So, let me tell you what I have discovered on my potty training journey.
1. This little potty rocks the house.
Update 11/18/14: I do believe the above potty has been discontinued (so sad!). However, the Baby Bjorn Smart Potty is only slightly larger and also excellent. My husband actually prefers the removable pot and finds it easier to clean. The Baby Bjorn potty chair is slightly bigger still, and is probably more appropriate for a baby at least 9 months old. The closest thing I have seen to the original now discontinued Baby Bjorn little potty is IKEA's LILLA potty ($5), which is much better than the one they made a few years ago and perfectly sized for a first potty for baby. The IKEA potty is also available on Amazon, but it's much cheaper at IKEA itself.
2. This potty sucks.
This potty was supposed to save me money because of the 3-in-1 (potty chair, potty seat to put on top of toilet, plus stool) business. During one potty session, my toddler didn't sit on the potty quite right, or perhaps all of his body parts weren't where they were supposed to be, and some of the pee did not go in the little removable pot. Instead, it went inside the 3,000 nooks and crannies inside this plastic monstrosity. Then, when I tried to use just the potty seat (what you put on top of a regular toilet) part of this potty, my son nearly ruined his private parts trying to sit on it with the pee guard -- which sticks up WAY too high and is WAY too thin and could do some serious damage to the family jewels. I returned it, but first I had to completely hose it down to get off all the pee inside.
When you buy a potty chair or seat, imagine your child sitting down WHILE peeing and you cleaning up the mess. Also imagine your child sitting down on the pee guard incorrectly and the possible bodily harm that may result. Also imagine how easily the pee guard will fall off the potty seat into the toilet. My sister fished a pee guard from a potty seat out of the toilet about 20 times and finally gave up and bought a different potty seat.
3. I love this potty seat.
The Baby Bjorn potty trainer seat is a thing of beauty. It was my THIRD attempt at a seat to go on top of the toilet. It fits on any size toilet seat -- you adjust it once, and then you never have to adjust it again. It is has a handle to make it easy to take on and off the toilet, and you can use the handle to hang it up if you want. It has a little bit of rubber around the bottom to keep it from slipping. It is a single piece of plastic -- no nooks for pee to get stuck in! The pee guard is the same size as on the little potty. Remember, if your pee guard to too large, it will be tough for your kid to even sit down. Also, removable pee guards may fall into the toilet and guess who gets to fish it out? So far, only the baby uses this potty seat much, but the toddler has tried it a time or two and likes it fine.
4. These underpants catch the little drips.
And the poops too if necessary. Since my toddler continues to poop in his underpants, I wash his poopy underpants with the cloth diapers, and they are holding up well. If your toddler pees in his clothes, his pants will get wet too, but you will probably avoid a puddle on the ground. Thanks to Jito for the tip about these!
5. These training pants are good for church and other outings where wet pants will be pretty inconvenient.
Easy to pull up and down. Good fit. Someone gave me some pull-ups and I kind of hated them. The sides tore so easily when my toddler pulled them up or down. Even when *I* pulled them up or down. I like these training pants much better. Plus, pull-ups are outrageously expensive. Even if you don't cloth diaper, if your child poops predictably, you should consider a couple of these training pants. You've washed clothes with pee in them before, right? Read reviews and comparisons of additional brands of training pants here and here.
7. Books and movies
I bought many books about potty training, and then returned the duds. The best ones (according to me and my toddler): Going to the Potty, Everyone Poops, and My Big Boy Potty. Note that these books do not show your child doing anything stupid (unrolling a roll of toilet paper, for example) in the bathroom. Why give them ideas? My toddler also loved the movie Elmo's Potty Time. My toddler still poops in his underpants, but when I say "Elmo poops in the potty," he looks like he's actually considering pooping in the potty for a moment. If you want to be greener than me, check them out from the library instead of buying them.
There are no taboos for potty prizes, in my opinion. Stickers, cookies, toys, TV -- I'll use anything. One surprise was that my toddler actually prefers the teeny tiny stickers to the huge ones. Bonus for me!
For more tips, tricks, and tales from our potty training adventures, CLICK HERE.
What's your favorite potty training stuff?