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Okay, I don’t know what my problem is sometimes… I have a hard time buying just one thing and going with it if it’s not 100% awesome… I have to find the perfect option. And with this being my first child, I can try to anticipate what I need, what’s going to be important, what’s going to end up being a hassle and so on, but I never seem to truly know until we’re knee deep in that phase and I’m realizing what I bought just isn’t cutting it.
I had the same ordeal with bibs and swaddles. While unfortunate for our bank account (and my husband’s stress level), this is great news for YOU because you get to benefit from my obsession with finding the perfect option. Now I can share my experience with ALL the things and compare them in hopes that you only need to try half as many options (or dare I even hope just ONE) before finding the perfect fit for your littles.
These are the four we tried, the pros and cons of each, who they might be best for, and my thoughts on if I’d buy them again.
OXO Tot 2-in-1 Go Potty
BEST FOR: Frequent travelers and using public restrooms during the early phases of potty training.
- Super portable. This potty folds up into a thin, small seat and even comes with a bag to carry it in.
- 2-in-1. The OXO potty can be used with the “legs” all the way flat as a toddler seat on top of a regular toilet, or the legs can be locked in at 90 degree angle (and a bag added) to make it a stand-alone potty. This makes it perfect for an instant side-of-the-road travel potty and any out-of-the-house activities.
- Great for errands. It can be the difference between having an accident in the grocery store because they’re afraid to go on the big potty versus peeing in a public restroom because they have the comfort of their “little seat.” It took my daughter a while to feel comfortable sitting on a big public restroom toilet, so this potty allowed us to take longer trips out of the house in the early stages of potty training. It gave me peace of mind and allowed our errands to feel much less stressful!
- Not just a travel potty. This is what we used on our big potty at home, initially. I liked that it served two purposes — porta-little-potty and at-home toddler toilet seat.
- Purchasing bags. In order to make this a stand-alone potty, you need a bag that fits the toilet seat, which OXO sells. It’s kind of expensive for the smallest quantity, though the potty itself does come with three bags. You can also use regular grocery bags, just make sure there aren’t any holes! I would only recommend purchasing extra bags if this is the ONLY potty seat you’re going to purchase, you plan to do lots of outdoor activities during potty training without access to a nearby restroom (hiking, older-siblings’ sporting events, etc.), or your planning a road trip or two during potty training time.
- Not the most convenient option at home. This seat is a small hassle to take it on and off potty seat at home, especially if you’ve stored it in the bag from your last errand and need to readjust the legs (which isn’t difficult, just an extra step). Whereas the TOPSEAT TinyHiney (discussed later) is incredibly convenient at home.
- Needs supervision. Your toddler is highly unlikely to be able to safely place this in the correct position on your toilet and get themselves onto it without your help (especially early on). It doesn’t stay put well with a wiggly toddler constantly twisting and turning to see if their poo poo came out yet. You’ll need to make sure it remains straight. Again, this is not an issue with the TOPSEAT TinyHiney and it’s why we switched to it.
- Semi-difficult to clean. Because of all the nooks and crannies on the underside, which are sure to get splashed with urine and toilet water, this is a bit more time-consuming to clean than the other options.
Would I buy it again?
I still might purchase this if I had to do it again, because of how helpful it was during errands and any car trip within the first couple weeks of potty training. However, I would not purchase it for use at home again due to the fact that I found the TOPSEAT potty (reviewed below) to be a better at-home option. And I would not purchase the extra bags since we mainly used it in public restrooms and not as a standalone potty.
Baby Bjorn Smart Potty
(no this isn’t a “smart” potty that connects to some app or something…)
Availability Note: At the time of this posting, this particular potty was not in stock. Here are two other great and very similar options: OXO Tot Potty Chair and Baby Bjorn Potty Chair.
BEST FOR: Overall best first potty and great for road trips.
- Minimal distractions. This has the best, no-fuss training potty design with minimal distractions for toddlers, unlike the Summer Infant potty. And trust me, you want as FEW extra distractions during potty training as possible (for a little insight on what I’m talking about here and hopefully some laughs, check out my post on why you should NOT buy the Summer Infant potty).
- Portable. The Baby Bjorn potty is very lightweight and easy to move around the house. It is also small enough to take in the car or on walks for emergencies in the initial phases of potty training.
- Sits low to the ground. This potty allows your child to sit fairly low, which can help put their body is an optimal position (knees slightly bent) for pooping on the potty. None of the other potties on this list offer this benefit without using books or stools or something of the sort.
- Easy to clean. With only two very streamlined pieces (one that comes out for easy disposing of waste) with no nooks and crannies or unnecessary surface area, this is a breeze to clean.
- Won’t help you with public restrooms. While this is portable enough to move around the house or take in the car or on a walk, it’s not as discreet as the OXO potty. So you probably wouldn’t want to take it into the grocery store with you.
Would I buy it again?
One hundred times, YES. This is definitely, in my opinion, the best option for a first training potty. It’s basic, lightweight, easy to empty and clean and does the job. This will be our main training potty for baby girl #2.
TOPSEAT TinyHiney Toilet Seat
BEST FOR: Training on the big potty. Also great for families with limited space.
- Secure. Many of the toddler seats made to fit on the big potty are removable and can slip and slide around (a huge con of the OXO Travel potty discussed above). The TOPSEAT TinyHiney allows your child to use the big toilet without risk of falling in or off.
- Comfortable posture. This toilet seat allows your child to sit comfortable with proper posture on the big potty instead of sinking in and holding on to the seat for dear life.
- Space-saver. It removes all potty training “clutter” from the bathroom — no extra kid seat to be taking on and off or little potty in the corner. This makes it perfect for small bathrooms. We use it now in our downstairs half bath which is where my daughter uses the potty 75% of the time. It’s so much nicer to have space in there again!
- Hassle-free for adults. There is a magnet that keeps the toddler portion of the seat “stuck” to the lid so that when you lift it, you automatically have the regular toilet seat ready to go. Just pull down the toddler seat when necessary.
- Easy to clean. Just clean like a regular toilet seat! (Should have gone without the exclamation point… cleaning toilets is the pits).
- Not portable at all. Obviously, this device is now a part of your toilet. You’re not going to be moving it around the house, and it will not help you at all on road trips, errands, walks or in public restrooms. You will likely need a second potty specifically for this purpose.
- No splash guard. If you notice on the other potties, there’s a little hump at the front of the potties that serves as a “splash guard.” This didn’t seem to make a huge difference one way or the other for us (training a girl), but it might be more of a problem for boys.
- Cost. It is definitely more expensive compared to the other options on the list, but worth it if you can afford it, in my opinion!
WOULD I BUY IT AGAIN?
Definitely. For Toddler #2 I plan to use it to potty train on the big toilet, instead of using the OXO Travel potty like we did at first with Toddler #1. I love the space it saves and the fact that we don’t have to take something on and off the toilet whenever someone has to use the bathroom.
Summer Infant My Size Potty
CANNOT RECOMMEND. Read my in-depth post on why I do NOT recommend this potty.
- A lot of people like it. It gets great reviews on Amazon, so clearly it is working for many. A lot of reviewers say that it helps their child understand what it is and what to do on it (since it looks like a real potty). And in all fairness, this is why I thought it would be a great potty too… because, duh! It looks just like the real thing! But in hindsight, I’d be curious to see if many of these reviewers tried a more basic potty first and the toddler didn’t understand what it was for. I think our children are a bit smarter than we give them credit for (preaching to myself here), and most will understand what the basic potty (like the Baby Bjorn one) is for just fine.
- Pretty easy to clean. Definitely easier than the OXO Potty to clean, though it does have more parts on it to sanitize (flusher, tank, etc.) than the TOPSEAT TinyHiney and the BabyBjorn Smart Potty.
- Becomes a toy not a tool. Because it has all the fun gadgets (a flusher, toilet seat, wipe storage, tank lid, etc.) there are so many FUN THINGS to play with! This can be very distracting to a toddler trying to learn to potty train. Why focus on pee and poop when we can PLAY?!
- Cumbersome for small spaces. This potty takes up a decent amount of space as compared to the other three options on this list.
Would I Buy it again?
No. For a more detailed explanation of why I don’t recommend this potty, and hopefully a laugh or two as I recount our potty training experience, read my blog post, “Don’t Buy this Training Potty if…”
FINAL THOUGHTS: If I could do it again, what would I buy?
You definitely don’t need 4 different potties to potty train your child. So, knowing what I know now… which one(s) would I go for if I could go back?
I think I would start with two: The Baby Bjorn Smart Potty and the TOPSEAT TinyHiney Toilet Seat. We offered our girl either the big potty or the little potty pretty much from the start, and she used both just fine (no she wasn’t confused). She didn’t seem to prefer one over the other until a month or so later when she definitely started gravitating toward the big potty.
I would see how she does using public restrooms and bring the Baby Bjorn with me to as many places as possible during the initial phases of potty training to see how that goes. If she seemed to struggle with using the Baby Bjorn on the go (aka in the trunk of our SUV) and/or with using the big toilets in public restrooms, I would consider purchasing the OXO 2-in-1 Potty at that time (and forego the extra bags).
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