We're all creatures of habit. So, even the smallest changes can throw us for a loop, such as travel, going back to school, or food and lifestyle choices. But one area of the body that tends to react the most to change is the digestive system.
If your child is dealing with occasional constipation, potty time might be a stress trigger in your household. As a result, you (and your child) may dread doing it.
But at Doolies, we believe potty time should ALWAYS be a party time! And to help you see why, we've created a helpful guide on creating a fun poop-time routine with your kids to get them in the groove of going #2.
How to Get Your Toddler to Poop
Changing routines can be beneficial, but keeping a regular schedule of events may help your kids avoid occasional constipation.
And we're not just talking about going to the bathroom every day at the same time. A regular schedule may include:
- Drinking plenty of water
- Eating fiber-tastic foods
- Getting enough exercise
Having your family eat on a regular meal schedule can help, too! Eating helps stimulate the bowels, so planning potty times around meals may help kids go #2 more easily.
How to Create a Potty Rewards Chart
When you do a good job, you should be rewarded. Well, potty time shouldn't be any different. So, if your child struggles to go #2 regularly, why not implement a fun rewards system to stay on track and give your kids some well-deserved kudos?
All you need is a calendar (or whiteboard), some stickers, and markers.
Step 1: Decide if you'd like to track weekly for rewards or monthly.
Having a nice treat waiting for you at the end of the week is a bit more motivating than at the end of the month; however, this decision is entirely up to you.
Step 2: Map out your kids' poop goals for each day of the week.
Though everyone is different, on average, kids between the ages of 1-3 may have up to 2 bowel movements daily.
This is another benefit of keeping a poop chart. Over time, you'll discover trends in your kids' poop routines, such as how often they go and what type of consistency they deal with daily.
Learn more about the types of poop and what they mean.
Step 3: Try to shoot for poop times after meals, as this is prime time for digestion.
If your kids tend to go #2 in the morning, try to push breakfast a little earlier, so they have enough time to relax and go #2 before school.
Step 4: Each time your kid goes #2, have him place a fun sticker on that day.
If he goes again later, have him place another sticker on the calendar. And if your kid misses a day, go over the previous day's schedule:
- What did the family eat and was there enough fiber?
- How much exercise did your child get?
- How much water did your child drink?
Then, talk through the previous day with your child and see if you missed something, perhaps due to a change in plans or a hectic day.
Once you've identified an area that might need more improvement, such as getting more water each day, try to address this issue the rest of the week to see if there's a difference in the poop routine.
Step 5: At the week's end, have your kids count the number of stickers for that week and collect their reward!
If your kids missed a few days, it's no big thing! As mentioned above, sit down and talk through the week together and plan for the following week on how you can improve.
Tips for Creating a Potty Rewards Chart
In addition to the steps above, here are a few other essential factors to consider:
Have rewards preplanned
Having the reward announced ahead of time may spark more motivation! For example, if your child knows that there is a new toy, book, or trip to the playground at the end of the week, he or she may stay committed to completing the week's routine.
Make the calendar and stickers fun
If you know your kid LOVES superheroes, unicorns, or monsters, work together to decorate the calendar with fun characters and colors to match their personalities. Include some fun quotes for encouragement. Most importantly, make sure your kids are part of creating and updating the calendar.
Add other items to the calendar, if needed
If, for example, your kids aren't getting enough water throughout the day, add a section to help track how many glasses of water (8 oz) your children drink each day.
Stick to the routine
Just as kids need to learn and follow a potty-time routine, it's equally important that parents stay diligent in updating the calendar and having the preplanned rewards ready and waiting. Additionally, don't leave your calendar at home if you're traveling for the holidays or planning a family trip. Bring it with you to ensure you stay accountable while out and about.
Okay, let's get going!
There are TONS of downloadable potty rewards chart options online, or you can create one of your own using paper or a whiteboard and some markers.
And if you're looking for an easy way to get your kids to eat naturally-sourced fiber in a tasty snack, be sure to check out Doolies! In fact, put a section on the calendar to track every day your kid eats Doolies. This will help ensure he's getting essential p-fruits to go #2 with more ease.
For more tips and ideas on how to get your toddler to poop, browse our blog page!