One of the best ways to potty train your little one is to give positive associations with using the bathroom. To do that, sometimes it takes a little reinforcement. Every child is different, so every incentive may not work with every child, but trial and error can help you figure out what works best for your child. You might even need a combination of incentives, so feel free to get creative. Here are some things you can try:
- Potty dance – Place your child on the toilet or potty chair at regular intervals. When he or she uses the potty, make up a special song and a silly dance to do together. Sometimes it’s just that simple.
- Sticker chart – Hang a sticker chart dedicated to just using the potty. When your child uses it, let him or her choose a favorite sticker and place it on the chart.
- Books – Place a few special books in the bathroom and dedicate those books for use only while using the potty.
- Big kid underpants – Allow your child to choose a favorite character or design on a pack of underpants. This makes the transition from diapers more rewarding and gets your child excited about wearing underpants.
- Point system – You can give your child a point — this could be a ticket, putting a marble in a jar, etc. — and let him or her save up. If your child saves up twenty points, it could mean a $20 trip to the toy store.
- Activity time —For every time your child uses the potty, allow fifteen minutes play at a park, blowing bubbles or doing another fun activity.
- Coloring books – Allow your child to color one page in a special coloring book each time he or she uses the potty.
- Potty art – Color the toilet water with either red or blue food coloring. When your child uses the bathroom, the water will “magically” change colors to orange or green.
- Treasure box – Decorate a shoe box and make it a special potty training treasure chest. Fill it with stickers, treats and little toys from the dollar store and allow your child to choose a prize each time he or she uses the bathroom.
- Target practice (for boys) – Drop a few pieces of cereal in the toilet and make a game out of aiming for them. This will reward your son for both potty training and teach him how to aim.
- Potty pal – If your little one has a special stuffed animal, let him or her bring it to the bathroom when (but set the potty pal on a sink or edge of the tub so it doesn’t go for an unintentional swim).
- Potty training apps – In the digital age, there is even an app for potty training. Check out your device’s application marketplace to find the right reward app for your child.
- Celebration – Make a phone call (or video call) to grandma or grandpa so your child can brag about their potty accomplishments. Fist bump, chest bump or double high fives are encouraged.
- Movies – Let your child watch a favorite movie or TV show after a full day of using the potty. (You know want to watch Frozen for the 1,678th time!)
It’s important not to scold your child for accidents while potty training, or you could completely derail your child’s progress. Patience is key when it comes to potty training, so realize that while some kids are quick to potty train, others take a long time.
For information on how potty training is handled at Sparkles! contact your child’s teacher or a member of the staff. Here’s to potty training!