Potty training using a personalised reward chart

As you know we started Potty training Harry over the Summer holidays – I had planned to start at the beginning of the holidays to give us a fair shot at it, sadly we lost my Mother-in-Law and her funeral took place at the start of the holidays.  With this upset hanging over us all the time wasn’t right and the children were both unsettled and not sleeping so I put it on hold.
Finally I tried at the end of the holidays with mixed results.  He was doing fantastically while at home and left naked from the waist down.  He would take himself off to use the potty – many times bringing it into the front room or kitchen with him (but hey he was using it so I wasn’t bothered) to use there as he didn’t want to miss his programme or be away from what I was doing.
I had high hopes for him cracking it before going back to school but it wasn’t to be.  I’ve previously shared my post on how we managed days out while potty training, we took the HUGGIES® Pull-Ups® with us along with his travel potty and he did try but the distractions are too great and whenever we are out he just doesn’t remember.  I ask him every 10 minutes and take him to use the potty frequently yet we still haven’t cracked it.
It’s too cold to walk around the house naked now and he has become lax in asking but is doing well when I take him regularly but he is a long way from being dry.
Pre-School is a complete set back, he will not ask to go at all, refuses to even sit on the potty or toilet and try, and the teachers aren’t taking him as often as I do.  I have asked them to keep asking him and to take him often but with the amount of children in the room I do understand this is hard and I don’t think it is happening.
I was lucky enough to have a telephone consultation with Potty Training expert Amanda Jenner, as a HUGGIES® Pull-Ups® Ambassador.  We discussed how Harry was progressing, the set backs and how to proceed from here.
Together we devised a plan based upon Amanda’s advice:
  • Communication – keep asking Harry if he needs the toilet and taking him regularly.
  • Praise all attempts whether they are successful or not
  • No negatives – even if Harry uses his Pull-Up to wee or pee turn that into a positive, we discussed that although he hasn’t got it right on that occasion to turn it into a discussion to make him aware of the fact he has done it so he learns when he is wet/soiled.  We discussed letting him take off the Pull-up himself or watching me put the poo into the toilet instead of throwing it away in the outside bin once bagged up.  This way it helps him to see where he should be going and reinforces this in his mind.
  • Reward all attempts with a visual system, whether that be a sweet for sitting on the potty and trying or a reward chart where he gains star/stickers for these attempts and successes.
  • Use the visual aid of the HUGGIES® Pull-Ups® to help Harry learn and to see when he is wet – the HUGGIES® Pull-Ups® feature a learning liner which allows the child to feel when they are wet before it is absorbed into the Pull-up, they also feature a picture on the front which is displayed when dry and fades away when wet.

We have been using a Personalised Children’s fabric star chart at home and it is working at helping to reinforce Harry’s successes as he can see how many stars he has gained, this chart is from I Just Love It.
This star chart is really cute and very customisable to make it personal to your child.  You can have any name added to the bottom pockets (up to 8 characters) – ours has Harry on the bottom right pocket. 
The left hand side has 6 pockets to add activities, these are the tasks or goals which your child will be gaining gold stars for doing/achieving.  The star chart comes with pre-printed activities on cards which slip into the pockets, these are double sided and there are a lot of different activities to choose from as well as a few blank ones should you need to create your own task.
The bottom pockets contain 60 gold stars which stick onto the chart with Velco.
You then discuss with your child these tasks/goals and can choose an appropriate reward which then will receive when they have collected they pre-decided amount of stars.
There are cards with the different types of rewards on them along with pictures of these so the child can see what they are working towards.  A few of the options include:
  • Toy
  • Magazine
  • Day out

There are lots of options and also some blank cards for you to add your own reward if you can’t find something to suit.

You can choose the amount of stars you would like your child to receive and display this on the chart using the number cards and you can also use the number cards to count down the number of stars they still need to collect.

Currently as Harry is only 3 years old I am only working on potty training using this chart as I didn’t want to confuse him.  We have set 7 stars as our target as it is easy for him to see how he is progressing as there are 7 columns for stars and he has chosen a toy as his reward.

I’ve picked up a selection of little toys in Poundland and Home Bargains recently and these are in my room, once he gets 7 stars he can choose anything he wants from the selection and we take all the stars away and start again.

Having this chart is really helping Harry in his progress, and while it is slow and we haven’t cracked it just yet we are on the way and that is a start.

This reward chart is available in Blue or Pink and costs £39.99

Disclaimer:  I am a HUGGIES® Pull-Ups® Ambassador and we were sent the star chart for use with Harry, all thoughts and opinions are my own.



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