Potty training 101: Bribery


© Sarah Lipoff 2011

I know I’ve shared with you in the past how we were “attempting” potty training at our house, but I’ll be real honest, that’s mostly encompassed purchasing a potty seat and putting it in the bathroom. The wee tot finds the potty seat to be very entertaining and a great thing to walk around carrying and then standing or sitting on. But, to actually use the thing? Nope.

I do know that pull-ups are messy, pee has ended up on the living room carpet, kitchen floor, and in front of afore-mentioned potty seat when child has gone sans diaper, and that having the tot sit on the potty before getting in the tub – while the water is gushing to induce pottying – does nothing. But the minute you place her toes in that nice, CLEAN, warm water, she’ll pee like you can’t believe.

So, my half-hearted attempts have been that. Not so great. And, really, there’s no rush, I know the wee tot will potty train when she’s ready and you can’t really rush into things. But, she’s showing signs of being ready, like having predictable bowel movements, telling me when she’s gone number 2, and being really interested when anyone else is using that potty.

And I’m tired of those diapers, and I know she can do it

I KNOW she can do it.

After our Easter incident (involving a total melt-down over the discovery that the chocolate rabbit’s head comes off when you bite it – but it tastes really good, but rabbit’s head is GONE) she’s been walking around asking for, “rabbit,” which translates to “chocolate.” It finally hit me the other day how to make this potty training thing work.


This is what it’s come to – total bribery. I have a bowl full of small little chocolate goodies right there in plain sight next to that potty seat. And, for now, every time the babe takes off her diaper, sits on that seat, and has any sort of success, she’ll get a treat.

For a brief moment, I felt a bit concerned about my total okay-ness with using bribery to induce happy potty training. But, after some research, discovered that I’m not the only one doing it. My friends over at Parents are all about using the mini choco-treats, and I love how Baby Gooroo reminds that treats during potty training are beneficial, but shouldn’t be continued long-term.

As I said before, I’m not all stressed-out about potty training and whenever it happens is great by me. There’s no punishment when an accident happens in my house, just laughter and hugs. And, I’ll admit, what bugs me the most is when other parents ask me how old my child is and then gasp when I say she’s not potty trained yet (because you KNOW, girls get it before boys, right?). Each child is special and unique, which means they will potty train when they are ready and able, not by a certain age.

I’m using bribery for potty training.

I’ll let you know how things turn out…

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