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How a "Poop Jar" Finally Helped My Son Conquer Potty Training

How a "Poop Jar" Finally Helped My Son Conquer Potty Training

How a "Poop Jar" Finally Helped My Son Conquer Potty Training

All the parenting books emphasize the fact that potty training boys versus girls can be very different. What works for girls may not work for boys, and vice versa.

For most children, potty training usually starts between 2 1/2 to 3.  My boy-girl twins were right on target, with our daughter J leading the way.

The twins had matching potty seats (one pink and one blue) and they responded equally well to praise and encouragement when it came to doing #1 (pee).


Fast forward to conquering #2 (poop), which is where the twins diverged. Our daughter loved the idea of using the toilet and of celebrating her success doing both #1 and #2.

Our delightful son decided that he would do #1 but when it came to #2, nothing worked. And I mean nothing. We tried everything from TV to allowing the potty seat in the kitchen, and so much more. Getting M to poop became a running joke between my husband and myself.

Enter The Poop Jar

Then, one day I had an idea. Hang onto your potty seats — I created a POOP JAR for M. At first glance, this sounds awful, right? In fact, the poop jar was a clear and large container (like a cookie jar) that contained small prizes M could earn every time he successfully "dropped a friend in the toilet" as my husband called it.

The prizes ranged from pennies to stickers to lollipops and the occasional match box car. The idea of reaching into the jar and pulling out a prize was so motivating for M that I wish I had thought of it sooner.

How to create your own POOP JAR:

  1. Get a clean, clear, empty container. Plastic only.  It can be Tupperware — just be sure it is transparent.
  2. Create a fun label with your child's name. Use stickers and other art to decorate it.
  3. Fill the jar with small prizes like gum, crayons, stickers, small toys. I went to the dollar store to fill up our jar.
  4. Let your child see the jar, touch it, and talk about why he or she has a poop jar.
  5. Leave the motivating container in the bathroom. Don't make a big deal out of it, but be clear with your toddler that a reward awaits him or her each time she does #2.

We still laugh about the poop jar. In fact, it is stored in our basement in a box so that I can secretly pack it up when he goes to college!

Humor continues to help me parent with the best intentions while also having fun. I hope this helps other families conquer potty training.

Image Source: google

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.

Join The Conversation
nikkiallen47375 nikkiallen47375 4 years
Awesome idea, def going to try this with my son...
CarinRobertson63325 CarinRobertson63325 4 years
thank you, going to see if this will work for my son.
MarisolVillena MarisolVillena 5 years
Looks like a fantastic idea!! i will keep it to be used when my con become's ready. He is 8month by now. I agree with the comment of the girl because my older daughter is like that .She is almost 3. I had a little bit of a probem because sometimes she has some problems at nigh. I do make her go to the bathroom before going to sleep but sometimes work and sometimes not. Any recommendation?
HeatherMatson HeatherMatson 5 years
Thanks for this idea! I also have girl/boy twins who will be 3 in October. E (girl) has been using the potty for several months and adapted well. She only wears pull-ups at night and has an occasional accident. And most mornings her pull-ups are dry. H (boy) on the other hand, just got started a couple weeks ago. He is great with peeing on the potty, although we do still have accidents, but he refuses to poop on the potty and always goes in his undies! This is driving me crazy!!! Today I told him that if he poops in the potty he will get a small chocolate. He didn't go at all today, so we'll see what happens tomorrow. But my question is this: did you also give rewards to your girl who had already been potty-trained when he was getting things out of the poop jar? E always wants whatever H gets...also wants a reward because she is also doing those things even though she has been doing them for awhile now. What are your thoughts on that?
dragensong dragensong 5 years
All of my kidos are good to go for the potty (4, 5, 10 & 11). However my 4 yo wears AFOs with twister cables and detests them. Perhaps I'll use this idea to get her to wear them. Pay day is coming up so we'll see what I can do. Also she loves homemade prizes so I'll throw some of them in there too.
CoMMember13613840096654 CoMMember13613840096654 5 years
This is a good idea. When my boys were younger we did something similar using a M & M dispenser that was one of the characters playing basketball they would get to pull the arm to get a serving of M & M's in the beginning it was each time they went as time went on we would extend it to two or three pulls if they went the whole day eventually we went to small toys if they went for a whole week without any accidents. This worked well for my older child. My younger boy not so much. He could tell us he needed to go #2 but never in time to be able to make it to the potty but he was able to let us know before he actually went. He started the process of potty training at about a 3yrs he mastered #1 within a relatively short time period but struggled with #2 we would punish him thinking he was just being too lazy to quit playing long enough to go but when he was almost 4 1/2 and we were debating about what to do with him ( afterall you can't start kindergarten and not be fully potty trained) I took him to the family doctor who referred him to a pediatric gastronologist (sp) who determined that he had a slow moving colon (basically similar to Irritable Bowel) we got his issues dealt with and within just a couple of months is was fully potty trained and started school on time with his other preschool friends.
ToniVitanza ToniVitanza 5 years
I have a friend who told her daughter about the Pacifier Fairy. You leave all your pacifiers and bottles with nipples in a basket in your room, and at night the Pacificier Fairy comes and gets it for the new babies to use and leaves in its place a big-girl toy. I have another friend who convinced her daughter that when she was ready, she could have a Build-A-Bear and put all her pacifiers and bottle nipples inside. If she wanted a pacifier, she would have to cut open the bear. Of course she didn't want to do that! She would just remember that inside the bear were her favorite pacifiers and hug harder!
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