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What you need to know about Potty Training - OXO Portable Potty Review


"Two deeply dreaded words in the parenthood journey are 'potty training'. You sort of know what lies ahead, and are aware it's not all rainbows and butterflies. It's stressful for you, stressful for them and something you've been putting off for a while because it's one messy adventure ahead. What lies at the end of the journey is a big pot of gold - no more stinky nappies - but prepare for a bumpy ride with your travel potty close by."

I didn't spend my teenager years or twenties around young children so everything I have learnt in motherhood I have learnt first hand. From breastfeeding, to changing nappies I have gone into every situation with no idea what actually happens behind closed doors. 

We decided to start potty training because we thought Maeve was ready (she has just turned 2 and we could see she was conscious about some bowel movements) and also being in lockdown meant we could manage it quite well at home.

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Our 4 Stages of Daytime Potty Training

1. Awareness: 1 week

This phase is all about introducing your little one to a potty and having it somewhere visible in the house so they can start to get familiar with it. We started by just letting Maeve run around the house without clothes and each time she went, we would reassure her it was okay and just tell her next time to let us know and that we would get the potty. 

This is when you start to get to know their routine and habits so that you can be prepared for when you know they will need to go.

Be prepared with plenty of paper towel and disinfectant because there will be a lot of mess - but don't make a big deal out of it and scare them.

Surprisingly this awareness phase only lasted about a week before she transitioned into phase 2.

2. Action: 2 weeks

Going from being aware to what they need to do to actually telling you before it happens. We started putting pants on her initially but realised that leap was maybe a bit too much. Maeve didn't quite grasp that if she had pants on that she didn't have a nappy on.

Back to not having any pants on it took around 2 weeks for her to confidently be able to be aware of needing to go to the toilet and bring able to tell us she wanted to go potty. 

We had many accidents along the way especially if she was excited or tired but being at home so much meant it was easily cleaned.

3. House Ready: 1 week

This was when we put undies and her pants on so that it simulated real life situations and making sure she felt ready. We let her get confident doing this for around a week and until she was consistent enough. You will still have the odd accident but this is just part of the process.

4. The Travel Potty: ongoing at the moment for us 

I wasn't sure whether to invest in a travel potty or just use the small one we have in the house. During lockdown it was going to be harder to transition to potty training outdoors because there aren't any toilets open and also we are spending most of our times in parks. 

Although Maeve is very good now at telling us when she needs to go, she doesn't really give us much notice and this will just come with practice and age. 

My main criteria when searching for a travel potty was:

1. Ease of use - it had to assemble quickly and easily.

2. Lightweight - it had to be able to fit easily into my pram.

3. No mess - this wasn't a compromise, I've had enough of getting my hands dirty.

I did some research before making a purchase and realised there were 7 types of travel potties. Let me save you the hassle and summarise the types of travel potties for you.

 

The 6 Types of Travel Potties

Disposable Travel Potty: We look at the Hippychick Tron Travel Potty

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Easy to use: YES

 

 

Lightweight: EXTREMELY

No mess: YES

Cost - £3 - £5 per potty

The concept behind these are that they are flat packed cardboard which you construct when needed. Although they are biodegradable there is still a lot of waste generated as they are made from cardboard and have to be disposed if there is mess or damage. Also they add up to be expensive if you are using them frequently. 

Convertible Travel Potty and Potty Seat: We review the OXO Portable Potty

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Easy to use: YES

 

 

Lightweight: YES

No mess: YES

Cost - £20

These are very travel friendly with legs that stand to be a travel potty and also a potty seat. There is a splash guard to prevent any mess and also have a great part at the side to hold the bag in place. 

 

The Carry Potty: We look at the My Carry Potty 

 


My Carry Potty Review. Travel Potty Review. Portable Potty Review. Potty Training. Best Potties. Best portable potties. Best travel potties

Easy to use: YES

Lightweight: YES BUT BULKY

No mess: NO

Cost - £28

This was designed so that it doesn't look like a potty to an outsider and also to make children more comfortable with it. It doesn't use disposable bags so is environmentally friendly, but you do have to tip anything your child does out of it. While you are out if there is nowhere to tip out the contents you do end up carrying them around you. Although the reviews do state that it seals very well. Without a spout this can be a messy experience, we have had these worries with a similar potty we have at home.

Foldable Potty Training Seat: We look at Pourty Flexi-Fit Toilet Trainer

Poutry Potty Review. Travel Potty Review. Portable Potty Review. Potty Training. Best Potties. Best portable potties. Best travel potties

Easy to use: YES

 

Lightweight: YES 

No mess: N/A

Cost - £13.50

Designed to fit onto any toilet seat, this is an option when you know you are going to be close to a toilet. This could be good for when your little one is very confident and also is able to hold their bladder a little longer, but we aren't ready for this one just yet. 

Portable Baby Urinals: We review the Portable Baby Child Potty Urinal Reusable

Travel Potty Review. Portable Potty Review. Potty Training. Best Potties. Best portable potties. Best travel potties

Easy to use: MIXED REVIEWS 

 

Lightweight: YES 

No mess: MIXED REVIEWS

Cost - £9

Not something I personally would have searched for, but nonetheless it is an option. It states it there is a style for boys and another for girls. We personally haven't tried this but reviews state it's good emergency situations. 

Infant sized potty: We look at Summer Infant My Size Potty

Travel Potty Review. Portable Potty Review. Potty Training. Best Potties. Best portable potties. Best travel potties

Easy to use: YES 

 

Lightweight: NO 

No mess: YES

Cost - £35

I saw a dad carrying this around at our local park and I genuinely thought that he was carrying around a mini toilet. It looked uncomfortable to carry, not practical or travel friendly. Looks like a great option for the home, but very inconvenient to be your travel potty. 

 

OUR DECISION

We took all the options available into consideration and decided the best option for us was the OXO Portable Potty. It was lightweight, reusuable and I liked the idea that the bag easily fastened into place and could snap together in seconds. I wasn't sold on the cardboard version which I think could be just as bad for the environment as a plastic potty, and the larger options just wouldn't fit on our portable pram. 

THE VERDICT!

We love the OXO Portable Potty!!! We got Maeve to use it once in the house first just to get comfortable with it. I thought that she might be slightly hesitant because she would be sitting on plastic but she was absolutely fine with it. 

It really does what it says on the tin and snaps into place within seconds. For its size it is lightweight yet surprisingly sturdy. 

The surface is smooth and very easy to clean but because the bag sits over the top there is never any mess. 

It does sit low to the ground but this doesn't seem like a problem for Maeve. She is probably a bit bigger in size than the average 2 year old and uses it without any hesitation.

Then come the bags...

Sainsburys Pedal Bin Bags. Bin bags for travel potty. Bin bags for portable potty. Sustainable bin bag alternatives. The only negative is that the bags that come with it are plastic, not biodegradable and also quite expensive. We have been using our travel potty every day as we get out of the house, so this could quickly turn into a costly habit at £13 for 30 bags (43p each).

We have however, found a better alternative for both the environment and our wallets - the Sainsbury's pedal bin bags 35L. They are made from 100% recycled plastic and have handles which are ideal for this travel potty. They're £2.10 so 5p each, making them over 8 times cheaper!

To replace the absorbent pad included with the potty, we add a folded square of Blitz kitchen roll (which we love because of it's high absorbency) with a bit of sticky tape to the bottom of the bag to secure it in place.

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