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Montessori potty training: How to choose the right toddler potty chair

You're on the quest for your little one's first potty.

And while I could give you a product review of all potty chair brands out there with a list of features, colors, or optional accessories and the best place to buy it, I truly don't think that would be the most helpful.

Because the truth is that you might be offered a second-hand potty. 

You might pick up a new-with-tags potty at the thrift store, find a potty from Facebook Marketplace, visit your local baby boutique a browse their selection, or order next-day delivery from Amazon.

You might get it before your baby has even arrived or be ordering it the day your 18-month-old decides diapers are a thing of the past with the kind of resolve that has you up tonight trading in precious sleep for reading this guide.


What's in this Montessori-inspired guide to choosing the right potty?

Whatever potty options you have, this guide is filled with Montessori-inspired principles to understand why potty will or won’t work well for your baby or toddler,  highlighting what matters most in a potty as you guide your 12m + toddler towards becoming a proud potty champion! 

Incorporating gentle, respectful, and positive parenting approaches, you'll find a comprehensive list of potty considerations that will promote potty independence, encourage collaboration and cooperation, and consider comfort and a good fit for your little one's body for optimal body alignment and position for potty use and comfort. 

We're embracing respectful parenting practices, gentleness, and loads of laughter as we dive into the not-so-always obvious details when searching for the perfect potty that fits like a dream and encourages collaboration – making potty time a breeze for both you and your little one.

By the end of this guide, you will be able to assess the potties that are available to you by understanding what will matter to you and your child, and without worrying about getting any particular potty. 

What truly matters is that your toddler LOVES using it, and you’re about to find out and you’re about to find out what really matters most when choosing a potty for your toddler.


10 things to consider when choosing the right potty chair


Things to consider when choosing the perfect potty for toilet training

 Is the potty safe for your pint-sized learner?

There are more companies offering tiny potties. As you venture into the land of potty independence, comfort is king. Look for a potty that feels cozy and sturdy. 

Look for potties with:

  • rounded edges 
  • a stable base 
  • No sharp parts

Stable and sturdy potties that sit on the floor prevent tipping over or sliding, so your child can sit with their feet firmly on the ground. 

Is the baby training potty chair comfortable?

Your toddler may appreciate a high-back potty vs. a low-back potty. 

If space is a concern, try a low-back potty, and if you're finding your toddler would like more support you can either place it against a wall, or back it into a corner so they feel supported behind them.

What shape is best for a potty?

Choose a potty with a comfortable, anatomically correct seat to encourage your child to sit comfortably for longer periods. 

Depending on your child's body shape, a rounder or more oval potty might feel more comfortable on their tush and legs. 

Consider how they like to place their legs. Some potties have wider centres and some even have handlebars - A win for toddlers who love mounting little vehicles.

Choose a potty with space for small hands to hold on.

Some potties have space on either side for your little one to hold onto while they go while others offer it at the front, between the legs. Having something to firmly hold onto can be comforting to little ones and increase their sense of security and confidence on the potty, a feature you might look for if your little one likes a little more comfort and security.

What is the difference between boy and girl potties?

Boys have different potty chair needs than girls

Many potties have a splash guard to prevent the upwards spray from the penis. Following gentle, respectful, and mindful parenting practices, it's best if we teach our little ones to push down their penis as part of their toileting skills instead of relying on a guard. 

The guard can also get in the way of them seeing and responding to their anatomy and how it functions during a pee.

Your toddler’s height

When selecting a potty, consider your child's stature, making sure their feet not only touch the ground but that their knees are higher than their hips. This puts them into a squat position. If you've ever seen a Squatty Potty commercial, you know that from this position, the colon straightens out allowing poops to pass more easily. The position also has been proven to aid in passing gas. 

Potty chair size matters for your toddler

Feet in a pointed tippy-toe position is also known to suppress bladder release, so ensuring their feet are flat on the floor will make it easier for your little one to release.

AND, by being on the ground, younger potty learners will feel safer, and be more independent in their movement leading to greater comfort, independence, and willingness to release their bladder and bowels. 

Let's follow the science on this one!

Beauty matters when you are choosing your toddler’s first potty

In the realm of Montessori-inspired magic, form and function are equally important. Montessori observed that children learn more readily in environments that were harmonious and beautiful, seeing the order and aesthetic as a call to act with purpose and care  

Creating a toileting space for your little one that pleases both you and them will make everyone more likely to engage with, take care of, and enjoy using the space. 

Yes, the science supports your search for a prettier potty that you won't mind looking at MANY times a day for the next couple of years or more, and that your little one will love too.

Collaboration and potty care

Seek a potty that encourages teamwork so that your little one can mimic your modelling and get right into the potty care groove from the start. 

  • Select a potty for toilet training, made from easy-to-clean materials, ensuring quick and hassle-free cleaning after each use.
  • Avoid potties with numerous crevices or hard-to-reach areas that might trap dirt and bacteria.
  • Detachable pots that fit inside a base are easier to dump (with very little splash-back!), clean, and dry off than single-piece potties which are tough for adults to dump without splash-back and nearly impossible for our little ones to help dump and clean.

Montessori potty training guide

Future-friendly sustainable potties

As nature's stewards, we can opt for an eco-friendly potty. 

You might find an eco-warrior potty crafted from sustainable materials, leaving a smaller footprint on our earth. Or you might thrift or be gifted a second-hand potty. 

Either way, it will be part of your journey as you inspire your child to protect the magical world they inhabit, instilling a deep love for our planet.

Beyond your first floor potty

Once you have found your first potty, you'll want to make sure that you have a potty accessible at all times, and may find yourself needing to purchase a second or third, depending on the size and layout of your home. 

See how your little one likes your first potty before going ahead and purchase more of the same one. You may find you want to try a different style after seeing how your little one reacts to it.

Best travel potty - travelling with a new potty learner

You'll eventually want to leave the home with your potty-using little one! Depending on your setup and your child's personality, you might want to take your tiny potty chair with you. 

If that's not an option, there are small foldable potty seats that are great to use outdoors (either allowing the pee/poo to land on the ground or into a bag), or to use on toilet seats. 

Though at the start your toddler may appreciate you holding them in a squat above the ground or toilet without the use of a potty or potty seat at all - easy peasy! 

If we follow the child, build that trust, and collaborate with them on their needs, they'll be confident in their toileting abilities in and out of the house before long. 

Honouring the potty training journey

"Join the party" when it comes to your child's potty triumphs by matching your little one's level of celebration. 

That might look like a happy dance, a sweet hug with comforting and joyful words, or quiet contemplation followed by a gentle and factual acknowledgement that they listened to their body and put the pee or poo in the potty. 

Encourage every step of the journey by bringing lightness to challenges and playfulness to the repetition your little one will need to reach potty mastery!

As you navigate this path together, remember that gentleness, respect, and encouragement are the keys to unlocking your little one's potty potential.

Let’s wrap up this potty guide.

With Montessori-inspired principles and a dash of playfulness, your child's potty independence journey you can model and encourage positive self-image, confidence, and healthy self-care habits for your little one.

And while I LOVE seeing you reach potty success, remember that this isn't just about reaching the destination; it's about building positive trust, self-love, and independence in the moments along the way.

Always learning alongside you,


Need more help with toilet training in the Montessori way?

We’re bringing together families like you inside The P Word, our empowering birth to potty mastery program with the evidence-based knowledge, support, and community for a positive potty journey.

With virtual on-demand workshops, special events, instant access to the course modules, and a community of families journeying from birth to potty mastery alongside you, you’ll feel supported, have fun, and show up feeling prepared to guide your little one with confidence from wherever you are. 

Learn more about the P Word here >

P.S. If you're keen on seeing this post when it gets updated with my favourite potty gear and discount codes, you're going to want to hop onto our mailing list here >

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