I hope) we’ll have this thing down pat before Babypotamus is born.



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30 Responses to 3 Day Potty Training Update: One Month Later

  1. Joanna Moore says:

    hang in there! we just have to keep telling ourselves that they won’t be potty training forever 😉

  2. Des says:

    it wasn’t an overnight thing for us either. But eventually they get it and you stop thinking to bring an extra change of clothes every where you go! :-)
    .-= Des´s last blog ..Mommypotamus’ Birth Story Bash =-.

  3. Linda says:

    My husband and I bought Lora Jenson’s ebook also, and by the end of the 2nd day going strictly on her method, both of us were ready to pull our hair out. I was cleaning pee off the carpet for the 2000th time and crying, and I’m pretty sure my husband had a few tears too.

    We are working with our son again, and although he isn’t very consistent with going, he is starting to tell us when he needs to go. But that is only when the moon is hanging in the sky a certain way. I’m hoping he gets it soon.

    Congrats on making progress!
    .-= Linda´s last blog ..New Look =-.

    • Heather says:

      Linda, we are looking for a new house and I am praying for wood floors! Number #2 is on the way and I don’t want to go through the carpet accident phase again!

  4. Karen says:

    Thank you for posting a truthful account of the 3 day method. Unfortunately, I went in with the unrealistic expectation that pt would all be done in 72 hours (and thinking heck, I can do anything for 72 hours). I followed the book to a T and followed my child around the house every waking hour and was nearing the end of my rope when the accidents continued (even as I stood right there and to some extent even more often that the day before). Finally, on day three I contacted the friend that referred us to the method/website and learned that it didn’t work for their child in 3 days either (a detail they left out previously). There is a lot of good information/direction to be learned from the 3day book, but the title of the book and comments on the web page make it appear that pt in 3 days is a realistic and common outcome.

    • Heather says:

      Karen, the most unbelievable thing happened as I was reading your comment. FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER my dd calmly told me that she needed to poop in the potty and she did! She has had bm’s in the potty before but only because I saw the signs early enough, so this is a BIG DEAL! This is about 2 and a half months since we started the 3 Day method.It has been a more difficult road than I expected but things are finally starting to click.

      I agree with you that the book has a lot of helpful suggestions. It helped me get psyched up for potty training, which had previously really intimidated me. After I didn’t get the described results I would have been very discouraged had it not been for the more “realistic” advice I got from other moms. (Each kid is different, don’t set expectations too high, and to be patient.). I’m glad it is paying off as #2 is due in a few months. Hang in there!

  5. shannon says:

    thanks for keeping us all posted. it is a big help for those of us who have not trained our kids yet! :)

  6. chrissy says:

    Heather… am so glad I found your blog tonight! We have a 2 1/2 year old and she is soooo stubborn!!! She has a little pink potty now for several months, she will go in it maybe once a day. She will go in the potty in public if I put her on it, if we are out running errands etc. but she never ever has told me she “needs” to go potty. Tonight, we started with “tell me when you need to go potty, ok?” And she just runs away from me. :) She doesn’t get it. We are to our wits end and hope that we can find 3 days to stay home and work with her. So those “3” days, are you supposed to put her in big girl panites or just bare-bottom?? I have heard both. I know when she has a BM b/c i can see her straining, so do I pick her up and run her to the potty?? She is just refusing to go… so frustrating, but I don’t want to give up! Thanks so much!!! Any advice is helpful!!!

    • Heather says:

      Chrissy – The short answers are that according to Lora Jensen’s method panties are preferable. And running to the potty is a must. Check your email, I sent you more details there ; – )

      Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Christina says:

    Here, I will just copy and paste what I just now wrote to Lora Jensen’s 3 day potty training assistant and you can reply with ANY HELP to my e-mail pleaseeeeeeee I am desperate!!! He is also almost starting to ignore some of the reminders of tell mommy when u have to go pee pee or poo poo okay?
    Hope to hear from you soon.

    • Christina says:

      Here is what I wrote to the assisatne : I want to know what I can do about many attempts of taking off his underwear then crying as I put it back on and excepts me to leave it off which I cannot do. I put tightewr underwear which helped, but then later he figured out how. Not a big issue right now though. I want to know is the reason it’d take longer at my son’s age up to 5 days is because they hold theor urine longer than younger kids? It’s also hard to get him to drink a lot during the day which doesn’t help, but your training method is still between the ages of 22 months and 30 months to be 3 days and that is why I bought it and so I would expect it to actually work by the end of the third day. I am getting so frustrated today because it’s the third day and he is always just sitting on the potty for 2 seconds when he says he has to go or after having an accident or not even 2 second and then just continues to go in his underwear when he knows it’s not correct. And last night he was trying to trick me in keep telling me he had to go pee pee/poo poo just because he knew I would let him go and he didn’t want to go to sleep. I had to eventually not allow him to go potty since he was doing that and I was not even able to read to him because this potty control thing last night was getting way out of hand. He was too upset in the bed.
      Considering this method was meant to be for also my very stuborn child, if it will not work at least within 5 days as only supposed to take 3, then I cannot give it a good referral.

      • anita says:

        Hi Christina,

        I know you wrote this 2 years ago, I am on day 4 and totally broke down this morning. My boy is 27 months and he was doing well on day 2, his nights got better, never peed once last night and he did not wake up in the middle of the night to want to go pee. BUT his days got worst, he says pee as he is peeing, and most times has accidents and before bed he is doing exactly what your child did, making me go back and forth (several times) to the wash room saying he has to go pee before bedtime. He does pee some times but many times he just sits there nothing and I have a hard time getting him off the potty to go back to bed. What eventually happened with your child?


        • Sarah says:

          Hi Christina/Anita,

          My son sounds exactly like yours. He is 27 mos and it is 8pm on Day 3. He has been so upset to put the underwear back on, especially today; he’d rather walk around naked in the lower half, (even though he’s still not happy with me). Lora Jensen’s method specifically says don’t let them walk around naked. So I have been running around like a madwoman… RUNNING him to the bathroom, coaxing him onto the potty, but he just yells no no no, and Lora says never to force them. Then I am RUNNING upstairs to his bedroom to get the dry underwear. And so many times he pees the new ones within 1-2 minutes. Again and again. I am going insane. I asked the Helpdesk a question about 9 hours ago, no response yet. It is 6PM in Lora’s timezone.
          My son also did what you guys said about stating he had to go pee just to get out of the room, both nap and bedtime. I have been struggling with what takes priority.. honoring what he is trying to communicate (the potty skill we are going for), or honoring his much needed sleep.

          What eventually happened with either of your boys?

  8. Carrie says:

    Heather – I am so glad that I found your blog. We did the 3 day training method also and I thought that I must be doing something wrong! I had a question for you…my child is still wetting at night (it’s been about 1 month since we started potty training) and was wondering what trainers you used. We bought 2 of the blueberry trainers (they are made for day time) and she wets right through them. I really don’t want to use pull ups but I don’t want her sleeping in a wet bed all night. She doesn’t wake up when she goes…

    Thanks! Carrie

    • Heather says:

      Hi Carrie – How old is your child? Katie is 3.5 and we use the Motherease bedwetters for her (she has been fully daytime potty trained for a long time now, but still has occasional accidents at night). LOVE how they keep my sheets dry, but they may be overkill depending on your child’s size/age.

      • Carrie says:

        My daughter turned two in April. She is tall and skinny for her age. She does really well during the day and is so excited about wearing big girl undies. I am 34 weeks pregnant and wanted to get something that works before the baby comes.


  9. Rebecca says:

    Hi Heather,
    My husband and I are in the process of using the Lora Jenson method and are on day 7 of the training. My daughter has been pretty much pooping in the potty for a while now so she pretty much tells us when she has to poop and she does pretty well at night too because we have her potty before bed if she is ready, then we wake her before we go up, then if we hear her stir we take her, etc. But during the day no matter how many times we tell her to tell mommy and daddy if she has to pee pee, she NEVER tells us. She just pees right on the floor and its like she doesn’t think twice about it. I am beyond frustrated with this all and debating going into pull ups and either trying again later or what, but I can’t see myself planning my days around the underwear and pottying for the next month or so like many people have said before. My daughter is 26 months old, almost 27 months. Any suggestions from you or anyone for a fully frustrated mom who wants to throw in the towel but is also thinking that i have gone 7 days and don’t want it to be a waste and like many of you I am expecting number 2 in 4 months, so am trying to get 1 in undies in time for another to be in diapers….Help please!

    • Heather says:

      Hi Rebecca! I have only potty trained one child so I am not an expert by any means. The 3-day method, although it didn’t actually work in 3 days, was wonderful for daytime potty training in our house. Nighttime was a completely different story and I was so much happier when we went back to training pants at night. So I guess my best piece of advice is follow your instincts about whether your daughter is ready try to remove any obstacles that might be in her way – and then do what works for your family :)

      • Rebecca says:

        thanks. it has gotten so much better since i last wrote you. She still doesn’t really tell us she when she has to go rather grabs herself, but as long as we catch her we can get her to the potty in time. Though the last couple days she said potty but when i put her on i realized it was too late, so maybe she is getting the feeling then telling us..who knows. But i decided to stick through it since i have come so far. The funny thing is she does better at night. But since i am always up being pregnant when i hear her stir i go in if she is any sort awake we go potty but like last night it was only 730, 9, 4 and 7. And 3 of those times I was still up anyway. So…thanks for your advice:)

  10. Sarah says:

    Thanks for sharing everyone! I am a month or two away from starting training with my daughter. I read the 3-day plan from Jensen at a friend’s house. It sounds great, but I am really worried about whether or not I have the stamina to follow it to the T since I have an auto-immune disease that requires good sleep (I say as I’m up at 5 am on a Saturday, *sigh*) I’m thinking of using it for day-time training and sticking with training pants for night time. It’s encouraging to know that there’s a chance I won’t really be slowing anything down. And since my daughter is on the younger side (just 20 months right now) I won’t hate that it takes a bit longer to get night-time under control. I appreciate the encouragement!

  11. Josi says:

    My husband and are on day 3 of the 3-day method…I am a little worried. My son has to go back to the babysitter tomorrow as we both work…but I wouldn’t call him totally trained yet. He seems to know when he needs to go…and he stops himself if he starts to have an accident…but he doesn’t really tell us he just grabs himself when he has to go.
    Am I doing it wrong…or is this all part of it and he is actually getting it?? Any word of encouragement you have would be great!! I got this method from a friend who swears both of her kids were totally good by day 3…so I feel weird asking her for help when she seems to have mastered it.

  12. Danielle @ Analytical Mom says:

    Loved this post! We discovered that we made almost the same small…amendments… to Lora’s 3-day potty training, too, and it was much more doable that way. I think every kid truly is different in this regard, as in all others, and even the best ideas need to be tweaked a little sometimes! Especially when you have changed just one too many bedsheets. :) Congrats on your success! :)

    • Heather says:

      Agreed! My nephew night potty trained in a snap even though it’s **supposed** to be harder with boys, yadayadayads. The process with my daughter was much more gradual, but I’m happy to say that my laundry is well under control now :)

  13. Annie says:

    Reading this post allowed me to take a big sigh of relief. We did the same 3 day potty training program 2 weeks ago and have had 1 day totally accident free. Most of our days have consistently been seeing an accident a day (during the day, surprisingly not during nap or bed time). However, the past 2 days have been seeing 3 or 4 accidents and was to the point of tears today which inspired me to start some google searching about other peoples experience with this method. After talking to some friends who have trained their kiddos with the same program and having success, I knew that my little girl (25 months) wouldn’t be fully potty trained after 3 days, but should know where she needs to go potty and should tell me MOST of the time. We wake her up at 4am to ensure no bed wetting so that has been going fine, it is just during the day that gets super frustrating when she says she has to go “poo-poo” (what she says for EVERYTHING) a million times a day but doesnt really have to go…but will then have an accident 2 seconds after I remind her to tell me if she has to go. We only seem to have accidents at home too, which made it even more frustrating…like she can get it while we are out, but not at home!? I am also 6 months pregnant so that only increases my frustration level despite trying to keep it under control. I totally think she is ready, but have felt like we were just doing something wrong! I was so happy to read this post and all of the comments! It makes me realize that maybe all she needs is some time and to just keep up the reminders and supress the frustrations. THANKS EVERYONE!

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