How to Choose the Right Potty Seat for Toilet Training

Training a child to use the bathroom properly is a daunting process for many parents. The transition from diapers to underwear starts with being comfortable using the potty, and that might depend on which type of potty seat you choose. If you pick a potty to please your tot, the process will start off on the right foot.

There are basically two kinds of potty seats: Small potty chairs and ring seats.

Potty chairs are tiny little seats with a hole and a pot to catch everything.

Pros: A potty chair doesn’t have to be in the bathroom; you can move it anywhere in your house during the initial training phase. This is especially helpful if your child likes to sit forever on a potty seat. They can keep their feet on the floor, which is less scary to some kids. Potty chairs can be fun, with cheering noises, music, and designs. And you definitely know if a child was successful, or not, because you have the evidence in the pot.

They are the more expensive option to purchase. You have to clean them, which is not always fun. You can take them with you, but might not have them with you in mall or a restaurant. And you have to progress to the bigger seat, which can be difficult for some kids who are scared of sitting up high on the real toilet. Two of my children are more comfortable on the little potty.

Also, please note that not all little potties are right for all kids. Each potty is made differently; some may not be as comfortable. If at all possible, check out friends’ seats or look at them in stores to see how wide they are, how they are made, with ease of cleaning. A removable reservoir is helpful for cleaning, if it comes out easily.

Ring seats are circular, padded seats which fit on top of a regular toilet seat. Some have handles on the side, some do not.

Pros: They are much cheaper than little potties, for the most part, and you can often find them in fun designs. My youngest daughter has a special Disney Princess ring seat that has handles and plays music when you press buttons. Ring seats are easier to store and tote with you. They get kids used to sitting on the big potty, which is helpful all around.

Cons: It is harder to tell if a child has gone to the bathroom sometimes. Also, a child might not want to be sitting up on the regular toilet.

Another useful potty seat for your family might be a portable potty seat ring. I have one from my older daughter’s potty training days. It is a plastic seat ring that fits on a regular toilet, but folds up compactly.

So which one is right for you? I suggest having one of each, at least. You could start on the little potty, but if they are amenable to a ring on the bigger potty, try it! I have twins, and one likes the ring and one likes the little potty. My older daughter began on the little potty and progressed to the ring.

Whatever you decide, involve your child in the process of choosing a seat, and it will give the child a chance to be involved in this major milestone.