There is a wide variety of potty seats on the market. While some parents prefer a basic, one-piece model, others choose seats that include hinged lids, sport removable training seats (for use on the toilet) and urine deflectors (handy for parents of little guys), convert into step stools, or even play music and light up. When purchasing a seat, consider cost, ease of cleaning the bowl, whether you’ll want a training seat as well, and what you think your child will best respond to when it comes to using the seat.
Step stools are important for little ones who can’t quite get onto the toilet by themselves. Once your child is on the toilet, he’ll want to put his feet on the stool while he goes. And of course he can use the stool to reach the bathroom faucet to wash his hands, too! Look for sturdy, non-skid models.
Disposable and cloth training pants give your child a sense of independence—a toddler can pull them up and down on her own. Pants that leave your child feeling wet and uncomfortable may be all the motivation she needs to use the toilet. Keep in mind that soiled training pants need to be changed quickly, since the skin can still be irritated and turn into diaper rash.
You know what motivates your child—make good use of this when toilet training. If your little one likes stickers, make a simple chart and allow her to place a sticker on it for each success at the potty. Once she has a preset number of stickers, offer a reward such as a small toy. You may want to give a big incentive for being completely trained, such as a trip to the zoo or kids’ pizza place. And don’t forget—a shopping trip to let your child pick out big-kid underpants can be very motivating!
Some children shy away from the small potty seats and prefer to use the same toilet Mommy and Daddy use. A training seat sits directly on the toilet, making a comfortable place for a toddler to sit. These seats are often cushioned, have handles, and some even fold up so you can take them on the go.
Little kids love stories, and you can take advantage of this with fun potty training DVDs and books. Your toddler may like to read his book while on the potty—and you may both find yourself singing potty songs from your child’s DVD. If it inspires your child to use the potty, go for it!
A waterproof mattress cover, mattress pad, or underpad will help protect your child’s bed from accidents during those first nights of sleeping in underwear.
Sometimes it’s hard for little kids to get themselves clean with ordinary toilet paper. Look for moist toddler wipes to help children with their hygiene; most are flushable.
Flushable targets are a big hit with some kids—especially boys who can aim to sink the target. If you don’t want to buy targets, try circle-shaped cereal and see if your child can hit the O!
These lightweight, portable toilet seat covers can go with you and keep your child (and you!) from having to touch public toilet seats. When your child is done, just dispose of the seat.
Potty training dolls are ideal (and fun) for role playing during potty training and showing toddlers how it’s done.