Advice on Potty Training - Which Chairs/seats Work Best?

Updated on July 05, 2009
T.D. asks from Charlotte, NC
15 answers

We're interested in knowing what potty chair or seat will work best for our almost 2-year-old son. He is showing some signs of being ready to train, and I've been told to simply buy a chair that cleans easily. Any other advice? Do we need a free-standing chair AND one that fits onto the standard toilet seat? Or, would one or the other suffice? Thank you!

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answers from Hickory on

Baby Bjorn is great for boys. I read many reviews and have to confirm that it is high enough in the front for little boys so it doesn't spray everywhere. I love the one where the tray comes out of the seat. I have the other little one too which is still great but is a little low to the ground for everyday use.

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answers from Jacksonville on

Every kid is different - some like a potty chair, and some like to use the big toilet with a padded seat fitting in. I found the book Toilet Training in Less Than a Day for my second son, and it worked like magic (in less than a day, at 27 months). If your son is ready, it would work on him. the authors recommend a potty chair that the child can empty himself, so that's what to look for. You can find the book on amazon; you'll also need a doll that pees (I just used a very basic one with a hole in the mouth and the bottom, which worked for our son), and lots of underwear. It can be done - don't let anyone (whose 4-year-olds are still crapping their pants) tell you to "wait till he's ready". All kids used to be potty trained by age two. Good luck!



answers from Raleigh on

Hi T.,

My advice is to just get a seat that goes on your toilet. I started out training my son with a separate free-standing child potty chair and it became a NIGHTMARE to clean it. It was so frustrating. He also didn't like sitting on it because the opening was so small he couldn't get comfortable. He really didn't like to go poo-poo on it. So finally I broke down and bought the Baby Bjorn potty seat that sits on my toilet. He loves it. It has a large enough opening so that he can sit on it and go poo-poo and feel safe and comfortable. I don't put it on for him to pee-pee because he wants to stand like Daddy and it's much easier to just raise the seat to pee. It also has a feature so that you can adjust it to fit the round and elongated toilet seats. We took it on vacation with us and it was a life saver. You can use it anywhere and you know it's clean as opposed to the nasty public toilet seats. It's so much easier for him to go potty. He even poo-poos on it. Everyone told me most children will refuse to poop on the potty at first. Thankfully he didn't have a problem with that, it was a lot easier for him once I got the seat though. If your toilets are a little tall buy a nice sturdy step-stool, so that he can rest his little feet on it, it makes it more comfortable. It is easy to put on the toilet my son learned to do it by himself and he can even adjust it to fit our potty. That took a couple of times seeing me do it but now he can and it gives him a sense of control. Such a big thing for little ones. The Baby Bjorn potty seat comes from Babies R Us. It is about $30 but it will last forever! You'll be able to use it with your baby when he's ready. This seat is safe and sturdy unlike many potty seats. It got great reviews from other parents on the Babies R Us website so you can go read those too. Good luck with potty training. Just be patient and listen to your instincts. You know your little boy best. He'll learn even if you sometimes wonder (hehe). Sorry this is kind of long. I do love this seat though. -Katie



answers from Raleigh on

Hi T., I personally feel that toddler potty chairs are useless. We put one in our bathroom around 18 mos and my son absolutely hated it and it created a fear for him. At about 22 months, he learned how to climb onto a regular toilet by straddling it backwards. Using m&m's as an incentive, he was daytimed potty trained at the end of 24 months. I just left him in a t-shirt and trainer underwear all day and we would potty breat every 15 minutes, then 30 as he got used to it. Shortly after he started telling me, even if he had a diaper on. The first month you clean up a lot of accidents, but the concept clicks faster. I think our society slows it down by creating things like pull-ups, and musical potty chairs. Then, you almost have to train them twice when you want to give up the little potty. S.



answers from Raleigh on

We have both. Sometimes he will go in the potty chair, sometimes on the toilet. I would says start with a potty chair, and then move on to the seat in a month or two after he has the hang of it. Our potty chair converts to a potty seat, but its hard to get off and on.



answers from Greensboro on

We just started potty training our little boy. We bought a Safety 1st potty chair and it is almost too small, so we wound up buying one that sits on the toilet seat to use instead. I like the potty chair better (until he out grew it) because he could use it by himself instead of needing someone to sit him on the toilet.



answers from Raleigh on

Both of my boys refused to use a potty chair. They wanted to use the "big" potty, so I just used a seat that fit onto a standard toilet.

We also have a folding seat and a folding stool that we take with us when we travel. They pack up nicely.



answers from Wilmington on

We tried several potty chairs. One of which pinched my sons leg and left a blood blister (he stood up and the "pot" stuck to his legs, then he sat back down too quick and I couldn't stop him, his leg got pinched between the pot and the seat). After that, we purchased a Bjorn and that was the only potty he would use for the longest time. It worked great!

As he got a bit older and taller, we purchased a Kohler Transitions Quiet Close toilet seat. It has 2 seats and a lid. No removing and putting on. We keep the lid closed so all he has to do is raise the lid and go, his potty seat is already there. Then, when an adult needs to go, they just lift the lid and child seat (it flips up like the lid, and is out of the way). The child seat part has a smaller opening so they are more supported and don't feel like they are falling in.



answers from Raleigh on

Don't buy anything is my suggestion. If you think you need an insert for a toilet, google Folding Potty Seat With Handles. Otherwise you're cleaning up a toddler toilet seat as well, and they just don't need it IMHO...mainly because you'd have to have something for when you are not at home.

I potty trained both my kids by having them sit on the toilet backwards. That way they felt they had stability because they could hold onto the tank. (BTW, I have a boy and a girl, and they were trained #1 and #2 this way).



answers from Louisville on

Any seat will work as long as it's the right size for him. Don't use a pee pee guard, just throw it away. They hurt and make it harder to sit down.

Toilet seat inserts are for later after they're already trained. They aren't secure and little ones feel like they might fall off.

Make sure the opening is wide enough and cushion seats are best. Keep in mind that it needs to be easy for you to clean. I have the safety first with cushion seat.

My son was trained at 2.5 years old. Don't listen to people who say that's too young. We casually start introducing the potty at 18 months and one day he just figured it out. We had lots of accidents that summer but he was independent day and night by 3 years.

The No Cry Potty Solution book was a great help in setting expectations and offering useful tips. Best tip, treat it like teaching to use a spoon. It takes time, there are lots of accidents but he will eventually learn. Don't every nag or get mad. Set backs are natural and correct themselves with time.



answers from Charlotte on

First of all boys are a little harder to train than girls. A lot of moms are waiting til 3--since they have an easier time at this age. With my son tho--I trained him at 2 years 3 months because he's always been a very private and clean person. He would hide behind chairs to pee and poo and hated being messy. It all depends on the child and no one knows him better than you :)

That being said--when you feel like you're ready, I very much recommending using the doll method/ Potty Scotty

I trained my son with it and it was so incredibly easy and fast. I later used the same method for my daughter and it went equally as well :)
I've seen mothers struggle and struggle with potty training--it often times taking a whole year to train them-- and looking around I sometimes feel like I "cheated" LOL!!

Good luck! :)



answers from Raleigh on

we got a seat from Walmart. I think it's that "Safety First" company. It's great because the seat itself is a soft seat and after my son got the hang of it, the seat lifts out and attaches to the big pott and the part that's left of the seat becomes a stool so he can get to the big potty. it was also really easy to clean.

Good luck!!!



answers from Raleigh on

Hi T.,

I also have two boys... oldest is almost 3 and he's finally completely potty trained. (We moved from the west coast... so we went through a regression on the potty training).

We bought a simple and inexpensive potty seat that was easy to clean. Aiden used it in the beginning, but once he was REALLY ready to be fully potty trained... he only used the regular potty. We bought an inexpensive Elmo seat that fits on the regular toilet seat. We also have a step stool in each bathroom (just the plastic one from Walmart). After a couple of weeks, he didn't want the step stool or the Elmo seat cover. He uses the wall to brace himself and hauls himself up on the toilet.

My best advice would be not to spend too much money on any one thing because each child is different and you never know what will make Drew most comfortable.

Good luck... remember to have a good sense of humor about it all! :-)



answers from Raleigh on

The simpler, the better. I had a hand-me-down Bjorn potty, got me through a boy & a girl. We also had the one that goes on the potty.

My son, however, did not like to use the little potty much. He preferred the big potty. He was closer to three. He tippy toed to stand & pee, and told me when he had to poo so I could help him onto the big pot.

My daughter started using the little potty on her own before the age of two. (I wasn't ready!!)

Take cues from your child. Let him set the pace. Provide him with the tools & he will figure out the method that works for him.

We took our kids to choose their fist underwear. They knew they were in the drawer when they were ready.

Happy Pottying!




answers from Lexington on

I have always just used the seat that sits on top of the big potty, will need a stool too. When you use the potty chair then you eventually have to train them to the big boy potty.
Good luck!

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