Deciding to ditch diapers is certainly cause for celebration, but one big hurdle remains: potty training. The process can be long, frustrating and messy, but the right baby potty can keep your child comfortable and motivated until they're ready for adult toilets.
Most baby potties are made of easy-to-clean plastic, and all are scaled down to help toddlers feel more secure. Some have flashing lights and sounds built in for extra motivation, but it's worth noting that the most highly rated models tend to be more simply designed. Parents can narrow their search by deciding how they want to transition their child to adult toilets: with a potty chair or a potty seat.
Potty chairs may be less intimidating for some kids. A potty chair is a freestanding, scaled-down toilet. Some children may like the idea of having their own "special" potty, which could help with motivation, and they may be more comfortable on a potty chair for long periods. Others may be less fearful of a small potty -- the lower height, smaller opening and lack of a loud flush can help them feel more secure.
Of course, parents may not relish seeing yet another kid-focused hunk of plastic taking up real estate in the house. Potty chairs also have a greater "ick factor," since parents have to dump kids' messes out of a removable bowl after each use and then clean out the bowl.
Potty seats may speed the transition to adult toilets. A potty seat attaches to the top of an adult toilet, scaling down the opening so that it's more comfortable for children to sit on. Some parents opt for potty seats right away, reasoning that they're better off getting their children used to a regular toilet as soon as possible. Others use potty seats as a bridge between potty chairs and adult toilets.
Either way, potty seats save space, since they sit on existing toilets, and they let parents flush messes away like usual. But some kids simply may not feel as comfortable on the "big potty," and most will require a stepstool and close parental supervision to prevent falls.
Travel potties can help keep kids on track while they're on the go. Potty training doesn't stop when families are on the go, and travel potties are designed to streamline the process. Just like at-home baby potties, there are potty chairs, potty seats and models that can function as both.
However, travel potties fold up for better portability, and they're particularly handy when a clean public restroom is nowhere to be found. But they may not be as stable or comfortable as full-size models, and parents might have to use plastic bags to dispose of messes.
ConsumerSearch has analyzed more than a dozen expert reviews and hundreds of owner reviews to evaluate baby potties' ease of use and lifestyle factors. Our picks for the best baby potties on the market are the result.