GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV)- Who potty trains their child when they have a one-week-old baby? Only someone who must be crazy or sleep-deprived and making bad decisions, yup, that’s me; I’m the crazy, sleep-deprived mom making bad decisions and regretting it later. So my son was having a lot of trouble potty training. We’d attempted several times between ages two and three, but without success. I knew the only way to get it done was to devote my maternity leave to accomplishing the potty training mission. I started the week my mom was in town.
Step 1: Have back-up! Check!
I swear this kid just wasn’t interested. It was clear he knew what to do, but just didn’t want to stop what he was doing to actually go potty.
Step 2: Buy lots of laundry soap and pants!
We did load after load of laundry. I’m pretty sure there was one day where he went through every pair of underwear he owned. Every time I turned around he’d have his pants off.
“Mommy, I had an accident.”
Oh my gosh, I need more pants! It was so frustrating. When my mom left I kept at it and when my husband came home from work I just handed over the baby and said, “I need to shower!” Between the two of them I’ve never touched or cleaned up more poop and pee in my life!” GROSS! I quiver just thinking back at those few days.
At the end of week two still no luck. I was on the verge of quitting so many times. That’s when I decided to get creative. I brought up his “little potty” and came up with a better (visual reward system). Easton loves suckers and loves getting a reward. But it was to the point where I couldn’t exactly give him a treat every time he went potty, otherwise we’d be taking a trip to the dentist. So I created a potty chart with his favorite characters, Mickey Mouse and the gang. He had to earn three stickers in a row and then he’d earn the sucker taped to the chart. I taped it up in the bathroom and made a huge deal of it. He loved it. The first day he earned 10 stickers and 3 rewards. Day two and three was about the same. We were on a roll!
Step 1: Get a large sheet of paper or construction paper and write your child’s name in fun bold print across the top.
Step 2: Create several rows labeling them “Day 1”, “Day 2” ect.
Step 3: In each row draw three circles.
Step 4: Tape a treat at the end of each row.
Step 5: Attach a sheet of your child’s favorite stickers.
Step 6: Tape the chart to the bathroom wall near the potty.
How to implement the potty reward chart
Explain to your child that each time he/she uses the potty they earn a sticker. The child will get to choose the sticker and THEY place it on the chart in the circle. Each time they go potty the earn another sticker. Once your child earns three stickers in a row (three successful potty attempts) they earn the reward taped to the end of the row.
Success is sweet
Since the success of the potty chart our days got a lot easier and a lot more fun. Though I was still running around like a crazy person, I at least wasn’t pulling my hair out cleaning up mess after mess. Hey, I can handle an accident here or there, but when your child is literally going potty in the corner of his room you start to lose it a little. Before long we even started venturing out of the house with underwear on! What a relief. I think what really sparked his interest was being a big brother. Being a big boy is pretty cool, isn’t it?!