Obviously, the incentive for you is to stop wiping butts, stop buying diapers, and save around $1600 per year! But potty training incentives for the child is what we’re talking about here. Obviously, every child is different, and only you know what makes them tick, but here are a few things that have worked on other children. See what’s best for you.
Potty Training Incentive #1: Small treats
I start here because you can always go bigger. A lady in my office potty trained both her children using M&M’s. Every time they went in the toilet, they got 1 M&M. Yup, just one. I thought this was so cheap, but the kids were excited and kept going every few minutes to get their treat. And since it’s just 1, you don’t have to worry too much about a dentist bill.
Potty Training Incentive #2: Target practice
Over the years we have heard that putting a cheerio in the toilet and asking boys to take aim has worked. This is obviously a boys-only incentive, and it’s fun and less messy.
Potty Training Incentive #3: Charts
Most kids like to see their progress. Make sure to tape a chart in the bathroom. Have stickers handy and let your child pick the sticker and place it on the chart. Sometimes letting them color in the box each time they “go” is more gratifying to the child. Takes a minute or so. I know this unorganized mess might kill your OCD, but this isn’t about you. Pottygenius.com offers some cute charts you can download easily to get you started.
Potty Training Incentive #4: Toy magazine
I used to sit my boys down on the toilet and let them read the big toy books that get sent out around the holidays. I told them I didn’t care if they went, but if they did, they can pick a prize from the magazine. They sat and read each day until they finally pooped, and then we went straight to the toy store. So instead of many small toys along the way, we went for one larger one.
Potty Training Incentive #5: Undies
I mean underwear is the goal, right?! But don’t forget character underwear is extremely exciting to a toddler, it’s sometimes better than a toy. Children will attempt training with underwear as the incentive. (Link to article “A note from Handcraft about underwear”)
Potty Training Incentive #6: Toys
Toys are always a great incentive, even small ones, but make sure they really do their business before you reward them. There are no 2nd place trophies in this contest, the child must go potty to earn their reward. If they don’t succeed on an attempt, still give them verbal praise and tell them they can try again later.
Again, find what works for you child. Potty training can be aggravating, but keep your cool, and you both will be rewarded.
See my other note about what to do if you’ve flooded your child with rewards and still having issues. Article is called “child holding it in all day”