We heard it over and over again, potty training boys is hard to do. They are so much harder than girls, people would tell us. Enters Oh Crap! Potty Training by Jamie Glowacki to change the game.
So what exactly is the oh crap potty training method? In summary, the oh crap potty training method is a no-nonsense three-day training to get your kid out of pull-ups, into training underwear to big boy underwear, and going to the bathroom on their own.
Which includes no pants and potty training without diapers.
You dedicate a slot of time like an uninterrupted weekend to do nothing but focus on potty training. No work, no meetings, no outings or get-togethers. Potty training only. All of your attention goes to this one thing and one person or two if you have multiples.
And I must say this was the jump start we needed to make this method work. You learn their cues and any fears your child may have about sitting on the potty or toilet. It’s a chance to pick up on those rather quickly and you can work through them as you go.
Jamie Glowacki’s method was the most effective potty training method for us.
I recognize this won’t be the case for everyone but Oh Crap was a breeze for my son and us. I read the entire book first before implementing it. Whether you read as you go or read the book beforehand I highly recommend reading the book from front to back. It covered everything you could think of.
Related: Functional Travel Potty Options For Toddlers
My two biggest Oh Crap potty training tips are 1. Read the book in its entirety and 2. Stay in each block for as long as you need to. We will go over the blocks soon.
Why was I hooked and ready to dive right in after reading? I’m a Montessori parent which is heavy on teaching kids independence. The book does just that. While you are picking up on cues, they are learning to listen to their body and go pee and poo when they need to instead of when they are told to.
So if you are wondering if the oh crap potty training method works, it does. It really does as long as you can put forth the effort to dedicate uninterrupted time to it.
At what age should you start potty training your child? The age range between twenty and thirty months is great. Twenty-four months is the age we started.
Kids are looking for more independence. They are eager to learn and want to be outstanding little helpers. They want applause for everything they do, and as the author states, they are much more interested in pleasing their parents around this age.
How long does it take to potty train with the oh crap method? Now, will you be done at the end of three days? Probably not. Every child is unique and their needs are different. The timeframe might be different for everyone but even if your child has it down in three days, going to the bathroom on his or her own in three days as our son did.
You still need a solid two to three weeks to make sure they are not regressing and they can wake on their own when they fill the urge to go at night. An accident here and there will happen and that’s ok.
Related: 15 Must-Have Toddler Diaper Bag Essentials
Rewards- With Oh Crap! Potty Training, rewards are not recommended. We followed this and did not give rewards. We praised our son every time he went to the potty, especially when he went without needing prompting or needing to tell us he had to go. For that, we felt he deserved great praise.
If you feel your child will respond better to rewards, grab my free printable potty training charts.
Related: Toddler Essentials For Everyday Use
What you will need:
- Potty chair
- Training pants
- Cleaning spray
- Oh Crap book
Patience– Patience is a must no matter what potty training techniques you are using. There will be accidents and having pee and/or poop on the floor can cause a lot of anxiety but it will happen. Maybe once or maybe more but it’s part of the process.
Potty training is messy, and that can add some frustration.
Potty Chair– Should you use a potty seat or a potty chair? A potty chair is perfect to start with. It is the perfect size for toddlers. No need to climb up on the toilet or even feel like the cold toilet is going to swallow them whole.
Boys do need to start off in a sitting position on their potty chairs in the beginning.
While you can carry around a potty seat with a potty chair not only is it portable, they can sit and go with nothing under it. Take the pan and dump everything out or tie up the disposable bag and toss it.
Cleaning Spray- Keep cleaning spray on the ready-to quickly clean up accidents.
Training Pants- This method is bare-bottom potty training. This will continue for a few blocks before you can move to training pants. The difference between regular underpants and training pants is the thickness. If they have an accident, their underpants won’t be extremely saturated with training pants.
Wipes– Keep them all around the house and in the car. Don’t leave home without. Even when they have “going potty” down pact you never know when they’ll have to go.
Oh Crap! Book- And of course, you’ll need the book in order to follow along the way the author suggests.
Related: Interactive 4-Year-Old Chore Chart
Get my chore chart for kids to help teach practical life skills.
Oh Crap Potty Training Method Blocks
Block One– Block One begins on the day you start your potty training journey. This is where you plan absolutely nothing and watch your child like a hawk, watching for cues. During block one, they are fully naked. I’ll tell you our son wore a shirt instead of being fully naked.
You can decide to either give praise or reflect on their achievements. On the first day, they may poop or hold it. Our son held it.
You can prompt your child to go sit to pee and poop or they can do it on their own. If they are not sitting on the potty to poop or pee whether prompted it is recommended to stay in block one until they do.
Block Two- Commando In block two they’re moving up in the world. LOL. They can put their clothes on in this block but still no underwear. At this point, kids should be able to sense when it’s time to pee, and/or their grownup should be able to pick up on the potty signs.
If they have an accident theirs no snug underwear to catch the poop and pee. They will remember this feeling and try to avoid it from happening again.
They will still wear diapers for naps and bedtime during block two. It’s recommended to explain why the diaper is going on and when you will remove it. Per Jaime, around 2 to 6 days from your start date are the hardest phase and when most families quit potty training.
Potty training with training pants is good when it’s time to move to underpants. But pull-ups are not helpful they will remind your child of being in a diaper.
Block Three- Putting it all together and solidifying the skills learned. In block three, it’s time to trust the process and leave the house for long periods and go potty in public places.
Block Four- Progress has been made, add the undies.
Block Five- They should be able to know when it’s time to go to the bathroom, but it’s ok if you still need to prompt them sometimes.
Block Six- Only applies if you didn’t do night and nap training at the same time as day training. Keep the potty close by to make it easier for them to get to.
We purchased two potties to have one for upstairs and one down.
Block Seven- Keep going and always check in with your kids for bathroom breaks. Bring extra clothes and underpants for the “just in case”.
Side note: Try not to mix days with blocks. Focus on the blocks only because you could already be in block 3 on the second day of starting.
Related: Toddler Essentials For Everyday Use
- Know your daycare’s policy or your nanny’s opinion on assisting with the process.
- Learn your child’s pee and poop patterns in order to provide this information to your child’s care provider.
- Determine a phase that your child will use at home and in daycare when they have to go potty. Potty was our word. We would say do you have to go potty? Or Joakim would say potty mommy/daddy.
- You may need to bring a diaper or pull-up for daycare. Check with your daycare.
- Be sure your child knows which daycare provider will assist them with the potty.
- Have a discussion about your child’s privacy.
Quickly go back through the blocks to determine where things are going wrong. That will help you pinpoint where the breakdown is happening.
While I have never potty trained a little girl, it wasn’t by any means difficult for us to potty train our son. We had no challenges at all. I’ve concluded that boys are harder to potty train is nothing more than a myth.
This is modern family potty training at its best and it’s a great resource to get you started on the right foot. I hope you find this post helpful and have great success on your journey.
Each day they will gain more confidence and interest in using the “big potty”.
Oh Crap Potty Training FAQs
At what age should you start potty training your child?
The age range between twenty and thirty months is great. As I mentioned above, 24 months was a good age to start for us. Kids are looking for more independence. They are eager to learn and be outstanding little helpers. They want applause for everything they do, and as the author states, they are much more interested in pleasing their parents around this age.
Does the 3-day potty training method work?
Whether your child will be potty trained within 3 days totally depends on your child. It can certainly take longer than 3 days. But the Oh Crap! Potty Training 3-day method absolutely works, it gives all the tools you need to have a successful experience. It’s a step-by-step guide and everything that you can think of or didn’t think of is there for you.
We had great success and our son was potty trained in 3 days.
Why is potty training so hard?
In my opinion and experience, potty training can be difficult because of inconsistency. If you are not dedicated to the process and consistent, it’s a hard task to complete.
Is a 4-year-old too old not to be potty trained?
You may run into some trouble with daycare and preschools. Many preschools want your child to be potty trained around this age. The author of Oh Crap! Potty Training talks a lot about having to deal with behavior issues at the age of 36 months and older and your child gaining and wanting much more independence which can in turn create “power struggles”.
Should you punish your child when potty training?
No, you shouldn’t punish your child when potty training. Accidents will happen and they need your guidance and direction. It is our job to watch our toddlers like a hawk while they are learning.
What should you not do when potty training?
- You shouldn’t have a full schedule while potty training
- Don’t rush your child
- No need to punish them
- Pull-ups are not needed
- Don’t leave the potty chair behind. Take it with you even for outside play. When they have to go they have to go!
- Don’t be impatient!
Amanda HallmanJuly 6, 2020 at 7:45 pm
No where was this when I was teaching LJ! It would have saved me many headaches! That kid did not want to poop in a potty to save his life!!
MoJuly 7, 2020 at 12:34 am
It is gold! There is so much I never even thought about. I can now completely understand why it may take longer if you don’t have some type of direction or guidance.