What's a Good Potty Training Toy for Toddlers?

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What's a Good Potty Training Toy for Toddlers?
Written by:
Michelle D. Swaney & Fred Longenecker
October 1, 2021

What's a Good Potty Training Toy?

Potty Duck™ – Learning through play!

The Potty School recommends the award-winning Potty Duck™– a simple potty training toy recommended by pediatricians to help children learn at any stage. With this easy-to-use educational tool, you can start anytime – you don’t need to wait until your child begins the toileting process.

Potty Duck is a squirting rubber duck that “pees” into a toy toilet that flushes. You can use the toy in many ways. Here are three examples:

1) Demonstrate how to use a toilet for your child

By squirting the rubber duck’s “pee” into the toy toilet, your child can see with their own eyes that pee belongs in a toilet. Potty Duck is the ideal demonstration toy to show your child what to do on a toilet. Laugh and enjoy it! No need to fear introducing the topic of potty training!

2) Let your child learn through play before, during, and after potty training

Because playing is how children learn, give your child a Potty Duck to play with so they can imagine using a potty themselves. Children love to flush the toy toilet again and again. Be sure to praise them for making the duck pee in the toilet!

It’s never too early — and it’s never too late — to increase your child’s understanding by playing with Potty Duck in a relaxed and gradual way. Make it fun! You can use the toy in many places — in the bathtub, in a sink, in a tub on the floor, or dry on the floor without water for pretend play.

Why start now? Pediatricians recommend starting to use Potty Duck before potty training so that children are easier to train later. This is because starting now prepares your child, shows them what to expect, teaches them basic skills, and boosts self-confidence. In fact, preparing a child for potty training is as important as the training (Schmitt, 2016). Remember, every child learns at his or her own pace. Using Potty Duck after potty training is also helpful to undergird learning.

3) Reinforce your child’s gradual learning by adding words and a sound like “sssshhhh”

A very important part of the training process is for parents to start talking about potty training with the child. With Potty Duck, it’s easy to talk about what you are

seeing and doing: Do you see the duck peeing? Can you make the duck pee in its toilet? And, when the time seems right, you can gently say: Let’s try to go like the

duck.

To boost the learning even more, parents are encouraged to make a sound like “shhhhh ssssssshhhhhh" each time the duck pees. If you consistently make this same

sound whenever the duck pees, your child will soon learn to automatically associate the sound with the act of peeing. In essence, you are developing a neural pathway in your child’s brain. So when the time seems right, and when your child is seated on a potty, you can say, “Psssssh Pssssssh Let’s try to go like the duck.”

The story behind Potty Duck — and the science

Potty Duck was created by two friends who met in college - a pediatrician named Shelly and a stay-at-home dad named Fred. The idea for Potty Duck began when

Fred's two-year-old daughter was playing with a squirt toy. She picked it up and squeezed it to send water shooting from its mouth. He noticed a few drops of water leaked from a second, smaller hole on the bottom of the toy. Fred made the hole a bit bigger, and that night they had a lot of fun making the squirt toy pee.

A few days later, his daughter stood up and said, “I want to go like [the squirt toy].” They hurried to the bathroom for one of her first successes!

After that first aha!; came the science. We designed the toy to match the ways toddlers learn. Through seeing, hearing, touching, play, imitating an example (the duck), practice, relating to a buddy, and having a caring adult alongside, Potty Duck helps children to gradually explore and master potty training.

It’s important to note that small children tend to learn sounds before they learn words. In addition, making a sound such as “psssssh psssssh” has been proven to

be effective for many decades for many children around the world who are trained to respond to a sound by peeing or pooping.

Additional benefits: Children learn at their own pace, with confidence, and reduce their fear of the toilet

Many times, adults find themselves hurrying a child through potty training in order to meet a deadline for preschool or kindergarten. This can create pressure,

stress, and even fear in the child and in the family. But why wait until the deadlines to start the learning? With Potty Duck, children can begin learning gradually at any time, as young as 15 months of age when children tend to be especially cooperative.

In addition, children are often asked to sit on a potty chair without prior understanding or prior education on the purpose of a potty chair. With Potty Duck and other tools, there are many lessons children can learn in advance by seeing, hearing, and doing, such as the words potty, pee, and flush. This boosts the children’s confidence, reduces their fear, and prepares them to succeed, rather than expecting them to do something new that hasn’t been explained.

Additional benefits of Potty Duck also include:

- Makes the process of potty training simpler for everyone.

- Assists all children, including those with special needs

- Helps children learn to go like the duck

Review from The Potty School

Potty Duck has been strongly endorsed by experts in pediatrics and early childhood development, as well as by professional potty trainers such as Michelle

Swaney, CEO of the Potty School, in this Q & A…

How have you used Potty Duck with your Potty Training consulting business, The Potty School?

Potty Duck has been a staple for my home clients for a few years now. I literally carry one to every. single. home. consultation. It is in my arsenal of “secret weapons” for potty training. If there’s a lull, if there is a fit being thrown, if there is a language barrier, if there is a developmental hindrance, or a speech delay, or if there’s just down time - I pull out a Potty Duck.

What’s your favorite aspect of Potty Duck?

I have loved using Potty Duck! It’s so nice to have a potty training demo productthat can actually get wet! I used potty training dolls previously, but you can only do a demo once before all the undies and clothes on the doll are wet. The Potty Duck gives me the opportunity to demonstrate the process over and over again, which heavens knows needs to happen.

What’s a unique way of using Potty Duck that clients may not know about?

We love naming our Potty Ducks. Each duck gets a new name. Depending on who we are working with sometimes I’ll make up a story about how the duck got to their house ahead of time, or for children who are able to be involved verbally, I like to create stories about the duck with them before ever “formally” teaching to them. For children who are afraid of the bathroom, having an attachment to an item - having a story about their Potty Duck, and physically touching it - gives them a reason to “tend” to their Potty Duck in the bathroom, alleviating some fears of the physical location. Maybe a child who was afraid to flush the actual toilet helps to flush the Potty Ducks’ toilet and when we get into the bathroom the Potty Duck helps to flush their toilet.

Does Potty Duck work with children with special needs?

So many of the children for home consultations we work with have some level of special needs. This often means they have anything from a primary caregiver to a whole host of therapists, and a whole medical team present when we arrive. Special needs children are used to being talked about, and being tested for their skills, and having grown-ups in the room giving them directions. It’s so nice to be able to bring something just for them, to keep.

When we arrive I pull out a Potty Duck fresh out of the package, but by the time we leave it’s a beloved toy, with a name and a story and a purpose. If we have done our job well, Potty Duck helps continue the teaching after we have left. Potty Duck gives parents a tool to continue to use with their child for playtime, inside and outside and even bathtime. There is such a range of special needs. Kids on the spectrum, and children with downs syndrome, a bed-ridden child and a typical child alike can learn pottying basics by utilizing the Potty Duck as part of their potty training teaching and fun!

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