Potty training seems pretty simple on the surface but can be surprisingly complex and stressful. Being prepared and having realistic expectations will give your child the best chance of a positive experience.
Potty training can go quickly and smoothly, or it can be a stressful time that drags on for months. Being prepared with knowledge, realistic expectations, and the right mindset will increase the chances of you and your child having a positive experience.
Having the right potty training tools can also help. The team at Mom Loves Best combined our collective experience to choose the best potty training tools and share a few of our favorite hints, tips, and hacks.
Potty Training Tools & Tips For Success
- Wait until your child shows signs of readiness.
- Prepare your child by telling and showing them what’s going to happen.
- Look for ways to make potty training fun.
- Let your child help choose a potty, pants, and other items.
- Be prepared for accidents.
- Don’t get upset or angry if your child pees or poops their pants.
Potty Training Tools for the Bathroom
These are the potty training tools we have found helpful for the bathroom.
BabyBjörn Deep Potty Chair
To provide a greater sense of stability and security, the deep potty chair from BabyBjörn has a higher back than most other simple plastic potties. It also has a rubber strip around the underside of the potty to prevent it from slipping on smooth floors.
Meanwhile, an inner potty lifts out of the main seat for easy emptying and cleaning.
Nuby My Real Potty Training Toilet
For kids who don’t want to sit on a potty, the training toilet by Nuby is a good option. The Nuby is still just a potty; there’s no plumbing or water required. However, the inner potty bowl sits within a larger plastic structure molded to look like a grown-up toilet.
There’s a built-in wipes dispenser, but we did not use ours because, for some inexplicable reason, it’s on the back of the potty, making it difficult to access. However, we do love the electronic flush sound the Nuby makes when you press the toilet top button.
Fisher-Price Perfect Fit Potty Ring
Some kids skip the potty altogether and prefer to sit on the toilet like a “proper grown-up.” If this is the case in your home, The potty ring from Fisher-Price is molded to provide a comfortable seat with built-in handholds on the underside.
The potty ring is adjustable to fit most toilets, and there are no permanent fixings which means it’s easy to put on and take off for any member of the family.
Summer Step by Step Potty
We adore the Summer Step by Step potty because it is three items in one. First, you have a solid, stable potty that sits on the floor. The seat is soft, making it comfortable for the fussiest potty aficionados.
Next, the upper part of the potty snaps off and can be placed on top of your toilet seat. This is perfect for that transitionary period when your child feels they are too big for the potty but still feel in danger of falling into the toilet bowl.
Finally, the outer potty can be used as a step stool, making hand washing easier.
Potty Training Tools for the Bedroom
Becoming dry at night can take much longer. These items helped us cope and keep down the nighttime bed stripping and extra laundry of the transition.
Gorilla Grip Slip Resistant Leak Proof Mattress Pad
This four-layer bed pad can hold up to eight glasses of liquid, and while it won’t keep the bedding dry, it will prevent nighttime accidents from ruining your mattress.
We particularly love the grippy back surface, which prevents it from sliding around in the bed. You’ll be surprised how much a mattress pad could move, even when carefully placed under a tightly tucked sheet.
Wet-Stop3 Green Bedwetting Enuresis Alarm
If your child has been dry during the day for some time and still wets the bed regularly, an alarm can be helpful. This example from Wet-Stop has a sensor about the size of a dime. It goes on the outside of your child’s underwear and is set off if it becomes wet.
When activated, the alert box either vibrates or sounds an alarm, waking your child so they can go to the bathroom.
The sensor connects to the alert box via a thin cable, so it’s unsuitable for younger children.
Goodnites Nighttime Bedwetting Underwear
We found Goodnites to be the best nighttime underwear for our kids. Just like a pair of thick, pull-on pants, the Goodnites will catch any pee in the night, preventing broken sleep for you and your child.
Rip sides make them easy to take off, and the thinner profile makes them discrete. So they are good if your child is embarrassed by their bedwetting and will be staying away from home overnight.
Potty Training Tools for Your Child
Making potty training fun can help your child become dry more quickly.
Potty Training Sticker Chart
Sticker charts are an easy way to motivate your child without having to resort to the kind of bribery that encourages a power struggle. This particular example has magnetic “stickers” so they can be used over and over again on the same chart.
There is a spot for five different steps — I asked to go potty, I washed my hands, etc., so your child can receive a sticker for each step. Consequently, they get the encouragement of a sticker if they are asked to go, even if they didn’t get there in time.
Potty Time Adventures Game
More like a potty time advent calendar than a game, this unique set provides motivation and a few long-term playthings to boot.
Each time your child uses the potty, they get one of the included stickers. For every third sticker, they open up a door and discover which wooden animal is waiting there for them.
Big Boys Use the Potty!
Reading through a potty training book together before you start the process can help your child prepare for the transition. Knowing exactly what to expect and seeing other children enjoy the process is beneficial.
Our favorites are the Big Boys/Girls Use the Potty from Dorling Kindersley. Each had a simple step-by-step of a bog or girl getting their teddy to go potty, then doing it themselves, finishing up with flushing and handwashing.
Potty Training Tools for Travel
If you have to travel during potty training, these items can help.
OXO Tot 2-in-1 Go Potty
This is a simple, soft, foldable toilet seat on legs, which you can use anywhere on the go, with disposable waste bag refills. It’s also great, bag-free for little ones who need a quick wee when camping or out in nature for the day.
Alternatively, the seat also clips onto a regular toilet seat which is an excellent option for visiting friends and family.
Squatty Potty Porta Traveler
Some kids are OK on a regular toilet seat, as long as they have the security to place their feet on a firm surface. If this is your child, this foldable step is exceptionally lightweight and only two inches thick at the widest point when folded.
As a top tip — it fits inside carry-ons and is fantastic when you’re trying to balance an uncertain child on an unfamiliar toilet in a tiny airplane bathroom.
Portable Potty Seat for Toddler Travel
Available as a blue frog or a blue owl, this foldable toilet seat by Maliton not only helps your child feel more comfortable and confident sitting on the toilet, it helps parents who are anxious about their child sitting on the seat in a public restroom.
Rubber feet on the underside stop it sliding about while your child climbs on and off, and the carry bag protects everything else you have with you from the used toilet seat.
Other Potty Training Tools You May Need
These are not essential items, and you can get on just fine without them. However, they can make things a little easier for parents and kids who find constant reminders stressful.
Cottonelle FreshFeel Flushable Wet Wipes
These flushable wipes do the job without causing other issues. They’re easy to remove from the package, thick enough to prevent little fingers from going through the “fabric,” and strong enough not to shred under pressure.
We love that they are lightly scented, so they’re unlikely to cause any skin reactions. Plus, the clicking, wipe-box-like flip-top minimizes the chance of them drying out.
Learning Resources 20-Second Handwashing Timer
Some kids who are potty training — especially those who are eager to get back to something more interesting — can often forget to wash their hands. If they’re sneaky enough, they might even consider turning the tap on and off, with or without flying their hand through the water.
This handwashing timer can be activated by a quick jab of the elbow, so it doesn’t become contaminated and can be the reminder some kids need that there’s another step after you have wiped.
Rubbermaid Reveal Spray Microfiber Floor Mop
A carpet shampooer, even a spot cleaning one, is a little extravagant for potty training, but this mop from Rubbermaid is excellent for clearing up accidents on hard floors such as wood or tile.
You can put any mixture you like in the bottle or not use the spray function at all. The microfiber mop head quickly sucks up even the most impressive puddle of pee, and you can peel it off and throw it in the washer.
FAQs About Potty Training Tools
These are the five questions about tools for potty training we hear most often.
How Long Does It Take to Potty Train Kids?
It takes roughly three to six months to go from diapers to fully dry — besides the occasional accident — during the day (1).
A lot depends on:
- Your child’s physical development at the start of the process. Some children develop the muscle control required for successful potty training later than others.
- What’s going on in your life. If you have the luxury of being at home 24/7 with your child, with no other distractions, they may be potty trained sooner. That’s because it’s easier to notice their signals, remind them to go and get to the washroom quickly than if they are in daycare or you have other children to attend to.
- Genetics. If a child’s biological parent was late to be potty trained or was still wetting the bed as a tween, then there’s a higher chance a child will be the same.
- Life events. Avoid beginning to potty train when there’s another baby on the way, you are moving home, there’s traveling in the near future, or you’re transitioning from crib to bed.
At What Age Should a Child Be Fully Potty Trained?
Most kids are dry during the day, somewhere between 24 and 36 months. The majority will be dry at night by the age of seven.
How Do You Potty Train a Stubborn Toddler?
If your toddler is resisting potty training, the first thing to ask yourself is, “How important is it to get this done now?” If the answer is not very, stop trying to potty train your baby and give it another go in a few months. It will be a lot less stressful.
If you have to get your child dry for daycare, or you feel it’s essential to get this done:
- Try not to show irritation or upset when your child doesn’t use the potty: Negative emotions can cause problems to go on much longer. If you can’t help but feel stressed, go into another room and don’t let your child see you’re upset.
- Consider your toddler’s motivation: Few kids will refuse to use the potty out of sheer stubbornness — although a few will! Instead, consider whether your child is emotionally and physically mature enough to be successful. They may be unready rather than stubborn.
- Look for ways to make potty training more fun: Storytime, sitting on the potty to enjoy a favorite cartoon, stickers for success, or similar can all be motivating factors.
Why Is My Toddler Afraid to Pee In the Potty?
Sometimes a child can be afraid of the potty because it moves around on the floor when they sit down. Other times it may be that the opening is too big — they’re afraid they’ll fall in.
Other children haven’t developed the right cognitive or emotional skills. Silly though it may seem to adults, they may not have thought about pee and poop in their diapers. So, the sudden realization that things are coming out of their bodies can be scary.
What Do You Do When Your Child Refuses to Sit on the Potty?
Most toddlers are dealing with their emerging need to be more independent, the conflicting fear of the unknown, and a lack of tools to express and deal with their emotions.
If your child is refusing, consider leaving it until a later time. You can also make it fun and give them some control by letting your child choose a potty, their own underwear, and a book to enjoy while they sit.
Be Prepared for Positive Potty Training
Nobody prepares you for the complexity of potty training. It is so much more than getting your child to hold onto their pee until they sit on the potty. Start too early, and you may be struggling for months and coping with multiple accidents.
Waiting until your child is ready, having the right tools, and staying relaxed through the process goes a long way. Most of all, though, having realistic expectations will all help you and your child get from diapers to underwear with as little stress and as much positivity as possible.