I had bought a bunch of Dora stickers for the Dora-themed birthday party that we had. They never really got used, and got put away in a bag. So when the books said find "special" stickers for potty training, I dug them out.
The Wee One saw them and went nuts. She totally wanted one of those stickers. In fact, the first morning that we were "training" she got mad when she'd sit on the potty and not get a sticker. I had to make up a rule that if her pants stayed dry she could get a sticker, just to have something to give her stickers for.
It totally worked.
This sticker chart came from a book that we ended up with (Target $1 rack, I believe). When we first started trying, I hung it up and made a big deal about getting stickers. She got little stickers for sitting on the potty at first (since she really didn't want to do it). But she wouldn't pee on the potty. Then she'd have an accident 5 minutes later in her training pants. The one time she leaked some pee on the potty I went nuts with the praise and she thought I was a lunatic. She wanted to put her sticker on the chart, but I was trying to be all anal about "this box means today and so put it in this box".
After two half-days of the no-potty-then-accident rerun, I shelved potty training. But I left the chart up (what else was I going to do with it)? So when she announced, a week ago Thursday, "I go pee pee in the potty", we had all the tools ready for the positive reinforcement. She wanted to put the sticker on herself, and I managed to talk myself down from my anal retentiveness to let her put it wherever she wanted, instead of in the box that I decided means "today". I think that gave her a little bit of sense of ownership about her stickers.
|Yea, see, my OCD did NOT do well with this!|
|The sticker chart at Nan's house.|
When spending the day at Nan's in the middle of training, we just printed out a piece of paper with her name on it and stuck one on each of the bathroom doors. So then the randomness of the sticker placement didn't matter (as much).
A pediatrician I follow on Twitter (@SeattleMamaDoc) posted that she had success with her kid waking up dry and peeing in the potty first thing (how freaking awesome is that?). She wrote a blog post about using sticker charts as positive reinforcement.
Probably because they seem to work!
The other motivation that developed was my mother and I dancing around like idiots singing a high-pitched "you pee peed in the potty! you pee peed in the potty!" that got termed "the potty dance". The three of us dancing around and singing that song makes my kid smile, so that was also positive reinforcement for using the potty. So, you know, whatever works.