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We bought this even before we started the process of potty training our son. The reason we bought it was so he could stand at the sink easily to either wash his hands or to clean his teeth. The main purpose that Mothercare sells this though is a step stool to aid with potty training so your child can climb on to a toilet seat.
The Thomas step stool
This is a light blue transparent step stool. There is really only a small amount that distinguishes this for any Thomas fan compared to other versions in the same range from Mothercare and that is a small picture of Thomas below the handle section of the step stool. The stool has some small pads beneath it which I think are designed to help it grip the floor. The top of the stool has various raised bumps that are to aid with gripping the soles of feet for your little one. There is a cut away handle section so it can be lifted easily and moved around.
My son was very proud of his step initially and would love to climb on to it to clean his teeth and wash his hands at the toilet and he liked how he could admire himself in the shaving mirror if it was angled correctly. He did however pay very little attention to the Thomas design and bar it attracting his attention in the shop compared to similar ones it has since then he has made no reference to this being a Thomas the tank engine step stool.
When it is in use in the bathroom at both the basin and the toilet it would be place on the mat that lives in that area so would never slip so I initially was very pleased with its gripping abilities. However as my son got more confident with using his stool and wanted to use it in other areas the deficits in gripping abilities became apparent. When he has used this in the kitchen area with its laminate flooring it doesn't grip very well and at times it has slid out from under his feet as he has got on it resulting in him falling over which I think is very poor.
In regards to cleaning this item it is problematic as dirt can get a bit trapped in some of the bobbles on the top of the stools and I have to use a scrubbing brush for rather than a cloth to get rid of them. With the light blue colouring of the stool dirt gets shown up very easily with this one so if my son comes in with muddy shoes it can then look very grubby very quickly.
The stool is a good height to allow my son to stand on it and then turn around to sit on the toilet. At present the height gives him easy access to a basin and taps. In the kitchen it can be used to allow him to do some tasks such as lifting vegetables or fruit into a bowl but for stirring in a mixing bowl it is not high enough for him to be able then to see into a bowl so he can see what he is doing.
The stool has seemed to support his weight well however we broke ours due to an issue with a husband with a few too many beers tripping over it and knocking it into the sink pedestal and it cracking. So bar damage like this it has held up well.
Overall and recommendation
Overall this is an ok product that does have some faults for example I am now keeping it in the bathroom on mats and just using a normal chair for my son to sit and stand on for cooking in the kitchen to reduce slips. When my son's ones broke we replaced it with not a Thomas version but a cheaper model from Mothercare without the name branding on it. Whilst the white zoo model does have the same issues re cleaning and slipping I would overall say the height gain and easy of use for my son makes it a worthwhile product. I personally wouldn't recommend paying the extra £2 for a Thomas logo as this doesn't seem to be a feature that doesn't add anything other than the pester power appeal.
Available from Mothercare both in their shops and via the internet for £6.99.
Following on from my Thomas Comfy Trainer Seat review, this is the Thomas step up stool I purchased.
My twin boys are 2 the end of this month and are so close to using the big boys toilet but I wanted to gradually get them used to it without scaring them half to death. They like Thomas anyway, getting excited by the very sight of the 'Choo Choo' so I knew that a thomas seat as well as a stool would be of interest to them. Just looking at the toilet on it's own I could see in their faces they were wary, it was huge compared to them and that hole in the middle was ready to suck them up. A little thomas decoration though and they soon felt that they were in control of the toilet and it seemed a little smaller.
The thomas comfy trainer seat has been brill so far, allowing them to sit on the toilet comfortably and confidently, but I already knew there would be a big problem and that would be, how on earth would they climb on to the loo, happily, with confidence and on their own?
I chose to buy the Thomas step up stool from Mothercare, costing me £6.99, it matches the seat and is all very thomas like positioned around my loo.
The stool is a strong, sturdy and safe blue plastic, most of it being see through but with one darker bit on the front. Also on the front is a picture of Thomas the Tank himself. It's hollow underneath it, and the one side curves in like a semi circle. The curvy bit is what you position right next to your toilet, it's meant to fit real close to the toilet allowing your child to just step up and climb with ease or to stand and dangle without having to struggle to reach.
The step up stool, although just being a basic 'step' has been a godsend. It has enabled my boys to stand near the toilet comfortably, to reach and climb onto the toilet independantly if need be too without them feeling like they are climbing a mountain.
It's not only been brill for toilet training them but also to encourage them to wash their hands. Buying a handsoap and popping the step near the sink they are now able to stand on it and be at the perfect height to reach their hands over and wash them when need be. The Thomas design to it is just a bonus and although I paid £6.99 for it it was definitely money well spent as I can see it lasting a good while yet.