Toilet Training Equipment : A Buying Guide

Date Posted:11 December 2017 

Toilet training equipment: a buying guide

These toilet training tools will help your toddler get to grips with this important stage of his development. 


A potty is a pot for your child to use instead of his nappy or the toilet. It's an intermediary step which your child will probably use for a few weeks or months before he progresses to using an adult toilet. 

Potties are usually about 30cm high, and are placed on the floor. If you put it in your bathroom before your toddler's actually ready to begin potty training, he'll get used to seeing it. 


  • Smaller than a toilet, so less daunting for your child to use.
  • Easy for your toddler to get on to himself, saving valuable seconds, and avoiding accidents.
  • Portable, so can move from room to room in your house, be parked in front of the television, or taken with you when you're away from home. So you can maintain his routine wherever you are.
  • They're designed to look fun, and come in lots of different colours, sometimes with cartoons on them. Letting your child choose his own potty will help to make the whole process more enjoyable for him.


  • Can be easily knocked over.
  • Cleaning it isn't pleasant, and it's not as simple as flushing the toilet.


Potty chairs

Potty chairs are bigger than regular potties. They have a sturdy base with a removable potty part for easy cleaning. 


  • More stable than regular potties, so your child will feel more secure sitting on it.
  • Doesn't require your child to squat as he would with a regular potty, so he may find it more comfortable.
  • Good for larger toddlers.


  • Bulky, and take up more space than a regular potty.
  • Not portable, so you will still need a potty to use when you are not at home.


Pull-up pants

Pull-up pants look like normal underwear, but are made from the same material as nappies. How absorbent they are depends on the brand you buy. 


  • Allows your toddler to feel grown up. He can prepare himself to use the loo by pulling his pants down, and can pull them back up himself when he's finished.
  • Absorbs accidents and can easily be thrown away, just like disposable nappies.
  • Acts as an intermediate step while your toddler works up to normal pants.
  • Helpful for wearing out of the house during the first few weeks of toilet training. You can encourage a visit to a public toilet, or using the toilet in a friend's house but not have to clean up a mess in public if your child has an accident.
  • Useful at night, so your child doesn't feel like he is being made to wear babyish nappies, if he wears regular pants in the daytime.



  • May slow down the training process. Once they are on, they will feel like a nappy, so your child may forget he is supposed to be using the potty. But you may prefer to put your toddler in regular underwear straight away and be done with it.
  • Some brands only cope with minor accidents, so may not be suitable for your toddler to wear at night.


Trainer pants

Trainer pants are washable cotton pants with a waterproof outer layer. They are used as a stepping stone between nappies and real pants. 


  • Allows your child to feel when he is wet, but still offers some protection against accidents.
  • Doesn't feel like a nappy, unlike pull-up pants, so will help your child to remember to use his potty.



  • Offers only limited protection against accidents. If your child's bladder is full, you will still end up with a puddle on the floor.
  • Doesn't have the grown-up appeal of real pants.

Toilet footsteps

A toilet footstep is a platform that your toddler can step on which allows him to sit himself on the toilet. 


  • Your toddler can reach the toilet on his own, saving time, and helping him to feel more grown up and capable.
  • Can double-up as a way for your toddler to reach other things, such as the sink.
  • Handy for little boys learning to wee in the toilet standing up. 


  • Can clutter up small bathrooms and get in the way when adults use the toilet.
  • It's bulky and not easily portable, so you probably won't take it with you when you go out.


Training seats

A training seat is a small toilet seat that fits on top of your regular toilet seat. It can be padded to make it more comfortable for your child. Some are lifted on and off when your child is using the toilet, and others are attached to a full-sized seat with a hinge. 


  • You can miss out on the potty stage and advance directly from using nappies to the toilet.
  • A seat that lifts off is portable, so you can take it with you wherever you go.
  • Waste goes straight into the toilet, so all you need to do is flush.
  • Can be bought in a variety of colours and styles to make the whole process more fun. Allowing your child to choose which training seat he likes best will help him to feel more in control. He'll also enjoy using it much more.
  • Splashguards at the front are especially useful for boys when they are sitting down to wee.



  • Can only be used in one room, the bathroom. Your toddler may find it difficult to reach the toilet before an accident occurs.
  • Some designs are a bit wobbly, which is not good for a wriggly toddler. It may not be any more comfortable than sitting on the proper seat.
  • You'll also need a footstep to allow your toddler to reach the loo without your help, though his legs may still dangle over the side. Feeling unstable on the seat may make him feel less confident.

Combined travel potty and trainer seats

A travel potty is a portable, disposable training system which expands when you unfold the legs. It uses liners which can be thrown away as you would a nappy. A convertible travel potty can also be used as a trainer seat which clips on to most standard toilet seats. 


  • Portable for days out, and folds flat when you're not using it.
  • Can be used as a potty or trainer seat, depending on your child's progress.
  • There's no mess, as the liner protects the potty and can be disposed of.
  • It's lightweight and compact, and comes with a plastic drawstring bag. Folds up to fit into your changing bag.



  • May be too large to carry in your usual bag.
  • More expensive than buying just a potty or a trainer seat.
  • Some children don't like the feel of the plastic liner under them.


Boys' toilet trainer

A portable toilet training urinal (such as the Weeman) which clips to the side of the toilet bowl under the seat and hangs off the side of the toilet. It allows boys to wee standing up without having to reach the toilet. 


  • Allows boys to wee standing up before they are tall enough to reach the toilet without a step.
  • Improves accuracy with a wide tub which directs the wee into the bowl.
  • Easy to clean by lifting the urinal up and tipping the contents into the toilet. 



  • Too large to carry out shopping, though small enough to take on holidays.


Babycenter (n.d). Toilet Training Equipment: A Buying Guide. Retrieved from

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