Just for Parents

Need some advice when things aren’t going as expected? Want to share a potty training tip with other parents? This is the place to be! Choose from the four categories below and find all you need to know.

  • Essential Tools for Potty Training

    Essential Tools for Potty Training

    Former Pull-Ups® Potty Training Partner and stay-at-home mom, Julie Anaya, offers real-life insights about creating an effective system for potty training. We talked with her about toilet training and the steps she took to ensure her toddler felt like a Big Kid.

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  • All About Potty Seats

    All About Potty Seats

    It’s all about independence. That’s the word on potty seats from family practitioner and parenting expert Dr. Jody McVittie. Read about expert advice to help boost your child’s independence and create a casual attitude when they are using the bathroom.

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  • How to Dress for Success

    How to Dress for Success

    For children who are in diapers full time, cute toddler outfits are just fine, but when a child begins potty training, it’s time to put them in the back of the closet or give them to the local thrift shop. When it comes to potty training, simple and easy-to-use clothes outrank cute and adorable.

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  • Steps to Overnight Success

    Steps to Overnight Success

    Your child may be a pro at staying dry during the day, but nighttime can be a different task altogether. Don’t get discouraged though, because nighttime is typically the part of the day that takes the longest for a child to master. But a little planning and patience can make it much easier for your tot to succeed.

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  • Reward Ideas for Your Big Kid

    Reward Ideas for Your Big Kid

    Have you ever rewarded yourself for a job well done? Maybe you bought your coffee instead of making it. Or maybe you enjoyed a half-hour in the bathtub with no interruptions (or rubber ducks floating around next to you). Children need rewards too, especially during training, and a little reward can go a long way to make them feel special.

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  • Potty Training on the Go: Top Tips for Potty Training Outside the Home

    Potty Training on the Go: Top Tips for Potty Training Outside the Home

    Making sure your child is comfortable is an essential step while training on the go. Here we have several moms sharing tips about training on the road, in public bathrooms, and remembering to stay patient and calm during the process.

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All About Potty Seats

All About Potty Seats

by Kelly D. Burgess

It’s all about independence. That’s the word on potty seats from family practitioner and parenting expert Dr. Jody McVittie. Read about expert advice to help boost your child’s independence and create a casual attitude when they are using the bathroom.

“Parents need to take a pretty casual attitude toward using the toilet so the children take it for granted as well,” says Dr. McVittie. “That means providing them with something they can use by themselves, whether it attaches to the toilet or is a small chair that stands alone, showing them how to use it, then letting them use it without interfering too much.”

The Two Types of Potty Seats

  • Stand-alone: These are just small chairs with a hole and a removable pot for cleaning. They are particularly good for children just starting out with potty training because they’re extremely stable, easy to use and don’t require any climbing or flushing. They’re very portable and can be moved between bathrooms or even taken to a relative’s house when visiting. On the negative side, they do have to be emptied and cleaned. Choices within this category include:
    • Chairs that play a tune.
    • Chairs featuring cartoon characters.
    • Folding travel chairs with handles.
    • Extra stable chairs, some with seatbelts, for special needs children.
  • Toilet adapters: Also known as toilet seat reducers, these fit over the big toilet and make the seat smaller. These adapters help children transition to the big toilet, and waste can be flushed away immediately. They may be more difficult for children to use in the early stages of potty training and usually require a step stool to make the potty more accessible. Some interesting choices in this category include:
    • Padded potty seats.
    • Potty seats with handles for extra security.
    • Flip-up seats that stay on the toilet.
    • Seats with built-in steps.

In Dr. McVittie’s opinion, as both a mom and a potty seat expert, it doesn’t really matter what type of seat you choose as long as it interests your child.

“Eventually children have to make the transition to the big toilet,” says Dr. McVittie. “That may be easier if they start out there with some type of adapter. But regardless of what method you choose, your child will eventually make that transition. They’re not going to be going off to college with their potty chair.”

Choosing a Seat for Your Child

A child should have some input into what type of potty chair he or she uses, but, cautions Narmin Parpia, founder of Potty Training Concepts, a parent first has to decide what works in their home and then can give a child options to find out what’s right for the child.

For example, Parpia says, if you have several small children, a flip-up potty seat that stays attached to the toilet between the lid and seat is probably a good choice. This keeps the child (or mom) from having to put the seat on the toilet every time it’s time to go. Or, if you have only one bathroom, you may be better off with a portable potty chair that can be used as an alternative location.

Also, don’t be afraid to change potty seats if it isn’t working out. Memory Mason, of Atlanta, Ga., used one potty seat for her son, who is now 8, but has purchased a different model entirely for her 2-year-old daughter.

“My 8-year-old felt unstable on the toilet adapter potty chair he used, so I now have one that’s lower to the ground and, as a bonus, is small enough to be portable,” says Mason.

Stability is one of the top tips cited by both Dr. McVittie and Parpia, particularly when a child is transitioning to the big toilet. A stool is a great thing to have around for this transition. It helps with climbing up, supports little feet when they’re sitting on the potty and can help them reach the sink when they’re done.

Remember, the ultimate goal is to show your child how to go to the bathroom alone so you don’t have to drop everything every time he or she announces: “I have to go!” The easier the potty chair or seat is to use, the more quickly that goal will be reached.