5 Potty-Training Must-Haves

We asked moms and dads to share their must-haves so your child can leave her diapers behind.
By Donna Fennessy



Potty inspiration
The more you can read about it, the more excited your child will be to try it. (Check out our list of potty-themed books to get started.) Got an Elmo fan? Start looping the DVD Elmo’s Potty Time.

Pint-sized potty
You probably don’t spend much time thinking about your toilet, but for your child, it can be a cold and scary place. Some kids even worry they’ll be flushed down, too! A child-sized potty is much less intimidating. Simply leave it in the bathroom so your kid can begin to get used to it. You may find him dragging it out to living room to use a chair, and that’s perfectly fine, too! If your child wants to start using the big-kid toilet right away, consider installing a potty-training seat, which is a smaller ring that fits on top of the regular one. It can make the toilet more comfortable and prevent your child from falling in.

If your child’s not yet ready to jump straight to underpants, use these training pants to bridge the gap. They allow your child to feel a little wet if they don’t make it to the toilet in time, but they won’t leak all over the place. Plus, they’re perfect for overnights, too.

A stain remover
Accidents are bound to happen. Use an ezyme-based urine stain remover to eliminate the evidence (one made for pets works as well as those that are kid-specific.)

Flushable toilet targets
These floating targets give your little guy something to aim for in the bowl. (Google “flushable toilet targets” to find different brands and shapes; let him choose so he’s engaged in the process.) Or, save cash by simply tossing some O-shaped cereal in the toilet.

Sure, kids enjoy your praise, but let’s be real—it’s the prizes that keep them motivated! Stash stickers, crayons, little cars or other small treats nearby so you can quickly reward your little one for doing his business on the bowl.

A waterproof mattress cover or sheet
Even if your child has mastered going on the potty during the day, she may still have accidents at night. A waterproof mattress cover will help minimize the mess.

A potty to-go
Potty training can be tough when you’re out in the world doing errands or on the road. But with a collapsible potty (they literally fold up and can fit in a diaper bag), you’ll always be prepared.

There will likely be moments when you think your child will never get it, (stepping in an unseen puddle of pee will do that to you). At times like these, it helps to have someone in your corner, cheering you on and offering you advice. Rely on your friends with kids who’ve been there before for loads of tips and tricks. Remember, you both can do this!

Raising Kids
Age 4
Age 3
Toilet Training
Child Development and Behavior