Potty Seat vs. Potty Chair
A Potty Chair is a little training potty that sits by itself on the floor. Most of them have a removable basin that you can dump and clean.
Unless you’re dealing with a kid over the age of three, I feel that the potty chair is less intimidating for little ones who are dwarfed by the size of an adult potty.
The big downside? It can be really gross to clean poop out of the bowl – perhaps even slightly grosser than changing diapers.
The Potty Seat (below), on the other hand, is a seat that reduces the size of the adult seat to a smaller size such that your kiddo won’t fall into the potty.
If you can get your little one to sit on the real potty, score! No transfer of waste is required, and it’s so much less cleanup. Just keep in mind, your toddler might be intimidated by the sheer height of the potty. You’ll also need a kid’s step stool, unless your toilet happens to be really low to the ground. Or you live at a preschool.
Which kind to get?
In my experience, toddlers less than two or 2 ¼ prefer a potty chair and kids over 2 ¼ or 2 ½ seem to be okay with going on the big potty. At the end of the day, try both and let him decide which is more comfortable.
Generally speaking, a potty chair is the safest bet, but most people end up getting a potty seat (sometimes called a seat reducer) later on when the child becomes a little bigger and more confident.
There are 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.
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.
A step stool allows children’s feet to reach the floor while using the regular (adult-sized) toilet. Planting their feet helps them steady themselves and push when pooping. Step stools also provide a needed boost to the sink for handwashing and toothbrushing.
Some step stools are plastic; these will usually have a textured, nonskid base and more textured material on top to prevent your child from slipping. Others are wooden; they often have a section for toy storage and can be personalized with your child’s name.
Age range: Your child will probably use a step stool from age 2 to age 4 or 5.
Tip: A step stool will come in handy for years in the bathroom, kitchen, and other parts of the house, so choose one you won’t mind looking at.
Toilets are scary for many young children – they’re big, cold, and noisy. To make potty training easier and more appealing, many parents begin with a potty chair.
Potty chairs are small, freestanding seats, usually made of plastic, with a removable reservoir for children to pee or poop into. Some feature popular cartoon characters or prince or princess designs. Others play songs, cheer, or allow you to record an encouraging message for your child that only plays when something hits a sensor in the reservoir.
You can also find potty chairs with sleek, modern, and minimalist styling. Some have a removable seat that can go on an adult-sized toilet when your child is ready to try it, or convert to a step stool.
It can be helpful to have several potty chairs to keep in different parts of your house when your toddler trains, so one will be right at hand when he needs it. (You probably won’t get much warning!) Some training methods – such as potty training in 3 days – recommend that you have a potty chair in every main area of your home, as well as in bathrooms.
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