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Why The Best Potty Training Methods Don’t Use Rewards Charts

When it comes to learning to use the toilet, our toddlers are naturally motivated to master this skill. They want to be like us! 

That’s why you see your little one chasing after your phone, trying to open containers, generally imitating adults. The Montessori philosophy tells us that children want to adapt to our world, and using the potty is one of the things we do in our culture.

What is the Best Potty Training Method?

At Monti Kids, we have put together a complete Toilet Learning Kit that includes a child-sized seat, a unique board book, a faucet extender for your sink, and a series of videos to support parents in the process.

The techniques we teach parents are

  • noticing when your child is ready to learn how to use the toilet
  • establishing a schedule for visiting the bathroom throughout the day (can be done while wearing diapers or pull-up diapers)
  • committing to underwear and not turning back! 
  • providing an environment that enables your little one to progress toward independent toilet use
  • remaining calm and positive about the learning adventure
  • staying neutral about wet or soiled underwear

This thoughtful method of supporting toilet learning promotes self-confidence and pride.

Montessori Routine Cards
These illustrated routine cards are included in the Monti Kids Toilet Learning Kit

What About Rewards Charts for Toilet Learning?

Each child is ready to use the potty on their own schedule. While they are motivated to acquire this skill, they may have some fears that hold them back.

This can lead to power struggles between parents and toddlers over toilet use. Toddlers want to be in control!

Introducing prizes like M&Ms, incentives such as a toy for staying dry, or a sticker chart to track sessions on the potty can be a distraction to the learning process and may supercharge the power struggle.

Instead of external rewards, the Montessori approach to toilet learning relies on a child’s intrinsic motivation and pride that comes from taking ownership of being able to use the toilet independently. Those “I did it myself” feelings will be more effective.  

sink extender
This faucet extender (included in the Monti Kids Toilet Learning Kit enables independent hand-washing when paired with a stool. (We've thought of everything!)

Won’t a Rewards Chart Make Potty Training Easier?

We think the easiest approach to potty training is to keep it simple. 

Managing the (inevitable) wet underwear and a new routine for your diaper-free toddler is an adjustment for you. That’s enough to keep track of!

There are many new self-care steps involved in using the toilet and your little one will feel a sense of pride as they participate in each one. Use your words to let your child know you are seeing their progress and that you trust their abilities. 

“I can hear you peeing! Your body must know what to do when you sit on the potty!”

“I see your underwear are wet. We will pick some dry ones to put on. Would you like to put the wet ones in the hamper or do you want me to do that?”

Related: 5 Toilet Learning Tips For Boys

See everything that comes in the Montessori Toilet Learning Kit below. (Notice: no rewards chart!)

Montessori Toilet Learning Kit

helps in the transition from diapers to toilet independence
$ 75
  • Floor Potty for independence
  • 8 Illustrated Routine Cards to introduce self-care
  • My Toilet Learning Journey board book
  • Faucet Extender for easy handwashing
  • Cloth Basket for supplies
18 Months+

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