Potty Training Equipment - I'm So Confused :)

Updated on June 18, 2008
D.S. asks from Bellefonte, PA
8 answers

My son is 17 months old and we're starting to think about potty training. I know its early, so I stress STARTING here. He is fascinated with the toilet and likes to follow my husband and I to the bathroom and "help" by flushing for us. So I'm thinking this might be a good time to introduce a potty chair. Any recommendations? Go simple, or get one with all of the music and bells and whistles, etc? Or should I just make my life easier and wait until he's ready for one of the seats that sits right on the toilet?

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answers from Pittsburgh on

HI D.! Yea!! Potty training can be really really hard. I suggest that you save your money since he is fasinated with the real toilet and buy one of the $10 seats that you actualy put on the toilet seat. (You might also want to get a little step stool that will work for teeth brushing as well!) We bought a potty chair and not one of our three girls would use it....they thought it was gross and wanted to flush. As soon as we bought the little padded seat we were out of diapers & pull-ups with great success (although I will admit my oldest was almost 3yr old.) I even bought one for my babysitter! I honestly think if I would have bought it sooner my daughter would have potty trained eariler! But then again they were the "new" thing back in those days...LOL Remember to stay consistant, have a good sense of humor, carry extra cloths at all times, and make sure before you start that he WANTS to do this. Potty trainning isn't so much about going as it is about control. His and yours! Best wishes!!


answers from Raleigh on

We just got our son a Baby Bjorn potty and within two days got another one for our second bathroom. They are FANTASTIC!!! They work well for little boys (everything stays in the potty and is not spraying everywhere), and are so simple to clean (it's literally just pulling the bottom out and washing...no pull this then lift that type stuff!). I would highly suggest it. I also suggest a sticker chart. My son will pee on the potty just so he can put a sticker on his chart. Also, I would make peeing on the potty a "when he feels like it" type thing for awhile since he probably is not quite ready yet at 17 months old (although you never know). My son still doesn't regularly pee on the potty, but he loves going on it, so I know that when we are both ready, it will be a breeze! Good luck :)



answers from Harrisburg on

Go simple! The best potty I found was by Baby Bjorn online. They range at about $25 but as so worth it. They have rubber bottoms, higher backs, oval dish instead of round for less mess, the lip on the bowl is wider for less mess, has built in splash guard that doubles as a handle for dumping. Loved it for my triplets! Much less mess!

Do remember that children will have interest in the novelty of toilets and all that, but doesn't mean they're ready. Go by their diapers, if they seem less wet and goes longer inbetween wetting. They need to be able to verbally tell you they have to go, knows how to pull their pants up and down on their own and understand directions when given. I'd wait until they were 2, then assess the situation and see if they're ready to start talking about it. Then by 2 1/2 start trying if they seem ready. Later is fine too.

K. B
mom to 5 including triplets

K. B



answers from Pittsburgh on

Personally, if he's showing an interest, I'd buy him a potty chair. My parents bought my son an oak Amish-made O. so it really had NO bells and whistles (only a magazine rack!) but he caught on quickly. I think when they're really little, they get a little scared sitting up on the toilet (even on a potty ring) so if you do try it, get a stool for him to put his feet on so he feels more secure. But at his age, I think a free-standing potty chair is the way to go. Good luck!
p.s. I always recommend the book Once Upon A Potty (boys version). It seemed to give my son the whole overall concept of using a potty.



answers from York on

Since he's already interested, I wouldn't bother with a "fun" one. If he likes to flush I'd go ahead with the seat that fits on the big potty. I used to tell my trainees they could only flush it if they used it!



answers from Pittsburgh on

I think simple is the best way to go. I've seen the Baby Bjorn ones and they are great. We went even simpler and got the Target brand one for our son. We had a seat already for our daughter but unfortunately, we found there was a design flaw in the seat for boys. When he would tuck himself to sit and pee, he would end up peeing between the seat and the potty chair and it would make a big mess. The one from target has a seat that has a plastic piece that extends down into the collection cup. This meant no more peeing between the seat and the cup and no more big mess all over our bathroom.

Also, with a little boy, beware of aiming. Be prepared for the aiming part (when standing up) to take a little time and make a little mess. For the aiming, I recommend a trick that my cousin uses with her Kindergarten boys. She has cheerios in the bathroom. The boys get a cheerio and throw it in to the toilet and then aim at the cheerio and try to sink it. Alternatively, I've heard a drop or two of dishwashing liquid makes wonderful bubble and helps to improve their aim since they want to make the bubbles.

One extra consideration, since you work, make sure that your daycare person(s) are on board with what you are doing and are being consistent with what you are doing at home. If they aren't then it can take longer to get there. You may want to check with them if they are or have dealt with potty training before. There may be a routine that they use at daycare that you can use at home as well to keep everything routine.

The best advice is to be patient. Don't expect too much at first. Also, be prepared for the peeing and pooing to come at separate times. Things to prepare for once potty training is complete or almost complete... You will need to allow extra time for getting ready to go anywhere as they will undoubtedly have to go as soon as you are ready to walk out the door. Also, be prepared to visit every public restroom on your trip to run errands or wherever you may go. (I know I missed diapers for the first month or so after my daughter potty trained.)

Good luck.



answers from Allentown on

Get a little potty and put it next to the toilet if you have space. Encourage your husband to allow the son to observe him as often as possible. Make sure he is wearing pull up. Before you know it, he may have potty train himself. When going out make it a habit to go to the toilet first and encourage him to do the same. I have three boys. The youger ones basically sef-trained by observing the older ones.



answers from Pittsburgh on

I'd go with a potty chair and I'm a basic kind of person. He's tiny so the big potty would probably be overwelming. My daughter used it for quite a while. My son (17 months younger) has to do everything like his sister so he wanted nothing to do with the potty seat and went right to the big potty. Of course, he was big enough and adventurous enough to climb up on the potty himself from day 1 and my daughter wasn't ready until she was older. (Although we still keep the potty seat handy as it's great to throw in the back of the station wagon as a CLEAN porta-potty in case of emergencies. My daughter is also very particular about the condition of potty's she will use.) Anyways, park the potty seat on the floor next to the big one and offer your son to sit on it while you go. Read a book or chat to extend the time and give him an extra chance. When he's hopping in the tub, offer the potty. You might like to time your potty trips to after he had a nice big drink. Never make a big deal about him not being interested or force him to sit there. If he's not interested or in to it, let it go and move on. He may catch it right away or he might try and lose interest or never have it. You don't want it to become a power struggle.

One caution - while a wonderful event on one hand - getting out of diapers that is .... once done, you will realize just how convenient they really were. At a young age, you will probably have more accidents and holding it for a while might be a concern too. Just be aware of a new challenge ahead.

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