Potty Training Tools – What We Actually Used

We officially began potty training our daughter at 2.5 years old. We are now 2 months into it and I’m so pleased that where we are! It was not easy at first, but each day that goes by accident-free feels like a parenting victory!

When I first mentioned we started down the ol’ potty training road, I got a ton of questions, and thankfully even more advice and encouragement! So now that we’re on the other side and feeling good, I thought it was time to share some of our potty training tools that we actually used.

You don't need much to start potty training! Here are the potty training tools we actually used and still use.

Before I share what potty training tools we actually for our daughter, a few things that MUST be said on the topic.

First, just because these potty training tools worked for us and our situation may not mean it works for your child. I don’t say that lightly. Each kid is SO different and each situation/method for potty training can vary. So just because our daughter did well with potty seats vs. small floor potties doesn’t mean the floor potty is a pass for you!

Second, I read virtually NOTHING in preparation for potty training. I asked a lot of friends who had been there and were either successful or had decided to stop and try again later. Both groups of friends offered great advice and reinforced my first point – that every child is different! If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed that potty training is such a struggle, there is no shame in stopping and trying again later. That’s ok! You’re potty trained, right?

Back to our daughter… it was definitely a trial-and-error to figure out what worked for her and what potty training tools she preferred. Thankfully, I just bought things as we went and we didn’t overdo it on potty training items. Here’s what we actually use and works for us!

Baby Bjorn Smart Potty – There are a ton of training potties that sit on the floor. I just picked a highly rated one off Amazon (love that!) and went with it. It was great to have in the first few weeks of practice! She could easily run over to it, sit and use it. After a while, though, she preferred sitting on the actual toilet and abandoned the “little potty”. But we still use this for car trips or outings to parks. It’s very easy to empty it out and clean. It’s also small and easy to store when we aren’t using it. One note – It wouldn’t be the best potty for larger kids. My small girl fit just fine, but it may be too small for larger children.

Potty Seat – We first used the Baby Bjorn Toilet Trainer. It has a way to latch onto the toilet seat and not budge. It unfortunately didn’t really fit on our longer oval toilets, but it stays put regardless if it’s not “latched”. It’s very easy to wipe down and stops errant leaks and splashes. Once Elizabeth was all about sitting on the “big potty” I opted to get a second potty seat, one for each bathroom. I bought the Munchkin Sturdy Potty Seat for kicks, to see what I thought. I like this one more than the Baby Bjorn! The handles are great and it really sits on the toilet seat well, no slipping and sliding around. It also stands up with not in use. My daughter now knows how to put it on the toilet, and then take it off when she’s all finished. It also has an opening for you to hang it up if you’d like.

Dreambaby Step Stool – A stool is a stool…. honestly it’s all about what works for your toilet and sink height. I ended up buying this one because it holds a lot of weight, so I figured post-potty training we could use it around the house as well for various needs.

Gerber Training Pants – I’m so grateful a friend mentioned these! If you’re trying to go cold turkey on diapers and pull ups, these are perfect! They are cotton undies with a small cotton absorbent lining. It doesn’t stop all the leaks, but it has just enough absorption that an accident isn’t a complete disaster. Plus, it’s all cotton, so it has the feel of plain undies for your child. And they’ll still have the “I’m wet!” sensation when there is an accident. Did I mention they’re super cost effective and machine washable?? I bought 2 packs of these and they’ve been worth it.

Pull Ups – I did buy a small pack of pull ups right from the beginning, and we’re still working through that pack. We’ve used these for road trips and to keep in our daughter’s school back pack in case of accidents. They are handy! But mercy, expensive. They don’t fit our skinny kiddo very well, so I don’t trust them for long periods of time, but they’re great in a pinch. I’ll definitely keep them on hand and a few in the car at all times.

Here’s what we didn’t used: Potty Training books, bribes or even pull ups ALL the time. Nothing wrong with any of these! They just didn’t really work for our kid. I thought she’d be all about candy bribes, but it wasn’t all that cool to her. TV was her motivator that first week! I ended up getting her in to the habit of sitting on the potty by telling her “You can watch one Daniel Tiger! But first you need to sit on the potty”. That was a winner!

Again, potty training is all trial-and-error. If you’re about to start this journey, I’m standing with you in solidarity! I was totally intimidated by the whole idea of potty training, and resisted starting it for months! But once we got over the initial week or 2, we seemed to hit a rhythm. But if we weren’t improving a little bit, I was fine killing the whole process and revisiting later. Just try it! Be flexible! And yes, it’s hard, but they will eventually figure it out before college!

I did vlog our first week of potty training to show what it’s really like. It wasn’t all roses and rainbows and figuring it out in 24 hours. So if you’re feeling discouraged over it all, watch this, and know that it will all work out!

Have you tackled potty training yet? What worked for you?

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  1. Emily says:

    I am having major trouble getting motivated to potty train child #3. I haven’t heard of those Gerber training pants. That may be a big helper. For my others, they needed the sensation of being wet, so pull ups didn’t do much for us either. Thanks for your tips, maybe we’ll try it again today.

    • Katie @ Cup of Tea says:

      Give them a try! They are cheap if nothing else. One friend gave me advice when she was training her 4th. She said she offered a reward for using the potty for both the toddler and the older siblings so they could help encourage! I thought that was a sweet idea! Good luck!!!

  2. Sarah says:

    This is such great advice. We’re getting ready to start potty training our 2.5 year old and this will be so helpful.
    How do you make those beautiful “collages” for lack of a better word showing all the items in a post? Yours look so professional and beautiful!.
    Just found you on Youtube and love your blog and channel!

    • Katie @ Cup of Tea says:

      Glad you found it helpful!!! And good luck!! The biggest thing I’ve learned is just go with the flow, don’t set high expectations, and if it feels like things aren’t going well, then stop and start again later. It’s ok!

      The collages! That is still so a work in progress, but I’m glad you liked this one! I used Canva for this, but I’ve also used PicMonkey many times. Basically save jpgs of the product images, and then insert them on to a new graphic in PicMonkey or Canva that is plain with a white background. Then add shapes (arrows) and text. The hardest part is just getting the layout right. And I do it differently each time…. Glad you stopped by!!

      • Sarah says:

        Thanks so much for the info on the collages – I’ll have to try them!

        Potty training is a tough time so going with the flow and not pressuring the littles is a good frame of mind.

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