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The Best Tools for Potty Training

The Best Tools for Potty Training

Reading about “potty training products gone bad” is good for comic relief but after the laughter (and horror) subside, you’re still no closer to having potty training gear that actually works! To help you on that mission, here are seven key potty training products that have worked like a charm for other moms.

1. Potty Training Books

Kid-friendly books about potty training are an excellent way to generate interest and excitement about the toilet, and make it easier to explain the mechanics. Highly popular titles include Once Upon a Potty by Alona Frankel (with editions for girls and boys), Everyone Poops by Taro Gomi, and The Potty Book (also available for both girls and boys).

2. Potty Training Videos

Like potty-training books, potty training DVDs can also inspire success. Go Potty Go and Elmo’s Potty Time are both recommended by moms, as is the video version of Once Upon a Potty.


3. Baby Bjorn Potty Seat

Of the many potty seats on the market, the Baby Bjorn potty chair gets particularly high praise from Circle of Moms members. Mother-of-two Karen F. shares: “I highly recommend the Baby Bjorn for older/larger toddlers who start potty training….The Baby Bjorn seats were super easy to clean up.” And Suzanne R. shares: “It is comfortable, doesn't tip easily, and is good for both boys and girls.”

4. “Cool” Potty Seats

As moms like Jacki H. advise, consider the fun factor in potty training products: “Try buying him a ‘cool’ kid's potty. I bought my son a frog one. He loved it!” Similarly, in the Potty Training Toddlers Community, Lindsay recommends: “If he has a favorite character from TV (for my son it was Thomas the Train), buy the potty seat with that character. Worked like a charm for me!”

5. Character Underwear

From Dora, Disney princesses and My Little Ponies for girls to Toy Story, Cars and Batman for boys, character-themed "big boy" or "big girl" underwear can be major motivation for potty training. Jessica W. relays: “I took both of my boys shopping and they picked out their own underwear. When they picked them, I explained that they had to keep the characters clean by using the potty now. They were both in underwear 24-7 within 2 weeks!”

6. Fold-up Seats

To assuage children's fears of falling into public toilets (and to avoid lugging around a huge seat every time you run an errand) moms like Veronica M. suggest purchasing a portable fold-up seat: “They make seats (that fold up to fit in a diaper bag) that snap onto the seat to make it a little more comfortable for toddlers.”

7. Mattress Protector

Prepare for the inevitable slip-ups by making the bed up with protective bedding. As Naomi K. suggests: “Invest in a waterproof mattress protector. They are a great invention. Or you can buy a waterproof mat that lies on top of the sheet for your child to sleep on; they are made of cloth so can be washed if your child does have an accident."

Image Source: Abbybatchelder via Flickr/Creative Commons

Join The Conversation
JenniferBargeron15563 JenniferBargeron15563 4 years
When my boy went to the potty, he got a few M&M's. When he made a booboo, MAMA would come to clean up the mess....WITH M&M's. Mama gets to eat the M&M's (yes, in front of him). If he does good, he gets em. If I clean up a mess...I get em. I got about three M&M's and he figured that out QUICK. He did NOT like Mama getting his candy.
PaulaBrown40178 PaulaBrown40178 5 years
There are also these adhesive, disposable toilet seat covers (w/ characters) for on the go. I think I bought mine at Target.
ErinBrown2870 ErinBrown2870 6 years
As someone else said, maybe not "the thing" these days, but my older son (now 5) just was not interested, so we gave him M&Ms. In the beginning, he was told one for each pee, two if he pooped. He peed a lot, but just WOULD NOT poop, so we got to the point where we found out what toy he really wanted, and we promised it to him for his first poop on the potty. It happened within a day or two, and we went straight out to get that toy. After a few days, we switched to a sticker chart... he earned one sticker every time (two if he both peed and pooped) and after X stickers (marked on the chart so he could see his progress) he'd earn a specific reward (drawn on the chart), like an ice cream cone from McDonalds or a Matchbox car. After a couple of weeks he was just used to the potty and forgot about asking for his stickers, and it just sort of phased out. 2.5 years later, we are about to start using that method on his little brother, because it worked and it worked well.
CrzyLdy6 CrzyLdy6 6 years
I have to say one of the most important things I have seen is consistencey. After potty training 4 kids, I have learned that if I just set aside one week and dedicated it to potty training, and never put them back in diapers for any reason, they were good by the end of the week. However one of the most helpful (for me) things were plasitc pants to put over the top of the underwear for the first few days...less mess if they have an accident. I also think it is important to watch for your child's signs to you...waking up dry in the morning and after naps.... telling you either before or after they have gone in their diaper. Then just be consistent and find what does it for your child (fancy potty or underwear, stickers, etc.) Good Luck!
LaressaMarengere LaressaMarengere 6 years
It's not politically correct these days but my mom used treats... m&m's and hershey kisses. Worked great!
NicholeMassey NicholeMassey 6 years
My daughter is 27 months and has really no desire to potty train. She comes in the bathroom with me when I go and she has her potty seat and her "big girl panties" and stickers and candy and everything else I can think of. I tried it all and she has no desire to want to learn. HELP PLEASE, Im running out of ideas
MichelleAtkinson59656 MichelleAtkinson59656 6 years
I have twin girls and potty training has been horrible until the last 2 months. They HATED watching potty movies, HATED ready potty books, and HATED any potty seat. We finally started offering stickers as rewards (and a few more rewards for #2's) and we bought a small potty seat that sits on the regular size potty AND a travel foldable potty. We made a BIG deal about buying character panties. We also have a few other tricks up our sleeves, so everyone needs to find what works for them and their kids! Good luck to all potty training parents!
BrandiMartin99215 BrandiMartin99215 6 years
my son was encoraged with stickers we let him put them on his potty then he filled it up and has sticker papers :) it works so i dont mind i have talk to alot of moms and they said this worked for them as well i have tryied the books and viedos the only thing that seemed to encorage him to potty train was stickers and the fluching potty time book :) just giving yall another option
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