We are in the midst of potty training right now at my house, and using a Potty Training Reward Game to reinforce success. And it’s hard. I mean, really hard. The Monkey, who is three and a half, was nearly perfectly trained, and telling us when he had to go. Then we got off schedule for several weeks, and we had a lot of regression. And it’s so frustrating. I know that I’m not alone. It’s hard to know the best way to potty train or what tips and tricks really work. Some people recommend potty training prior to a child’s second birthday. Some recommend until a child demonstrates readiness. Some believe in offering candy as rewards. Some believe in going cold turkey into underwear. Some believe in a slower transition from diapers with Pull-Ups. While I believe that I know a decent amount about parenting, this particularly milestone is a huge challenge for me. I know that games and rewards work well with children, and I’ve found that encouragement and a fun potty training reward game are a good way to keep the Monkey’s motivation up. Today I’m sharing with you a free printable for a Potty Training Reward Game– Potty Training Bingo.
Part of me is angry that I didn’t take care of this potty training stuff before the Monkey turned three, but there was so much going on with the arrival of the Peanut. Then about 2 months ago, we had a period of 4 days alone in the house with no interruptions. I decided to train the Monkey, and in general, we had decent success, and he transitioned to underwear.
However, we had this challenge. Apparently it’s quite common for children, particularly boys. He didn’t want to go #2 in the potty. He wouldn’t tell us, and he started to get constipated. Or maybe he was already having constipation problems, and the constant anxiety over potty training was making it worse.
Pooping was taking over our lives, and creating a lot of stress. Mellow Man suggested that we take a step back, and try something other than underwear. After talking to our pediatrician, we put the Monkey in Pull-Ups Training Pants, and when at home, we let him run around without any pants.
We also found that there are some great tricks and hints for making this challenging time a little easier on the Potty Training Tips and Tricks on the Pull-Ups website. There are so many possible games that you can use to reward potty training successes. For us, it’s pooping in the potty.
I actually made my own Potty Training Reward Game to use with the Monkey– it’s a version of “Bingo.” I selected Bingo for two reasons. First, he could get a sticker for each success, but it take 4 or 5 successes that were specific steps to get the “big” prize. In our house, the “big” prize is 15 minutes of playing a Super Mario Brothers Game on the WiiU with the Mellow Man.
You can click the image to get a high quality version for your personal download.
The yellow PP squares show the Monkey all of the different times that it’s important to remember to use the potty, and try to go #1– after bath time, after dinner, after lunch, and first time in the morning. However, since pooping is a challenge, any time he goes #2 in the the potty, rather than his Pull-Ups, he gets to put a sticker on the Poop Emoji. (I found this free clipart on the web.) Going poop on the potty isn’t time specific because it’s still a skill that we are developing.
Plus, we want him to remember all of the potty steps– flushing and washing his hands. So he can also get a sticker for completing these steps. (Again, I found the soap image on a free clipart website.)
Now you can change the Bingo Squares to potty training activities that might work better for your potty training challenges. For example, maybe your child needs to work on keeping their Pull-Ups training pants dry for 2 hours. Or an hour. Or your child should put on their own Pull-Ups. Make the rewards something that your little one can do to feel successful.
If you are still struggling and looking for guidance with potty training, you should consider talking to your pediatrician. However, there are also a ton of tips by potty training expert, Dr. Heather Wittenberg, on the Pull-Ups Training Pants website. What’s more, you can hop over to the Dollar General website to get a $2 off Pull-Ups training Pants coupon right now.
Good luck to you potty training mamas right now– I know that it’s a challenge, and if you have any great tips, I’d love for you to share them with me!