In the early years of parenting, life seems to revolve around constant nappy changes and cleaning up your child’s “accidents”, most of which inevitably happen when you’re out in public. Every time I left the house with my giant nappy bag weighing me down, I sent out a silent prayer for my child to be potty trained, stat. Well, the potty-training milestone finally rolled around and it turns out it’s not for the faint-hearted …
I did a lot of reading up about how to start potty training and all my research confirmed the two most important places to begin were knowing when your child is ready and choosing the right potty.
Well, I was pretty confident my daughter was ready when she started following me into the toilet every time I went (I miss the days I could go about my business without an audience) and was quick to tell me when she’d wet her nappy (or worse), often unashamedly and among a crowd of people. So, at about the age of two-and-a-half, we embarked on our potty-training journey together.
While I initially thought she could quite comfortably sit on the adult toilet provided I helped her on and off (how naïve), it turns out this is a lot to ask of a little person. The first time we tried she just about fell in. I decided to trial a toilet trainer (the small seat that you fit onto the adult toilet) – a perfectly good option, or so I thought. After a few attempts and many conversations with other mums, I realised that a toilet trainer should in fact only be introduced further along during potty training. Clearly, I didn’t get the memo.
I went back to the drawing board – and, by that, I mean typing “best ways to potty train” into Google search – and finally discovered the life-changing Bumbo Step ‘n Potty. As the name suggests, it’s a hardworking multitasker that can see you through all the stages of potty training.
To begin with, we made use of the floor-based potty, which is very cleverly designed with a non-slip base shaped like an elephant’s foot – a winner when trying to encourage a hesitant toddler onto the potty for the first time. I loved it for the sheer ease with which I could clean it – we all know potty training is a messy affair. The actual potty trainer insert – super soft for my little one’s tooshie (in fact, it became her preferred spot to read books) – is removable, which for a clean freak like me, means hassle-free cleaning!
“… it’s a hardworking multitasker that can see you through all the stages of potty training.”
When we finally got comfortable with the idea of sitting on the potty and my daughter began recognising when she needed to go to the toilet, I decided she was ready to graduate to the toilet trainer. Fortunately, the Step ‘n Potty seat conveniently converts into a toilet trainer and sturdy step stool so you don’t need to spend extra money investing in yet another toilet training product – something I was delighted about. Really, there are so many more things I’d rather spend my money on!
But, perhaps the best part is that this nifty contraption is portable. When we stayed the night at my folks or went away for a weekend (which didn’t happen too often, but still), we could take along our Step ‘n Potty – and it’s compact enough not to take up too much space in among all the other kiddie paraphernalia you need when spending a night away. Bonus!
When it came time to potty train my son, I was a seasoned veteran and, of course, my good old Step ‘n Potty was my first port (or should I say potty) of call. In fact, despite being fully potty trained, my son (now three years old) still makes use of the Step ‘n Potty step stool to stand on when he goes to the toilet.
I love that it gives him the independence to go about his business without me standing there silently (and sometimes not so silently) panicking that his aim may be a bit off and I’ll have a puddle of pee to clean up – which seems to be unavoidable. Is there a tool to help with this perhaps?
To all you parents who are about to start the potty-training journey with your toddler, my best advice is to be patient, prepare yourself for pee-stained floors and invest in a Bumbo Step ‘n Potty because it makes the experience just that much easier – for you and your little one.
Written by Jessica Baxter
Bumbo images supplied. All Bumbo products are available at major baby retailers and Takealot.com.