Some milestones come naturally in life (that first smile), while others are less easy (ahem, sleeping through the night). Potty training is one of those toddler things that starts with a natural curiosity, but getting your kid to use the flusher consistently can be a real process — especially if one or both of your become frustrated along the way.
If you think your toddler is ready to start trying, there are definite signs that can confirm your suspicions. Sometimes it can be as slight as fewer wet diapers, other times it’s because you know the timing of your kid’s bowel movements better than you ever thought you could. Regardless, when the time comes, set your kid up for success with a few simple tips.
Make Things Easy
Potty training means that a toddler can go from perfectly fine to all-out leg crossing in a nanosecond. To avoid unnecessary accidents, switch from regular diapers to pull-ups and dress your child in easy-to-undress clothing so they aren’t fumbling with a bunch of awkward clasps or buttons. And if you can, consider having a no-pants party for a few days. Sometimes it’s easier for a child to be more aware of their own bodies without a diaper on.
Be Positive and Patient
Every child is different, and it can take months for yours to get the hang of using the potty. Some kids are ready when they’re two or three, while others won’t stay dry overnight until they’re well over five years old. The trick is to try and stay patient with your kid, even though you know that they know how to use the potty. Instead of losing your cool, praise often, speak in positive terms and when they do have an accident, try not to get upset. Even if that accident happens to go down on a white rug.
Set Up Their Own Potty Area
Adult-sized toilets can be intimidating to the wee ones, which is why toddler potties and potty training seats exist. If your child is okay with sitting on the bigger version though, it’s still a good idea to invest in a smaller seat or ring so that they will be more comfortable sitting on it — especially while going number two. Just make sure that seat is good and sturdy, otherwise, one little shake and you could wind up in the middle of a diaper-filled regression.
1. Potty Training Seat with Step Stool Ladder
BEST LADDER TOILET SEAT
If you have a small bathroom with no room for a stool, this easy-to-climb potty training seat is a fantastic solution. The built-in, adjustable ladder allows your kid to get up there with ease, but the backrest and handles also ensure a steady seat. There’s also a lip to help contain any mess and it’s designed to move easily so that you can put it aside when not in use.
2. Potty Training Seat for Boys And Girls
This sleek and lightweight potty training seat is a great solution for home bathrooms or for throwing in the car when you’re on the road with your potty training tot. It fits most standard toilet seats and is made with non-slip materials, which makes it a sturdy bet in all kinds of situations. The seat also comes with a hook so that you can stash it on the wall when not in use, plus its minimalist design means it’s easy to wipe up and keep clean.
3. Summer My Size Potty
If you really want to give your kid the full-on potty experience without sitting them on the actual potty, this realistic piece is the perfect addition to any bathroom. Everything about the design is meant to mimic an original seat, from the interactive flusher to the wipe compartment, to the removable potty topper and pot. Of course, the handy nook also doubles as storage for tablets and books, which teaches kids early on where one of the best reading spots in the house is.
4. PAW Patrol “Ready for Action” Soft Potty Seat with Potty Hook
BEST KID DESIGN
If you think about it, the Paw Patrol motto (No job’s too big, no pup’s too small) is also applicable to the potty-training process. Regardless, this inexpensive and kid-friendly seat will definitely speak to your cartoon-loving toddler. It’s got all six main pups and features a unisex design, plus adults will love how the unit comes apart for easy cleaning. Add in a splash guard and a hook so that you can store the seat out of the way while not in use, and this one will be a hit with the whole family.
5. Parent’s Choice Potty & Reveal
If your kid prefers a separate potty and requires a little extra motivation, this creative potty is the ticket. Every time the bottom is wet a special picture appears, doubling as automatic positive reinforcement. Kids will love the potty’s magical powers, and you’ll love how motivated they are each time they’ve got to go.
6. Child Potty Training Chair
BEST FOR BEGINNERS
This sturdy offering comes with a high star rating and for good reason — the seat features a specially designed splash guard that keeps your bathroom extra clean. The handles are perfect for beginners who are still unsure of their footing, but they’ll have a hard time removing the base tray which is extra peace of mind for you. It’s also low to the ground which is great for little legs, but you may want to consider an upgrade as your toddler grows.
7. NextStep2 Children’s Potty Training Elongated Closed Front Toilet Seat
If you just want a no-muss, no-fuss unit, consider swapping out your entire toilet seat with one of these two-in-one units. A secondary child seat folds up and down for easy use and even easier cleaning, creating a seamless potty experience. Grab it for standard or elongated seats for a solid fit.
8. BABYBJÖRN Potty Training Bundle
Not sure whether your kid will prefer the big seat or an individual unit? Grab both — plus a stepping stool — with this bundle from Pottery Barn Kids. The stylish main seat comes in five different colors and features a sturdy backrest, while the ergonomically designed potty training seat fits snugly and securely on most standard toilets. Both options are lightweight and super easy to clean, plus as far as kids’ toilets go, this option is one of the most stylish.
9. Potty Time: The Original Potty Watch
Whether your kid is using a potty or a potty training seat, remembering to ask them if they have to go can be quite the chore — especially since you’ve got about a million other things to keep track of. Take the guesswork out of it and make it even more fun for them with this toilet-shaped watch, which is water-resistant and has automatic timers with music to remind you and your child that it may be time to go.
10. Potty Training Chart for Toddlers
BEST TRAINING TOOL
Going potty is just part of the training process — you’ve also got to make sure that your kid recognizes that they need to go, wipe, flush and wash their hands. Enter this waterproof, dinosaur-inspired reusable chart, which comes with colorful egg “stickers” and reminds your kid to do all of the recommended tasks. Not only does it double as positive reinforcement during the challenging potty training months, but you can also use it to work on counting and colors, too.