Here’s something to be aware of every single time you search the internet for ANY kind of supplies list – even a potty training supplies list:
Supply lists are driven by E-COMMERCE. In other words, potty training supplies you will find online may not be necessary for your little one.
While you may become attached to the idea that you will be more prepared for potty training once you have ALL of the “potty training essentials”, I’m here to tell you that there’s a simpler science to toilet training.
There are tons of potty training methods that work, but potty training is actually not a procedure that requires a lot of STUFF. (And that’s good news because it means that potty training doesn’t have to be very expensive – except for running your washing machine a bit more than usual.)
Don’t overcomplicate your child’s potty training journey with “targets”. I think you will like these 3 potty training supplies much more than the extensive lists. I believe the less “stuff” you buy for potty training, the FASTER potty training can actually go!
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What do you need for potty training?
There are a very few things you’ll want to have on hand, that make the process easier, but I promise… the list of best potty training tools is short.
You CAN buy a fun potty training book to read with your kiddo, but it’s honestly not necessary. Patient conversations with mommy and daddy will do the same thing as a book!
I am a big believer in cold turkey-style potty training:
Take the diaper off one day and never, ever put it back on. (Except for naps and sleep of course. It’s unrealistic to think your toddler won’t pee while they are sleeping.) Nighttime potty training will take time.
Disposable training pants aren’t an essential potty training item in my opinion, because I believe that pull-ups actually HINDER potty training.
Talk to your child A LOT about going to the potty, let them watch you go to the potty, and make a huge deal out of successful bathroom visits.
DON’T shame them, and prepare yourself to deal with some messes.
Stand your ground.
Once you start potty training, don’t stop!
Don’t make it a power struggle. Encourage them with the positive and build them up when mistakes happen. It will take time.
HERE ARE THE ONLY 3 POTTY TRAINING SUPPLIES YOU NEED:
The following is all we bought to potty train, and both my kids were 100% trained in less than a week. We trained at 2.5 years, and the really messy part was over within 3 days.
You’ll notice that wipes aren’t on my list of potty training essentials, because you can use toilet paper just as well – and wipes can be hard on septic systems, so you might as well just use toilet paper!
If your toddler is ready to potty train, here’s what you’ll need:
1) POTTY TRAINING SUPPLY #1: A POTTY
Obviously, this is at the top of the list as the potty is sort of the star of the show here.
If you are tight on space in your bathroom, you may opt for just a potty chair or potty seat that sits on top of your toilet (like this); HOWEVER, I think there are a couple of real advantages to a child-sized potty during training.
Many children feel fearful on a regular toilet seat, and they may take more easily to a smaller potty that’s “just their size”.
I’ve also had both my kids spooked when the big potty seaton top of an adult sized toilet slid around under their squirmy little selves.
They both struggled with always needing help to get up onto the toilet. If you do use a regular sized toiletto train, make sure you have a step stool nearby to reduce the chance of potty accidents.
For the first few days of potty training, I left my kids pants-free and encouraged them to go sit on the potty whenever they felt the need – and within a few days, they were both racing off without my help. I think getting themselves onto the potty alone was beneficial for them. Toddlers often have that incredible sense of independence, and a child-sized potty can allow them to exercise that in a really positive way.
Lastly, if things are moving along more slowly than you’d like, it can be nice to keep the potty CLOSE to where ever you are. In the backyard, in the kitchen, take it along when you go out. (Yes, we did all these things. lol). Travel potties are great to have on hand for busy days.
Note that you will NOT want to get a one-piece potty; you will want one with a removable bowl (like this) to make for easier emptying and bleaching.
We eventually did get a seat to put on top of our toilet also, but I think starting with a small potty is ideal for most kids. When you move to an on-top-the-toilet seat, you will need a stool for your tiny people, also.
2) POTTY TRAINING SUPPLY #2: LOTS OF “GROWN-UP” UNDERWEAR
Unless you want to do laundry DAILY, go for 15-20 pairs of big-kid underwear. (And you’ll still do laundry every 2 days for the first week, haha.)
I’m not one of those women who likes to do a load of laundry every night (or every week for that matter), so I want everyone in my house to have plenty of underwear anyway!
I buy the cutest, most “fun” underwear I can find, something I KNOW my kiddos will love – something with their favorite characters or lots of different colors. (My son got a superhero and cookie monster, my daughter got princesses and castles.)
We make a HUGE deal out of this grown-up underwear. Only big kids get to wear grown-up underwear!
(I also let them see me wash it before they wear it, and we talk about how if we pee in our underpants by accident, it’s ok because we can wash them… otherwise, heartbreak ensues those first few times they think they’ve ruined their grown-up underwear!)
Tip: If your kiddo isn’t adjusting to the idea of using the potty while WEARING underwear, I suggest NOT wearing underwear for a few days. That worked with our daughter when nothing else would get her to try pooping on the potty!
3) POTTY TRAINING SUPPLY #3: CANDY / STICKER CHART
Whatever your reward will be for successful potty visits, you’ll want that on hand before you start.
We used smarties with our kids because they don’t get a lot of treats, and chocolate is EXTREMELY motivational for them… we did find that the chocolate affected our son’s behavior, though, so if your kiddo is sensitive to sugar also, you might find that stickers on a rewards chart are a better choice for your family.
(We used larger, more exciting treats for poop – and smarties made that easier too. 2 smarties for a successful pee, 4 for a poop!)
Here are some other ideas kids may enjoy:
- Jelly beans
- Dumdums (small lollipops)
- Chocolate chips
- Mini M&Ms
- Homemade baked goods
Customize your treats to what you know your kids love.
4) OPTIONAL POTTY TRAINING SUPPLY: PIDDLE PADS
This last of my potty training supplies list is optional, but if you have fabric couches or if you have to leave the house (in the car seat) the week you potty train, you’ll find it VERY useful. The Piddle Pad is a waterproof pad that will protect your furniture and floors as needed.
Like I said before when we take off the diaper, we NEVER put it back on (during the day, anyhow) so when we DID have to go out in the car, I put a piddle pad under my kids to protect the car seat. The disposable liners were easy to toss out when accidents occurred.
We have leather couches, so clean-up isn’t too bad there, but if I had a fabric couch I would also use a piddle pad under my kiddo if they were watching TV etc.
(I didn’t have to buy these as I had them on hand from my postpartum period, but you can get them on Amazon or at the pet store.)
CAN YOU REALLY POTTY TRAIN WITHOUT BUYING DISPOSABLE OR CLOTH TRAINING PANTS?
However, I think pull-ups might be a fun (and good!) way to avoid “the same” diapers at NIGHT and NAPS and remove that diaper confusion even further.
We still had a lot of diapers left over and wanted to use them up, so we did use them at night. We talked about how nighttime was different than the day, and at night it was ok to wear a diaper because our brains might not wake up to get to the potty in time.
When we ran out of diapers, then we did move to pull-ups – and the kids thought the new colors and designs were a lot of fun.
ADVICE FOR POTTY TRAINING SUPPLIES IN PUBLIC
It’s bound to happen. You’re out in public, and your child needs to use the restroom. Public restrooms won’t have child-sized seats, so bring a travel potty or have a backup plan in case you run into this situation.
Bring extra clothes in case of accidents in those early days. If your child wears a potty training watch or you have them try every thirty minutes, keep this up during your outings. Consistency will keep them on track for potty training success! You want to avoid any power struggles, so remind your child to let you know the first time they feel like they have to potty in public. Remind them often to use it as well.
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT MY LIST OF POTTY TRAINING SUPPLIES FOR TODDLERS?
Is it overly simplistic? Is there anything else you’d add to the potty training process or my potty training method?
What were the potty training items you felt were the most helpful to get your babe out of diapers?
Let me know! Here’s to your successful potty training journey!
1 thought on “The ONLY 3 Potty Training Supplies You Actually Need”
Good advice. As a pediatrician I really like your simplification of the potty training scenario.