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DIY: Potty Training Rewards System

Alison Wood | 4, August 2013


Potty-training is an intimidating task. No one looks forward to the accidents and unending trips to the bathroom. However, simply incorporating a rewards program into potty training will make it more enjoyable for your little one as well as the parents! Who doesn't enjoy giving their little ones treats and rewards? The happy expressions on their faces are all the thanks you need.

Do you like the idea of a potty training reward system? Don't purchase one online, instead make it yourself! It takes just a little planning, time and creativity. It also takes some dough since you have to purchase special rewards. Prepare for one week at a time and then you can slowly taper off the rewards system.

Ready to get started? All right, here we go!

Make a visually appealing chart.
Take a trip to your local school supply shop and grab some poster board. You want to have a large enough chart that your munchkin can see his or her progress. Embellish your chart with stickers, foam pieces, glitter, cut-outs of his favorite cartoon characters and other fun goodies. Using hand drawn lines make boxes for the days of the week and allow for about 20 smaller boxes underneath each day to place a sticker. Every time your child has a successful potty attempt, let him place a sticker on the chart. If your child is scared of sitting on the potty, begin by rewarding him or her for just sitting on the potty. Since a toddler can have loads of potty visits, allow for about 20 boxes underneath each day. You are not trying to fill up each box, but you want to make sure you reward each successful trip to the toilet.

Deliver the goods.
Decide if you want to reward every successful potty attempt with a small reward such as gummy bears or an M & M. If you want to make larger prizes, have a sheet handy to show your little one how many stickers equals which prize. For example, you can place three stickers on a piece of paper and then draw a picture of the prize. For three stickers, you could draw an ice cream cone. Five stickers could be a trip to the library. Seven stickers could be a trip to the park. 10 stickers could be a favorite movie and special snacks. Whatever your tyke enjoys, use this for effective potty-training.

Visit the toilet frequently.
In the very beginning of potty training, you want to take your toddler to the potty about every 30 minutes with hopes of catching him at the right time. Your little one has to learn what it feels like "to go" and this takes a little practice. After a few attempts, your munchkin may understand what you are trying to get him to do. For others, it takes a little longer to comprehend the whole process.

Stay focused.
If your trainee needs to go potty and you are busy cooking or answering emails, stop and take him potty! Don't wait and then not reward him because he had an accident. Potty training takes commitment from the trainer as well as the trainee. Choose a week that is not so busy in your schedule so you will not be tempted to lose focus of the potty-training schedule.

Be a cheer-leader.
Accidents are bound to happen—they always do when someone is learning a new skill. Prepare for them and don't show frustration. Instead encourage your munchkin that they can do this and it takes mistakes to learn a new skill. Don't make frustrated noises as you clean up the accident or give your child the, "What did you do?" glare. This will only discourage his ambition to potty-train.

Be consistent.
The two major times a toddler has to potty are first thing in the morning and first thing after naps. Remember that factor and be ready to literally run them to the potty at these times. You can set the rhythm for the day by making sure you catch that first morning potty time. Since it is an easier time to have a productive experience, ensure you don't miss it—every...single...morning.

Don't neglect the reward system.
Maybe you are excited now about setting up a reward system, but it will not work if you do not place a sticker on the chart every single time your child uses the potty. If your munchkin goes to the potty, immediately praise him and take him to the chart and hand him the sticker to place on the chart. Seeing and charting his progress will speed up the potty-training as he visually begins to comprehend that he is getting this potty training thing!

Alison Wood is a stay-at-home mom of six and freelance writer and blogger. She enjoys raising her six children and desires to share her experiences to help other mothers.

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tunysha Aug 7, 2013 05:21:50 PM ET

I love,this site because it gives me all the information that i need and want. Thank god for this site and thank god for babys. But im blessed for my baby boy.

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