Being prepared is a lesson we re-learn as parents of toddlers on a daily basis, because sometimes we’re saved by the smallest of things. With potty training, never was there a better time to think ahead. We thought ahead for you. Here are your essentials.
Potty training essentials for your home
Choosing the right potty
Shapes, sizes, bells, whistles, you name it, you can find it, but do you need it?
Rule one: get your toddler involved in choosing one as this gives them a sense of ownership.
Rule two: Spend less but buy at least two so you can keep one upstairs and one downstairs. We looked at what was out there. Top choices: the easy-to-clean Pourty Potty, the basic IKEA LILLA, or the non-slip, more aesthetically pleasing Babybjorn Smart Potty.
A step up and a safe seat
As they move from potty to toilet, you may need a toilet training seat to fit on top of the loo, so it doesn’t feel too big and scary (one parent confessed, “We didn’t bother until our second son got wedged down the loo.”)
A portable step to help them to get on and off also makes the journey to the loo less daunting. The Addis Booster Step Stool is a trusted choice, along with the IKEA Tossig Seat or the BAMNY seat with handles for extra confidence.
Toilet paper, wipes and soap
Let your child pick out a special colour or fragrance of soap for them to use, patterned toilet roll (check out these with puppies on every sheet) or their own special pack of wipes (just remember to dispose of any wipes in a bin as they aren't flushable).
Potty training kit your toddler will love
Picking the perfect clothes
Stick to those that can be easily yanked up and down, like skirts and dresses, and shorts and trousers with elasticated waists.
Poppers are easier for little fingers than zips and buttons. Expert tip: Kids Inc Senior Manager Jeni Sutton suggests jelly shoes or plastic sandals as these are easy to clean.
Try Huggies® Pull-Ups®
Huggies® Pull-Ups® are designed to make everything easier. A blue ‘feel wet’ layer briefly mimics the feel of wet underwear, and a wetness indicator fades when it’s wet to help your child learn when they need to go. A stretchy waistband helps them to practice pulling pants up and down by themselves. So they get to feel safe and independent at the same time.
Potty training gear for when you’re out and about
Take a travel potty
Ask any parent what item they couldn’t live without during the potty training months and they’ll all say the same thing - a travel potty.
For road trips and holidays a travel potty allows you to leave the house and still keep up the toilet-training schedule. Hands down the best buy is the Potette.
Easy to forget but never leave home without spare everything. Including socks and shoes. Two sets if you have a bag like Mary Poppins.
Potty training rewards to boost motivation
Use stickers and reward charts
Everybody loves stickers and reward charts - a great way of charting their progress and recognising their loo-going triumphs. On that note, get ready to cheer loudly for even the tiniest wee!
Books and videos can be an amazing tool
More fun than the self-help books for you, are the potty-training picture books for them. And given both of you will be spending some time sitting and waiting for that poo to arrive, you’ll be grateful for the choice (and they’ll love the one-to-one with you).
We found five of the most popular. Be prepared to sing.
Pants by Giles Andreae & Nick Sharratt. Humorous with a hint of cheekiness (‘Pants on your head when you’ve gone crazy!’) this will become a classic in your household. Try and get hold of the song that goes with it narrated by Lenny Henry and you’ll all be singing along.
All Aboard The Toilet Train, by Harper Collins. The popular Bing & Flo help each other on their potty-training journey. It rhymes, it’s noisy, and it reassures you that everyone gets there in the end.
I Want My Potty!, by Tony Ross. Written and illustrated by the Little Princess author, the stroppy Princess begins to wobble when she realises using a potty is not as easy as it looks.
The Story of the Little Mole Who Knew It Was None of His Business by Werner Holzwarth. This 30-year-old classic comes into its own when you want a story that’s not quite so ‘teachy’. It’s a cheeky whodunnit involving, you’ve guessed it, a mystery poo. It’s brilliant.
Who’s in the Loo? by Jeanne Willis, illustrated by Adrian Reynolds. Written in rhyme, this story will be particularly relatable if your child is part of a large family and encounters queues for the loo.
If you’re working or juggling siblings, sitting down to read while you wait will sound like a pipedream. We get it. YouTube has some wonderful animations to keep your child engaged (and still!). You’ll find The Story of the Potty Princess, Pirate Pete’s Potty and Bing’s All Aboard the Toilet Train there too.