Your Essential Potty Training Gear Guide

Ready to ditch the diapers? Potty training is a big toddler milestone that parents are often eager to check off the list. But before you dive into your potty training plan of attack, you should determine if your child is ready. 

Read more about common signs that indicate your toddler is ready to potty train

If your child is old enough and has reached the necessary developmental milestones, it’s time to arm yourself with the equipment necessary for potty training. Here are the essential items you’ll need to start the potty training process. 

A Small Potty or Seat Reducer (or Both).

A happy toddler sitting on a potty chair, looking away
Vladimir Godnik/Getty

Child-sized potties come in different colors, feature your child’s favorite cartoon characters and can even get high tech. These potties are popular choices because they are low to the ground and easy for a young child to get on and off of by himself. 

You can also use a seat reducer over the a full-size toilet seat to make the size more appropriate for a toddler. If your bathroom is small, this may be your best option. 

You may want to get both. A child will quickly outgrow the small potty and need to be comfortable using the larger potty. Start out using the small potty and transition to the potty seat as your child gets closer to being fully potty trained. 

A Step Stool

If you’re using a seat reducer over a full-size toilet, your child will probably need a step stool to climb onto the seat. Even if you’re not using a seat reducer, your child will need to wash her hands as part of her potty routine and having a stool will help her more easily reach the sink. 

Disposable or Reusable Training Pants

Well-known brands of disposable training pants include Easy Ups and Pull-Ups. While it has been debated whether these pants help or hinder the potty training process, the ability to pull training pants on and off while still protecting against accidents make them a popular choice for many parents. Once your child is fully potty trained during the day, training pants are a great option to ensure they stay dry while sleeping. Reusable training pants options are also available.

Potty Books

Books are a great way to introduce your child to and get them exicted about new concepts, and going potty is no different. Potty by Leslie Patricelli, The Potty Book for Boys and The Potty Book for Girls by Alyssa Satin Capucilli, and P is for Potty featuring your child’s favorite Sesame Street characters are great options for one- and two-year-olds.


Toddlers who are ready to potty train and have been hearing about the wonders of the potty are often very excited about wearing "big kid" underwear. Give them a sense of ownership over the process and increase their excitement by taking them to the store to pick out their undies.


Boy Potty Training
Jason Lugo

Parents often use rewards to encourage successful potty attempts, and there are many options you can try. Some parents offer a piece of candy (such as an M&M or jelly bean); others put up elaborate reward charts with stickers and milestones.

A Timer

When a toddler is first potty training, it can be helpful to set a timer to remind you and your child every 45 minutes or so that it’s time to try to use the restroom. You can use a timer specific to potty training, a kitchen timer or the timer on your phone. Just don’t forget to set it.


While toilet paper is important to the potty training process, it’s safe to assume you already have a supply of it in your home. What you may not realize is that even once your child is potty trained, it’s good to keep wipes on hand to clean up accidents as well as to help your child with extra wiping when needed.  

Travel Potty Seat and Seat Covers

A potty training hurdle parents often don't consider until they are faced with the situation is taking a newly potty trained child out into the world before they are completely comfortable with full-size toilets. Invest in a travel potty or folding seat reducer to reduce the unknowns when you’re out with a toddler who needs to go.

As your toddler becomes more capable of going to the bathroom on her own, you'll probably noticed she touches a lot more of the toilet than adults do. Toddlers often need to climb onto the seat and hold on for stability. In public restrooms, use a seat cover and make sure your toddler thoroughly washes her hands.

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