Potty Training Confession


Remember when I worried and fretted over potty training my two-year-old doll? (For those of you just tuning in to this soap opera, click here to relive the failure of the first attempt and my subsequent begging, and then click here to learn what a mother-who-lost-her-mind-while-potty-training posts on her blog. Mhmm.) After much consternation, I entered September with a new game plan and an optimistic hope. (Who am I kidding. I was scared silly.)

The trauma of the first potty training attempt left me shaking in my bloomers–pun totally intended.

Nevertheless, her signs of potty training readiness and my desire to have this girl out of diapers before a new baby hits the scene was all the motivation I needed to try again. So, the sweetest and I made a trip to a local office supply store where she picked out reward stickers and a chart. I then made a trip by myself to an everything-is-a-dollar type store and loaded up on candy, pink bracelets and necklaces, stickers, lip gloss, snack crackers, etc. I also bought the gaudiest, pinkest, and shiniest accessories I could find to create a treasure/prize box any two-year-old girl would covet.

(Sidenote: I am NOT crafty. No judging. Ha!)

The loot to lure my little one into using the potty.
The loot to lure my little one into using the potty.

My new approach consisted of these elements:

  1. My wee one had to sit on the potty once per hour, give or take a few.
  2. At each trip to the toilet, if she was dry, she earned one sticker. Pull-up or panty–she chose what she wore. I didn’t make a big deal about that.
  3. If she used the potty, she earned an additional sticker. Thus, in one “sitting,” she could earn up to three stickers.
  4. After flushing and washing, she placed her stickers on the chart located on the fridge.
  5. And after 10 stickers, she earned a prize of her choosing from the treasure box!
The treasured treasure box!
The treasured treasure box!

You never, ever saw anyone so excited to place a sticker on a piece of paper . . . and when she earned a prized? Ecstatic. It only took her two-year-old sweet self to master the whole sticker/reward system. After a month of potty training, she is 85 percent there. She still wears a pull-up when she rests, and she only wears her undies if our errands are quick. If we are away from the house for more than one hour, I still put a pull-up on her.

The reward catalyst was what she needed to “get it” coupled with her being older this go around. When I tried to potty train her just one month after second birthday, she was too young and not really ready, though she showed some “signs” of interest. Fellow blogger, Anna, was right on when she wrote that kids conquer potty-ing when they are ready. And waiting until you can tackle potty training with a calm attitude is also important, I think. A great friend of mine, who I consider a mothering goddess, advised me to wait to potty train my daughter until I had a “who cares” mindset, which would keep me from throwing my own potty training tantrums. My previous bad attitude and frustration about potty training did nothing for my sweetest.

So, now, you see these jewels around our house. All signs of potty training success!

sticker charts


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