How Candy and Pee Go Together

by The Momma on March 26, 2012

The Noodle has been working on potty training for a while now. And besides the inordinate amount of TIME we spend on the bathroom floor, it’s going well. Dirty diapers haven’t made an appearance in months, and now we’re just working on the wet part.

The kid has no problem with the mechanics of peeing in the toilet. But the concept of “holding it”? Or “telling us” that he needs to go potty? Well, that’s been a LOT harder.

Enter: the candy bribe.

Or, I guess more accurately, re-enter the candy bribe. When we first started working on toilet training we did the candy reward thing when he had successfully gone potty. We tried stickers and other rewards, but our kid has never really cared that much for stickers and our praise really doesn’t go far enough for him. So candy it was, until that just kind of…fizzled out. At some point, he stopped asking for candy every time, and we stopped offering and after a couple of weeks, the candy up and disappeared.

But now, we’re trying to get him to understand the concept of telling us he needs to go potty & holding it until we can find a bathroom. So, we’ve brought back the candy–one tiny candy (right now, it’s one PEZ. We’ve also got a few m&m’s around here somewhere that we can use), IF he tells us he needs to go potty in time.

It’s working REALLY well. (She says knocking on every wooden piece of furniture in arm’s reach).

So that’s awesome. But, I’ll admit: it grosses me out. This whole thing of tying bladder & bowel elimination to a food “treat”? It never fails to make me cringe a little. I’m not a germaphobic person, and I’m especially not a germaphobic mom, but there is just something so sort of ICKY about this pairing to me. I mean, it’s not like he gets the candy ON the potty, but still. Even the mental connection kind of grosses me out.

I’m comforted by the fact that: 1) This won’t last forever (or, if he keeps this up, even another week) and 2) He’s getting REALLY good at washing his hands before his candy.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Reading (and chickens) March 27, 2012 at 9:43 am

Honestly, I NEVER thought about the food and potty connection. Perhaps because I was so very desperate for dry underpants? But yes, I could see how it would squick a person out.


melanie juneau March 27, 2012 at 11:13 am

Stickers and praise worked for my girls; the boys- cheerios in the toilet to aim at (sink the battleship) and PICKLES as bribes.


Kate March 27, 2012 at 3:14 pm

I’d never thought of the food-and-potty relationship – that’s funny that you thought of that. :)

When B was about the Noodle’s age, we struggled with her going poop in the potty. She refused. We had peeing down pat, including through the night, but she would not poop for anything. We did a hybrid sticker chart – we started with four slots. She had to get four stickers to get a decent prize (ice cream out, single cupcake, trip to the swimming pool, etc…) and then as we progressed, she had to get more stickers in order to get the prize. It gave her a goal and was a great visual reminder. It also didn’t put much pressure on her – it was on her terms. We were also saved by the book “Everybody Poops”. :)


Jamie B April 2, 2012 at 12:33 pm

We tried the sticker thing and it worked for a while. Then it just stopped working. But our daughter caught on with peeing pretty well, no problem. It was #2 that was the issue. She thought every time she had gas that she needed to go. Well, that meant I was in the bathroom with her at least 45 times a day!!! It got insane. And then she started holding it in for a couple of days at a time and when she finally went it would hurt. We got bought a bag of dumdums and bribed her to go #2 by giving her a lollipop every time she did. And holy crap (pun intended), it actually worked!!! She eventually forgot about the lollipops, but on occasion would say, “Oh, hey! I pooped today! Can I have a lollipop?”


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