Potty Training

how to use potty training charts and cute options
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9 Cute Potty Training Charts To Help Encourage (Read: Bribe) Your Child

So. Many. Stickers.

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Potty training requires a few key elements: time, patience, and plenty of prizes. Ok, make that “incentives.” Come to find out, a potty training chart, where kids can see a visual representation of their progress, really can make all the difference when it comes to achieving continence success. For some children, going pee in the potty five times in a week might be marked on a potty training chart to indicate they’ve earned a toy. Or, for every time they poop in the potty they might get to put a star sticker on a potty training chart. No matter what reward you use, a chart can help everyone keep track of a child’s potty training progress and help them reach the ultimate goal, being fully diaper-free.

Do potty training charts work?

Speaking from experience, yes, potty training charts do work. Think of a potty training chart as a means of motivation. They give children a sense of self-awareness and agency allowing them to make a choice to use the potty that is then documented and available for everyone to see, which in turn boosts their belief in themselves that they can ditch diapers for good.

They’re also super helpful for the caregiver navigating a little person through potty training. As a parent, you can map your child’s progress and use the chart as a way to encourage them to keep going. It can be something to take pride in each day. And the rewards do not have to be big or expensive. A simple M&M earned after using the toilet a certain number of times can have an enormous impact and no one will get confused on whether your child has earned it or not. All you two have to do is review the potty training chart for proof that they’ve made a successful deposit.

How potty training charts work

A potty training chart is like any chart, it’s a way of tracking information — in this case, successful pees and poos in the potty — but it need not be limited to just that. Want to reinforce the importance of hand washing? Add it to the chart. Want to give your kid a pat on the back for listening to their body and making it to the potty in time? That can be a line item on the chart too.

Each time your child completes an action, indicate it on the chart (stickers, stamps, or simple checkmarks will do). If you wish, you can offer a reward if your child accrues a certain amount of positive marks.

What to consider before buying a potty training chart

The success of a potty training chart hinges on a few things.

  • First, your child needs to easily comprehend the chart, so don’t go for products that are too confusing or complex.
  • Next, it needs to clearly spell out goals. Pick a chart that makes mastering using the toilet a series of small achievable goals.
  • And finally, pick a chart that speaks to your child. They will probably respond better to vivid colors, illustrations, and fun characters more than a boring spreadsheet. Make the experience fun by purchasing a fun potty training chart.

Types of potty training charts

Between Amazon, Etsy, and everything in between, you can find all types of potty training charts you can purchase or print from home (for free). There are ones with blank fields for you to fill out yourself, and some even come with built-in rewards, from crowns to small toys. Many potty training charts use stickers, but if you’re interested in a more sustainable option, consider potty training charts that use magnets, a great choice for big families to reuse again and again.

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Best magnetic potty training chart

Pros: Reusable

Cons: Small magnets may pose a risk to younger children

This magnetic potty training chart is not limited to just rewarding a bowel movement, but also everything related to having to go, from telling someone they needed to use the toilet to remembering to wipe and flush. It treats the experience holistically and helps kids remember all the steps they need to take to use the bathroom correctly. And since it’s magnetic, you can reuse it when it’s your next child’s turn to master the toilet. In addition, you can also use dry erase markers on the chart, a plus in case you want to add notes. If there’s a downside, it’s that the magnets are small and could pose a risk to other younger children in the house. That said, if you want a chart that all of your children can use, reviews suggest this is a good one to consider.

Review: “Best potty chart ever!! We've had a few, but this one wins everything for being reusable! Magnetic chart can be reused again and again,” wrote one Amazon critic.


Best potty training chart for Disney fans

Pros: Comes with enough sheets to use for other reward situations

Cons: Very small chart

If your child loves Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Disney-themed rewards chart might be just the tool they need to get used to using the potty. Shaped like Mickey’s ears, the game board is designed to be used for any reward chart effort. But you can apply it to potty training by giving your child a big goal to earn by completing the entire course.They’ll enjoy sticking one of the 700 (that’s right 700) stickers in the 36 chart pack onto the 5'' W x 6'' H you can easily stick up in the bathroom. Even better? With so many sheets, if you need a behavior chart later on, you’ll have plenty in this pack. The one drawback of this chart collection is its size, roughly that of a postcard. However, kids appreciate the sticker options. One reviewer says her son can’t get enough of selecting his sticker.

Review: “He loves choosing which stickers to use each time and counting down until his "prize" when he fills his card.”


Best potty training chart for unicorn lovers

Pros: Features storyline about a potty fairy

Cons: Diploma might be too advanced of a concept for younger children

This potty training chart has been called a great motivator by one Amazon reviewer. Want to make your child’s potty training journey a bit more magical too? Then this unicorn-themed potty training chart might work well. It comes with multiple pieces including a four-week chart, a Unicorn Potty School training manual, a guide to proper toilet usage, 213 stickers, and a potty diploma you can present your tot when they’ve made it through the course!

Review: “She loves it and had no issues transitioning to the potty. The signs and the narrative of the “potty fairy” really appealed to her.”


Best potty training chart for dinosaur lovers

Pros: Comes with four weeks worth of charts

Cons: Crowns are gender normative

If you have a dinosaur lover in your life, you know they’ll do anything to spend more time with their favorite Jurassic creatures. This fun dinosaur-themed potty training chart comes with the requisite achievement charts — four weeks worth total. But in addition, there are stickers to mark successful bathroom trips, a helpful how-to guide for potty usage, and, best of all, a crown for when your child has become a Big Boy or Girl and can use the potty on their own. On the downside, one critic has this to say: “Is a little gender normative. My kid (boy) loves pink, it’s his favorite color. He would prefer to wear the pink crown but it says ‘Big Girl.’”

Review: “Our daughter LOVED the crown, but the colorful stickers were even more exciting. She had just as much fun putting them on her arms, hands, feet and tummy as on the chart. The whole package, with the charts, erasable marker, crown, and "certificate" of completing potty training were perfect for adding excitement to the whole process. And all the colors gave us a great backdrop for pictures.”


Best potty training chart for monkey fans

Pros: Gender neutral option

Cons: No attachment mechanism

Don’t let the bathroom become a place where your child monkeys around. Help them to use it properly following this little monkey character potty training chart. Again, the idea here is to reward not just the, er, deposits made — indicated by pee and poo stickers — but also the effort to get to the potty in time, to flush properly, and stay dry all day, a major milestone for any child working their way to diaper independence. This gender neutral design is entirely unisex, a plus for parents avoiding gender normative illustrations. That said, it doesn’t come with a string or attachment to hang it up on the wall.

Review: “I tried every trick in the book to potty train my twin boys before our cruise, and this was the only thing that motivated them.”


Best potty training chart with built-in toy rewards

Pros: Comes with its own reward toys

Cons: Higher price point

Does your child love their advent calendar and each toy it delivers each day? With the Potty Time Adventures Chart, the same concept is applied, but the only way a child gets to lift a flap to reveal the next prize is by making successful deposits in the potty. Using stickers to mark one, two, or three successful trips to the potty, a child can then earn what’s hidden in the box underneath, for instance, a farm animal. Then, using the included play mat, they can play with their new toys. And you don’t have to spend extra time tracking down rewards at the store. That said, at $30, this product is on the higher end of the potty training price point. For others, it’s worth the cost.

Review: “I ordered this calendar, as he loves the calendars at Christmas time. We discussed how we were going to use the calendar (our "deposits" are only poo - as pee hasn't been an issue). WITHIN 30 MINUTES of getting the calendar, he made his first Large deposit!!!!”


Best potty training chart for princess lovers

Pros: Comes with reusable felt crown

Cons: Book is flimsy

If things like crowns get your kid excited, have them work toward being named Princess Potty with a pink felt crown at the end of their potty training finish line. This pink princess-themed potty training set asks 6 questions kids can fill out with gold star magnets (which makes it a lot more reusable) and even comes with a book all about a little girl who wants to stop wearing diapers so she can become a person of royalty. There have been complaints that the included book is a bit flimsy, but children won’t likely find this a problem. One reviewer on Amazon said the chart set was “worth every penny.”

Review: “The book is a little flimsy as some have stated, but the system is great. If your child loves stars, stickers and pink crowns, surely this will help you.”


Best reusable potty training tracker

Pros: Handmade option

Cons: Limited number of objects

A potty training chart need not be limited to paper and stickers. This fun interactive potty tracker from Etsy seller Craftly Ltd. allows kids to place a poo or a pee into a faux glass jar to reach their goal. It comes with 7 wees and 3 poos and can be personalized with your child’s name on it. A handy string handle allows you to hang it in the bathroom where kids can watch their progress. The benefit of this option is it’s more tactile than merely sticking on a sticker. While the number of poo and pees are limited, the concept is well designed.

Review: “I bought these for my boys and they are quality that is for sure!! Once I saw them my mouth dropped at how clean and neat and unique they are,”


Best free, printable potty training chart

Pros: Entirely free potty training chart

Cons: You’ll have to buy your own stickers

Whether you’re loyal to the Huggies brand or just don’t want to spend a lot on a potty training chart, consider that Pull-Ups offers a free printable potty training chart. The Mickey-themed chart includes a track kids can put stickers on as they join Mickey in a race to be a true blue potty user. You’ll have to buy your own stickers, but this gives you a DIY option that’s entirely free, something every budget concerned parent can appreciate.

Potty training doesn’t have to be a crappy experience. You can make it fun for your child by using a motivational potty training chart to help them earn stickers, magnets, or an ultimate reward for a job well done.

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