So your little one is getting ready to ditch the diapers and join the potty troopers! But what kind of potty chair or seat is best? Something that's functional and also, fun for your child to use!
By Monali Bordoloi
Working mother Janaki has been trying to potty-train two-year-old Rohan for weeks, but without much success. Rohan is resistant and unwilling to be toilet-trained. Then one day, at a supermarket, the little boy spots a turtle-shaped potty seat and says he wants it. Janaki is initially not too keen but buys it at Rohan's insistence. She is pleased to see that the little boy is happy to sit on his new potty seat. And to her relief, he is soon toilet-trained, all thanks to his new turtle potty!
Like Rohan, many young children are willing or show interest in potty-training when they feel comfortable with a potty seat or potty chair.
Making this change happen is a huge deal for all parents. For, it is a signal that your child is not a baby any more, but is a toddler who is ready or capable of being trained in a new skill. For some children, the toilet-training can be effortless while for others, the transition can take weeks or months. Ideally, potty training should start when your child is around 18 months of age. However, there are no hard and fast rules here, and every child should be allowed to learn at her own pace. As a parent, you know your child best, so start when you feel your child is ready to switch from diapers to using a potty.
“My potty seat preference was very specific. I needed one to look as much like a real commode as possible — not flashy but with child-like elements, sturdy, yet cost-effective. So, it was difficult for me to find a suitable one, since most potty seats are designed to look like animals or cartoon characters. Some are even shaped like vehicles. Finally, I found a potty seat with a toilet seat cover. It has Donald Duck on the flap and is white with sky blue. Also, it is well within my budget and super sturdy. It comes with a removable bowl, so I don't need to carry or clean the whole structure every time my daughter does her business,” says S Sindhu, mother to a two-year-old.
Before you start potty-training, involve your child in selecting the right potty chair or seat. Doing so may encourage him to try it out and thereby, hasten the toilet-training. These days, the market is full of colourful, friendly-looking potty seats — in interesting shapes, sizes, patterns and, inspired by animals and cartoon characters. Your child may get excited by fancy potty seats. But focus on functionality rather than looks. Choose a simple, easy-to-use one that has a comfortable seat and is affordable too. Also, ensure that the model you decide on is not flimsy or has rough edges that may tear at your little one's tender skin.
There are two types of potty chairs — standalone ones or that which come with an insert for the regular toilet.
1. Standalone potty: When you are starting the toilet training, it's better to opt for the standalone potty. This is designed for a toddler who may not be ready to use a regular toilet. This potty chair is convenient for a young child as she can easily sit on it with her legs securely on the floor. Meaning, it is not so high that she needs to clamber onto it. You also get portable variants that can be carried anywhere and are especially useful while travelling.
2. Potty seat with insert: This can be used when your child is capable of using a regular toilet but needs a smaller seat. If your child is willing to sit on the toilet at home, but you worry that she is too small, or may slip off, use these child-friendly inserts so she is securely seated. Some inserts have cushioned seating for comfort and handles on both sides for better grip. Inserts can also be used when you are travelling and you do not want your child to use a public toilet.
Today, you also get fancy potties that have recorded music. What's more, some even come with instructions for your child to do the job! These are interesting and fun variations but remember that your child should not get too distracted and forget what he is supposed to be doing. More important, do not ever force your child to use the potty seat. Remember, this is a process that requires a lot of patience on the part of the parents, and repeated attempts, on the part of the child.
Do you have a toddler who refuses to be toilet-trained? Make sure that he is ready for it before ...
Wondering how to handle constipation in your toddler? Check out our expert's views on what causes...
Dr Vivek Rege
A first-generation entrepreneur and founder of Nectar Fresh, Chayaa Nanjappa, built her company f...