How Long Will Toilet Training Take? Is Potty Training in a Day or in 3 Days Realistic?


How long does toilet training take?

I was about to start toilet training. I rung Mum and casually dropped in to the conversation that hubby had a long weekend and we were going to nail potty training with my little man in 3 days.

In her gracious wisdom and sarcastic tone she replied "good luck with that".

I had been to a toilet training workshop, read the toilet training in 3 days book, purchased some undies, had the potty ready to rock.

What could go wrong, right?

Oh my, little did I know that we were in for a very looooong weekend spent trying to convince my rather emotional and at times reluctant child to use the toilet and stop pooing and weeing in his undies.
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Here's what I realised about my parenting journey at the time. When you are going through a stage for the first time, you rely on the so called "experts" to tell you what to do. If the book/you tube video/google search says that toilet training can be done and dusted in 3 days we have permission to get a little bit excited.
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Because just around the corner is freedom from nappy changes (that can be misunderstood as wrestling matches or negotiation sessions)...
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freedom from lugging a nappy bag everywhere....
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freedom from having to clean up toddler poo (that really is smelling like adult poo now days)....
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Here's what I have found. Kids who are very compliant, go with the flow kids who adapt to change with ease will probably toilet train within a shorter window of time. 
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You know the ones - "can you go and put your toys away?" 
"Ok Mummy" and off they trot to do the job.
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Those types of kids who will do anything you ask them to do are generally a lot easier to toilet train because half the battle is just getting them to the toilet and then getting them to stay long enough to do the business on it. It your child will do as they are told then it does feel easier.
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But if your child is a bit of a boundary pusher and frequently enters the dreaded tantrum zone. Where most days you feel you have to employ all of your negotiation skills just to get them to do everyday things like wear clothes and put some shoes on. Then the dream bubble of toilet training in a day or toilet training in 3 days like the American books say, may not be a reality.
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Cue sigh....
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But don't worry this blog is not designed to bring you down and make you feel helpless. You can help your fussy, yet oh so cute child to toilet train by following a few simple principles.
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1. Choose the right time
There is not right toilet training age and just because your friends are toilet training their kids it doesn't mean that it is the right time for your child. Click HERE to view an interview on the Breakfast show to find out about the signs to look out for. 
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2. Do your homework and get a plan
If you are thinking about potty training your girl aged 2 years or potty training your little boy then do your homework first. Don't just put them in undies on Saturday and when they keep filling their pants with wees, then give up on Sunday saying "they're not ready"
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The thing I really like about the potty training in 3 days idea is at least there was a bit of a guide to follow. The problem is that lots of children don't follow the simple guide.
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When it says get them to sit on the toilet - how the heck to do you convince your active little person to leave the play area and sit still long enough to do something on it?
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You need a realistic plan to follow that helps to encourage your child's motivation and behaviour, to teach them what to do. And when you feel the plan is not working you need some strategies to try so you don't end up with tears and tantrums.
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That's why I have put the Looloo Game together. Focus on playing a game instead of giving lectures and watch the magic happen. Find it HERE
3. Avoid the comparison trap
Don't start comparing your child to others and share your toilet training journey with friends who are not going to give you ideas and encouragement that is constructive. Here's our group that "just get's it" many of the parents in this group have just toilet trained there kids or are in the process of doing so. Find us HERE
4. Set realistic expectations
Don't put aside a weekend and expect that by Sunday night you will be cracking open the wine or coffee with a fully toilet trained kid. Set realistic expectations and start warming your child into toilet training way before you take them out of nappies full time.
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Join the next no nappy weekend and I'll show you how to set your child up for success and support you for 7 days as you start the journey. click HERE
So in answer to the question how long does toilet training take?
I always answer....
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How long is a piece of string?
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Every kid is different but there are definitely things you can do to make it easier and way less stressful. Starting with realistic expectations is always helpful.
Laura