Potty training is the longest short-lived time of our lives. It's full of messy potential and frustration; but, ultimately, we persevere as parents, and we can take pride in helping our children emerge on the other side of a major milestone...
...But those lofty accomplishments are way out of our reach when we're squeegeeing pee out of the car seat or removing the toilet after the Everybody Poos book made its way down the drain. That's why we're so thankful that these products have been invented by parents who have gone through the very worst and want to save the rest of us from the fate that they suffered.
1) Car Seat Pee Pee Protectors
You can play the "do-you-need-to-go-before-we-get-in-the-car" game as much as you want, but you have better odds of winning roulette. No matter how quickly your toddler has taken to potty training--that car seat is getting wet one of these days. But, the car seat protector makes it so much easier to accept that truth. It also helps us avoid breaking down and putting our toddlers in diapers for car rides. Most waterproof car seat pads that you can find in baby stores absorb more than a cup of water. It's been a nicely played battle, Sippy Cup, but you have no power here anymore.
2) Bed Wetting Alarms
A useful tool in helping little ones wake themselves up to use the potty at night. After a long day of stashing cheerios into impossibly small spaces, our kids can sleep pretty soundly all night long, even through a bathroom emergency. Remember that dream with the giant toilet just beckoning us to pee down its magical drain (that empties right out onto the mattress)? Now, when our kids' brains try to trick them into letting loose in dreamland, the alarm rouses them and gives them a chance to use the potty, instead. And, the bonus is that it gives us the heads up that there's more pee to clean up! Just when the night was getting a little too peaceful...
3) FlushStop: The Potty Training Toilet Handle Lock
The toilet handle is a magnet for mischief during the potty training years. There have been horror stories of ninja turtles, cans of tuna, phones, and even the beloved family hermit crab going down the drain and creating major plumbing disasters. Not to mention the problem of over-flushing and wasting gallons of water. But, when kids need to use the potty independently, then how can you keep the toilet open for their use AND control what goes down the drain? This is the only product of its kind that solves one of the most common issues that parents and plumbers face.
4) Travel Potties
Because: kids. They've gotta go when they've gotta go. Whether you use the self-contained potty seat that allows them to stop and squat in the middle of a picnic, or you use the seat attachment that you can place on any questionable public toilet that we adults have the luxury of hovering above, it eases the stress of traveling with a toddler. Well, one part of the stress, anyway.
5) Toilet Finding Apps
Speaking of questionable public toilets, there are apps that help us parents find the RIGHT potty break spots, even when we're far from our home turf. Bathroom Scout, WhereToWee and SitOrSquat are some of our favorites. They give locations and conditions of the bathrooms nearest you, so you can decide when to pull over and when to just trust in the power of the wee wee protector as you search for something better.
Oh, parenthood. It's full of trials and joys. And, it's almost always coated in old syrup. Potty training toddlers will find their own unique ways to learn, which means that they'll find unique and unexpected ways to make a mess, too. Preparing yourself with a few good tools to combat the most common potty training trouble is a good start. We wish you luck with the rest. You'll make it through. We promise.