Potty Training 101: Bribe Them With Candy


Potty training has been by far the hardest part of parenting a toddler for me. I will take the tantrums and the makeup stealing any day of the week. Potty training requires constant attention, something that I am not good at maintaining. Not only do I have to tackle the task of potty training, but I have to do it with an almost three year old who has zero interest. She does NOT want to be a big girl, she does NOT want to wear big girl underwear, and she actually likes her diapers. Awesome. Today is day one of what I foresee to be a long process. My plan as of now is listed below, I will update tomorrow with a success post (yeah right).

Step One, Get a Potty: Check. We have actually had two different potty seats for awhile. They have sat untouched, collecting dust as my child refuses to use them. We have one like this that goes on the regular toilet, pictured above, because I thought it would be such a breeze to get her used to the big people toilet right away. Nope, it’s still scary. We also have a small floor version, like this one, that we got from Ikea. It was cheap and so far it’s her favorite because she can access it herself. She still hates it, but she’s at least more willing to think about this one.

Step Two, Talk Incessantly About the Potty: Check. Do you need to go potty? Are you sure? Did you know that Sofia the First goes potty? Probably on a solid gold toilet! Isn’t that cool, shall we do that? No? Do you want to read about the potty? Please?!

Step Three, Buy Underwear: Check. We got some super cool Sofia the First, Minnie Mouse, and Doc McStuffins underwear from Target. It’s definitely important to pick characters that your child loves so that they will be excited to wear them.

Step Four, Get the Candy: Check. I know, tons of parents will never even think of bribing their child with candy or anything else. That’s fine. You do you, your kid will potty train just fine with or without this step. I happen to have a huge bucket of Halloween candy and the need to save my sanity so I will be bribing my toddler. I am approaching it as a reward for after she uses the potty successfully. I am not telling her things like “Please use the potty so you can get a candy,” but instead just reminding her to try using the potty and then if she happens to go she gets a candy. She of course has already picked up on how it works and now uses the potty and immediately holds out her hand for candy. This is probably going to bite me later, but she’s using the potty so I’m going with it. I plan to change it up to a single candy, like one M&M, and then eventually a sticker chart. Props to all the parents who do this with no bribes or rewards, I do truly envy your strength and your child’s drive to learn to use the toilet. I could be approaching this in the completely wrong way because news flash, I’ve never raised a toddler before. Whatever works for you and your family, do it.

If you are still struggling with potty training, or if it is far in your future but something you are still worried about just remember: it will happen. I promise you that health issues aside, your child will not be in diapers in college. Don’t worry, you got this.


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