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Ages & Stages

Choosing a Potty

Once your child demonstrates an interest in or readiness for toilet training, it’s time to install a potty in your home. Take your child with you to purchase his “special chair,” explain to him what it will be used for, and let him help decide which one to buy.

Once you’ve brought the potty home, write your child’s name on it. Encourage him to play with it, set it where he wants it, and surround it with his favorite stuffed animals, books, and toys. Pride of ownership frequently facilitates a toddler’s or preschooler’s interest in potty use, and its child-friendly size enables him to satisfy the powerful desire to “do it himself.”

On the other hand, children who are more focused on behaving like an older sibling may prefer using a stepstool to climb onto an adult toilet with a child’s seat attached.

It isn’t necessary to first put the potty in the bathroom. While some parents have found that placing the chair in the bathroom helps their child associate it more quickly with the act of elimination, others have met with greater success by keeping the potty in their child’s bedroom, where it is easily accessible after a nap, or in the kitchen for use after meals. Later, when the child has begun to use the potty with some regularity, the potty can be moved to the bathroom or even replaced with a child’s seat on an adult toilet.

Last Updated
Guide to Toilet Training (Copyright © 2003 American Academy of Pediatrics)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
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