No Fuss Toilet Training: The Poo Train

Learning to poo on the toilet can be difficult for both children and parents. I hope that this blog helps make toilet training easier for you and your loved one.

This is the story of one boy and his much loved ‘poo train’…

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The time had come… toilet training was on the horizon. We were looking forward to when we no longer had to change nappies, but were concerned about the road that lay ahead. How were we to tackle this change? Surely it can’t be that difficult.

As it turns out, it didn’t take long for our son to learn to wee in the toilet. It was getting him to poo on the toilet that took longer. He would wait until he had a nappy on for sleep before he would go. We tried talking to him about it and encouraging him, but still he refused to poo on the toilet. I wasn’t concerned because I knew that many kids have difficulty with this, but I was determined to push on.

I knew that the only way I could get him to do it was to make him want to do it. Like most people, children respond well to praise and encouragement. They find it easier to work toward a goal if there is a reward looming. It’s why reward charts in schools and day care centers work so well. The reward is always there and the progress is easily tracked.

Our son loves trains so I thought I would make a reward chart that was train themed and stick it to the wall above the toilet paper. I called it a toilet train, but he later affectionately named it ‘My Poo Train’.

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Set out like a board game, each time he pooed on the toilet, he would get a stamp at the train station. Each time he met a target, he would receive an additional reward. The trick was to give him rewards in fast succession to keep him motivated, and then stretch them out a little as time went on. So the first reward would come on successful poo #1. Then he would get a reward after #2, #4, #6 and finally #9. The rewards had to become more important as time went on, so I chose things that he really loves to do. Things that will make him feel special. The rewards I had (written in the yellow explosions) were choosing dinner, a weekend activity, planting a tree, breakfast at a café and finally he got to choose a toy from Boab Toys.

I was surprised at how well it worked. Once he got through the first couple of poos, and realised that it wasn’t as scary as it seemed, he got to 9 quickly. Remember, it’s about being positive and offering praise when there’s success. Mishaps will happen, but its about heading in the right direction. Its a new skill and like anything new, we don’t usually get it right the first time.

So, with a little creativity, you too can get your loved one to poo on the toilet without fear and tears. If you want to give it a go, you can use my template or make your own. Just add in your loved one’s name and write the rewards in the yellow. You can download the chart for free by clicking here.