The toilet seat for children allows even the smallest to use a toilet. It’s practical at home and on the road, reduces diaper waste and boosts your child’s self-confidence. But how does a toilet seat for a child actually work? What should you consider when buying one, and why are there different models?
This and much more you will learn in this article.
What Is A Toilet Seat?
Everything that the grown-ups do is popular with children: even at six months old, the little ones want to put what mom and dad eat at the table into their mouths. They love to play with mom’s car keys and dad’s smartphone, and of course the toilet isn’t safe from them either.
Fortunately. Going to the toilet like the grown-ups means that your child doesn’t want diapers anymore. You can support your child in this.
A toilet seat for children helps. Because the toilet for adults is firstly too high and secondly with a much too wide seat. Your child would fall into the toilet without help.Also interesting:
This is prevented by the smaller toilet seat for children, which is adjusted to the size of your child. If you don’t want to take your child to and from the toilet every time, put a small step in front of the toilet. So it comes up alone.
However, there are also toilet trainers for children that look like the toilet for adults, but are actually a potty in the right format for the child. And of course, you can also just get your child used to a potty. There are many ways to help your child with hygiene.
What is important for you is: Which toilet trainer can do what? What are the advantages and disadvantages of the different models? Are there independent tests that look at the material and safety of the toilet trainer? To come straight to the point: Stiftung Warentest has so far not tested toilet trainers, nor the toilet seat for children.
Nevertheless, you are not on your own when choosing the right toilet seat for a child. We tell you what to look for, which seats can do what and whether a staircase attached to the toilet seat makes sense.
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How The Toilet Seat For Children Works
You may know it from restaurants, public libraries, or department stores: There is still a cubicle with a small toilet in a separated area of the toilet rooms. The children’s toilet looks like the toilet for adults, but it is lower. The ring has a smaller diameter, and sometimes there is a small railing next to it to hold on to, maybe just a handle.
Such a children’s toilet allows children from walking age to go to the toilet safely and independently. It would be perfect if you had such a toilet for your child at home! But in the field of private sanitary facilities, low toilets for children are not common. In order for your child to use the toilet at home, you need to do two things:
- You have to make sure he or she can get up there.
- You have to make sure it doesn’t fall in.
A simple toilet seat for children ensures that your child cannot fall into the toilet, which is actually much too large. You lift the toilet seat, put the ring on the edge of the toilet, and fold the seat down again. Now you see that there is a second, smaller pair of glasses inside the toilet seat.
It is held firmly in place by the large seat. Your child can use the toilet safely. At dm, Rossmann, Müller and in other drugstores, however, you can also find another type of toilet seat.
These rings are very wide and are simply placed on the seat of the large toilet. They protrude beyond it into the center of the toilet, thus reducing the opening. A rubberized rim prevents the small toilet seat from slipping.
Bringing The Toilet To The Child’s Height
You may simply place a standard stool or step in front of the toilet so your child can climb up. But there is actually the toilet seat for children, which is already equipped with steps and a hand guide.
This toilet seat is placed at the toilet, your child can climb up the steps. The top step is wide, so your child Can turn around and sit on the ring.
There are also handles at the top, so your child can hold on at all times. If the toilet seat is not needed by the child at the moment, you can simply fold the entire construction and put it on its side. This keeps the toilet seat out of the way.
There Is No Right Age For Toilet Training
In the past, it was common to put children on the potty as well as they can sit independently. They were supposed to learn what to do there. Usually, children were put on the potty before and after each meal and stayed there until they had done their business. This is no longer recommended today. When exactly you confront your child with the potty, toilet seat or child’s toilet, however, is up to you.
Some children grow up diaper-free, they can actually use a potty or a child’s toilet by the time they are one year old. However, if children are diapered, it may take until their 2nd birthday or longer for them to become interested in the toilet. The parenting guide tells you exactly how you can make potty training as pleasant as possible for your child.
Diapers Make Toilet Training Difficult
Today, it is assumed that even newborns can sense when bowel movements or urine are passing. They cannot control their muscles and therefore cannot hold them. Therefore, children cannot tell when they need to go to the toilet.
But many parents pay close attention to their children and notice when “it” happens or announces itself. The child becomes restless, moves his legs and buttocks. You can hold your child over a bowl or toilet from the beginning if you notice it. In this way, your child will learn very quickly that urine and bowel movements do not belong in the pants, but in the toilet.
Until your child can control and “hold” its muscles, it will still take until the age of about 24 months. Nevertheless, your child can use the toilet even before that – if there is a child’s toilet, a toilet seat for the child or a potty in your bathroom. Even “diaper-free” babies sometimes wear a diaper to save clothing.
However, many parents who raise their child “diaper-free” tend to use cloth or even cloth diapers. At home, children are often without diapers or pants, but on the road, this is not possible (especially in winter).
If babies are only diapered before they are fed (or if the diaper leaks), they do not indicate when they “have to”. They get used to everything just going into the diaper and the diaper eventually being changed. They learn to ignore what is going on in and on their bodies, so to speak.
With the onset of toilet training, these children must first relearn how to feel their bodies. They must first learn to pay attention to the sensation of urination and impending bowel movements again. And that is difficult. So it may well take a few months before toilet training shows any kind of success with your child.
Different Types Of Toilet Trainers Have Advantages And Disadvantages
The potty has been in use for a very long time and is very similar to the potty used in the past. It is available at any baby store, does not require technology, nor is it expensive. However, you have to empty the potty into the toilet after use and clean it thoroughly.
This is associated with feelings of disgust for many people. The advantages of the potty:
- The potty is very low and can be used by small and young children.
- A potty is inexpensive
- You can use the potty anywhere regardless of sanitary facilities.
The toilet seat for children also has advantages and disadvantages. It is big and a bit bulky has to be put on the toilet first every time. Your child can’t do that by himself, at least at the beginning, so he needs help. Especially if the toilet seat for children is not equipped with stairs and a railing, you should accompany your child to the toilet.
These are the advantages of a toilet seat for children:
- The toilet seat for children fits on any toilet and can be taken along on trips.
- The toilet seat for children is available in drugstores and baby specialty stores at a reasonable price.
- You only have to clean the seat if something goes wrong – the “business” ends up in the toilet and is simply flushed away.
Very Modern: The Children’s Toilet Seat With Soft-Closing Mechanism
However, you can also permanently convert your toilet at home into a child-friendly toilet. Some manufacturers offer “double toilet seats”. These consist of a toilet ring of normal size and shape at the bottom. However, a much wider toilet ring is attached to the hinges, which can be placed on top of the larger ring via an automatic lowering mechanism.
And of course, this children’s toilet also has a lid, like a toilet for adults. In fact, the double seat is attached to this one. If you have not only one child, perhaps also often visit friends with children and probably need a small toilet seat for children for several years, this investment may well be worth it. The automatic lowering system requires a power connection.
Important: The Toilet Trainer Must Not Slip
No matter whether you choose a toilet seat for children, a toilet ring, a children’s toilet or a potty: The toilet for your child must stand safely and firmly. Rubberized feet or fittings ensure that the toilet seat does not slip. This is important because only then can your child safely use the toilet on the toilet seat! A toilet trainer or a higher children’s toilet should also have grab handles.
Because your child needs this support when he turns around on the upper step to sit backwards on the toilet seat. A small backrest supports your child so that it cannot rock backwards.
There should be a small, raised rim (like a pinnacle) in front between the legs. Many children try out how far they can tilt the pelvis – without the raised protection, they urinate over the edge of the ring onto the floor. By the way, this can also happen with a potty, and girls are just as capable of urinating in a high arc and purposefully as boys.
The toilet seat for children is basically made of plastic. Particularly luxurious models still have soft padding on the plastic ring, which is covered with a hygienic film. But this does not have to be. More importantly, the toilet seat for children should be made of materials that are safe for health.
Your child may not chew on the toilet ring, but chemicals can also be absorbed through the skin. If the toilet seat for children smells funny, stains or feels funny, you should better look for another model.
What Stiftung Warentest Says
Most people trust the consumer magazine Stiftung Warentest because the safety, material, durability, and design of items are tested independently. However, there is no toilet seat test by Stiftung Warentest. ÖkoTest has also not yet taken an interest in the toilet seat for the child.
However, some manufacturers nevertheless indicate with test seals that the seat has been tested for safety in independent laboratories, for example. As a rule, manufacturers specify the plastics from which the seats are made. Plasticizers could be a cause for concern, and sometimes bisphenols are also present.