11 Favorite Potty Train Supplies and Tips

Leading up to potty training, I started to think diapers would be easier than constantly having to monitor my 2.5 year old son's bowel movements. After everything I had heard and read, it seemed possible that I would ruin the process and my kid would be in diapers until he left for college. After about a week of potty training, we're down to one accident a day and very little frustration thanks to tips from fellow moms and the items we used below.

1. Potty Chair. We started out trying to use a toilet seat with steps over our existing toilet with to see if we could get away without using a potty at all. This was a bad idea because in the beginning my son needed to be able to immediately sit down when he needed to pee. Any delay, like needing to climb steps, was a deterrent.

BB uses the Summer Infant Lil' Loo Potty because it has a front barrier than helps to prevent spraying outside the potty when sitting down. It's also very easy to empty and clean. There are various color options for the bowl which is fine but in whatever potty, avoid buying a white bowl as white plastic stains easily and can quickly become unsightly.

2. Floor Cleaner. Floor messes are inevitable when potty training. The first day without a diaper, BB pooped in the hallway. Something about pooping without a diaper is completely terrifying for some children and BB yelled in fear while poop came out of his butt and I tried to usher him to the potty while attempting to avoid stepping in poop myself. The result was streaks of poop down BB's legs and multiple piles from the hallway to right in front of the potty. Welcome to potty training and the unending fear of bodily fluids.

We currently use Hoover FloorMate Deluxe Hard Floor Cleaner and haven't put it away in case of any other accidents. The FloorMate is excellent because clean water comes out of one reservoir, sprayed on the ground and scrubbed in by rotating brushes then sucked back up into a separate reservoir. There's no pushing around dirty water and the brushes can easily be removed and washed or replaced, which is so important when cleaning up feces off the floor. We just make sure to pick up and wipe any messes before running the FloorMate so everything is extra clean.

3. Disinfecting Wipes: As mentioned above, we clean and wipe up messes before running the FloorMate but when dealing with an infant and a toddler by myself, I don't always have the ability to immediately use the Hoover so I make sure to use disinfecting wipes when cleaning up floor messes. We also use the wipes on the potty since messes intevitabily end up on more parts of it, not just the bowl.  Seventh Generation Disinfecting Multi-Surface Wipes are good especially on surfaces that end up touching skin later.

4. Potty Training Videos: Leading up to attempting to potty train, we switched over all of BB's entertainment to potty related content. Daniel Tiger's potty episode, Agent Oso's potty episode. If the show had a potty episode, BB watched it. Netflix and Hulu made this easy (House Mix Blog has a list in their Potty Training 101 post) but without subscriptions to those services, YouTube or purchasing a DVD will work just as well.  Elmo's Potty Time Video is a good one. 

We sing, "When you have to go potty go right away," from Daniel Tiger's potty training episode, whenever BB seems to be reluctant to go potty and obviously needs to. BB now says, "I go right away, just like Prince Wednesday!" That Daniel Tiger really knows how to motivate kids.

5. Diaper Sprayer: This is something I have leftover from cloth diapering. It's a diaper sprayer that attaches to the toilet to wash solid waste off diapers but works very well in cleaning up poopy accident and cleaning out poop in the potty bowl. We have a Bum Genius sprayer, which I couldn't find on Amazon anymore but this  Bumworks Cloth Diaper Toilet Sprayer Kit looks identical to the BG model.

6. Treats: My little loves him some candy so nothing was more motivating to him than getting a sweet treat for potty success. We do one treat for pee and three treats for poop since he has such a hard time going Number 2. These Yummy Earth Organics Gummy Bears are pretty effective without a lot of the less than ideal ingredients of other candies.

7. Cheerios: Other mamas suggested Cheerios when BB was having a problem getting motivated or keeping his spray in the bowl. Apparently, using Cheerios in the toilet bowl and encouraging the child to aim at the little Os is a way to make going potty fun.

8. Baby Wipes: It is not fun trying to use toilet paper to clean a toddler's butt after he successfully poops in the toilet. Nothing is faster than wipes to quickly wipe a kid who just wants to get out of the bathroom to get back and play. We use HUGGIES Simply Clean Unscented Soft Baby Wipes since they are mild enough for cleaning faces also.

9. Stickers: After BB has brushed his teeth for the night, or on days when he's had a lot of sugar, we give him stickers instead of candy. These Fun Express Zoo Animal Sticker Roll  are a quick dispense way to give stickers for a potty prize.

10. Undies: One of the most motivating things for many toddlers to successfully potty train is the desire to wear undies in the pattern they like. I picked these Yanzi6 Baby Toddler Kids Boys Boxer Brief undies because they felt more like shorts instead of the regular briefs which sometimes feel like cloth diapers. That way, BB was conscious that he was not wearing something he was familiar with peeing or pooping in.

11. Potty Training Books: In addition to the potty related videos, we read nothing but potty books at bedtime until BB was potty training. It helped familiarize him with the process and allowed us to explain each step and really get excited about starting the training.  Potty by Leslie Patricelli is a favorite with many moms because it allows for a lot of ad libbing to go along with the very clear pictures.

Do you have any potty training tips?

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