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How to Choose a Reward for Toilet Training

Learn how to choose a reward for toilet training in this Howcast video featuring potty training specialist Ashley Hickey.


Let's talk about how to choose reward for potty training. Keep in mind, the reward is the key to successful potty training. It's important to find a reward that is highly motivating for your child. My key phrase when talking about choosing a reward is, "What would my child climb mountains to get?" And it could be anything and everything. It can be a food or candy item, it can be a sweet treat or it can be a new toy. You can choose matchbox cards or you can use stickers or bubbles. Whatever is motivating for your child is what you want to use for potty training. Also think outside the box. You typically wouldn't give your child a spoonful of frosting or a sip of soda, but if your child would climb mountains to get it, then you want to use it as reward for potty training. If your child is highly motivated by one toy, it's okay to reuse that toy over and over again.

Every time your child has a success on the potty, he can play with that toy for 10 or 15 minutes and then it needs to be put away. And next time he goes pee in the potty, he can get it out again. Same for activities like a kid's show or a computer game or an even bigger toy like a bicycle or a trampoline. If your child is highly motivated by those, obviously he doesn't get a new one every time, but he can have time with that game or activity every time he goes pee in the potty. It's important that he receives enough of the reward that he feels rewarded but not satiated. So you only want to give him a bite of a cookie or five minutes with a new toy and then it needs to be put away. And he can get more or he can get the toy again the next time he has a success. And that's how you choose rewards for potty training.

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