If you’ve ever potty trained a child, you deserve a medal.
Now, if you’ve potty trained a child and not had to file bankruptcy in the process, you deserve a ginormous, confetti-filled, just-won-the-World-Series-type celebration.
You see, I’m currently 18 months into potty-training my three (almost four) year-old son. And I’ve spent a lot of money. Like, a lot.
In this long, excruciating, mind-blowingly frustrating experience, I’ve learned a few things. Especially on how I could’ve saved money in the process. So just in case you’re in the same boat, hang in there, and check out some ways to save some cash money.
Read the reviews
I’ve lost count of the number of potty chairs we’ve tried. I’d buy one, we’d use it once, and there’d be a flaw:
- Not locking onto the toilet seat…sliding my squirmy toddler all over the place.
- No guard in front, and well, #boymoms you get it.
- Impossible to clean. Yuck.
Lesson learned here is always read the online reviews and ask friends for recommendations. Or borrow a seat from a neighbor, try it out, then buy it if it you like it!
DIY reward charts
I’m not sure why I thought I needed to buy expensive reward charts featuring my son’s favorite characters with matching stickers. I dropped a ton of moo-lah on these pieces of paper. And stickers? We have a whole drawer of stickers already! Why did I buy more? No one will ever know.
A simple online search for “reward sticker charts” reveals hundreds of free options. Download, print and save. Plus, use the stickers you already have. Or get crazy and use crayons!
Set a budget for your bribes
This is the Holy Grail of advice, parents. Establish a budget BEFORE going to the store. Sounds simple, but trust me, budgets are quickly forgotten from the sheer delusional excitement (from you and your child) once that reward chart is complete.
Our first trip to the store to “cash-in” his reward chart, my sweet toddler picked up a $75 toy gun. Then saw an $80 toy from his fav cartoon. (Why are toys so expensive!?) Thank goodness we came across a $7 dinosaur that stole his heart. After that close call, we set a $10 budget for rewards. Phew!
When the day of diaper-free shopping carts comes, I’ll be one happy woman. But until then, I’ll start being more conscious of the potty-training expenses, and cutting corners where I can.
Who else is in the midst of potty training? Please share your washroom woes in the comments below! Us parents have to stick together. #amiright?