You have decided to tackle potty training your twins. You know you need some equipment, but you are overwhelmed by the variety of potty chair options, which ones you actually need, and how many. I’ve been there. I had no idea there were so many styles on the market until I started preparing to potty train my twins. In this article, I will outline 7 different potty chair styles, explain when each type of seat is useful, and why you may want to consider getting a variety of them.
#1 – Stand-Alone Potty Chair
This is a small plastic potty chair with a hole and a removable bowl for cleaning. They are ideal for the early days of potty training because they are very stable, they do not require the child to climb up onto a step stool to reach the big toilet, and you can easily move them around your house. When your twins are first learning how to use a potty, and not able to hold their pee for more than a couple of seconds, you want to make the process as easy as possible for them to be successful. Having a potty chair that just requires them to sit is ideal.
The BabyBjorn Potty Chair is a popular model, but other brands work just as well. The Ikea Lockig Children’s Potty has a smaller footprint than the Bjorn so it is good for small spaces. Many parents also keep a stand-alone potty chair in the back of their vehicle for potty breaks when away from the house. The BabyBjorn Smart Potty is a great option for this because it is more compact with a low-back and smaller footprint, so it takes up less space.
For potty training twins simultaneously, I recommend having two stand-alone potty chairs in whichever room you are containing your twins. As well as additional potty chair options in your bathroom(s). For more on this, check out my article Potty Training Twins: 5 Effective Ways To Prepare For Success.
#2 – Realistic Child-Size Potty Chair
An alternative to the stand-alone potty chair is a child-size realistic-looking potty chair. Essentially it looks like a standard toilet but is smaller and plastic. An example is the Summer Infant My Size Potty. They come with a removable pot for easy cleaning like the stand-alone potty chair. The flush handles of these realistic-looking potties typically make a “flushing” sound, and some models even have flashy lights and play songs.
The attraction of these potty chairs is that they are fun for children and can help them get excited about using the potty. Are they necessary? In my opinion, no. But I will also admit that we never had one. I figured my twins did not know they existed so would not miss them. Also, kids LOVE to flush their pee and poop, and since my goal was to transition to the big toilet as quickly as possible (so I could stop cleaning out little potties), I used the flush as an incentive. If you put your pee/poop in the big potty, you get to flush!
That being said, if you have kids that are ready to potty train but are very reluctant to use a traditional stand-alone potty chair, then perhaps these more realistic-looking ones will help get your children excited about the process.
#3 – Portable Potty Seat
These potty seats have collapsible legs and are small enough to fit in most backpacks. They are great for outdoor adventures such as going to the playground, zoo, etc., where a public restroom may not be readily available.
Portable potty seats typically use disposable plastic bag liners, which are easy to tie up and toss in the trash. The liner bags typically come with a small absorbent pad in the bottom to help soak up the pee.
Most portable potty seats can also double as a seat reducer on a standard-size toilet by positioning the legs to the side.
#4 – Seat Reducer With Attached Step Stool
This is a toilet seat reducer with an attached step stool and handrails. If you have space in your main bathroom, I highly recommend one of these for transitioning your twins to the big toilet. The ladder attachment with handrails makes toddlers feel more secure because they have something to hang onto while stepping up and turning around. In my experience, feeling more secure leads to them feeling more independent. And when potty training twins, the sooner they become independent the sooner YOU will no longer have to make a million trips to the bathroom every day.
We had the Mangohood Potty Training Toilet Seat with Step Stool Ladder. I am confident in saying that without this potty seat it would have taken my twins MUCH longer before they became independent in the bathroom.
#5 – Seat Reducer Ring
These are the traditional rings that sit on the top of a big toilet to reduce the hole to child-size. Unless you have an older or very tall toddler, most little ones will also need to use a separate step stool to get onto the toilet. These rings are popular because certain styles are inexpensive, and you can frequently find them with your child’s favorite TV characters on the seat cushion.
If it is in your budget, I recommend getting an adjustable one such as the BabyBjorn Toilet Trainer because it has a knob that allows you to adjust the seat to various sized toilets, making the seat more stable. The less expensive character rings frequently shift around on the toilet, which can be scary for a young toddler just learning to use the big toilet.
That said, seat reducer rings are a good option when you have transitioned to the big potty and your twins feel secure using a step stool.
A quick point about step stools – make sure they are stable, lightweight, and easy for your toddlers to pick up and move around. We began potty training my twins when they were 2y3m (they are average height) and the 7-inch tall Oxo Tot Step Stool was the appropriate height for them at that time. At the time of writing this article, they are now 3y8m and a 5-inch tall step stool like the Dreambaby Step Stool works well, although we still have the 7-inch stool in our less frequently used bathroom and they manage fine.
#6 – Travel Seat Reducer
This is like a seat reducer ring, but it is much smaller and designed for travel. Because it is collapsible and folds small enough to fit inside most handbags, it is handy to keep in your bag if you will be using public restrooms or visiting friends/family that do not have seat reducers in their home.
We have the Gimars Folding Travel Portable Potty Training Seat and thought it worked well for outings where we would have access to public restrooms and didn’t want to haul the large portable potty in my backpack.
As a final note, I would not recommend a travel seat reducer for everyday use in your own home. It will take your child longer to position on the toilet and it is not as stable as a traditional seat reducer ring. They are designed just for occasional use and traveling.
As briefly mentioned above in point #3, portable potties, such as the Potette Plus or Oxo Tot 2-in-1 Go Potty, can also work as a travel potty seat reducer because most are designed to also fit on top of a full-size toilet. Just ditch the disposable bag liner and position the legs horizontally so the ring sits flat on the toilet seat. So, you may not need a portable potty AND a travel seat reducer. But the advantage of a travel seat reducer over a portable potty is that it is much smaller so takes up significantly less room in your bag.
#7 – Integrated Adult-Child Toilet Seat
An alternative to the seat reducer ring is an integrated adult/child toilet seat. It is essentially a regular adult toilet seat but with a child-size seat sandwiched between the lid and the adult seat. The child seat can be flipped up or down depending on who needs to use the toilet. To install it you need to unbolt and completely remove your existing toilet seat and replace it with the integrated one. Although typically a little pricier than other potty seat options, the advantage of this is that you have one less piece of potty equipment in your bathroom, and they are designed to blend in with your existing toilet for an overall nicer look.
We ultimately got one of these for our main bathroom as space was tight with multiple step stools (one for the toilet and a taller one for the sink), and I wanted to reduce the amount of potty equipment in the small space.
Which Style of Potty Chair Do You Actually Need?
There are a lot of potty equipment options on the market. Do you need all of them? Probably not. However, you will likely end up using a variety throughout potty training your twins. What works in the early days may not be ideal later as your children grow and become more independent in the bathroom. My advice is to start with a stand-alone potty chair that you can easily move around your house, and then graduate to whatever option makes the most sense for your family. This will depend largely on your space, budget, where you live, and the types of outings you typically take.
I also encourage you to read my article Potty Training Twins: 5 Effective Ways To Prepare For Success, in which I share key advice for other twin parents with potty training on the horizon.