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Potty Training

Updated on May 21, 2016

Cold Turkey Method

So in our research on potty training methods, we came across one method entitled "cold turkey potty training". It seems painful as when you ponder the though of "cold turkey" you most likely think of smoking cessation. This isn't nearly as painful as you would have guessed.

Instead of beating around the bush with potty training and pull up diapers, you essentially "rip off the band-aid" and diapers are just GONE. This appealed to me because I'm a very straightforward person. So, this is the most straightforward potty training method I could find.

We had some underwear from my nephew that he did not use so we started there. I also bought a pack of underwear on Amazon, but it wasn't coming for a few days. So we went to Target where he could pick out his own underwear to make it more as though it was his "choice" to potty train.

We wanted to begin on a day when we had no big plans, nowhere to be and a day when our son was home the entire day, on the weekend. That morning we got him up, put him on the potty and instead of putting on a diaper, we put on underwear. We explained to him that if he did not go on the potty he was going to be wet if he peed in his pants. He started off strong and wanted to go on the potty. Then he began to wet his pants. He didn't get as upset as we had hoped he would, to be honest. We were expecting him to get so upset that he wet his pants that he wouldn't do it again. This was not necessarily the case. He did tell us AFTER he wet his pants. And then proceeded to walk like he had one leg on each side of a canyon.

After day #1 I honestly have to say we weren't as confident as we were that morning. He had to have peed his pants at least 10 times. Luckily we had towels on the couch otherwise our expensive sectional may have been destroyed. Day #2 we sent him to pre-school with a huge bag full of underwear, shorts and pull ups in case they ran out of clothes for him. We felt that may have been necessary based upon the previous day. Well, the teacher who was there during the drop off did not relay the message to our son's teacher so this day was a waste. Day #3, his teacher had him in underwear ALL DAY (except nap time). He did not have one accident. He told her when he had to go. He came home in the same shorts we sent him to school in. Today is day #4 so I'm not sure what the outcome will be but, I can't wait to hear at the end of the day!

While we expected this process to be quite messy, it actually wasn't too bad. When he did begin to pee his pants on day #1, he was able to stop and finished on the potty. No carpets were ruined. No furniture needed re-upholstering. Just a few loads of laundry and a heck of a lot of time in the bathroom!

Of course we had incentive as well. If he goes #1 on the potty he gets a jelly bean. We have an assortment of bright colored sour ones, which he thinks are amazing. So when he goes he immediately states "I want my prize!". He then decides which color jelly bean he would like. If he goes #2 on the potty we have a bucket of prizes including matchbox cars, stickers, play doh, crayons.

Overall, I recommend this method. Seems like it was a pretty quick transition initially. Of course, we are not by any means 100% potty trained, but I think it's an excellent start!

Keeping the Couch Clean

Cold Turkey? Yay or Nay?

Would you potty train using the "Cold Turkey" method?

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    • veraspages profile image

      Vera P 

      3 years ago from Brampton, Ontario

      I will definitely consider this in the next year when my toddler turns 3. Thanks for the useful tips.

    • MJStaysHome profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Jo 

      3 years ago from PA

      I agree Kathleen. He sees the other kids do it and then wants to do it himself! :) Last night we were at a restaurant and he told me he had to go! I'm so proud!

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 

      3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      I think this method was probably helped by this little one being in daycare. The teachers had surely been through this process many times, weren't stressed about it, plus the other children were a factor. After waiting until age 3 to potty train 2 boys, I say, whatever works! Good luck!

    • ThePracticalMommy profile image


      3 years ago from United States

      I have been considering this with my 2 yo. Good to see you had positive results!

    • georgialgal1984 profile image

      Mrs Clark 

      3 years ago from United States

      Some friends of mine and I have done this over the years with our little ones and it seems to work well and get them potty trained faster. Hope you have a great day~ :)


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