Story about a 3-year-old and Potty Training Incentive

(Date of story: October 2011)

A small potty training incentive can sometimes makes a big difference...


Our daughter turned 3, and we started thinking about sending her to pre-school.

Most pre-schools here in states require children to be potty trained, and since we have not done this before, we did what most people would do: let's read a book.


I did not find books to be very useful, and our other challenge was that, our daughter did not grow up around other children and therefore did not have a good role model.

We got the potty, and let her sit on it, play with it, and put her toys on it. We also took her with us to the bathroom to observe.

It all failed pretty impressively. She had no interest, and diapers were her friends.


When whatever we did "by the Book" failed -- we went for the potty training reward system.


The next step was to try a reward system, and her love for stickers is unshakeable.

What stickers should we get? Oh, I know! let's get Dora the explorer stickers.

I got the stickers, and I put the package on the mantel above the fireplace, so she could see them but not reach them. 

I gave her the potty, and I told her that she could only get a sticker once she successfully used the potty... And IT WORKED; slowly but surely.

We knew it was hard for her, and the process was not natural yet, like she'd want to get a sticker, sit on the potty, and then ask for help.


The process took a few months, but at the end it was worth it.

I did not quite trust her when we would go for long walks, or travel, and I’d still put a pull-up diaper on her just in case, but that did not seem to hinder her potty training experience.

I should mention that she still uses night diapers, and our pediatrician said night-time accidents are pretty typical at this age.


The end.


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