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How to potty train in three days + free potty training chart

October 27, 2017

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PottyTrainTogether #CollectiveBias

I’m not gonna lie. I put off potty training my first child for a long time. I didn’t know where to begin or how to start the process of teaching a toddler how to use the toilet. When I finally decided to bite the bullet, I was astonished at how easy it was! I was able to potty train my two year old daughter in three days. And I’m going to share my secrets, tips, and tricks with you all! All you need is Pull-Ups® Learning Designs®, some fun toddler underwear, stickers, a potty seat and a good attitude! *Trust me on the attitude part, you’re gonna need it!*

how to potty train in three days + free printable potty training chart

Preparing for day one:

-Talk about “going potty on the toilet” for a few weeks before starting. Build up the hype and start the conversation!

-Take your toddler to Walmart and let them pick out a fun pack of underwear, Pull-Ups (only $8.97!), cute stickers and whatever supplies you need for the potty training process. Walmart has a wide variety of products for babies and toddlers, so we were able to get everything we needed at one place! My daughter chose Pull-Ups® Learning Designs® with Disney’s Doc McStuffins, underwear with characters from one of her favorites shows, and the cutest dog and cat stickers! Having her pick out these essential potty training items really helped her get excited about learning how to use the bathroom.

-Make it fun! I created a potty training chart and taped it to the mirror in Brooklynn’s bathroom. I explained to her that when she used the potty, she would get to put stickers on her chart and maybe even get a prize!

The night before you start:

-Prepare yourself and your toddler for the day ahead. Talk to your toddler about going potty. Talk about how excited you are that they are becoming a big girl/boy! Tell them that starting tomorrow, there are no more diapers! (Brooklynn still says to this day, “no more diapers for me!” because of this.)

Day one:

-From the moment your toddler wakes up, NO MORE DIAPERS. Put underwear on them and explain to them again that diapers are a thing of the past!

-Put them on the toilet every 20 minutes. Constantly ask if they have to go potty (to the point where you’re sick of saying it)!

-If they successfully use the potty, make a BIG DEAL! Brooklynn would get so excited when she went potty because we were excited for her! I would say, “I’m so proud of you!” Every time she goes potty (to this day), she says, “you’re so proud of me, mommy!” Make sure to utilize the potty training chart and have your toddler put a sticker on it when they go! We did one sticker for pee and two stickers for poop!

-Put Pull-Ups on at nap time and nighttime. Try to avoid family outings for the first two days. If you have to leave, make sure to put a Pull-Up on them!

-There will be a lot of accidents. Don’t get mad, don’t get frustrated, don’t give up. This is normal!

how to potty train in three days + free printable potty training chart

Day two:

-Same thing as day one. By this point, your toddler should start to understand the feeling of wetting themselves and trust me, they won’t like it!

-On day two, Brooklynn had ONE accident total. One!!! 

Day three:

On day three, we had our first outing! We put our toddler in a pull-up and made sure to ask her every thirty minutes or so, “do you have to go potty?” She went potty once at the restaurant we were dining at and had zero accidents. It’s been about four weeks since I’ve been able to say that she is officially potty trained. She has had a few poop accidents, but ZERO pee accidents!

how to potty train in three days + free printable potty training chart

How to use a potty training chart to successfully potty train:

Print out THIS free potty training chart and tape it to the mirror or wall in the bathroom. Every time your child successfully uses the restroom, they get to put a sticker on one of the circles. When they fill up an entire row (four stickers), they get a prize or treat! We chose to do little pieces of candy as our “prize” because Brooklynn is highly motivated by candy, LOL. You can adjust the guidelines of the potty chart to fit your family and toddler. For instance, poop can be worth 2-4 stickers depending on how well they’re catching on!

how to potty train in three days + free printable potty training chart


-Get a potty seat that goes on the regular toilet. My daughter thought the little kid’s potty (the portable kind) was a toy and didn’t take it seriously. Having her use the “real potty” made her feel like she was a big girl. Plus, she wanted to be “like mommy” and use the real potty.

-Get Pull-Ups Learning Designs. Trust me on this one! We tried three different brands total. Huggies is the only brand we were 100% satisfied with! The Huggies Pull-Ups offer more coverage, they are super soft and comfortable, they slide on and off easily, they are extremely absorbent, they come in two different styles (Disney’s Doc McStuffins and Pixar’s Cars Lightning McQueen), and they have a wetness indicator that shows Disney Character art when wet!

-Don’t give up!!

If you have any potty training questions, ask in the comments below! If you have any tips to share with my readers, you can share in the comments as well!

Free Printable: Potty Training Chart | Free Potty Training Resources and Games

Other potty training must-haves: Pull-Ups | Toddler Girl Underwear | Toddler Boy Underwear | Potty | Potty Seat




  • Reply
    June 27, 2016 at 10:49 am

    Great post! I loved it! Izzy is almost 16 months and I’m thinking of getting her started with potty training in July.

  • Reply
    Kristy | Seven Graces
    June 28, 2016 at 10:32 am

    I love your tips! They’re practical and make me feel like we can do it. My little girl is almost three and a half, and I’ve been putting it off, because the first two times I’ve tried to “train” her, she wasn’t ready and NEVER went in the potty. She too thinks the potty is a toy, so I’m going to try putting the training seat on the real toilet seat. We’ll start training when we get back from vacation. Thanks so much for your tips and printable!

  • Reply
    June 28, 2016 at 10:51 am

    That’s awesome that she potty trained so quickly! I have 3 boys (ages 9, 6, and 4), and they were all different, but I tried the same thing: let them walk around naked from the waste down while at home, and then put them in Pull-Ups when we left the house. Worked perfectly! #client

    • Reply
      Bethanie Garcia
      June 28, 2016 at 12:13 pm

      Yes, it’s so true! All kids are different! Bribery works best hahaha.

  • Reply
    June 29, 2016 at 5:43 am

    We are getting ready to potty train too! Hopefully in late July, I’m going to pin this post so I can remember!

  • Reply
    Nicole Banuelos
    June 29, 2016 at 10:36 pm

    Wow this is so awesome! Thank you for all of the great tips! My two year old is afraid to go potty in the toilet so I’ve been holding off and just waiting for her to show interest but I think I might give this a shot after the 4th!

    • Reply
      Bethanie Garcia
      June 30, 2016 at 1:03 am

      Good luck! The potty seat that goes into the actual toilet was a game changer for us!;)

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    Sarah Waide
    August 13, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    This is a great post with some really great ideas! We have tried Potty Training my little girl on three separate occasions now. (She turned 2 July 29), and we’re finding she keeps peeing herself even after going on the potty for a really long time. And she doesn’t seem to care that she peed..? Feeling a bit discouraged, but I am hoping these new tricks will help me out!

    • Reply
      Bethanie Garcia
      August 14, 2016 at 4:56 pm

      Good luck! Every child is different and sometimes it take a lot of trial and error! I’m sure she will get it soon :)

  • Reply
    August 20, 2016 at 3:18 pm

    I have a three year old girl, who does not want to use the toilet, I’ve tryed everything, and when she does sit on there, she won’t pee lol

  • Reply
    Potty Training 101 - Stellar Mama
    August 23, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    […] Put Pull-Ups on at nap time and nighttime. Try to avoid family outings for the first two days. If you have to leave, make sure to put a Pull-Up on them! There will be a lot of accidents. Don’t get mad, don’t get frustrated, don’t give up. This is normal! – Bethanie from The Garcia Diaries […]

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    September 1, 2016 at 11:39 am

    I know you said you had her try to use the potty every twenty minutes. How long did she actually sit on the potty? Thank you for the good ideas and chart! I am eager to start!

    • Reply
      Bethanie Garcia
      September 1, 2016 at 3:32 pm

      I made her sit for at least five minutes and bribed her with candy!

  • Reply
    The Potty School
    September 9, 2016 at 10:04 pm

    I just wanted to say Bethanie, I think that you did a great job speaking to a diverse audience that can be so divided (and cruel to each other!) about potty training styles. Well written! And, your daughter is SUCH a cutie! This is a different process than I used with my own kids, but my husband and I have trained some kiddos who have stayed with us for extended periods. For one of those kiddos stickers were the way to his heart. I actually teach potty training and have some other methods I use – but I would heartily agree that the number one thing you need is a good attitude!

  • Reply
    Kelly G.
    September 16, 2016 at 7:38 pm

    Besides nap and bedtime using pull-ups, what was your daughter in during the day? Naked waist down or underwear?

    • Reply
      Bethanie Garcia
      September 18, 2016 at 11:13 am

      We use underwear because my daughter hates being naked!

    • Reply
      January 13, 2021 at 9:17 pm

      Did you have times where you would sit her in the potty and she wouldn’t go pee or poop but still wanted the candy? If so how did you get her to understand she couldn’t have the candy?

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    Cera Roper
    January 17, 2017 at 8:14 am

    Thank you for posting your experience. Out of all the other posts I have read yours had the best attitude about it and just seemed very practical. I started our two year old this past weekend and it is going better than l ever imagined! It’s not as scary as l thought lol
    I did want to know when you stopped asking every twenty minutes if they had to go or if you kept asking but extended their time in between. What worked for you?

    • Reply
      Bethanie Garcia
      January 17, 2017 at 9:39 am

      After day two, we didn’t have to ask! My daughter was aware of the urge and we just asked every few hours!!

      • Cera Roper
        January 17, 2017 at 11:07 am

        That’s great! Lol thank you again for your tips

  • Reply
    March 1, 2017 at 1:19 pm

    My daughter is almost 2 1/2 and we started potty training today using the method in your blog. The potty chart has been a great visual for her! My question is…what do you do on day 4 and beyond? Do you still take them every 20-30 minutes or increase the time between potty breaks? Also would you suggest keeping her in underwear during the day or a pull up? I would imagine underwear and pull ups during nap and nighttime?

    • Reply
      Bethanie Garcia
      March 1, 2017 at 4:35 pm

      Hi Ashley!!!

      By Day 4, they should have a full grasp on what it feels like to be wet and understand why they don’t like that feeling. If your daughter doesn’t yet, just repeat day 2-3 until she does :) Definitely remind her about the bathroom every hour if she hasn’t asked you. And we did underwear during the day with a pull-up at naptime and nighttime!

  • Reply
    March 10, 2017 at 11:27 am

    Hi. Thanks for the post! My boy is 2 and a half years old. It’s been 4 days I’ve started training him. He’s going good with the pee but he just wouldn’t poop in the pot. What should I do?

    • Reply
      Bethanie Garcia
      March 20, 2017 at 12:06 am

      It took my daughter two weeks before she was brave enough to poop on the toilet! I would just be patient and consistent :)

  • Reply
    April 24, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    Both my kids have been stubborn over potty training among other things. My daughter almost 6 wasn’t finished daytime potty training until she was 4. She potty trained herself at night shortly after. She was terrified of going in the potty even though I had done all you have suggested. Her doctor even told me I was doing perfectly it was that my daughter was stubborn. I had tried the first time when she was 18 months for 1 day and no matter how positive and loving I was she hated the potty. So we stopped and had to try again two other times with large time lapses in between because I figured she wasn’t ready. The last time she was 4 and I just had to tough love her threw it. She got it quickly but cried so much (she is a real drama queen) and unfortunately by then my 2 year old son witnessed this and thinks potty training is horrible. He is now 3.5 years old and either ignores me or yells no whenever I just try to talk about potty training. Last summer we tried potty training outside and he didn’t even notice he was peeing everywhere. Still staying positive and upbeat around him but seriously nervous after how hard it’s been. After all the Thomas the train potty books, stickers, playing with his potty seat he thinks that stuff is funny. He will occasionally play sitting on it with his cloths on. I just don’t want to mess this up. I’m trying so hard and I want this to be positive. We have had to change diapers for six years and I’m done. I was planning on talking to him showing him the date on the calendar in May when it’s no more diapers and explaining the reward system. Then just doing it even if he’s not happy about it. He is a very immature kid who daydreams so I’m wondering if I will spend all day cleaning up peeling and he will learn nothing. He also was scared of pooping last time we tried and got very constipated despite the fact that we gave him tons of watered down apple juice. He is completely present and very smart when he wants to be. What would you do?

  • Reply
    May 9, 2017 at 5:59 pm

    So what if you already started potty training without the chart and now they are losing interest in it and wont go anymore. I have twin girls and ive been potty training them for almost a month and a half now and its like they gave gotten so used to the pullups that i was even thinking going comando for a whole weekeend. What should i do?

  • Reply
    Deb T.
    May 25, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    Thank you for these tips. My daughter is 2 1/2 gears old. She will go on the potty when I ask her. Since I will be for 3 days straight I’m going to give this a try. I’m going to let her pick out her stuff first. Thank you.

  • Reply
    June 3, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    I’m reading everything that I can about potty training. I have a 3 1/2-year old foster girl who is developmentally delayed by about two years. So she isn’t quite a two year old in many respects. But, she has a 3-year olds appetite and poops and I am DONE with cleaning her up. So….. that is why I am determined to potty train her. Thank you for your tips and ideas. Do you have any wisdom to pass on regarding a developmentally delayed child?

  • Reply
    Parenting Passage
    July 20, 2017 at 6:18 am

    Love this post! Thanks for sharing the potty training chart.

  • Reply
    August 4, 2017 at 11:46 pm

    Thank you for the helpful post! I am gearing up for the first week of September and I am dreading having to use public restrooms when out and about. What are the best (and most sanitary!) ways to use a public restroom with a two year old?

  • Reply
    Ceyda Demircan
    August 17, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    Hi Bethanie, I find your tips useful. I started training and this is the fourth day but my 22 month toddler is not aware of the urge nor even the wetness. Maybe she is aware because she does not want me take her to change clothes buy does not tell me about the “accident”. She is happy to use the potty when I urge her and keep her busy on the potty and she dances with the song from fisher price potty upon pee or poop. But thats all. She does not inform me about any urge or wetness. People say its early for her but I dont want to give up and dont know what to do. Can you give me some advise? Thank you for sharing your experiences. Xo

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    Bethanie Tyson
    September 24, 2017 at 11:34 am

    I have a 4 (almost 5) year old who has been out of diapers and pull-ups since 2 years. Now I have a 19 month old and don’t remember how we did it so easy with the last one lol. My little one comes to us and says “pee pee on potty” but it’s usually too late as she tells us right before she goes and I think is trying to tell us poop. She says ouch and holds her tummy. I think she is ready. She fears sitting up on big potties, even with the little seats on them. I will have to try this strategy. Just don’t know when I’ll have 3 days to do it lol

    • Reply
      Bethanie Garcia
      September 26, 2017 at 8:32 am

      Good luck, mama! Yes, we had to literally carve out 3 days from our schedule. But it was so worth it!


  • Reply
    October 20, 2017 at 7:32 pm

    So helpful! Got any tips for me, we recently half potty trained my son he would go pee in his potty every time but he would ask for a diaper for poop! We can’t seem to get him to poop out of a diaper, he will hold it till we put a diaper on, also it has been a week or so and he’s now not telling me when he has to pee and just pees in his underwear and on the floor everytime… I am at a total haze and just doubting everything if I went wrong in something??

    • Reply
      Amanda G
      January 15, 2018 at 1:34 pm

      Hello, I hope your situation has improved but I thought I’d share what I’ve read recently. Ive only started potty training my daughter and she’s my only child so please understand im not an expert but just sharing what I’ve read online. I read that if your child won’t poop outside of the diaper to get your child to sit on potty with diaper and poop. After a few times begin to cut holes in the butts and again sit on potty with diaper on for pooping. Than eventually they will understand that poop goes in potty…it’s worth a try. Good luck!

  • Reply
    October 22, 2017 at 5:41 pm

    How long do you suggest them sitting on the toilet before you let them up?

  • Reply
    January 6, 2018 at 3:23 am

    Thanks for posting! I am on day 4 of this and my son still won’t go on the potty. We’ve had a lot of accidents and a lot of holding pee. Funny though, he’s pooped on the potty twice! Any thoughts on how to help him relax and pee? Or do I need to take a break with him?

    • Reply
      Bethanie Garcia
      January 9, 2018 at 1:25 pm

      Have you tried having him shoot cheerios in the toilet? I’ve only potty trained girls, but I’m about to start potty training my son soon and I’ve heard that’s a great tip!

      Also, incentives work well!! How old is he?

  • Reply
    January 12, 2018 at 12:39 pm

    My grandson just turned three and hstes underwear so bad that he screams and cries ubtil he hyperventilates! Any thiught?

  • Reply
    Amanda G
    January 15, 2018 at 1:26 pm

    yout Tips are great and I’ve been very strict with following all guidelines. The first day we had many accidents and one successful pee in the potty. Second day we had only accidents all day. She even started to resist after her nap so I put a pull up on her because I didn’t want her to feel it was a punishment. Day three we’ve had one successful attempt and multiple accidents so far. Ant tips? She is about to be 22 months olds and started showing signs of readiness at 17 months. We are doing stickers and definitely get excited when she goes correctly but I’m interested in your thoughts.

  • Reply
    June 21, 2018 at 5:19 pm

    My daughter is 20 months and we’ve been building up to the potty training for a while now. We’ve tried putting her on the potty even mid poop we’ve sat her down. I think she’s starting to understand the concept but hasn’t taken the step to actually sit on her own. I’m off work next week so starting Monday we’re going to try your three day method. Hopefully we’ll be successful because I’m sick of diapers! LOL when you say your daughter on the potty how long did you have her sit for? I know you said every 20 mins but how long did you actually have her sit on the toilet?

    • Reply
      Bethanie Garcia
      June 24, 2018 at 8:54 pm

      Good luck, mama!

      And I would have her sit for a few minutes – nothing crazy! And constantly ask her if she has to pee!

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    August 9, 2018 at 11:49 pm

    My son is 2 and a half and he doesn’t speak yet, he’s speech delayed, and I’m afraid to start potty training as he doesn’t really understand what we say to him.
    Any tips for me??? ?

  • Reply
    October 1, 2018 at 8:56 am

    This was so helpful! It is a challenging season, but so worth it for everyone in the end!

  • Reply
    October 1, 2018 at 8:58 am

    Thanks for sharing! It is such a big milestone for kids and a new way of living. It is a great time to celebrate!

  • Reply
    Alyssa M.
    January 9, 2019 at 10:12 am

    Hi Bethanie,
    I love this post! I am a first time mom and my daughter will be 2 tomorrow :) We have started talking about potty training and she definitely gets excited about the idea of it. We have both a potty seat for the toilet and small potty. She seemed uncomfortable at first when I put her on the toilet seat potty so we bought her her own potty which she she has sat on a coupe of times so far….but just sits and plays, doesn’t really understand that its for potty only and not a toy. So my question is, if I put her on the toilet potty seat, how long do I let her sit there before I say its time to get up and wipe and wash our hands? Maybe I’m starting too early and she isn’t ready? But that seems to be our problem right now, she just likes to sit there, doesn’t go pee or poo. Any advice would be appreciated, thank you!

  • Reply
    Marilee Chapin
    March 13, 2019 at 4:04 pm

    I’m so frustrated. I’m a mother, grandmother and have had my own home daycare several years ago. So I have potty trained more children than I can remember. I am now a nanny for two beautiful children that I just adore, but… I feel like the parents drop the ball when I’m not there. The now 3 year old just doesn’t really seem to care if he wets his undies or not. I politely suggested the chart method but they are not consistent. I can only do so much as I am only there so many days. I do not want to tell them that they need to put their phones down and laptops away and pay attention, but I feel they are too distracted. HELP!!!

  • Reply
    Potty Training
    June 24, 2019 at 5:04 am

    Nice Blog, Very Helpful I am definitely going to try your tips for the my baby’s potty training.

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