Potty Training 101 – What You’ll Need

In today’s post, I’ll talk about what you’ll need to potty train your child.

The absolute most important thing you need is a child who is ready. How do you know they’re ready? I’ve written a whole post about that here.

You’ll also need a potty chair. This can be one from the most basic to something complete with lights and sounds. I also recommend a potty seat for an actual toilet, like this one.

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You’ll also need a step stool so that your child can reach the “big potty” and the sink to wash their hands when they’re done.

You never know which potty (a potty chair or the actual toilet) your child is going to prefer and you also want them to be able to use a “big potty” so that if you’re out at a store and the little one starts tugging at your pants leg saying they need to go, you don’t need to run out to your car and use a not so convenient potty you have in your trunk.

Speaking of being out….yes, I am a germaphobe in public and hate public restrooms, but there is nothing worse than squatting down on a public restroom floor and holding your child on gross, bacteria and germ infested, public toilet. Well, nothing worse except your child gripping that toilet seat for balance. I just cringe when I think of those tiny little fingers wrapping around and going under the edge of a toilet seat that’s been barely cleaned by a worker who’s least favorite part of their job is “cleaning” the bathroom. This would be why I recommend having both potty seat covers and a folding potty seat. I had no luck finding either in stores around me (which I think is ridiculous, but I tried 3 different stores and still came up empty handed), so I ordered the folding potty seat and potty seat covers online. [Although next time, I’ll probably order these covers since they’re bigger and cover more of the toilet.]

Something else you’ll need is underwear. Lots and lots of underwear. You can take your child to choose a few packs (but don’t be upset if your little princess comes home with Spiderman underwear!) or go to the store and choose a few packs with their favorite colors or characters. I recommend starting with at least 14 pairs, or two packs. This way even in the event of a day full of accidents, you’re not running out.

And last but not least (as far as physical items go), you’ll need easy pants (or shorts) that are easy to pull up and down. Ditch the complicated buttons and snaps for a few weeks and just stick to elastic waists. You don’t want your child having a hard time unbuttoning or unsnapping and then having an accident because of that. Once they’re in more control of their bladder, then you can start to reintroduce snaps and buttons.Not a physical item, but you also need some time where you won’t be running around doing a bunch of things. A week or two at home (or at home and daycare) will do wonders. You’ll need to be close to a potty for a good chunk of time, and it should be a potty where your child is comfortable. Don’t try to potty train in the middle of a routine change. Don’t do it while moving, switching child care providers, having a big change in schedule, etc. Any transition like this will make potty training harder in a lot of cases.

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