Q: I have a 3yo son who was a great potty trainer. We used matchbox cars as a reward as he loves them. My 18 mo daughter is starting to show interest but I cannot think of any good prizes for her. With my son we did a sticker chart and when he got 10 stickers for going on the potty without and accident he got to go pick out a match car. The criteria for a sticker got more difficult as he got better and it worked like a charm. I just cannot think of a good incentive toy for my daughter. Matchbox cars are perfect because they are inexpensive and super fun. What has anyone else used??? Thanks for your help!!!
A: Well, the easier answer is to NOT use rewards to bribe your daughter to use the potty. I am glad it worked well for your son, but the point is that kids are ready when they want to be clean--as that is the only long term motivation to stop playing in the living room, get up and go to the bathroom when the urge arises. So, when the timing is right, potty training should take a day or a weekend and that's it. Just have her wear training pants (cotton undies with an extra layer or two of fabric...not the pull up diapers that sometimes are called "training pants"). See what happens. If she has 10 accidents in a day, she is not ready and put her back in diapers and try again another time. If she has 1 or 2 accidents and feels bad about it, she is ready and you're done!
If you feel like you have to resort to a reward system, I would suggest giving her a toy on-loan from you for 30 minutes for her success on the potty--it saves you a ton of money!