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Potty? Toilet seats? The equipment you REALLY need for toilet training

May 9, 2019

Apart from patience, a bit of extra time, some rolls of paper towel and some friendly-smelling cleaning products, there are a few other handy tools you might want to get your hands on before you start the process of teaching your child to use the toilet.

Gorgeous Frilly Undies or Spider-Man Jocks

Once your child is displaying signs of toilet training readiness (read our previous blog: What is the Right Age to Start Toilet Training?), it is a good idea to go shopping together and choose one pair of super fancy underpants. Let your child choose the fancy pair and then add a dozen or so practical pairs. 

You might also like to stock up on low cost clothes that are easy to pull up or off, so that getting to the toilet is a breeze and isn’t slowed down by tricky bows, ties or belts. 

Potties, Toilet Seats and Steps

Next it is time to choose whether you will go with a toilet seat insert (smaller version of adult-sized toilet seat that sits on top of your toilet), or a portable potty. 

If you can stretch your budget, an ideal option is a two-in-one toilet seat, with an adult and a child option built into the lid, so you don’t have to regularly swap seats, do extra cleaning or keep the child seat on the floor. This is especially helpful if you have more than one child and not too many toilets in your home. 

It’s a good idea to have a step in the bathroom – this helps children to climb onto the toilet and support their legs while sitting, or can be used to help them reach the sink to wash their hands. 

A potty can be a good option, as it is low to the ground and easy for your child to get on and off. It doesn’t have a ‘long drop’, water or a flush that some children are nervous about.  

Some people love to have a portable toilet that folds up and can go in the bottom of your pram or in the boot of the car. This is a great device for when you are out and about and your child needs to use the toilet. This usually happens about five minutes after you leave the house – remember to laugh it off. The portable toilet helps you avoid public toilets that can sometimes be less than ideal and discourage toilet use. Simply find a private and safe place, put the bag over the seat, encourage your child to “go”, use wipes for your child and all hands involved and then throw the bag containing the wee or poo and wipes into a bin. Hooray!

Visual Instructions and Rewards Charts

There are a lot of steps to remember when learning to go to the toilet, and a visual steps chart can be a fantastic tool to help your child along.

A rewards chart can be useful – when starting out it can be effective to reward or acknowledge each step, while later on this may reduce to rewarding the whole process. Rewarding could include anything from ‘ticks’ on a chart, stickers or other prizes that your child values.

Spare clothes

While you are toilet training, be sure to keep a few sets of spare clothes handy and at the ready. Make sure they’re really easy for your child to take off and get back on – think elastic-waisted shorts or pants or skirts, no buttons or complicated ties and definitely no all-in-one jumpsuits that have to come all the way off!

You will also need spare clothes for kindy or day care, when you go out, when you go the park, shopping etc.

As your toilet training journey might take some time, check your spare clothes on occasion to make sure they still fit your child. Guaranteed, you will finally need those spare pair of pants in the middle of winter at your cousin’s birthday party lunch in the middle of nowhere.  

Need More Help?

Mars Clinic has launched a new online program to help you feel prepared and confident to toilet train your child.

FREE: Download our Toilet Steps - Blasting to success!

Enter your details for our free children's guide to toileting. 

  • Teach your child all the steps in toiletting
  • Easy to follow, child-friendly pictures
  • Reminds and reinforces toileting routine
  • Use to reward positive effort