Updated February 2021
This may seem to be off-topic, it is relevant because of the materials of training toilets (I despise the word “potty”), and of course, germs.
Why I Don’t Like the Oh Crap Method
I can’t believe how often I see the “oh crap” toilet training method recommended and I would never do it (no offense if you have; many people love it).
Personally see the oh crap method as potentially traumatizing or humiliating. Imagine if all you ever knew was diapers, and suddenly one day your parents refused to put them on you, leaving you naked and exposed, to urinate and defecate on yourself and possibly your room, play area, and/or possessions. There’s nothing wrong inherently with being naked, but sitting anywhere naked or possibly urinating or defecating around the house is unsanitary. This method works (but also consider how you define the word “works”…) for some people, but I just think there are way more humane ways of teaching kids to use a toilet. Even if it’s not cruel, it’s still not the most human in my opinion. The Oh Crap method seems awfully similar to training a puppy, whom you cannot explain things to or demonstrate what they should do (would be funny to witness if you did though 😂).
Factors to Consider
It’s important to remember that every kid is different, so think about what would work best for yours. Some kids do it easily and seamlessly, but that doesn’t mean they all can. What worked for us was building it into our existing routine, which seems logical and natural to me. We added using the toilet before washing hands to eat. My daughter loves to eat so that worked best. The idea could work with other things though, like doing it before any activity your kid likes. Doing before meals works well because it is something that happens several times a day.
Please consider the following articles about readiness and active participation of the child, rather than imposing or forcing, which can cause serious Heath impacts.
#mytoppicks for Toilet Training Products
The least toxic and most environmentally friendly choice would be a solid wood step stool to help get up on the toilet.
It handles are needed, this type of product can be helpful. It is plastic but I searched hard to find one that didn’t use PVC (truly toxic) and didn’t smell bad (trust your nose; if it smells toxic it probably is): Carla Commisso-Kelvin Onefa Baby Child Potty Toilet. Amazon Affiliates link: https://amzn.to/3fRU5KX
I strongly caution against using the little potties where you dump the bucket after. For urine it’s no big deal but for poop, it poses a challenge in how to clean without contaminating your sink or bathtub. It’s also annoying (who needs another thing to clean?) and, adds a step along the way to the big toilet; at some point you’ll have to transition to it anyway. So I recommend using the real toilet, with a seat modification if necessary (just avoid PVC). If you really want to use a little one, Baby bjorn or OXO are good brands with no PVC. Or, Naty create a potty that uses flushable, biodegradable bags so you never have to wash the toilet, which is made of sugarcane.
For travel, this type of thing is useful and has no PVC: OXO Tot 2-in-1 Go Potty for Travel – Gray. Amazon Affiliates link: https://amzn.to/346QV2Z
For mattress protectors, see my mattress post.
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