While kids can make the move from diapers to toilets with very little expense – and just think of all the money you’ll save on diapers! – many parents find some products helpful to have on hand during the process:
At a minimum, you’ll need underpants, whether garden-variety from Target or plush training pants from Hanna Andersson. Make sure your kid finds them comfortable, and, though you don’t have to, it’s nice if your child is excited about wearing them. (Sure, that can mean undies that feature a favorite licensed character – but it could just as easily be a design he or she likes or in a favorite color.) Buy at least a dozen pairs, preferably two dozen; there may be accidents in the first few weeks and months, and the last thing you want to worry about is running out of underwear.
Potties of all varieties are on the market. Babble has reviewed four of the best training potties and rated the Primo 4-in-1 Toilet Trainer (priced at $24.95), which can be used as a stand-alone potty, a seat-reducer on an adult toilet, a step stool or as a travel potty, as its best bet. Runners up: Safety 1st Smart Rewards ($35), Boon Potty Bench ($29.99), Baby Björn Potty Chair ($24.99), Visionaire Peter Potty Toddler Urinal ($29).
Bottom line: Fancy isn’t important. A potty your child likes and wants to sit on is. So if a potty that plays music or features their favorite cartoon character will help motivate your child to use it, by all means, go right ahead. Do whatever it takes.
Many kids do go straight to the big toilet, in which case they’ll probably need a stepstool so they can get on and off the toilet. You may already have one by the sink for washing hands and brushing teeth; as long as your child can move it back and forth, that will work just find for these purposes, too. If you don’t already have something on hand, you can get something inexpensive at Ikea or splurge for something you really want to live with (like a gorgeous Paul Frank one). Either way, your child will love being able to easily reach toilet and sink on his or her own. Such independence!
Kids love to process whatever it is they’re going through in their lives – hence the endless re-reading of their favorite books. Since they’re going to be demanding repeat performances, make sure their books about the potty experience merit rereading. Babble has compiled a list of some of the best potty-training books.
Among the picks:
Everyone Poops! by Taro Gomi: “The best book, with the most improvisational potential, by the most brilliant and accomplished author/illustrator:”
Once Upon A Potty by Alona Frankel: “A bestseller for 30 years, Once Upon A Potty : is unique, not only for its introduction of an old fashioned porcelain jug, rather than a modern toilet, but for its focus on patience.”
Time to Pee by Mo Willems: “Dedicated to ‘going #1,’ Time to Pee by Mo Willems, authostrator of the popular Pigeon series, comes with a success chart and stickers. My family has found stickers to be a tantalizing and sugar-free impetus for a job well-done or well-attempted.”
A Potty For Me by Karen Katz: “Karen Katz, master of simplicity, strikes again with a lift-the-flap board book.”
I Have to Go by Sesame Street Toddler Books: “Little Grover, recognizing THAT FEELING, must turn down invitations to play with friend after friend. Plus he needs help from his Mom with his overalls straps. Printed on super-sturdy pages.”
There are all sorts of videos available to help your child make the transition from diapers to the potty or toilet. Babble has even compiled links to some potty-training videos available online.
We know some kids who might never have made the transition if it weren’t for a DVD called “Potty Power: For Boys & Girls” ($14.98 on Amazon), which includes songs about sitting on the potty, wiping and hand-washing. It might be cloying for grown-ups, but it seems to strike a chord with its target audience. But be warned: They may want to keep watching it long after they’ve already mastered the toilet (the songs have remarkable staying power). Other popular potty-training DVDs include “Sesame Street: Elmo’s Potty Time” and “Go Potty Go!: Potty-training for Tiny Toddlers.”