One of the most useful elimination communication supplies is a small potty. However, it can be tricky to find a potty or toilet seat reducer that is the right size for your baby to use while practicing elimination communication. This blog posts will present the best elimination communication potties for use at home, while traveling, and during the newborn phase. There is also a section on recommended toilet seat reducers. These recommendations are based upon my personal experience practicing EC with my son, and responses I received through polling an elimination communication Facebook group.
Considerations when choosing an elimination communication potty:
- Narrow enough for a baby or younger toddler to sit on comfortably;
- Short enough to allow for a squatting position;
- Splash guard (especially for boys);
- No extra bells and whistles (music, characters, etc).
Born Ready has an informative post on choosing a potty for EC, written for the UK audience. She mentions to just buy a small cheap potty at the supermarket. That made me stop and think. Here in Thailand, where I am currently living, I can buy a tiny potty at Tesco Lotus. But in the USA? I can't remember seeing a potty in the grocery store back home. There's a row full of disposable diapers, that much I can remember. But for a potty, I think you'd need to head to Target, Ikea, or Babies-R-Us, if you aren't ordering online from Amazon. Plus, most potties in the USA are designed for three-year-olds, so the challenge is finding a small potty that fits a baby comfortably.
Before we dive into the best elimination communication potties for home, travel, and newborns, here is a comparison photo of some of the smallest EC potties avaiable in the USA. From left to right: Chamber Pot; Potette Plus with reusable liner; Ikea Lilla Potty; and BabyBjorn Smart Potty. We'll discuss more details about these potties below.
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Best Elimination Communication Potties for Home
The first place, best elimination communication potty for use at home is the BabyBjorn Smart Potty!
If you plan to only purchase one potty to use for your child's entire potty learning journey, I recommend getting a BabyBjorn Smart Potty. It is a useful tool from the newborn stage through toddlerhood. The compact Smart Potty fits babies who are sitting up unassisted and young toddlers. It is a two-piece potty with a removable insert that allows for easy cleaning.
The removable insert can also be used alone as a top hat potty. This is especially helpful during the newborn phase and for nighttime EC. Hold the potty insert securely between your legs and then hold your baby over the insert. For pottying while breastfeeding, it works well to hold your baby in the cradle hold with one arm and use the other hand to hold the potty insert below your baby's bottom. Tilt the front of the insert (with the splash guard) up for boys!
We have used the BabyBjorn Smart Potty with my son since he started EC at one-month-old. Now that he is three-years-old and has reached potty independence, he still uses the BabyBjorn Smart Potty for pooping. Afterwards, he dumps it in the toilet, rinses the potty with the toilet sprayer, and flushes the toilet. He prefers to stand to pee into the big toilet and squat to poop in the small potty, which is more ergonomic.
When I asked other EC'ing parents which was their favorite potty, the second most popular response was the high-backed BabyBjorn Potty Chair. This model is not my favorite, since it is wider and also higher off the ground, making it harder for the baby to firmly plant their feet on the floor.
The Ikea Lilla Potty, which many refer to as "the little green potty" is an economical option, especially if you are near an Ikea store. The Lilla Potty is a nice small size for babies. The main difference from the BabyBjorn Smart Potty is that the Ikea Lilla Potty is one solid piece. When it's time to dump and rinse the potty, you will need to take the entire Lilla Potty along to clean it.
The Lilla Potty works for EC at home and is also a popular choice to keep in the car or trunk, for practicing elimination communication away from home. Unfortunately, the Lilla Potty is too big to fit in a medium size Planet Wise Wet Bag, so it would not work as well for carrying along with you on-the-go.
Another favorite elimination communication potty is the BecoPotty. It is made of biodegradable plant material, so after you are done using it as a potty, you can allow it to break down in your yard. I was so happy when I discovered this eco friendly option. Unfortunately, the BecoPotty is no longer manufactured, so it is getting harder to find. If you see one, you might want to snatch it up, before they are all gone! For size comparison, here is a photo showing the Potette Plus with reusable liner, the BecoPotty, and the BabyBjorn Smart Potty.
Best Elimination Communication Potties for Travel
It is helpful to have a compact folding potty for trips around town. A travel potty is especially useful for the toddler stage, when your child is too heavy to hold over a public toilet. I was so happy to have the Potette Plus for road trips when my son had recently switched to wearing underwear and would only give us short notice when he needed to potty.
For extended holiday travel or while traveling abroad, I recommend bringing your child's favorite potty from home. Even if it seems big, get a tote bag to carry it along. We took our son traveling in SE Asia for a year when he turned one-year-old. We left behind our beloved BabyBjorn Smart Potty and brought the Potette Plus. I really regretted that decision. The Potette Plus was too wide to use in my lap for nighttime EC and the reusable insert was too flimsy to use alone as a top hat potty. If you are traveling somewhere long-term (weeks, months, years...) bring along your baby's favorite potty. It's worth it!
For errands around town or a weekend get-away, a folding travel potty can be carried along in your diaper bag, backpack, or large purse. As you can see from the photo below, the BabyBjorn Smart Potty is much larger than the folded Potette Plus.
The most frequently recommended travel potty for elimination communication is the Kalencome 2-in-1 Potette Plus. It can be used either as a stand-alone potty or as a toilet seat reducer. When it is used in the potty configuration, it can be used with disposable liner bags or a collapsible reusable liner. The potty configuration is useful for using at a park, when there is no bathroom nearby. The toilet seat reducer configuration can be used on a public toilet.
I purchased a Potette Plus for my son when he was a baby, but soon realized that it was too large for him. He almost slipped right through the middle into the toilet. Good thing I was holding onto him!
For my son, who has always been small, the Potette Plus worked best once he was a toddler. There is now another folding travel potty that may be a better option for EC with a baby.
The OXO Tot 2-in-1 Go Potty is gaining popularity with EC'ing families. It can be used as a potty with a disposable liner, or as a toilet seat reducer. Let's see how it compares to the Potette Plus.
Comparison of Potette Plus and OXO Tot 2-in-1 Go Potty
Disposable liners are available for both the Potette Plus and the OXO Tot 2-in-1 Go Potty. Or you can improvise and use a plastic bag lined with a paper towel. Disposable liners are useful when you are on-the-go and don't have access to water to wash out the potty. You simply tie the bag shut and toss it in the trash. (If it contains poop, I suppose you technically should dump the poop in the toilet and then dispose of the bag in the trash. Did you know you are supposed to do that with disposable diapers too?)
A reusable liner is available for the Potette Plus, but not the OXO Tot 2-in-1 Go Potty. The reusable liner is particularly useful if you use the Potette Plus at home, in the car, or in a hotel room. It also makes the rim of the seat a bit more comfortable.
- Dimensions of Potette Plus when folded flat: 8.75" L x 8.5" W x 2.75" D
- Dimensions of OXO Tot 2-in-1 Go Potty when folded flat: 11" L x 10" W x 2.8" D
When folded flat, the outer dimensions of the OXO 2-in-1 Go Potty are larger, so it will take up more room in your bag. However, the opening in the middle is narrower, making it a better fit for a baby or young toddler!
Here is my comparison video showing the Kalencome Potette Plus vs OXO Tot Travel Potty:
Best Elimination Communication Potties for Newborns
When practicing elimination communication with a newborn, one option that I mentioned above is to hold the insert from the BabyBjorn Smart Potty in your lap and hold your baby over it. During the newborn phase it is also common to hold your baby over the large toilet in the EC hold, or sit along with your baby on the toilet.
But if you want a separate potty to use specifically during the newborn phase, you can use a chamber pot or top hat potty. These are also useful for nighttime EC or traveling.
Old fashioned chamber pots are great for EC! This enamel chamber pot is a darling option. I purchased it from Nova Natural, but they no longer seem to carry it.. You might be able to find something similar on eBay.
A top hat potty is the classic newborn potty and works for 0-12M. It is shaped like an upside down top hat, with a wide rim. You can place a top hat potty between your legs and hold your baby over it. Perfect for nighttime EC, nursing while pottying, and travel. Round two of The Baby Potty: a top hat potty with potty cozy and non-slip band will be available soon. Receive $5 off your order of a top hat potty with coupon code ECPEESY10.
Best Toilet Seat Reducers for Elimination Communication
A discussion of the best elimination communication potties just wouldn't be complete without mentioning some toilet seat reducers. A toilet seat reducer sits on top of an adult sized toilet seat, to shrink it down to baby or toddler size.
My son started using a toilet seat reducer when he was about six-months-old. It was especially useful for catching his daily morning poop, since it went straight into the toilet.
Prince Lionheart weePOD Basix
We mostly used the Prince Lionheart WeePod Basix. This model is made from a soft squishy foam. The shape of the Basix raised my son's knees and helped put him in a position similar to squatting. One drawback with the WeePod Basix is that it has a tendency to rip in half, especially if your baby likes to pull up on the front of the reducer.
*I no longer recommend this reducer in light of the class-action lawsuit alleging injuries to toddler boys when their genitals stuck to the Prince Lionheart WeePod Basix. If there is a different toilet seat reducer that you like, please let me know in the comments.
Once your child reaches the toddler stage, it is helpful to install a built-in adult/child toilet seat. Along with a sturdy step stool, this can allow for more independence. You don't have to worry that the toilet seat reducer will fall off the toilet.
That wraps up our recommendations of the best elimination communication potties for home, travel, and newborns, as well as the best toilet seat reducers for EC. You may also want to view our list of Elimination Communication Supplies.
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Which feature is the most important to you when choosing an elimination communication potty? Which is your favorite potty for EC?