Potty Chairs and Potty Seats
Although a number of commercial products can make life easier, the only must-have item for potty training is a potty. In days gone by, a simple pot or bowl sufficed for everyone, but the added comfort and appealing colors of commercial brands enhance toddlers' motivation.
Two basic types of commercial potties are available:
- Potty Chairs are self-contained units that sit on the floor. They are low enough to increase children's feelings of security, and increase a toddler's interest by being for her exclusive use. The disadvantage is that a removable bowl must be carried to the toilet emptied and rinsed after each use. Also, some children struggle with the transition from potty chair to the regular toilet.
- Potty Seats attach to the seat of a regular toilet, creating a smaller opening so children don't fall in. Some toddlers like the feeling of being grown up that comes from using the toilet like older siblings and parents, but some youngsters are afraid of the height. Climbing up can be difficult, and a scary fall can complicate training.
Here are some features to look for:
Stability - The base of a potty chair should be at least as wide at the top for toddlers and a wider at the base than the top for babies.
Splash Guards - Although splash guards are a boon for sanitation by directing stream of urine, which is especially useful for boys, many tots end up with a painful bump at some point, and won't want to go near the potty afterward. Climbing over a splash guard to get off the potty seat can be tricky enough to cause a fall. Splash guards should be padded or detachable. Otherwise, make sure there is an inch between the splash guard and the child's crotch.
Security - Potty seats should fasten to the toilet seat securely. Check the grips.
Potty Bowl - Bigger is better for preventing spills. The bowl should be easy enough to remove so that toddlers can empty them on their own.
Seat - A cold, hard potty seat is less inviting than a soft one. Look for a model with a cushioned seat. (see our selection of soft potty seats)
Arm rests - If potty chairs have arm rests, children will automatically reach for one and lean on it as they sit down, which can cause the chair to overturn. Avoid them.
Stepping stool - Some potty chairs convert to potty seats, which can save money down the road. (see our Multi Function Potties)
- Portability - Some potty chairs and seats fold down for traveling. Be sure that the hinges are stuffy so the unit won't collapse during normal use. (see our great selection of Travel Potty Chairs and Folding Potty Seats)
Some children totally reject one potty, refusing even to go near it, yet are very taken with another brand.