Sunday, February 6, 2011

Potty Tracking System and Rewards

In addition to using the ListMaster iPhone app, I now also use the I Go Potty app by Huggies. It's a simple app that I use for potty reminders. I can set the time til the next potty and set regular potty interval reminders, like every 30 minutes for example. And I can also set reminders to be sent between specific hours during the day so I don't get a potty wake-up call in the middle of the night. Best of all, the app is FREE!

To address the timing issue we've been having, I'm using a Toilet Training Data collection sheet for the next 2 weeks to try to get a better idea of when we should take him to the potty depending on patterns he might have. The data collection sheet has 5 columns:
- Time
- Pants Check (W/D/BM)
- In Potty (N/P/BM)
- Self-Initiated (Y/N)
- Notes.

Another mom shared it with me (Thanks Jennifer!). I wish I had done this when we first started but better late than never, right?

Contact me if you would like a copy of this document. I can email it to you.

It probably seems like overkill to have 3 things to track his potty progress but it's what I feel needs to be done right now.

The I Go Potty app has a star reward system that unlocks games after 9 stars (9 successful potty visits). But Matthew isn't interested in a cumulative reward system. An immediate reward makes more sense to him. So I really just use that app's 30 minute alarm and I'll show him the game once it is unlocked.

So what do I reward him with after using the potty? More drinks! I got the idea from one of the comments on my previous post "Potty Training." He likes juice so I give him a small cup of watered down apple juice if he's in the mood for it.

Food rarely works as a motivator or reward for Matthew unless it's juice, pears or oranges. But he has to be in the mood for food even with accepted, ultra-limited selection of favorite food. So we use toys or games as a reward too. His current favorite toys are Alphie the Robot, vReader, and preschool apps on our iPhones. We go with whatever works.

And most importantly, he loves the praise we give him for sitting on the potty for 2 to 5 minutes and for successfully peeing in the potty. We haven't tackled #2 in the potty just yet.

Related Posts:
Toy Review: Alphie the Learning Robot
Go Potty
Potty Progress: Saying "Wet"
Potty Training


Cathleen said...

Hi, re: potty training: My daughter is 4 1/2 and has DS and we started potty training her at 2 - because we moved to a foreign country and their diapers and wipes were giving her rashes so we thought it would help. She was good at going #1 and 2 (tmi?) after dinner with a m&m reward during that year, reading on the toilet, etc. But she wouldn't initiate - we had to recommend it, and while she would go other times, she still didn't go well enough to not have accidents. When she turned 3 we were back in America and she started going to a daycare that was all typically developing kids and the teacher said confidently to me that no child got through her class without being potty trained. I think Lilly watching the other kids go so well made her really really want to do it as well and the teacher was a stickler for rules/routine so at school she was potty trained by 3 1/2. She still had accidents here and there and at home too, but it wasn't a ton. Also at home she demanded privacy - she'd instigate going in by herself and shut the door without us in there. At almost 4 she got really good at naptime (but still a diaper at night). At 4 she started in a class with kids with special needs and half aren't potty trained and it's actually made her regress - she's still mostly potty trained but since the teachers recommend they go potty every so often, Lilly doesn't have accounability anymore so now at home she'll have an accident once or twice a week, if we're not diligent about taking her more often. (Sorry this is so long!) But anyway my biggest recommendation - for this and for anything Lilly's ever done - is that she was not ready before she was ready. It's like something clicks in their heads when it's time. As much as she tried going potty regularly before 3 1/2, she wasn't there yet. And once she "got it", it was easy - so there's no point (in some ways) in rushing it; although being creative and diligent should help. (So does a potty chart - we have a picture chart of the "6 steps" of going potty, from pulling down her pants to washing hands at the end.) But she still doesn't like taking breaks from playing to go to the bathroom; I have to bribe her with books, etc, but once she's there she goes well. Oh and the more relaxed I am about it, the better it goes - if we're short on time and I'm tense, so is she. Also, we have a little potty and the regular toilet - she gets to pick which one and it depends on the month which she'd rather go on. Again, sorry for a long comment. Luck!