Since apparently dabbling into the metaphysics of time is not a fave of my readers (or, if you DID enjoy that post, please tell me! I want to know more of what to write about!), and because the last couple days of my life have been spent glamorously talking up bodily functions to my toddler, I decided to post another Cool Things post. This time about, oh, only the biggest thing on my mind lately: potty training products.
But first, by the way, do you follow me on facebook, twitter, or instagram? Cause if you do, then yeah, you know I haven’t shut up about potty training there. I know. I’m sorry. But thanks for humoring me and following along still.
Oh, I should also probably state that potty training big sister C was a nightmare, like seriously a nightmare. I was in the process of PTing her for oh, the better part of a year. And I was so determined beforehand to be awesome at potty training. I read all the books and all the strategies, and was like the total expert on potty training. I was going to be AWESOME at it. But nope. Everything I tried backfired on me. It ended up being my first (and biggest) lesson on parenting so far and I had to eat some humble pie over it. I’d write a blog about PT advice, expect then I’d have to revisit that nightmare with C. And I don’t want to yet.
Needless to say, it’s going a lot better with little brother S the second time around.
I’m not a PT expert (yet) by any means, but here’s what I’m going to tell you about today: Potty Training Products That I Think Are Cool. I’ve tried A LOT more products than these listed below that DID NOT work, but these are the ones that I recommend or worked for me.
Once Upon A Potty board book
There is a BOY VERSION and a GIRL VERSION. You will absolutely want the gender appropriate version for your kid, because they are quite atomically correct. There are a lot of potty training board books out there, but this is the only one I’ve found that is explicit and instructional (so, warning: there are illustrations of private parts and poop). I’m an analytic person, so it makes sense that my kids would be too and would benefit from clear instruction.
I should have had this book with C but didn’t know about it at the time. I instead relied on all those other toddler potty books that only focus on big kid undies and never visually explain the mechanics of this-comes-out-of-your-body-here-and-should-end-up-in-the-potty-there. No wonder my daughter was confused and PTing was miserable with her! If you’re squeamish, you won’t like this book (and you’re probably going to have a really hard time with the messiness of potty training itself, but good luck to you), but if you want your toddler to visually understand what you’re actually asking them to do, you’ll love this book.
(Note: the terminology might be a little strange if you use different terms than “wee-wee”, and the potty in the book looks like an actual pot, which is kind of strange, but your toddler can’t read and you can change the words to what you want. Also, the different-looking potty was not confusing to my son either.)
Potty Time DVD
If your toddler already watches the Baby Signing Time videos, this is is a must. I love that the first part of the video explains how we all grow up and that learning to use the potty is part of growing up and an exciting thing. I also like how it shows that pee and poop come from what we eat and drink and that our body no longer needs. I don’t know about your kids, but I feel like this was helpful for my kids just to better complete the circle of understanding of what this potty thing is all about. Plus it’s just fun and the songs are catchy.
There’s also a Potty Time phone app that you can install that will “call” Rachel whenever there’s a potty success or accident. I did this with my daughter and it was kind of cute. So if your child likes Rachel/Signing Time, they might get a kick out of that too.
Dimore Cotton Training Pants
With C, I tried a few different kinds of training pants. I ended up using the standard Gerber training pants, with the white plastic pants over them at first, as well as the Potty Patty underpants. I liked the Potty Patty ones a lot, but as were the plastic pants, they were bulky and not what I wanted for longer-term use. I eventually sewed waterproof PUL fabric to the the Gerber undies to help make them more waterproof and went with that for long-term.
So by the time little brother S came around, I knew I wanted to try something new. I still got some standard thick cotton training pants (mostly because there were some Thomas the Train undies and my son is obsessed with trains right now, so I had to. 🙂 ), but I got these Gerber printed plastic pants to go with them, which feel a bit nicer than the white plastic pants somehow.
However, what I really want to recommend here are THESE Dimore training pants that I took a chance on and got for S have ended up being perfect for all my needs/wants! They are cotton on the inside (so the child can feel the wetness) and cotton on the outside (so they look like real undies), but somewhere in the middle padding is a waterproof layer so that everything doesn’t leak out when there’s an accident! I mean, I’m sure at some point enough liquid would make it leak and I wouldn’t use these as overnight trainers, especially in the beginning, but for daytime use, these are awesome! And a really great price!! They do feel a little bit cheaply/foreign made, but eh, they are for potty training. My standards are practicality based, not cosmetic.
OXO Tot 2-in-1 Go Potty for Travel
Full disclosure, I have this, but have not used it yet, so this review might be a bit premature. But, here’s what I can tell you. With C, I got the Potettee Plus travel potty. And I liked it in theory, but I never really used it. It was difficult to snap the legs to the right positions to make the little travel potty and then out to make the toilet seat. And even then, it wiggled on the toilet and didn’t feel sturdy. I ended up giving it away.
So, 2.5 years later, when it came time to potty train again, I found this OKO Tot travel potty instead. Though we haven’t used it yet, I’ve been playing with it and it’s awesome. Like for real. The legs snap out into their proper position easily and smoothly. Just what you need when you’re trying to get a travel potty set up quickly before your kid pees all over you! I also LOVE that it’s got these little punch out hole things on the sides to quickly and easily secure a grocery bag or whatever liner bag you’re planning to use. Also, it seems way easier to clean and doesn’t have as many nooks and crannies. Which isn’t a huge deal, but kind of nice.
(I just realized how sales-y this whole review sounded, ha ha. I swear I’m not being paid to write this. Really. 🙂 )
Primo Soft Seat 4-in-1 Soft Seat Toilet
Since I just reviewed a travel potty, I should probably also tell you about the potty I actually use in my home. There’s a gazillion potties out there. I’m really not an expert on all the types. Maybe there’s something better for you – but for me and my teeny tiny house, this one works perfect. As a person of practically, who only wants to buy things that have multi uses in order to justify their expense, this particular 4-in-1 potty has served both my kids well.
It’s a potty. It’s a step stool. It has a removable toilet seat that transitions your kid to the big toilet. Honestly, it’s more of a 3-in-1 and I think they were being a bit generous in differentiating between the home toilet seat and travel toilet seat, but either way, it is what it is and it works and I like it. Now that I’m potty training a boy, I realize that the splash guard isn’t very high and we’ve had a couple misses, but I’m just teaching him to aim lower (oh gosh, PTing a boy is so funny compared to a girl!) and it’s been fine. Cleaning it is eh, not the simplest as he has quick a few little nooks, but really, all of potty training is messy anyways,so it is what it is. Overall I feel like I made a really good purchase with it.
Built-In Potty Training Seat & Squatty Potty Stool
7/19/16 UPDATE: I take the above back. I found a way better small-space solution! But, I bought two things. This EasyGoPro squatty potty stool. Also this new built-in potty training toilet seat. And together they solve all the problems in the world.
The stool helps with little kids climbing up and down from the big toilet. It also helps with other adult potty issues, ahem, ahem. The kid toilet seat means that the kids can pull down their own seat when they need it. And there’s no loosing it, or having to clean it specially.
I have all this room in my tiny bathroom now without unnecessary gadgets! And I’m so happy! Who knew a new toilet seat and stool could me make me so excited. But they do!
Well, that’s it! I reserve the right to add more to this list later, but if/until then, I hope I’ve introduced you to something “cool” for the time being!
If there’s anything else super awesome and potty training products that you absolutely love, leave a comment and let me know!