The potty training journey is certainly a challenging phase for most parents. It takes a lot of effort, patience, understanding, and a whole lot of soiled pants and sheets. To cope and in hopes to force their children into doing their business in the toilet, many parents turn to scary stories and intimidation. Some also find themselves shouting and swearing due to stress – which honestly, happened to us too.
However, these methods only create panic and make children more anxious. They also make them less receptive and harder to discipline. Not to mention that the yelling can cause long-term effects such as low self-esteem and increased aggression. More importantly, they are very ineffective too.
So what do you do?
Well, I trained my 3 children very quickly using the schedule technique but they were also showing signs of being ready to potty train. The key to potty time success is putting your toddler on a potty schedule. In case you need a visual I have included my free potty training printable chart. Essentially you put your toddler on the toilet every hour on the hour from the time they wake until bedtime. I would leave my toddlers try for 7 minutes before taking them off the toilet. Be sure to keep some toilet training books close by for them to pass the time. If they can go in the toilet at least 6 times a day, which is the average number of times they should go, then give them a prize or reward daily.
The human body likes a schedule. It also like predictability. By putting your toddler on the potty every hour they will become biologically conditioned to try going to the bathroom. After about the 5th day they will go to potty time on their own. If you will put in the time and effort for one week, you will quickly and easily potty train your toddler!
BONUS: If you’re unsure which rewards to give, here are some of the best potty training reward ideas.
Top 25 Potty Training Reward Ideas
Children love attention and they yearn for it too. So whenever your child uses the potty, provide him with some extra love and attention from mommy or daddy. Use this time to focus on playing with your child. So no phones!
By being visual, your child can see and keep track of his achievements. To do this, keep a set of marbles and a container close by. Whenever he uses the bathroom, let him drop a marble in the container. If he does a Number 2, allow him to add one more. Remember to set a reward once the container is filled.
Make it a Big Reward
We suggest making the potty training reward big so he will be more excited and motivated to use the potty. For example, offer a dollhouse, electric vehicle, or a new bike. If you’re going with the latter, the Strider bike from Amazon is a great choice.
- 12” SPORT BIKE - The Sport is our best all-around model. It features mini rubber grips, a padded seat, a safety pad, the performance footrest, and an 11” starting seat height, so your toddler can...
- EASY TO ADJUST - As your child grows, you can adjust the seat & handlebar heights—no tools required. The Sport has a seat height range from 11-19” to fit a huge range of inseam lengths (12-20”)....
- WHAT IS A BALANCE BIKE? - A balance bike introduces your child to the feeling of being on a bike, building up their confidence by encouraging striding and allowing them to practice bike-handling...
- WHY DO I NEED IT? - Balance bikes are proven time and again to teach boys & girls to ride faster than training wheels. Your child will learn balance & steering, which makes transitioning to a bicycle...
If your kid is not into marbles, maybe he prefers blocks or LEGOs instead? If so, you can ditch the container and start with a simple base of blocks. Then, allow your kid to add a block every time your child goes to the potty. The more successful potty trips he makes, the higher his tower gets. And once it reaches a certain height, you can offer him a prize.
Blocks and LEGOs provide a great visual representation of your child’s achievements. Your kid will also love to watch it as his tower grows. Don’t have blocks or LEGO set yet? Here’s a Classic LEGO kit on Amazon. Or you can go with this Mega Bloks First Builders Big instead.
Kids are easy to please… well, at least most of them are. And they respond well with simple praises and compliments. So there’s no need to buy them things every time they poop or pee in the potty. You can simply clap, dance, squeal with delight, or just tell them they did a great job.
If your kid is fascinated with stickers, he will love a sticker chart as his reward. To do this, you need to make a day-to-day chart. Consider decorating it with your child’s favorite characters or superheroes to make it more interesting. Then, after successfully using his potty, he can place a sticker on the chart.
To make it more exciting for your child, you can offer a large reward once the chart is filled. For instance, you can suggest going to the toy shop and they get to pick out a toy.
- VALUE PACK OF STICKERS FOR KIDS: Each pack has 20 sheets, total more than 500 pieces stickers to makes for hours of creative activity fun! Such as letters, numbers, hearts, racing, butterflies, deep...
- EASY TO PEEL AND STICK: Self-adhesive lovely stickers are easy to peel from sheet and free to remove from smooth surfaces, leaving no trace. All of them are printed on a foam design for a fantastic 3D...
- LEARNING ASSISTANT OF KIDS: The stickers for kids is a good helper for motivate a love of learning and Celebrate accomplishments with these adorable fun dot stickers to make every child feel like a...
- WIDE-USE: The stickers for kids are perfectly apply to any object you like, but no body contact! Bring your kids endless fun and develop their hands-on ability and imagination.
For stickers, you can purchase them at nearby stores or you can simply order one on Amazon. The SAVITA 3D stickers for kids is a great buy as it includes more than 500 pieces. You can also print stickers instead if that’s more convenient for you.
Jar of Treats
Little treats like candies and chocolates go a long way in encouraging your kid to use the potty. So have a jar ready and fill it with your child’s favorite treats like M&Ms, Jellybeans, Skittles, Kisses, or anything!
- 90 ounce bag
- 150 count
- Great for the office, lunch snacks or for handouts for the kids
- It's all your favorite fun sized treats from Hershey-nestle
Don’t have the time to go out? You can order your child’s favorite treats on Amazon instead. For instance, this Hershey’s All Chocolate Bag already includes 150 pieces.
Jar of Happiness
If giving chocolates and candies isn’t your thing, you can reward your child with their favorite activities instead. You can write them down in small pieces of paper, roll them, and put them in a jar. When your kid uses the potty, let him pick a paper from the jar and do the activity together.
If your kid loves going to the zoo, obstacle racing, finger painting, or anything, this is a great reward system for him.
Spend Time at the Park
When people think of rewards, they always associate it with buying something. However, this doesn’t always have to be the case with toilet training. You can just spend time at the park whenever your kid successfully goes to the comfort room.
If your kid is motivated by prizes, you’re in luck as he will be easier to manipulate. You can take him shopping and buy a few “prizes” he likes. These don’t have to be expensive things and you can stick with anything under a dollar. What’s important is that it entices your child to do a good job at potty training.
Wrap these gifts up and place them in a box. Put them somewhere that your child can easily see so he’ll always be reminded of what’s inside. Now, to earn the prize, he needs to accomplish the potty training goals you have set.
Dinners and Evenings
Mark each day that your child stayed dry by celebrating their success during the evening. Ask him what food he wants to eat for dinner or give him ice cream if he wants. Just make sure he understands why you are giving him such treats for dinner.
Is your child into stories and books? Then a story about him and his journey towards being a big kid will make as a great reward. Of course, the story should entail going through potty training successfully and making him the hero. To keep him updated about his “from diaper to potty trained” story, keep a potty log and add little details each time he does a good job.
You can purchase a pretty or cool notebook and turn it into a logbook. If you’re looking for one, you can check out the Unicorn Journal, Dinosaur Journal, and Video Game Console Journal.
If your kid likes reading books, you can use this to your advantage. Take him to the bookstore and let him pick out a few books or magazines which he can only read while using the potty. If you want, you can also add a few books about potty training for further motivation to go poopy in the potty.
To give you an idea, the “Potty Superhero: Get Ready for Big Boy Pants” book on Amazon is great. You won’t also go wrong with Sesame Street such as their “P is for Potty” board book.
You can also check out these potty training books.
While it may be difficult to teach your child about the concept of consequences, potty training is a great time to introduce it. So following the idea of filling the jar with marbles or balls, have your child add one each time he successfully uses the potty. On the other hand, for every wet or soiled pair of pants or diapers, make him take one out.
Does your child love playing with his friends and having them over? You can suggest having a play date at home during the weekend if he stays dry even just one whole day during the entire week.
Underwear for the Big Kids
To encourage your kid to get rid of his diapers, make him choose new underwear with colorful patterns or his favorite cartoon characters. Then tell him that he is ready to wear them as he is already a big kid. He’ll probably want to wear it over his diapers at first but with his curiosity, this might just be what you need to make him forget his need for diapers.
You can put a treasure chest on top of your child’s potty chair to make him more interested in using it. When he successfully uses it, let him take out the price from the chest.
If you’re looking for a treasure chest, this US Toy Mini Pirate Gold Chest on Amazon is super cute. You can put in some little candies or even coins inside. For a bigger chest, you can check out the Melissa & Doug Undersea Treasure Hunt. If your kid didn’t like his first prize, you can always put a different one for the next time he goes potty.
Let your child put stickers and other decorations on his potty chair. A personalized potty chair makes your child feel more comfortable and more inviting for him to use.
Kids enjoy arcades and the experience of winning tickets and exchanging them for prizes. So to catch your child’s attention, you can apply the same concept with toilet training too. Instead of just saying your kid can earn points, let him see it and hold those “points” by printing tickets.
Buy him that Paw Patrol Mighty Pups Toy he has always wanted or that Barbie Dreamhouse Dollhouse she’s been bugging you about. Then place it somewhere that she can see but can’t reach. Then explain to her that she’ll need a certain amount of tickets to earn that toy. He could only get tickets if he successfully uses the toilet. For example, 1 ticket every time he pees and 2 tickets when he poos.
You can also buy multiple prizes that require different amounts of tickets. With the tickets method, your child has the freedom to choose the toys he wants and it can help him practice delayed gratification.
Since toddlers love the feeling of being a big kid, they’ll look forward to getting some of its privileges too. For example, as a reward for using the potty on his own, you can let him pick out his outfit for the day.
Maybe your child is having a hard time peeing or pooping in a clear bowl? This might be a small thing for adults but it may be a big factor for your little one. Maybe he wants the water red or blue? To help him get over this, you can use dyes or food coloring to change it into what your child wants.
- FUN POTTY TRAINING AID – These Mom Invented Tinkle Targets make potty-training a cleaner, more enjoyable experience for parent and son with interesting themes like sports, construction and...
- NO MESS, NO FUSS - Any mom who's ever potty-trained her little boy will tell you: It can get a bit messy. Enter Tinkle Targets—small papers, in fun, boy-friendly shapes like rockets and soccer...
- IMPROVE THE AIM - The Mom Invented Tinkle Targets encourage your little boy to stand at the potty and carefully aim. These targets make potty training fun and easy with various boy-friendly designs...
- KEEP IT CLEAN – Every parent knows that it’s hard to keep a bathroom clean when you have a little boy “in training”. These Mom Invented Tinkle Targets allow parents not only make aiming...
To make the potty training fun for your kid, you can reward him with targets. These items can help your little boy aim better and lessen the mess on your bathroom floor. To give you an idea, this Mom Invented Potty Training Tinkle Targets feature designs and shapes that makes using the toilet more exciting.
Keep your child encouraged and motivated to do well with his toilet training by promising him a vacation. This can be as big as going to Disneyland or simply going to the beach for the weekend. Whatever it is, just make sure to talk the trip up as much as possible to keep him hooked and excited.
Hang lollipops in your home or make them look like trees so each time your child uses the potty, he can simply take one from it.
- POSEABLE DRINK AND WET BABY DOLL: The Melissa & Doug Mine to Love Annie 12” Drink & Wet Doll is a cuddly poseable baby doll that includes a pacifier and pink-trimmed, self-sticking diaper.
- ADORABLE CLOTHING: Our potty-training doll is dressed in a charming gingham and flowered sundress, underpants, and a matching bonnet. The clothing is made with high-quality materials that hold up...
- INTRODUCES POTTY TRAINING: This baby doll potty-training set includes a beautiful 12-inch baby doll that can “drink” from her bottle and sit on her very own potty chair. Annie is a baby doll that...
- GIFT FOR KIDS 3 TO 6: This baby doll with accessories makes an exceptional gift for kids ages 3 to 6 years. Add the Melissa & Doug Time to Eat Doll Accessories to round out the pretend play...
Want to encourage your child to use the potty on her own without you nagging about it? Buy her a doll that can drink and wet. Chances are, your toddler will teach her “baby” on how to use the potty and as a result, she’ll be teaching herself.
If you’re looking for one, this Melissa & Doug Annie Drink & Wet Doll is a great choice.
Coloring Book or Drawing Book
After each successful trip to the bathroom, have your child color his book, or draw a picture. So once he is fully trained, you can put together his art and use it as a reminder of his huge achievement.
Final Thoughts About Potty Training Rewards
You know your child better than anyone. Thus, it’s easier for you to choose the best one from our list of potty training reward ideas. Just make sure that whatever method you use, your child understands why he is being rewarded.