Saturday, January 13, 2007
Royal Potty review
Snuggle Bug has been showing some interest in the potty lately. Although he's just turned two less than a month ago, I thought it might not be a bad idea to invest in a potty chair and at least introduce him to the concept.

In talking with other moms, and knowing what a wiggle worm my little guy can be, I decided against starting out with the type of seat that attaches to the top of your regular toilet. I knew I wanted a stand-alone potty chair.

I went to Target earlier this week and my attention was captivated by the Royal Potty chair from Fisher Price. It sounded neat with a reward system that is built right in. It plays different tunes to reward your child for their potty deposits. I noticed it also included a storybook and reward chart with reusable stickers. What sealed the deal was that Target had it on sale for $13.92 (regularly $19.99). So, I purchased it for my little prince, proving Oronzo right once again that I'm easily influenced by marketing ploys. I also bought a pair of training pants (cloth on the inside and rubber on the outside) to try out for $5.95.

Excited, I rushed home and assembled the potty chair while Snuggle Bug napped. The chair seemed sturdy enough, once I figured out how to snap the legs onto the core seat. Apparently you can use just the core seat part on top of your regular toilet but that doesn't seem stable enough to me, so I doubt I'll be trying that anytime soon.

After getting the chair assembled, the deflector shield in place, and the narrower-than-I-expected container slid under the seat, I took out the chart, reusable stickers (2 sheets) and the book. The chart and stickers looked neat. The book was a bit flimsy and there wasn't much substance to the story. It also didn't fit very well into the slot behind the chair that the set of instructions noted was designed for that purpose.

I wrote Snuggle Bug's name on the chart, I even drew on a crown next to his name. I taped the chart up on the wall next to the potty chair, at eye level for Snuggle Bug to access. I tucked the stickers safely in one of the vanity drawers for future use.

When Snuggle Bug woke up from his nap, I cheerfully suggested that he go try out his new big boy potty chair. He dutifully followed me into the bathroom, where I proudly displayed my new purchase to him. He cautiously approached, peering at it curiously. I took off his pants and his diaper and attempted to set him on the chair.

The first problem I had was the deflector shield. It got it in the way, making it hard for Snuggle Bug to sit down comfortably. He protested so I removed it.

The next problem I had was the very feature I thought would be the most appealing, the music. The royal potty seat plays a quick, snappy tune (involving the sound of trumpets) when your child sits down. The music startled Snuggle Bug and made him scramble off quickly with a loud protest. It took some coaxing to get him back on the potty again, and he didn't stay on for very long.

I now realize that the sticker chart may not be of much interest to him at this time. I also realize that we probably won't be using the deflector shield. And most disappointing of all, I may be taking the batteries out that power the laser sensor that triggers the music when Snuggle Bug successfully uses the potty. Snuggle Bug has quickly figured out that he only has to wave his hand in the container, or touch the laser point to trigger the music. So, now he goes in just to play with his potty chair and, so far, has no interest in using it to actually go potty.

If I had it to do again, I think I'd buy a plain Jane potty chair. The bells and whistles that this royal potty chair touts, just aren't worth it. I'm glad I got this chair on sale!

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6:41 AM

At 10:33 AM, Anonymous Erin said...

My sister received the Royal Potty as a gift for my nephew (who is now 4 1/2). She didn't like it either for the same reasons! And when he did go, she discovered that it often leaked. We just bought the basic Circo stepstool potty ($9.99 I think) and Widget loves sitting on it- no luck in the actual potty training department though! I decided to wait until spring/summer to really work on it since around here winter means lots of extra clothes!

Good luck :-D

At 12:39 PM, Blogger Barb said...

Oh, rats! I just realized I'm about to add yet ANOTHER lovely decoration to this house because I take care of Cameron. How could I forget the whole potty chair thing!

Thank you for the review. I don't think I'll waste money on this either. Plane Jane works for me!

At 1:45 PM, Blogger Carol said...

Awww...let him play with it. It's a whole new concept, this potty thing.

And that deflector shield was NOT a good thing with my boy, either. It sort of "catches" them on the way down, doesn't it?

I think we wound up going from diapers to the big toilet while the potty chair collected dust. Of course, ours wasn't nearly as cool as yours!

At 2:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL - When we potty trained my daughter I purposely skipped over the Royal Potty Chair because someone I knew had it and the music it played was a royal pain ... in my humble opinion :) !!

Plain Jane works for me. Although I must admit I am nervous to train my little man who turns 2 next month.

Good luck!

At 6:23 PM, Anonymous away2me said...

For less than $14 you did good! I still have the potty chair that I bought for Jake's bio brother to use when he was staying with us. I can't wait to pull it out for Jake. I've got quite awhile to wait though.

At 6:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review on this - I had seen that one and thought it was cute and would encourage Logan also. But after reading this I might think twice about buying that and just go for the plain one.

Hope you have a great weekend!!

At 8:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, deflector shields on potty chairs tend to catch on little penises... not a good thing.

I have used the cushioned kid sized seat on the big toilets for a few reasons. One of which is that the lid is transportable - you can take it to an overnighter without having to clean an entire seat (ew). Also, no cleaning of the container. (double ew!) But mostly, they won't be afraid of the big toilet when they are older. I know of several kids that had difficulties going from the tiny toilet to the big scary hole that flushes and has water in it...

I have a foldable potty seat for our diaper bag when I'm potty training somebody. It unfolds and fits on public toilets. Only problem is it can pinch if not fully opened properly. I will try and find a different version when Corinne is ready for the big potty chair time (insert shudders of dread...) It took my first son about a year and a half to potty train. Yeah. It took my second son about 6 months. The difference? We started a year later (3 instead of 2). I'm just saying...

At 8:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now you know why it was on sale...


At 9:16 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

We bought a plane jane potty chair that can be used as a small one with the container, or the top comes off and fits on the regular toilet seat. We very rarely used it as the kid-size chair, but have kept the top on the regular toilet- much for the same reason Tracey said - not having to clean the bowl! I have a friend who used it that way and told me no matter what she did she just could not get the urine smell out. Anyway, Kayla wasn't thrilled with her chair when we first introduced it either. She freaked out when we set her on it, I think she thought she was going to fall in, so I tried it on the small one and she still didn't care for it. So I left it put together for her and set it in her room just to get used to it. She would put the lid down on it and sit on it like a regular chair :) But it helped letting her go at her own pace with getting comfortable enough to sit on it with the lid up! :)

At 11:22 PM, Anonymous wolfbaby said...

At least he didn't figure out pouring water/juice in the potty triggered it.. my friend had that problem so i avoided the fancy ones and instead use the high five right on system. Bribery does not work for my kids. So when my daughter gets it right she gets a high five and right on which is basically another high five... This and telling her that if she wants to teach sissy how it works she must learn it first seems to work the best... Good luck!! ohh and the help of other relatives cause she will do for them what she won't do for me go figure

At 9:00 PM, Blogger DeAnna said...

So funny, my friend bought that same seat for her daughter and when I went over to her house, Isabella kept putting her hand in their to hear the music. Sticker bribery SOOO worked for Isabella, but so did just making up our own little "Isabella went potty" song and dance to do afterwards. She loved that. Instead of a tiny sticker chart though, I got one of those big erasable calendars that teachers use at school and we put stickers on that so it was a big reminder to her and I got lots of fun stickers for her to pick out. I like the cushy top potty seat as well, but I actually liked it because Isabella is such a wiggle worm, this way she would sit on the potty and not be able to get up as easy. For her though, the interest was there right away, anytime I would sit her on it she would go, she just didn't have the control for a few months. I wonder what my Amelia will be like though. I don't care what all the books say, all kids are different.

At 9:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi OW - for what it's worth, our kids both trained on the toilet - no potty chair of any kind. Our son, who is 2 and a half initiated his own potty-training by pooping and peeing on the potty before and after bath time (since he was already naked and in the bathroom).

He can hold himself up and, ahem, direct "things" down below, if you know what I mean. So, logistically, it is not hard for my TINY little kids to sit on a toilet - although I always thought it would be!

Finally, the bells and whistles can be scary! We just sing, and dance and praise them a whole lot and before you know it, they aren't having accidents anymore!!

Good luck!

At 4:46 AM, Blogger Lori said...

I boought one also and it sits in the closet unused. We had the same problems. I then went back to the little Dora the Explorer soft cushy seats and it works great.

At 6:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My boys just sat backwards on the toilet so there was no need for a deflector shield and they were more stable on the toilet.

At 8:45 AM, Anonymous chelle said...

We have a super plain potty. One that is easily cleaned!! hehe!

At 1:08 PM, Blogger momteacherfriend said...

Child number one prefered the real toilet from the beginning even though his potty chair was available. So with child number two we just put a toilet ring on the actual toilet and called it good.


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