Potty vs Toilet: Do they have to use a potty to toilet train?

Here's why the potty is a great tool to help you make the transition from nappies to underwear a smooth one:

1. Body position
They naturally put kids in a squatting position which is the optimal position for doing a poo.

A lot of serial nappy users prefer to poo standing up. The potty puts them into the position that they will need to do on the toilet. 

2. Accessibility

Most of us will witness our kids do the 'wee wee dance' sometimes in their lives. You know it's the little jiggle they do when they realise that they have held on too long and that they are now busting to go.

When kids are learning to do their wees in a potty rather than a nappy they are learning to read their body signals. It can take time for them to start to preempt that wees are about to come out. So with very little warning a child is able to quickly get on the potty and catch a wee.

By putting a potty near the kids play area they are less likely to have an accident.

3. It fosters independence

The kids can get on and off them independently unlike a toilet which requires parental assistance in the initial stages.

If you have a strong willed child, the simple act of asking your child

"Would you like to use the toilet or the potty?"

Can make them feel that they are able to make decisions and regain control of what can be rather a daunting process (especially for our control freaks).

A child who insists on doing a poo behind the couch or in the wardrobe can take the potty to where they feel most relaxed. 

4. Ownership

It gives greater ownership because the potty colour or type could be the choice of the child. They can even have stickers around the outside of the potty to help desensitise the potty, it can become a racing car seat or a princess throne.

5. Portable

If your child prefers to use their potty you can take it to different places such as Nana's house, coffee group or the park. That way your child does not have to negotiate using different toilets and can take their 'happy place' where ever they go. This is great for children who are quite sensitive to change or unsure of using unfamiliar toilets.

6. Provide a transition

The potty can provide a transition from nappies in a way that is less daunting than going straight to the toilet. By putting the potty out during the day in the toilet room, your child can sit on the potty when you are on the toilet.

Or put it in the bathroom at night for your child to use before they get into the bath. Or put is bedside their bed at night to use before they go to sleep (this is great for those who use toileting as an excuse for not going to sleep for hours on end).