My toddler is old enough now to transition from diapers to big boy pants and start using the potty. Oh, yes! Great joy! It’s time to potty train. For a while, Shep has been able to avoid accidents if he’s rocking the no-pants look. But now it’s time for him to graduate from our cute cloth diapers to real undies! From what everyone has told me, this takes a lot of patience and persistence. I struggle with staying consistent, so I printed a potty training chart as a reminder for myself - and for Shep.
A potty training chart is a visual reward system for good bathroom habits. I like the chart because it gives me a visual reminder to ask my toddler if he has to go potty. Most of all, I wanted to build a chart that worked for our family. It needed to break down the potty process into distinct steps. That way, we could reward Shep for what he got right even if the whole experience wasn’t a success. Encouraging behaviors you appreciate is WAY more fun than crying over spilled pee. So even if he has an accident, I want to applaud his effort to tell me he needed to go to the bathroom before the accident happened. The end goal is to get a reward when he goes a whole day without an accident.
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I found several printables for this! Some were broken down by weekday, others by task. Pinterest is the best for finding free printable versions - it’s a matter of tracking down the best option for your family. After a fair amount of research, I decided the task-based version fit our potty training goals. With some poster board and markers, I drew out a chart to tinker with. Shep seemed to respond pretty well to my basic marker-based checklist.
My chart includes:
- I Said I Had To Go Potty
- I Sat On The Potty
- I Went Potty
- I Pulled My Pants Up And Down
- I Flushed My Potty
- I Washed My Hands
Now that I’ve worked out which steps are important to us, I decided to create my own printable chart for potty training. Mine is built with tasks on the vertical axis and unmarked columns on the horizontal axis. Each time Shep successfully completes a part of the process, I give him a foam dino sticker (Dollar Tree for the win!). I even left an extra special spot for a BIG sticker once he stays dry for a whole day!
The potty training chart has helped Shep be more motivated to leave diapers behind. It has, surprisingly, also helped me. I didn’t realize how frustrated I had become trying to potty train him! Instead of being annoyed with the prospect of peeling wet clothes off of an upset toddler, I look to the chart. It’s changed my perspective completely! Each task checked off is a step closer to potty independence! Seeing the quantifiable progression of Shep’s development has made things a lot more peaceful - even with it’s pee-ful. With any luck, this potty training chart will help me learn to try a new approach when something isn’t working for my kid.