We’ve done a lot of posts on when to know if your child is ready to potty train, how not to potty train, and potty training in the trenches, but today I’m focusing solely on potty training products. I’m going to cover the most common types of products and what questions to ask when sifting through all the options.
How many pairs? I did a recent mom poll on how much underwear to get when potty training a boy, and the answers varied from 10-30 pairs. It really depends on your method and your child. My recommendation is to buy one pack at a time. Will it fit? Some underwear brands will fit looser than others, and you want to make sure they actually fit your child. This is why it’s important to buy a pack at a time so you can try different brands out.
What height do you need? We purchased two stools thinking one would be significantly taller than the other because it was a two-step instead of a one-step. It turned out they were almost the same height. If the step stool doesn’t have the height listed, grab a ruler from the school aisle of the store and measure it. (Yes, I’ve actually done this before because there wasn’t a height listed online or on the label). Depending on when you potty train your child, you may need to get taller step stools than the common standard. We ended up getting a step ladder for our son so he could reach the sink to wash his hands when he was finished.
Do you want one? You may be able to get away with having your kid sit on a normal toilet seat, but mine happens to have a fear of falling in. And rightfully so – if he doesn’t hang on tight, he could easily slip. What type of seat do you have already? There are two kinds of toilet seats – round and oval. You need to make sure you know which kind you have at home before purchasing a child toilet seat. Otherwise you’ll be making a return to the store because it doesn’t fit. There are some seats that say they can fit either one, but they aren’t always successful.
Do you want one? Again, this is a personal preference. Ask yourself if you want to do extra cleanup every time your child uses the potty. You still have to dump it in the toilet and flush and then wash out the smaller potty. Some people purchase several to have around the house for convenience in potty training, others opt to just get a toilet seat. We’ve found it helpful to keep a mini toilet in the car in case we can’t find a public one while out and about.
Standard or foaming? Washing hands is crucial to the potty training process. Make sure the dispenser you get is one a toddler can successfully use. I would highly recommend getting a foaming soap dispenser because your child will probably do several pumps of soap every time. You can make your own foaming soap with one part water to 5 parts water, which means your toddler is going through way less soap. Plus, the bubbles make it fun.
Buy or borrow? We checked out a bunch of books at the library about potty training, an it was nice to get a variety. The drawback is if the books aren’t available. If you want to buy books about potty training, be sure to read them through with your child at the store to make sure it’s something they’d actually listen to multiple times a week. I’d also recommend limiting your potty themed books to 1-2. You use them for the experience and then generally don’t look at them again.
What method are you doing? If you are having them track their progress and build up to prizes, you’ll need stickers and a sticker chart or pom-poms and a jar. If you are doing small rewards every time they go, you’ll need to stock up on M&Ms, Skittles, Smarties, or whatever small incentive will work best for your child.