Potty Training Motivation-- Rewards, Token Economy, Charts??

Updated on May 29, 2008
A.D. asks from Portland, OR
4 answers

I'm wondering if anyone has used and had success with a using a token economy, rewards or sticker chart for potty training. My 33 month old son has had and lost motivation for potty training several times now, every few months it seems. Yesterday he decided on his own to poop in the potty! It was so exciting and we made a big deal about it, but then today he flipped out when I suggested he try again. I'm sure many of you will say he isn't ready, and I guess that may be true, but I feel like if we could just motivate him, he might stick to it. I have been opposed to any kind of material rewards because I'd really like him to have the intrinsic motivation to do this, but perhaps that won't happen. Maybe a sticker chart would be a good place to start?

Clearly, he can sense that I'm frustrated about it-- I just know he can do it and I get so excited when he tries and then can't help but feel disappointed when he stops. I've tried to just let it go and give him time to decide on his own, but it's hard! The other thing (probably a mistake) is that I enrolled him in a 2 day a week preschool for the fall-- starting in Sept, and he has to be potty trained. I keep telling myself that it would just mean loosing our $25 deposit, and we have a few months, but I feel like we need to be doing something active to work on this...

Any advise?? Thank You!

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

More Answers



answers from Jacksonville on

I succesfully used the book "Toilet Training in Less Than a Day" with my 27 month old, who has been diaper free for 5 months now (except a pullup at night).

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

A few things that have helped our 3 year old: we showed her the preschool and playground which got her excited to go, then told her she needs to be out of diapers if she is going to go. We used a sticker chart for a month and when it was filled up she did get a toy she was pining for. Even now she just wants the sticker! And we let her pick out princess underwear, which she loves wearing!



answers from Seattle on

My son is 3 1/2 and has just started using the potty in the last two weeks. I tried everything too, but what worked for him was going to chuck e cheese! I asked him what he would want and that is what he told me. We went the same night he pooped in the potty for the first time. It then went to after three in a row we can go back. (It took a long time before we went back, but we did remind him what he needed to do if he wanted to go back.) We started to change it up and asked him what else he wanted. He said ice cream so after a three in a row we went for ice cream. It wasn't always convient to go that same day, but we did it because we felt the reward would stay fresh in his mind for the action. We have SLOWLY tapered down the rewards - now he has to go 7 times or then 10 times. I also will come home from the grocery store RANDOMLY with a hot wheels car and tell him this is an extra special treat for how well he is doing on the potty. Or if he is at a store with me I will tell him he has been doing such a good job and I am proud of him so he can pick out a "treat" (sweet things are his button). I also took him with me to pick out his own underware and we got special bathroom only wipes (the kandoo ones in the purple container that smell). I tried twice and got VERY frustrated. He seemed to do it when he was ready and it has been a breeze now. I do understand the frustration of having a potty trained preschool for the fall as we do too, but our preschool said if he became potty trained mid year and there was space avalible he could start then. Good Luck.



answers from Anchorage on

This is what worked for both my boys, who trained at 20 months, and my youngest just 2 weeks ago at 2 1/2. I waited till they showed interest, and then made a big deal out of picking out big boy undies from the store. I then put up a blank page on the wall with their name on it all glittery. This was there sticker page. Then I put them in big boy undies and gave them a sticker when they did good. Be prepared, the first couple of days are horrible! Accidents all day long,my oldest was asking for his diapers back, but hang in there! By day three they were down to maybe one accident a week, or less!

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions