Potty power: Picking the best potty for elimination communication
Hey everyone! We are going to talk about the best potties for elimination communication today...and give you up-to-the-moment advice on which potties are the best for each age and stage of toilet learning.
Recently, we’ve talked a lot about reducing friction for you and your baby - by teaching parts of the process starting at walking and by clothing baby in an easy wardrobe.
Choosing the correct potty is no exception.
Newsflash: you do not need a special potty to do elimination communication!
You can totally just use the sink or toilet. You can put a low stool in front of the toilet if you want. You can use any mixing bowl or basin-like container.
But, to be honest, over starting 5 of my own babies from birth, and helping 100,000s more parents start EC with babies across the globe...having an EC-specific potty is often the MAGIC KEY to helping baby move forward.
Your potty choice can truly make or break your success with EC.
We have 4 categories of potties when doing elimination communication with a young baby: the top hat potty, the mini potty, the toilet seat reducer, and the portable seat reducer for public toilets.
The top hat potty for newborns
The top hat potty is basically a potty that is held between the legs and looks like an upside-down top hat. It has been widely used across Asian countries for as long as potties have been around.
This potty is essential for newborn Elimination communication, as babies at the wee tender ages of 0-8 weeks old feel most secure in a Classic or Cradled Classic EC hold, close to your body, and not held far above anything like a sink or toilet.
It is also a wonderful potty for middle-of-the-night pottying, as you can keep it nearby and easily potty the baby without having to walk her to the bathroom, very likely disturbing her sleep.
This mama says:
“My LO is 6 weeks and we’ve been practicing EC for a few weeks. The top hat potty makes night time EC so much easier! My LO and I love it. I also plan to use it for on the go pottying once we’re out and about more.”
Speaking of out and about...
The top hat is also great for outings and on-the-go pottying when you are in the in-arms pottying stage of EC. This is typically 0-12 months, but can vary widely. I’ve even used the top hat with my 2-year-old when we were on a tour of the Biltmore Estate here in Asheville - there was ZERO public toilet access for 1.5 hours!
Lastly, it’s great for nursing baby over...if you have one who poops while breastfeeding - you know who you are! - this can help your baby feel clean and dry, keep your cleanup work to a minimum, and help him get a GREAT full feed.
This mama says it best:
“My baby only ever pees or poos during nursing. Or immediately after. The top hat potty works so well while breastfeeding and she doesn't seem to notice it at all! ”
I recommend using a top hat potty with a soft cotton cozy on top so your baby’s legs are protected from the hard, cold plastic. The best to get one with this cozy, and with a no-slip aspect, is at tinyundies.com/tophat.
And btw, if your baby cries every time you hold her in position, try the top hat. It might solve that prob for you like it has for so many parents in our community!
The mini potty for sitting babies and young toddlers
We spoke about when to transition from in-arms pottying to a mini potty back in episode 39 - and when you’re feeling like doing it, it’s important to get an EC-specific mini potty.
Specifically: get one that is short enough for his feet to fully touch the ground when he’s sitting on it, and one that is short enough that he can mount without much assistance.
Getting the right size (ie: small!!!!) reduces the often unseen friction to using the toilet independently - if they can’t easily get onto it, why bother?
So many parents have told me that the correct mini potty has thrown them directly from resistance to full potty independence!
I can best share why by sharing what some of our mini potty users have said:
“My just-turned 8 month old has gone in this every day since we got it and I have ZERO prior EC experience. It’s the perfect height for such a wee bumkim (and wee bum) and is very light.”
“We finally took the plunge with EC and I love it way more than I expected. With my back issues I knew I wanted to get her used to the mini potty before she could sit herself on it in hopes that I can set her little tooshie down on it asap! I love this product. My baby girl loves it. The color is great too.”
“[It] is working great in the living room our 3 month old!”
“We've had our Baby Potty only a few days and my 8 months old is really digging it! We've had great success with her using so far. After a few potty strikes when holding her over the regular toilet, she happily sits on this potty until she is done. Also, I don't have to fight her trying to jump off the big toilet anymore! I'm looking forward to when she can dump it herself!”
The mini potty is a good choice for all the stages and ages:
- hold a smaller baby over it in the Classic hold,
- support a baby on it who is almost sitting,
- use it for a baby who can sit independently, and
- use it for a young toddler who has begun to walk and is at the perfect age for taking over the reins.
Grab the best mini potty for elimination communication at tinyundies.com/minipotty - I brought this one to market when Baby Bjorn stopped making the Little Potty - it has solved SO many EC parents’ resistance and wrap-up problems.
Now let’s talk about...
The toilet seat reducer for escape artist babies and low-mess parents
If you are using a mini potty, eventually you will want to transition to the big toilet. Podcast episode 40 covers when and how to make this transition, in depth.
But when you move to the big toilet, you will need to put a “toilet seat reducer” on it so the baby feels safe, stable, and secure sitting on it (without feeling like he’s going to fall in!).
Some reasons you might want to start using the big toilet with a seat reducer include:
- you have an escape artist on your hands (she just will not stay put once set on the mini potty!)
- you are tired of having to clean poop out of the mini potty
- your baby is resisting for some unknown reason
- you’d like to get your baby used to big toilets so that pottytunities during outings go more smoothly
- you are wrapping it up, and/or
- your child is able to climb a stool to get onto the big toilet.
Eventually, you can remove the reducer from the equation and teach baby to either put her hands on her lap or hold the edges of the toilet while sitting on it. Generally, this will happen when she starts telling you she doesn’t need it anymore!
Sometimes I forget to take our 1-year-old’s seat reducer off our big toilet and my 2.5-year-old will say, “No! That’s for babies. I’m a big boy.” They certainly have their strong preferences at that age!
Okay so the best toilet seat reducer is one that is safe, stable, and secure. My faves include:
- The WeePod by Prince Lionheart - if you can find the all-foam one, use that, but recently they introduced one with a plastic rim and handles, and I’ve heard good things about it as well
- The Ginsey seat reducer - this one has characters on it. As you may know, I’m not into character prints (hello: Tiny Undies!) or screen-time...but what I’ve found is that the novelty of their seats can often encourage sitting, and staying, to go potty. They come with an optional rubber splash guard for boys that is quite high, and handles, making this an excellent potty seat at a very affordable price of around $10-15USD.
- The Potette Plus, which we’ll discuss next, is a portable seat reducer that you can use at home so that your baby gets used to using it on the big toilet...making outings that much easier. It is very stable and comfortable.
The portable seat reducer for public toilets and outings
Like I just mentioned, you can get a toilet seat reducer to take with you for pottying on-the-go!
You’ll want something that can fold up rather small and be easily transportable from place to place. Keep one in your diaper(free) bag or your vehicle.
I’ve tried them all, literally, including sticking our Ginsey seat in the bag and using it on public toilets (which worked quite well).
I’ve also brought my top hat potty in my bag and used it while squatting in a stall in a public bathroom.
But when baby is comfortable sitting independently around 6-8 months old, I will train them to use my favorite portable potty…
I have the rubber reusable insert so I can use the Potette as either a mini potty in the car with the insert in it, or on the side of the road over grass or concrete with no insert in it (if it’s just a pee!). They also come with disposable, absorbent bags...but those feel like diaper waste to me!
This seat folds out flat and can be placed on any public toilet, port-a-potty, or home seat, making it incredibly versatile.
Get one. You won’t be sorry. And train at home with it so you can provide a seamless experience for your sweet baby.
And that’s it!
I’d like to know in the comments below which potty you’re currently using and which one you might invest in for your next stage of elimination communication or potty learning! Share below….
PS - here’s the video version of this episode in case you prefer to YouTube it. ;)
Disclosure Note: As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from purchases made through the links on this page.
We’ve been using the Bumbo Step n Potty since my daughter grew out of the top hat. It was great for helping her sit before she was very stable sitting on her own, and is still going strong as a seat reducer and step stool.
I’m so glad you found something that works for your daughter Sarah! xx Andrea
We started our son at birth using the baby potty. It worked, but was difficult to keep him in a secure hold and keep the potty in place. We switched to a top hat potty, and it has been wonderful! He loves the potty. He is now 6.5 weeks old.
That’s great Erin! The top hat potty is so easy to use, by far my favorite for little babies. And congratulations on your new arrival! xx Andrea
We used the Baby Bjorn smart potty starting at 9 weeks. I held the insert in my legs top hat potty style until I felt comfortable to support him on the potty with the base. At 6.5 months we switched to a Prince Lionheart toilet seat reducer and now he definitely has a preference for the big toilet! No complaints here!
Hi Tianna! Right?! It is so nice when they use the toilet, much quicker clean up. xx Andrea
I really like the little green potty from IKEA. Baby has been sitting well on it, since she’s been able to sit by herself :)
Hi Maiken! I’m so glad you found a good potty for your baby! It really makes all the difference. xx Andrea
Hi Andrea ! We got your tiny potty around the time of this blog/podcast in hopes of over coming a potty strike! Our daughter likes the potty and so do we! Much better size than what we were using . She is 13 months and can get on it by herself. I have several questions I haven’t seen brought up too much (we have your book too)….
How much potty play (for lack of a better word) do you allow… do I need to put a stop to it. She loves her light weight potty and keeps going to the bathroom and then packing it around the house ….When she gets her potty I assume she might have to go so I sometimes help her sit on it which never results in her going to the bathroom. I can tell when she has to go and she signs (after) … but she is not letting her pee or poop out on the potty anymore ! She’s peed once’s on the potty in about 2 months after good success :( . When she peed I said “hurry up grams is coming pee” and she finally did. I have hugged her to the potty, distracted her and tried changing it up. She often pees a few mins after getting off. The bathroom is play land for her . She won’t let her pee out . She will get very mad without a distraction ….. she also I do know likes privacy, but then she gets into mischief (climbing in the tub ! Potty on the head , finger painting with pee). Trying to keep her in trainers during the day and take her to the potty every accident . She knows pee goes in the potty she’s just not doing it. Again she’s 13 months almost 14 months .
What should I do?
Thanks for your help !!!
Hi Elyse! She should stop playing with it soon, it’s just new. To give her privacy you don’t have to step out of the bathroom, just try busying yourself with something. That should keep her from playing around. You can also try having the potty in your main living space instead, the change of room might help her focus. If distractions work, use them. It sounds like she craves independence so it may help to teach her a skill, something like pushing down pants, flushing, hand washing, etc. xx Andrea
Thank you for your reply! :)
I’m having a hard time finding a seat reducer that would be small enough for my 4 month old to sit on. Any suggestions? (Prince Lionheart one was discontinued I think?)
I believe you can still get that one on Amazon and Walmart. Are you in the states?
Ok yes I see it now. For some reason when I clicked the link it says out of stock, but that may just be the foam one because they do have the plastic one with handles.
Although… because of the price I ended up finding 2 other options on amazon that seem good and are a bit cheaper. The hole size for both of them is about 4×7 inches. Since my main concern is that it’s small enough for my 4 month old, I think I’ll give one of them a try. I’ll still be supporting her of course, but if she can at least rest her bottom on it without me having to hold her up, that will save my arms!
They are the Tuut toilet training seat, and the PandaEar portable travel toilet training potty seat. Not sure which one I’ll choose but they both seem about the same, size wise.
Hi! Great youtube video and links here. Thanks!
I was wondering if anyone has had success with using the potette potty LINER as a top hat potty early on? Would it be stable enough?
My pleasure! I think the silicone liner is too floppy to use regularly, I have used it in a pinch though. The new potette has a solid plastic liner that might work better. The top hat would still be smaller though, plus it has a cozy. They are really easy to pack around. xx Andrea
Yikes, just wanted to update the wee pod was recalled https://cafemom.com/parenting/213586-target-stops-selling-dangerous-potty-seat/242404-prince_lionheart_however_is_still_involved_in_a_separate_lawsuit_with_the_parents_who_claim_their_children_were_injured
Thanks for the update! Seems like they modified the toilet seat, and removed them from being purchased at Target. Hopefully that prevents further injuries.
do you have suggestions for a toilet seat that permanently attaches to the toilet? Something like this example https://www.acehardware.com/departments/home-and-decor/bath/toilet-seats/4361119- there are a variety of brands and I wondered what you’ve found is most ergonomic and convenient. We don’t need this yet as our baby’s not even born yet, but since we are buying a toilet seat now anyway, and some friends and family have older babies and toddlers, we were thinking about getting this instead of the reducer, and wondered if you have recommendations.
I have not checked out different brands. I often just recommend members to purchase what they have at there local hardware store, as there is usually only one option.
If your friends have one, you can ask them what brand they have. You can also post it to our group in Might Network and/or Facebook to see what other parents and care givers are using.
In general, most of the toilet seats that have the reducers in the lid are about the same. Do let us know which brand you decide on, and if you like it. 💕
Congratulations on your pregnancy!!
thanks. None available in the local store so we have to order online, so there are lots of options. They do not seem the same at all– some have soft close, and there are many conflicting reviews about which ones will break after only a short period of use and which ones are comfortable, so we’ll continue asking around. Thanks!
Glad you will continue to ask around. 👍
Thanks for the awesome blog! I felt confident choosing a potty for my 3mo old after reading it.
Thank you so much for reading!!! I’m glad to help!!!
We’ve started part-time EC with our 7 month old, and have been going for several weeks pretty successfully which has been awesome, thanks to your book and other content. Thank you!
We’ve just been using a potty that we already had as we are currently trying to potty train our 3.5 year old 🤦♀️. Definitely wishing we’d done EC with her!
I’ve noticed our baby gets red marks on her bum/thighs from the potty and her feet only just touch the ground, if that. We’d love to buy the mini potty, but the shipping to New Zealand was $75! Do you have any other recommendations for the next smallest potty? Thanks for your help!
Hi Angela! First of all you go momma! As for a short potty, the Bjorn Smart Potty has a fairly short version that is great for little ones to begin learning with!
We’re in New Zealand too and found the same with the shopping costs for the Baby Potty, unfortunately :-( We were given this little potty when our daughter was about 4.5 months old and it is quite a good size (smaller than the KMart one someone else gave us): https://www.tepukeonline.nz/elimination-communication-babies/listings/678319-cute-seal-potty-with-lid?page=listings
I’ve also seen it on TradeMe second hand a few times so worth a look there too. So sad that the Baby Potty is just too expensive here!