How to Train With a Potty Chair and Steps

From the moment a child is born, parents dream of the day that diapers will no longer be necessary. Potty training is a process involving effort and readiness on the part of both the parent and the child. It can be easier when you have special equipment for the task. A stand alone potty chair makes the child feel special and transitions them to the standard toilet. Many young children have a fear of the big toilet that their little bottoms fall right in to. A smaller potty seat that sits on the big toilet and steps for their little legs to reach it makes the process more comfortable for them and increases the potential for quick success.

Things You'll Need

  • Stand alone potty chair
  • Child sized potty chair to set on the toilet
  • Step stool or child size movable steps
  • Incentive chart (optional)
  • Incentives (optional)


    • 1

      Determine that your child, and yourself, are ready for the potty training process. This is generally when she stays dry for two or more hours at a time, can follow simple instructions, shows an interest in the bathroom or wearing 'big kid' underwear and can pull pants with an elastic waist up and down with minimal help. You need to be ready to give lots of encouragement and praise. You also need a lot of patience and time.

    • 2

      Set up a stand alone potty chair in the bathroom. Make sure it is one that your child will like. Don't set up a pink princess chair, for example, if you have a child that hates princesses or a batman chair if your child is afraid of batman. You want it to be something they will treasure and want to sit on.

    • 3

      Introduce the chair to your child and let them get comfortable with it. Dr. Vincent Iannelli recommends letting him sit on it with his clothes on to watch T.V. or read a book to facilitate comfort with the chair, but if you notice signs of him needing to use the restroom, encourage him to remove his pants and diaper to sit on it, explaining what it is used for.

    • 4

      Empty dirty diapers into the potty chair initially to show your child what it is used for. Once she is comfortable with it, encourage her to sit on it every hour or so without pants and a diaper to try to urinate or defecate as well as emptying the diapers.

    • 5

      Transition to the potty seat on the toilet. This is the time to pull out the steps. Once your child is using the potty chair fairly regularly, encourage him to climb the step and sit on the potty seat to get comfortable with it. Offer a special toy or read a favorite book to encourage positive feelings. Don't force it. It's helpful if the potty chair and potty seat match.

    • 6

      Empty the potty chair into the toilet to show your child that this is where 'big kids' use the bathroom. Repeat previous steps to encourage her to use the potty seat and steps. Offer incentive charts if desired. Though not necessary a full chart is great encouragement.

Tips & Warnings

  • Some potty chairs are designed to transition with removable seats. This is a great option.
  • Offer lots of praise for success and treat 'accidents' lightly.
  • Some children require time to get comfortable with the potty training process, others catch on right away. Let your child be the guide in the process.
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