What rewards work best for potty training?
Real Mom Problem
“Is bribing your kid okay to do for potty training or will they expect it all the time?”
- 1. If you offer rewards, they should be given immediately after the act so your toddler associates the reward with the accomplishment
- 2. Rewards are often most effective with children who are already close to being successfully potty trained
- 3. Stick to small rewards such as M&MS, stickers or coins (real or plastic)
- 4. Rewards don't need to be tangible items but can instead be a trip to the library, a phone call to grandma, or watching a favorite clip on YouTube
Real Mom Solutions
Should I reward my kid for going on the potty? Some moms say "definitely," others say "no way"! See what these moms had to say.
Praise (and Pride) Are Reward Enough
My daughter loves the potty! We make it fun and enjoyable, not like a burden. You have to remember that it's something brand new for them and that it's a huge accomplishment for them to go on the potty! We make sure she knows we're proud of her when she does by making it a big deal and letting her call Grandma and Papaw to tell them! If you're into in 100%, they will be too!
Some parents may think toys are necessary as rewards, others may use stickers, however I just danced around clapped and let him know how proud I was and it worked.
My 27 month old preemie just trained herself. She was ready, she wanted it. I had no part of it. No stickers, no candy, no bribery, just encouragement and cheers. If she wanted to stick around in diapers another 6 months, I wouldn't have cared. I believe this attitude is what worked for us. It has been no big deal, no stress. She poos and pees all on her own accord. Naked baby and panties have worked like a charm. She's speech delayed too and can't exactly tell me she needs to go. She just finds her potty and does her thing.
Give 'Em What They Love
For my own two, buying special panties with Tinkerbell or Disney Princesses on them was incentive enough to make them start trying.
Reward them with what they are into at the time. My son was 28 months old and potty trained in 4 days. He was into putting money into his piggy bank so we did a penny for a potty. He loved it and it was the cheapest way to do it. We tried candy, stickers even a grab bag full of small toys that he got to pick from. The only thing that worked was a penny for a potty.
People don't like bribery but it works. We tried stickers, and all sorts of things but small Matchbox cars had him poop trained overnight.
Make Potty Time Fun
First, we told him that he is a big boy now and he is responsible for going potty. Then, we told him that he would have to clean up, with supervision any time he had an accident. Third, we told him that he would be playing a game to defeat "stinky poo" we have a tally chart on the white board and anytime he gets to the potty and poops he gets a mark and any accidents, stinky poo gets the mark and whoever has the most at the end of the day wins. For every 7 days of wins, he gets a small prize and after a month of wins, he gets a bigger prize.
My son loved "target" practice. He didn't like to sit down and pee but really got into it when we gave him a cornstarch target or a Cheerio to aim at, and selection of target practice objects made the potty routine more interesting.
I would color the water blue or red so when they peed the water would turn orange or green!
Try These Mom-Tested Reward Methods
I did a sticker chart to see how many stickers they could get each day and by the end of the week we would celebrate by going to the big park, to the animal store to see the animals - basically whatever they wanted as long as it was within a range I set.
I used the reward system: stickers for pee (there is a paper hanging above the potty for him to display the stickers) and a couple M&M's for poop. I encouraged my son to wear underwear but learned the hard way that if he wants a diaper for the day to let him have it. I used a friend's slightly older son as motivation for him ("Lincoln wears underwear and goes in the potty"). It worked really well and I didn't have to use shame or anything. I started right before my son turned 2 and after a couple months he was barely having accidents at all.
I started off using a lot of praise and potty coins (plastic gold coins that were left over from a party). If she peed in the potty, my daughter received one coin. If she pooped, then she received two coins. She was praised a lot and then she got to pick one or two coins. At the end of the week, I would take her and her coins to the dollar store and let her cash in her coins. She picked out whatever she wanted at the time and handed the potty coins to the cashier. The cashiers were great about it and took the coins and put them in the bag when I told them she was potty training. I then paid with real cash. Not long after, I took my daughter shopping for underpants. She saw Mickey Mouse underpants that she wanted. I told her that she had to keep Mickey Mouse dry, because he didn't want to be peed or pooped on. That was all it took. 6 months later we are still accident free.
For every pee he got 2 M&Ms and a star sticker and for every poop he got 4 M&Ms and a dinosaur sticker. Once he finished a row he got a larger treat. My son would be in diapers to this day if we hadn't forced the issue. He just couldn't have cared less that he was sitting in his own waste. So stay strong and bribe, bribe, bribe!