What Potty Training Products Do You Need?
One great thing about "Oh Crap" Potty Training is that it is focused on learning, not potty training gimmicks. This also means that you don't need a lot of "stuff" to potty train. I've talked more about potty training products in my "Must Have Potty Training Products" blog post and "More Potty Training Products I Love." Check those out for some additional thoughts! Here is my comprehensive list of potty training products:
"Oh Crap Potty Training" If you don't already have a copy of this, pick it up! It's a great reference, and is available in paperback and Kindle. Read more about Oh Crap Potty Training here.
Small Potty: Do yourself a favor and get yourself one! This is part of setting you and your child up for success. Small potties are less imposing, easier to sit on, and more portable, than big toilets. You simply may not have time to transport your child all the way to the big toilet in the bathroom when you first get started. Though it might be tempting to go for characters and “fun”, remember that this is a piece of furniture that should only have 1 function. Too much fun, and your child may get distracted – or just miss the point of what you’re doing. Instead, get a potty that is simple, straightforward, and clear in its purpose. If you need to make pottying “fun” for your child, there are plenty of other ways to do that.
The Primo Potty is my personal favorite. It is easy to clean, and the seat is a little cushier than the other little potties I’ve tried out. Though we don’t port ours around, it is easy to close up and has a nice carrying handle as well. A bonus feature is that the seat detaches and can be used as a seat reducer on the big potty – for a familiar transition. We used to bring ours to daycare, and they loved it so much they got one of their own!
Travel Potty: If you’re going to get just one potty, I LOVE the potette. Yes, it’s a travel potty – but this is currently the only one we have in our home right now (our Primo Potty went to preschool). It folds up to be nicely portable (though we use ours with a silicone liner, which makes it bulkier). And again, flexibility here is AWESOME. It can be used as a tiny, stand-alone potty (push the legs in until you hear them “pop” into place). In fact, my daughter lovingly calls it her “TINY POTTY!” But in addition to being used as a standalone, it can also be used as a seat reducer – and is more stable than the other, quad-fold seat reducers I’ve tried. We call this the “TINY POTTY ON THE BIG ONE!” which my daughter thinks is pretty silly and fun.
Step Stool: Getting a stepstool, if you don’t already have one, is really important for potty training. This helps your child to build a sense of autonomy – and as you move forward with potty training, you will realize just how important a concept this is. A stepstool is necessary for washing hands - it's great to incorporate this into your pottying process from the beginning. It can also be helpful for learning to use the big toilet. I was surprised at how difficult stepstool shopping was, but in the end was found the Ikea Bekvam stepstool, and it has met our every need. It is taller than most stepstools – you might be surprised at just how many stepstools don’t actually elevate your child to a comfortable height to use the sink. It is also very easy to move around – we turn it around with the steps facing the big toilet to make it MUCH easier to get up there too. This is also available - generally cheaper - directly from Ikea.
Chux pads: These are SUPER useful for peace of mind when traveling and night training. Simple enough: this is a thin pad you can cut a hole in for the strap of your carseat (always check with the manufacturer before adding any products to your carseat – but on ours this was approved). These also make for far less of a headache (and less laundry) when learning to stay dry at night. Bottom line: Give yourself a setup that will reduce your anxiety and make your life easier overall!
Built-In Seat Reducer: This is a little pricey, but my husband REALLY wanted to upgrade our toilet seats anyway. Might as well get a built-in seat reducer while we’re at it! While I don’t consider this essential – I have also helped my daughter on the big toilet with no seat reducer at all – it IS really convenient. It is THE most stable seat reducer we’ve used, because it’s part of the seat. And it’s not inconvenient for us adults, because a magnet holds the little seat up – so it defaults to the “adult” position.
Plastic Training Pant Covers: If you find yourself in a daycare/preschool/caregiver situation where your child is not yet reliable at using the potty (or not reliable in these situations), OR you have a special school situation in general where they are suggesting rediapering, I highly recommend trying for plastic pants as a happy medium. Though traditionally these have been used in combination with cloth training pants, I personally have never found the need for those. Instead, undies can be used under plastic pants just as effectively. The benefit of going this route is that your child will still be able to *feel* that they are wet, but the accident will also be contained. This feeling of wetness is important to the process, a feeling which is not maintained when using disposable diapers or pullup-style disposable training pants. Though our daughter became reliable at home very quickly, it took a couple of weeks before she could be reliable at daycare. Luckily for us, daycare was on board with not going back to diapers, ever. So our compromise, one that I felt very good about, was using these plastic pants.
Potty Doll: My daughter didn’t have a doll, at all, the Christmas before we potty trained. In our case, I was planning to get her a doll for Chistmas anyway, so why not a potty doll? The Corolle potty doll is very cool for a few reasons. Of course, you give it water and it pees. Kindof fun! It is also a doll that your child can take in the bath. My daughter LOVED bathing with Baby Emma. Something that I considered important was that these dolls are anatomically correct. Personally I think it makes sense to talk about the actual parts of the body when we are teaching potty training skills. One last unexpected thing: this doll SMELLS great! We did use this doll for its purpose. It helped to motivate my daughter to pee before leaving the house when we started back up at daycare. We would take turns with the doll peeing and her!