We finally did it! Our LAST kid is diaper-free, ya’ll. This is a big cause for celebration, because we have literally had seven years in a row of diapers around here.
This sticker chart method, which we also used with a few children I used to babysit, worked really well for Penny!
I just used a straight edge to draw a big square and divide it into a bunch of little boxes. I meant to have 10 rows and 10 columns so that she child needs to earn 100 stickers, but on this chart I wound up with 11 rows. Whatever, she is three, she didn’t know the difference. She just got a little bit of extra practice.
Before we start, it’s important that the child is actually ready. If you find that you try for two or three days and you are both frustrated, it might just not be time yet and that is totally ok. Every child is different. All three of my kids potty trained at completely different ages.
If you want to try this sticker chart method, you will need:
- a piece of construction paper
- a Sharpie
- small stickers
- a few small prizes (we used individual packs of Play-doh)
- one large prize
I took Penny to the store and let her pick out the big prize herself so that she would have ownership and extra motivation in this process. She chose this Sophia the First Play-Doh set.
I bought it right then and there, along with some individual Play-doh canisters to use as smaller prizes and also let her pick out some new underwear at the store while we were there. Then I put Sophia and the Play-doh on top of the refrigerator, where Penny could see it, but it was out of reach until she earned it.
I made our chart and taped it to the back of the bathroom door, at Penny’s height, so that she could put the stickers on it herself. She earned one sticker every time she peed and two stickers every time she pooped. Some days she was’t very motivated at all, and I didn’t press the issue. As she got closer to earning her Sophia, she started to try much harder.
We started by doing mornings in the house in underwear and she would be back in a Pull-Up for nap time, and then the rest of the day. There were a lot of days she didn’t want to wear her undies at all because “I’m not a big kid.” I think it might be because as the youngest she likes seeing herself as my baby. I stopped saying things like, “You’re such a big girl now!” when she went to the potty and started replacing that with just, “Good job! You did it!” or similar praise and that actually helped a lot to get her to cooperate. I think it’s really important to really try to listen to our kids and the messages they are sending us whenever we can because it makes them feel heard, plus it makes our lives easier in the long run.
It probably took her about three weeks to fill her whole chart.
She did it!
I love the proud look on her face when she finally earned her grand prize.
And the true test, we have made it through several trips to the grocery store, Target, the post office, and the park accident-free!
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