Everyone had always told me that boys are just harder to potty train than girls. So, when it came to potty training my son, I knew I had to come up with an absolutely genius way to get it done and fast. When I was pregnant with Emma, I had attempted potty training with Bryan, but was not completely focused on it. I was suffering from kidney stones on top of the pregnancy and was miserable. I just didn’t have the energy to focus on the task. However, when the princess was born, I was determined to get Bryan, now 2-1/2, potty trained! I did not want to have two kiddos in diapers!!!
None of this potty training in a day for us. Honestly, I think that’s a bit extreme and who wants to put that much pressure on a toddler??? My goal was 30 days. My genius idea…the REWARD SYSTEM. Being a psych major in college, I knew that people respond to this system, so why not apply it to my little man?
I went to the store and bought 30 matchbox/hotwheels cars! They only cost $1 each and what’s $30 when you’re saving ton on diapers!!! I bought Bryan his little man undis, letting him pick out the ones he wanted. I opened all the cars and put them in a bucket. I sat Bryan down and explained what we were doing. He was going to get to pick out a car before bed time every night as long as he did not potty in his pants. Then when all the cars were gone he would officially be a big boy, like his daddy and not need diapers! I also told him that once all the cars were gone, we would get him a carrying case for the matchbox cars (that would add an additional $19.99 to my potty training expenses…still not a bad deal!).
Bryan was already using his little potty chair on occasion and was eager to learn. This little incentive was just the thing to move him in the right direction. I took his little chair and put the seat on the toilet and we were off!
He did great for the first 3 days. Then we had an accident. He was so sad when it happened. I made sure he knew it was
okay and that we would just keep trying. When bed time came that night, Bryan wanted to get his car. It was time for strong mommy to tell him he couldn’t because we had had an accident that day. Oh how he cried. And oh how bad mommy felt 🙁 How mean I was being. I don’t know who it was worse on…me or him…haha!! But we made it through.
There were a few days during the first two weeks that he did not get a car, but eventually, he was doing so well, I decided to spread the cars out. One because he was doing so well, I thought we needed to see if he could do the task for more than one day without getting that reward at the end of the day. And two…I got to thinking that an abrupt stop to the reward
might throw us backwards. So, not taking any chances, somewhere around day 20, I told him we were going to have to use the potty for 2 days with no accidents to get a car. He only missed one day. Wow that was a long 4 days without a car! Poor little guy! This time there were no tears though…he was understanding. After that we were good to go…no more accidents. Even when I extended it to three days for the remaining two cars. Although I extended things, overall, Bryan was potty trained in 30 days. Letting the process go past the 30 days allowed me to ween him off of the cars.
Now, I did keep him in overnight pull ups. That training can’t be taught. Waking up to go potty has more to do with the bladder sending info to the brain to wake you up. That can’t be taught. Children will gain that ability as they get older. Bryan was about 3-1/2 when he began to wear big boy undies to bed. It had been a week straight without the overnights being wet, I asked Bryan if he’d like to try wearing his big boy undies to bed. He was reluctant but agreed. After that, we were good to go.
There were a few overnight pull ups in the dresser, but Bryan eventually brought those to me and said, “Mommy, I don’t need these.” Oh, my little man was growing up!! Don’t get me wrong, he may still have an accident but they are few and far between. Usually it’s because he falls asleep without going potty and is extremely tired. I just make sure that I wake him and make him go potty before I go to bed, then we are in the clear. He is waking up on his own to go potty and crawling back in bed…his bed!!
When I started potty training Bryan, my hubby initially said I was bribing him. Whatever he called it, it worked and potty training was complete in 30 days!
I am coming up fast on potty training with Emma, and I am going with the same plan. I’m a bit stumped on what to use for a potty training reward though. Any suggestions?
Thought you might like to know that Bryan just came in and asked what I was doing. I told him that I was telling everyone how I potty trained him. He asked me how. Haha!! Apparently that “bribery” didn’t harm him since he doesn’t even remember!!! Happy potty training!