Make Potty Training Fun With The Best Potty Chairs & Seats (2018 Guide)

Make Potty Training Fun With The Best Potty Training Chairs & Seats (2018 Guide)

Potty training can either be an incredibly easy or incredibly difficult experience.

As a parent, I found that there was no in between!

Despite how long it takes your little one to pick up on this concept and conquer this massive milestone, you can help guide them through their potty journey by providing them with the right materials. 

A potty chair and toilet seat definitely helped me a lot!

While they differ slightly, your child may prefer one over the other, or both, but at different stages in their potty training careers.

Read on to learn everything you need to know about choosing the best potty training chairs and seats, as well as features you should look for and the pros and cons of each.

Do You Need a Potty Chair or Seat?

In my opinion, you need both a potty chair and a potty seat! 

I read various articles that discussed letting your child choose, and I also read other articles stating that all toddlers should start off using a mini potty so their feet can touch the floor, allowing them to push better since their stomach muscles aren’t properly developed yet to do so when sitting on a full sized potty. 

So, I presented both to my son and he totally went for the potty chair. 

I believe the potty chair serves as the perfect transition between a little and big potty, and makes kids more comfortable overall.

 However, some of my friends’ children skipped the potty and wanted to hop right onto the real thing, and did so with no problem. 

By having both available, you are prepared for the initial training, and the transition.

When Do You Need a Potty Chair or Seat?

Children begin to potty train at different ages

Some begin as young as 18 months, while others aren’t ready to begin the process until closer to 3 years old, with the average age to start training is around two and a half.

But, if your child is showing signs of readiness, go with their cues and begin before that if you think they can handle it. 

Keep in mind the whole process of potty training shouldn’t take more than a week.

If it does, you may have started your child too early.

Children who are ready to train, want to be trained (if that makes sense), so they pick up on the concept quickly, are not scared, and are eager to please and trade their diapers for underwear.

If you’re not sure if your little one is ready for a potty, look for the following signs of readiness:

  • Curiosity about the toilet/eager to flush
  • Announces when they need to use the restroom (or have just gone in their diaper)
  • Stays dry over a nap or even overnight
  • Attempts to change own diaper (because they don’t like the sensation of feeling messy)

Which Kind Should You Get?

If you're starting out with a potty chair, I had one in my home as early as 15 months, just in case my son wanted to start using it early (he didn’t want to!) I had a potty seat ready as well. 

Traditionally, once your child has mastered the potty chair, it is wise to introduce the potty seat six months of so after their mastery.

This way, they can start to fully transition to the big potty. 

Once your child masters the potty seat, use your discretion as to when they can go without it.

Some parents feel that the seat should be utilized up until their child goes to preschool (around 4) since there won’t be a special seat at the facility.

Differences Between Potty Chairs and Potty Seats

Potty chairs and potty seats do have some similarities, but also some differences. They also have some pros and cons.

Among them, they include:

Potty Chair

Pros

  • Portable. Potty chairs are small, light, and easy to move from room to room.
  • Toddler sized. They fit your little learner perfectly!
  • Easy to push. Your toddler’s feet will sit firmly on the ground, allowing them to bare down and push when they need to.
  • Can go in conjunction. Because some toddlers are afraid to go alone, they can sit on their potty next to you and go as you do until they build up confidence.

Cons

  • Difficult to clean. Most potty chairs have removable bowls that you can empty right into the toilet. However, certain substances can “stick” to the bowl, making them tough to get out without the help of your bathtub spigot and some baby wipes.
  • Need to retrain. Once your toddler masters using the little potty, you have to retrain them to go on the big potty.

Potty Seat

Pros

  • Fits on any toilet. Simply plop it on the potty and your child is able to sit comfortably, without the risk of falling in.
  • Easier transition. Because they are already going on the “big” potty, once you remove the seat, you don’t have to do any retraining.
  • Easy clean up. Just flush and you’re done!
  • Portable. The seat is small and lightweight so it’s easy to move and travel with.

Cons

  • Needs to be used with a stool. Until your child learns how to use their stomach muscles (and they are strong enough) to push, a stool may be needed so your toddler’s feet can touch something. 
  • Needs assistance getting on. Because this seat is much higher off the ground than a traditional potty chair, your toddler does need supervision while using the restroom so they don’t fall off and get hurt.
  • Needs to be removed for adults. This seat is designed for little bottoms only, so it has to be taken off and put back on each time an adult needs to use the toilet.

Different Types of Potty Chairs

Single Piece

A single piece potty chair is a standard, classic potty chair.

Your toddler sits down, does their business, and it’s up to you to remove the waist by moving the entire piece to the toilet. 

Two Piece

Two piece potty chairs consist of a base and a bowl.

Your child sits on the potty, does their business and then it’s up to you to lift out the bowl and clean it out. 

Deluxe

A deluxe potty chair boasts all the bells and whistles.

Some believe deluxe models may distract a toddler from the potty’s initial purpose, while other parents swear by their motivating features.

Deluxe potty chairs are usually padded, boast handles, play songs once “business” is detected, and also can have a flush feature.

These types of chairs generally come apart for cleaning purposes and some even boast a removable potty seat, that can be placed on the toilet for transition purposes. 

Potty Chair Features to Look For

Some children might take a potty right away, while others may be a bit more selective.

Some features that tend to be favorable for toddlers and parents include:

  • Simple design. These are the easiest to clean. You want something that allows the bowl to
    detach so you can easily run it under water to rinse it and dump into the potty.
  • Durable. Solid plastic may not be the most comfortable, but it is the sturdiest and most durable design.
  • Storage. Stand alone potties are great, but if you can find one that is compact and folds up, even better!
  • Splash guards. All kids can benefit from splash guards. It keeps your floor fresh and reduces clean up!
  • Consider size. You want a potty that doesn’t cause your toddler to feel claustrophobic. Choose something that doesn’t overwhelm them, but also that doesn’t squish them. You also don’t know how long they will be using the potty (all kids train differently), so choose something that they can grow into as well.
  • Handles help. If you can find a potty with built in handles, it will gives your little one something to hold on to when they’re getting up, but also something to bare down on as well until they master pushing. 

Different Types of Potty Seats

Just like there are different types of potty chairs, there are also different types of potty seats.

BABYBJORN Toilet Trainer - White/Black
  • Comfortable and secure seating; ergonomic design helps your child sit correctly
  • Easy for the child; When it's time to go, your child can easily put on and remove the toilet trainer on his or her own

Traditional

Traditional potty seats come in one size, and they fit over any standard, regular sized toilet seat.

Some have handles, some do not. They are made of either plastic, foam, or other flexible material.

2-in-1

2-in-1 potty seats are used on a potty chair initially, and then detach to conform to a regular sized toilet.

This way, parents aren’t spending money on two separate potty training items-the seat can be used in two ways, for each learning phase and stage.

Some 2-in-1 seats also are able to attach to a ladder, which can be adjusted. So, your toddler has something to climb up and rest their feet on while using the big potty. 

Potty Seat Features to Look For

  • Suction cups. This ensures that your child can’t move around too much, nor slip off with ease.
  • Splash guard. Keep waste off the floor and outer potty, and into the place it’s supposed to go.
  • Handles. This keeps kids steady and safe while they’re sitting up high.
  • Smooth, seamless design. This allows for easy cleaning and sanitizing.
  • Fold up. While many come in just one large piece, if you can find something that folds up, you’ll be all set when it comes to traveling with a portable seat.

Potty Training Tips

When your child starts to show potty training readiness, here are some tips that will help make the process stress-free and easier for all parties involved:

  • Set a timer. Much like Pavlov’s dogs, when you set a timer (every 30 minutes to start), your child will associate the sound with being time to potty. You can use a manual oven timer or an app on your phone.
  • Practice with stuffed animals. In order for my son to “get it”, I utilized a few of his stuffed animals in order to simulate a potty experience. I talked out the scenario, and even got my son involved in potty play. Once his teddy bear went on the potty, my son was more than ready for his “turn.”
  • Use a sticker chart. Toddlers as young as two are able to grasp the concept of reward stickers. In fact, some potty chairs or seats come complete with a chart to use. This helps them have a visual, and allows you to document their success (or lack thereof) in case you need to share any questions or concerns with their pediatrician.
  • lightbulb-o
    Potty presents. If you have a very hesitant potty participant, consider potty presents. My son was terrified to do number two on the potty until he saw a small bin full of wrapped items. I visited my local dollar store and stocked up on cars, bouncy balls, and other trinkets. Every time he did his business, he got to choose a present. 
  • lightbulb-o
    Watch a video. There are lots of videos online that motivate toddlers to use the potty by showing other small children going through the motions. There are also a ton of potty songs, and episodes of their favorite characters going through the struggle, so your toddler will be able to totally relate to them.
  • lightbulb-o
    Pick out underwear. Allow your toddler to select their own underwear. They will be more motivated to wear them instead of a diaper and will be proud to keep them dry.
  • lightbulb-o
    Use pull-ups. Pull ups are great during nap and overnight. While it’s suggested to only use underwear (or nothing at all) when full fledge training, many parents have also had luck using pull ups since it teaches toddlers how to pull their own pants up and down when needed (and it also builds their confidence).
  • lightbulb-o
    Keep potty books by the toilet. Sit with your child and read to them. By sharing a story with them about other kids who are learning to use the potty, your child may be distracted and not even realize they do their business!
  • lightbulb-o
    Be patient. If you lose your cool, your child will too. Be patient, be supportive, be calm (although it can be tough at times). It takes at least a good week for your child to have a solid understanding and mastery of the concept (as well as control over their functions).

Best Potty Training Chairs

#1. BabyBjorn Potty Chair

The BabyBjorn Potty Chair (click here to check the price on Amazon) is a great unisex option for parents who want to encourage their child to use the bathroom on their own. Made from high-quality, lightweight materials, this potty chair was built to last.


We like

Easy to clean design. The BabyBjorn Potty Chair has an easy to remove inside so you can quickly clean up any messes and get back to your life. There are minimal crevices that will hide and collect icky spills.

It’s comfortable. The Ergonomic design is perfect for your little one. The sturdy backrest and armrests provide optimal comfort, so your baby will want to use this potty chair.

Nicely shaped splash guard. Unlike some other potty chairs, the splash guard works well for both boys and girls leaving you fewer messes to clean.

Keep in mind

It can be bulky. Although this chair is lightweight, it is bigger than other chairs on the market. If you plan to travel with your chair, you may want to take this into consideration.

No lid. While having no lid does provide your child with one less thing to play with, it also makes it a bit easier for your little one to take apart if the mood strikes.


#2. Summer Infant My Size Potty

Summer Infant has created a life-like potty with their Infant My Size Potty (click here to check the price on Amazon), giving your little one the ability to imitate mommy and daddy. It comes with a rewarding flush sound when the handled is pushed down for an added sense of satisfaction.

We like

Removable splash guard. The guard can easily be clipped in or removed, making this chair ideal for both boys and girls.

Convenient storage places. The Summer Infant My Size Potty has two separate areas for keeping items. Use the top to store spare undies or wipes. Open the lid to store bigger items like books and additional clothing.

It’s interactive. Not only does this toilet make a flushing sound, but also a fun giggling sound that will encourage your little one to press it when finished.

Keep in mind

Too many moving parts. While your little one will enjoy the interactive style of this realistic looking toilet, it has a ton of parts that have a potential to break.

Cannot travel with it. This potty chair is perfect for a stationary position. However, if you plan to take lots of long car trips to the in-laws, it might not work for you.


#3. Fisher-Price Learn-to-Flush Potty

The Fisher-Price Learn-to-Flush Potty (click here to check the price on Amazon) will last throughout your baby’s entire potty training experience, and is loaded with fun features for an incredibly interactive potty chair your child will love.

We like

Removable potty ring. The ring can be used on most adult-sized toilets later in your child’s potty training. It easily snaps in and out of place when not in use.

Lights and sounds. Rewarding lights and sounds promotes good potty practices and flushing from day one. Once flushed your child will receive a fun light and sounds show that will boost confidence and keep them wanting excited about potty time.

Easy-grip handles. The handles are built into the seat and are great for both helping your little one climb onto the toilet and stay balanced while sitting on it.

Keep in mind

It’s battery operated. Be prepared to purchase a lot of batteries with this chair. The more your baby uses this chair, the more you will have to buy.

Sounds off randomly. This potty chair has a tendency to begin singing at random times which can be inconvenient, especially at 3 am. This problem can be solved by turning the chair off after your little one’s last potty of the night.


#4. Prince Lionheart PottyPOD

A basic potty chair that does what you want, the Prince Lionheart PottyPOD (click here to check the price on Amazon) is an easy to use, easy to clean potty chair that is great for parents that don’t want any distractions during potty time.

We like

It’s lightweight. The design of the PottyPOD is perfect for both travel and storage. Whether you plan to use this potty throughout different areas of your home or would like to travel with it, the compact shape and size are ideal.

High-quality materials. Sturdy enough to last through your little one’s entire potty training experience. Once they are finished training, simply store it in a closet for the next time you need it. Your baby will love the cushy seat as well.

No-slip base. The PottyPOD will not slip and slide like other chairs on the market, so you can use this chair on just about any surface and be confident it will stay in place.

Keep in mind

Can pinch. If the basin is not correctly aligned with the outer seat, it can pinch your baby’s bottom. As long as you are careful, this shouldn’t be a major issue.

Low to the ground. The rim of the PottyPOD was designed to promote the squatting position. In most cases this is great. However, some children don’t respond well to using the potty this way.


#5. Summer Infant Step by Step Potty

The Step by Step Potty from Summer Infant (click here to check the price on Amazon) is a good choice for just about any family. It’s gender neutral so you can use it over time for children of both sexes without issue, and it's loaded with features that keep your little one’s hygiene practices and training on the course.

We like

Gender neutral. Whether you are choosing this for a boy or girl, they will both love its fun colors and patterns equally.

Three-stage system. In the early stages of your baby’s training use the potty chair for just that. Once they outgrow the chair, you can remove the seat and snap it into the adult-sized toilet for use there. Finally use the base of the toilet to assist older children in washing hands by acting as a stool.

Promotes hygiene. The Step by Step Potty features storage areas for baby wipes as well as its own toilet paper roll. Your child will learn how to clean themselves faster with this addition.

Keep in mind

Hard to clean. The basin can be slightly more difficult to remove than other chairs making it tough to clean. It also makes it more difficult for your child to remove so this could be good and bad.

Wipe compartment is a bit small. Having wipes on hand is a great feature that most chairs don’t have. However, for the wipes to fit, you must purchase a particular size wipe (5.5 x 7 or smaller).


Best Potty Training Seats

#1. BabyBjorn Toilet Trainer

The BabyBjorn Toilet Trainer (click here to check the price on Amazon) is a high-end potty seat that gives your baby a luxurious potty experience.

The ergonomically designed cushion will keep their bottom happy even for longer trips to the toilet, and using the seat for both baby and parents is easy. When not in use, simply store it until it's potty time all over again.

We like

Easy to use. Fitting the Toilet Trainer to any adult sized toilet is a breeze. Adjust the dial once, and you are done. Even your little one can use it on his or her own, once sized to match your toilet.

Ergonomic design. The contoured curves of this toilet trainer will assist your child in getting on and off the toilet by themselves. Featuring an opening big enough to wipe but small enough that you can be assured your little one won’t slip through.

Handle for easy storage. When not in use you can remove the toilet trainer and hang it on the back of the door or shower head until next time.

Keep in mind

Needs clean after every use. The way this seat is shaped causes it to collect spills often leading to more cleaning on your part.

No flip top function. Even though the Toilet Trainer is easy to put on and remove, it would be nice to simply be able to flip it up when it’s time for an adult to use it. It has to be removed every time. If the potty seat is going to be in your child’s room, this won't be an issue.

#2. Cozy Greens Potty Seat

Cozy Greens has combined functionality with style with their Potty Seat (click here to check the price on Amazon).

This portable seat will give your child the confidence they need to use the potty safely without the assistance of adults. The fear of transitioning to an adult toilet will be removed with this comfortable potty seat.

We like

Can be stored easily. The suction cup ring provided for this seat allows you to store it quickly. The suction would work well anywhere such as the bowl of the toilet, or back of a door.

Grippy Safe Anti-Slip Ring. Your little one will feel confident that the seat won't slip or move out from under them making them more likely to use the toilet on their own.

Easy to clean. With the help of the integrated urine splash guard, cleaning this seat is as easy as can be. Just give the seat a quick wipe down when necessary and forget about the spills on the floor or bathroom walls.

Keep in mind

Lack of handles. Some children don’t feel as comfortable sitting on a potty seat straight away without something to hold onto. Keep that in mind when purchasing a seat like this one.

Doesn’t fit larger toilets. If you have a larger toilet seat such as a TOTO, this seat might not be for you. Check the manufacturer labeling for exact sizes of both your toilet and any seat you plan to purchase.


#3. The First Years Soft Grip Trainer Seat

The First Years Soft Grip Trainer (click here to check the price on Amazon) is a well-designed and lightweight potty seat that's easy to use. It provides your little one with a comfortable bathroom experience that will keep them coming back.

We like

One solid piece. Because the Soft Grip Trainer is one solid piece, it is easier to clean. There are fewer cracks and crevices that can store yucky spills.

Wide easy-grip handles. Many young kids are intimidated by climbing onto a toilet all by themselves. With the help of the handles, your child can feel more confident. The handles also promote a better-sitting position by guiding your baby to where they should be sitting.

High pee guard. The pee guard that comes with this potty seat is one of the better out there for preventing messes. It can be used with both boys and girls.

Keep in mind

Pee guard is not removable. Since you don’t have the option to take off the pee guard, it can sometimes be difficult for children to use on their own.

It moves around a bit. The Soft Grip Trainer sits slightly inside the bowl and will work well for most children. However, if you have an extremely squirmy baby, it might not be the best.


#4. Munchkin Sturdy Potty Seat

The Munchkin Sturdy Potty Seat (click here to check the price on Amazon) has a unique one-piece design that is handy for parents and comfortable for your baby.

Whether you decide to use this seat for a girl or a boy, it will work well. Made with high-quality materials that will allow you to use this potty seat for training multiple children.

You might want to consider this potty seat if you are looking for something that will boost your baby’s confidence and encourage them to get on the toilet all by themselves.

We like

Non-skid base. Your baby will know he or she is securely planted in their potty seat making them feel better about treading new waters. The non-skid base will not move around even with children who have a tendency to squirm.

Sturdy handles for climbing. Many kids feel more comfortable on a potty seat that has handles. The downside to this is, your child is not learning how to use a toilet like an adult would.

Odor control disk. This potty training seat comes with a deodorizer that is a real lifesaver if you don’t have time to clean the seat after every single use.

Keep in mind

Made from hard plastic. While the plastic design makes this chair easier to clean, it can leave red marks on bottoms of babies that sit too long. This can be problematic for baby’s just beginning their training.

Doesn't fit on the bare bowl. A lot of parents choose to use their potty seats on the bare bowl for easier cleanup. However, with this seat, it simply isn’t possible.


#5. Fisher-Price The Perfect Potty Ring

Another great gender neutral potty chair from Fisher Price is their Perfect Potty Ring (click here to check the price on Amazon).

Made from high-quality materials so you can use this potty chair over the span of multiple kids, this is truly a potty chair that will last from the early phases of toilet training to transitioning to an adult sized toilet.

We like

Keeps messes where they should be. Unlike other potty seats, this one doesn’t allow urine to leak between the two seats. This is a huge plus when it comes to keeping the bathroom clean and sanitary for your little one.

Hook for space-saving storage. The Perfect Potty Ring can easily be removed from an adult seat and be hung next to the toilet. After a bit of training, your child will learn the easy process of putting it on all by themselves.

Versatile back arm. The rear arm of this chair can be used in more than one way. It will help you little one climb onto the toilet. It can also be used as a backrest for them while they are sitting on it.

Keep in mind

Not recommended for padded seats. The manufacturer doesn't recommend using this conjunction with padded seats, as it won't fit as securely and can move around when your child climbs aboard.

It’s big and bulky. The Perfect Potty Ring is loaded with features making it bulkier than some other seats available. If you have limited space in your bathroom, you might want to think about a different potty seat.


Wrapping Up

Whether you choose to use a potty chair, seat, or both, consider your child’s readiness cues.

Shop for an item that is high quality, user friendly, effective, and that boasts other features that will help your little one become a big kid and use the potty with ease!

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Kate Trout
 

Hi there, I'm Kate! I started Maternity Glow to be a place for new and expecting moms to come to for practical pregnancy advice, parenting tips, and baby care tricks.

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