You asked

Is it really possible to potty train a child in a few days?

When most parents think of potty training, they think of weeks or months of hard work. However, it’s been proven over and over by psychologists and others that potty training in a few days, or even less, is possible.

The key here is to remember that your child isn’t going to be fully potty trained in a few days – there will still be accidents. However, when using these quick training methods, many children can be using the potty most of the time in a matter of days.
You will also still have to help with taking off and putting on clothes, emptying the potty and washing hands will also take weeks or months of work. In fact, it’s better to think of these three days as the start of the process, rather than the end. However, it does speed things up.  The ideas we outline here are based on a potty training technique developed in the US.

Once you’ve established that your child is developmentally ready to potty train, stock up on supplies and equipment: several potties, wipes, cleaning rags, juice or water, and snacks that encourage urination, such as salty crackers and foods with a high water content.

Equip your car for accidents by using an absorbent pad in your child’s car seat too.
Clear a weekend of all other activities, and designate it as your potty training weekend.

Devise a potty dance that you and your child will use to celebrate ‘victory.’

Spend a few weeks before your scheduled potty weekend taking your child along to the toilet with you. You can even do your ‘potty dance’ after you’ve gone if you like.

Place a potty in each of the rooms in the house that your child uses.

Show your child the nappies in his or her room, and tell them that as from the Saturday of the designated weekend, he or she won’t have to wear nappies anymore. In fact, your child will be allowed to be naked (or covered in loose trousers if you so choose).

On day one of the potty weekend, make sure that your child is always near yourself or your partner, and that he or she is naked from the waist down or wearing loose trousers. As soon as you notice your child starting to ‘go’ take him or her to the nearest potty.

Spend the weekend eating salty snacks, and drinking lots of water and other drinks, so that everyone has to go to the toilet often, and when you do, take your child with you.
When your child successfully uses the potty, celebrate with your potty dance, and when he or she misses, and has an accident, tell him or her in a disappointed voice that pee and poop goes in the potty.

Tell your child to go to the potty before nap time or bed.

Follow the same procedure on day two of your potty weekend, but as a reward for using the potty, go out for an hour in the afternoon. This will (hopefully) link using the potty with going out for your child, and encourage an accident free outing.

On day three, follow the same process, but have your child go in the morning and the afternoon, followed immediately by a trip out of the house.

This method requires that your child is naked at home, and wears only loose pants when out. The reasoning is that to children, training pants feel like nappies, and they will not be encouraged to use the potty. It does allow for you to use nappies and training pants while your child naps or sleeps.

This method doesn’t always work, and if your child is not ready, you might need to stop and try again. However, it does make rewarding your child for using the potty obsolete, and it can give parents who have no idea where to start a great launch pad into potty training success.

More questions

How to remind your child to use the toilet without nagging or irritating them.
Many people believe that using cloth nappies instead of disposables will help speed up the potty training process.
Most often when a child refuses to sit on the potty, they are not ready for potty training.
Your daughter will have better success potty training if you understand the proper steps and use an approach that gets results.
Potty training is a big step for a toddler and will require much patience on your part. Your son must be ready to take this big step.
Great tips for avoiding constipation so as to make potty training smoother and less stressful for your toddler.
How to encourage your child to use the potty with rewards
Potty training is quite a procedure! Whether it’s your first or your fifth time potty training a child, these tips can help.
There are a few things you can buy to make potty training your preschooler a little easier on everyone.
When to start potty training is completely dependent on when your toddler feels ready