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How to Choose a Toilet-Training Potty

Before you can toilet train your toddler, you'll need to buy them a potty to learn on. Here's how to pick one that will help guarantee toilet-training success.


  • Step 1: Go to the store Shop for a potty in person, and take your child with you. They're the one who'll be using it, so they should have a say in which one you bring home. If you think you'll get a better deal online, pick out the potty you want at a store, and then go on the web to order it.
  • Step 2: Kick the tires Peruse the store's stock. There are two types – a portable potty, and a seat that fits on top of the regular toilet. Let your child sit on any potty they seem interested in. Look for ones that fit them comfortably, and won't tip over. A high seat back is a plus.
  • TIP: You can opt for an insert for the regular toilet seat – called a potty ring –that will make it small enough for them to sit on. Keep a stool in the bathroom so they can safely climb onto the seat.
  • Step 3: Look for standard features Check for features, like a removable bowl that you can lift out and empty into the regular toilet, and a splash guard – a lip on the front of the seat that will prevent urine from hitting the floor. If you have a boy, you may want to get a potty with a deflector, which will keep his urine from spraying on the floor.
  • Step 4: Consider extras Consider other bells and whistles. Potties feature everything from toilet paper holders to sound effects like flushing and music.
  • TIP: Avoid potty chairs with large seams or crevices, which are difficult to clean and can pinch the skin. If you buy a potty ring, run your hand along the inside before you buy it to check for any sharp edges.
  • Step 5: Set up at home Bring the potty home, and put it in the bathroom. If your toddler wants to decorate the seat with stickers or markers, let them. The more they can do to make it their own, the sooner they'll be willing to actually use it.
  • FACT: A watchmaker named Alexander Cummings invented the first flush toilet in 1775.

You Will Need

  • A toddler ready to potty train
  • A store or web site that sells potty chairs
  • A step stool (optional) (optional) (optional)
  • Stickers (optional) (optional) (optional)
  • Markers (optional) (optional) (optional)

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