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When I was potty training my little girl (3 years ago-where does the time go!) the one thing that was worrying me was getting to a toilet with her in time. A newly potty trained child doesn't give much warning of needing the toilet and when they need to go, they need to go NOW! After a few accidents in town I spotted this in Mothercare and bought it for £12.99. The Tommee Tippee Portable Potty is also known is the Potette and I have referred to it as such throughout the review.
***What is the Potette?***
The Potette is a little folding potty that comes in several different colours including pink and blue. There is a moulded plastic disc about ten centimetres high and twenty-five across which is moulded into the classic 'top-of-potty' shape. Underneath are two wide plastic legs which fold out and click into place at the sides. A special designed plastic liner fits into the seat area and has loops at the top of the liner hook around notches at the bottom of the legs. Inside the liner is an absorbent pad to catch liquid deposits. The whole thing can be carried around in the supplied sturdy plastic drawstring bag.
***Positives and Negatives of the Potette***
The Potette is a super little invention that makes travelling anywhere with small children so much easier. No running and searching for the nearest toilet or carrying around endless stinky wet clothes. When my daughter needed the toilet we simply found a quiet corner, set up the Potette and stood or squatted in front of her so that she was hidden. The Potette can be put up extremely quickly once you get the hang of it, the legs need to be pulled out straight and then pushed hard into place and you are ready to go. The longest part was usually just getting it out of the plastic carrying bag.
Once set up the child sits on the seat and does their business into the bag. The liquid is absorbed by the absorbent pad at the bottom of the liner and the height off the ground is just enough to ensure that the child isn't sitting in their own poo. When finished you simply unhook the bag handles from the leg notches, tie the top and dispose of the bag and its contents. Fitting a new liner is incredibly simple, but it is better to do this in advance of the toilet emergency so you don't have to waste time and risk an accident! The liner fits snugly around the edge of the Potette so it is very difficult to dislodge it whilst it is in use; the snug fit also minimises the chance of any leakages onto the ground underneath or clothes. You can use the Potette anywhere really, we have used it in the car, in an airport, shops, fairs and whilst out walking in woods or parks.
When folded up it fits easily into a handbag, rucksack or under the pushchair, or even just carried with the drawstring from the bag. It is extremely light and easy to carry, weighing as it does a mere 259g.
Being plastic it is incredibly easy to clean and can be immersed in water, wiped down with a cloth or a wipe or in a particularly disgusting situation (e.g. if an un-named family member happens to put it down in dogpoo) it can be contained in its bag to be sluiced down or replaced at a more convenient time.
Not only is the Potette a super convenient potty, it also makes a simple sick bag for children who are car sick or simply suddenly unwell when out and about. After my daughter no longer needed the convenience and speed of the Potette we kept it in the car for emergencies, and it saw regular service as a sick bowl. Even though it has been used regularly for three years now it is still in super condition, everything works and we are confident that it will happily see our second child through to clean pants.
However, despite its convenience, portability, lightness etc it does have some drawbacks. Firstly it is very low and the child has to sit in a very odd position in order to use it; my daughter regularly needed help lowering and raising herself onto the Potette. It also has quite a short shelf life as a potty because of this and because it is naturally more flimsy than the standard moulded plastic potty. I'm sure in an emergency my five year old could use it, but I am not sure how easy it would be for her to avoid breaking the thing. You would certainly need to buy a standard potty as well as the Potette.
The website suggests that the new version, the Potette Plus can also be used as an imprompu toilet seat but I have the older version. It did occur to me once to try and use it as one, but it didnt feel very stable or comfortable on the toilet and my daughter hated it. Perhaps they have made alterations to enable this, although I can't see any massives differences between the new version and my older one.
Stability is somewhat of a problem, especially if you have a wriggly child. It is quite easy to tip them over the side as the legs are so narrow and of course in a messy heap on the ground if you fail to lock the legs in properly.
Finally the liners are extremely expensive, working out at between 43p and 75p each which is pretty expensive for something you will just throw away. However, you can fashion a similar product which doesnt look anywhere near as professional by sticking a cheap sanitary towel into a nappy bag. It does the job at a fraction of the price but you may be a bit embarrassed getting it out in front of other people.
In my opinion the Potette is an invaluable potty-training tool. It is light, compact, easy to use, carry and clean and is one of the best purchases I think we have made. My daughter used it for about 18 months as a potty and then it has done another 18 months+ as a sick bucket in the car. Despite this use it is in very good condition and will hopefully last at least another three years.
It does have its drawbacks due to its size and construction, but after a while you are able to work around these and they in no way detract from the relief you get when you hear that 'Mummy, I need a poo NOW!' and know that you can deal with it quickly, discretely and immediately with no stress. Would I recommend it? Absolutely. Very handy thing to have around and is a cheap and easy solution to a stressful problem.
***Price and Suppliers***
Amazon have the Potette for between £11.95 and £13.50, depending on the type you want and your colour choice. Liners are available for between £4.38 and £7.95 (for a ten pack)
I bought mine in Mothercare and have seen them there since. A quick google also throws up John Lewis, Boots and a host of online shops where they are generally available at around £12.99
The new style Potette Plus is in two colours, whereas the older version like mine is just a solid one colour unit. The newer version does look and feel slightly sturdier than my one, I suppose to make the toilet trainer seat more secure. The only definite differences I could actually see between the new and old one (having had a recent chance to examine the new one) is that the legs are wider at the bottom and a splashback type 'extension' has been added at the front, no doubt to stop escaping wee and add stability for the toilet seat option.
I found this a godsend when i was potty training my eldest son. I would take it everywhere with me - My mums, to friends, when out shopping, in the car.
You see my boy would use a potty no problem but i could not get him to sit on the toilet. It was no problem getting him to the bathroom before he had an accident but when we got there he would cry and scream if i tried to put him on the toilet therefore resulting in lots of wet clothes!
I bought the potette as a last resort as I really did not fancy the idea of having to stay in for weeks until he got used to going to the toilet. He loved it! I think he found it interesting and fun because it was stored in a bag and folded up. I thought it was brilliant.
The bags/liners that you put over have a sanitary pad in the bottom to soak it all up and you can just tie the bag and throw it away. It also comes in a little bag which is a nice discreet way of hiding it.
I have kept this Potette even though my son is now completely potty trained as I plan to use this when my youngest son is potty training.
The disadvantages i would say are that it was sometimes a bit of a struggle to get the bags on and therefore we were not always quick enough to make it in the potette.
You can buy this product from Mothercare for £6.99.
For a 10 pack of disposable liners it is about £3.00.
The tommee tippee travel potty is very useful for those toddler accidents!! It is a brightly coloured, fully collapsible potty, to which you attach a nappy sack, with a sanitary pad stuck in the bottom. The legs fold out and snap into place, this makes it completly secure and safe for your little angel! The child wees into the bag which then unties and you can just throw it away. It is ideal for those emergencies when you cant get to a toilet or you are travelling. The only problem we've found is that my daughter loves using her potty so much that she keeps telling us she needs to go when she doesn't!! The tommee tippee own liners are quite expensive £2.60 for 10, but you can do it much cheaper by buying cheap nappy sacks and sanitary pads and making your own. The potty comes in a wipe clean bag with a handle which is very light and easy to transport. I think this is a brilliant invention and is a godsend for all parents.
A friend of mine had bought this potty for her daughter and I thought What a neat idea.. So out I went and purchased one. I was really pleased with myself now I could just stick the potty in the bag and get on with what ever we where doing until potty was needed. However the first time I tried to get my daughter on this potty I realised that as she is a rather tall girl with long leg and this potty is very close to the floor this was not a good combination. She could not get comfortable at all (and that we all must agree is pretty important when doing that sort of stutt <g>) and she was not a happy bunny at all. SO I had to go out and purchase another potty to make things a little higher for her. I do think this is a wonderful idea and I will keep trying to take it out with us just in case but I think that we to begin with will need to take along the posh potty we have to..
The Tommee Tippee potty is fantastic. It is for children aged from 15 months and comes in a wipe clean plastic bag with a carry handle. This can easily be hung over the handle of the pushchair. They are really easy to use just snap the legs into place insert a plastic bag which has a deodorized smell and an absorbant pad in the bottom and it is ready for use. Once the child has finished simply remove the bag tie up the handles and throw in the bin. The potty is now ready for your next emergency stop. I can't rate this enough it is much easier than having to carry around an ordinary potty or try and find a toilet in an emergency.
My two year old has been now going potty for a few months but gets over excited if she's done a wee and if I don't get their quick she tips it out. She once took her potty to show her daddy and promptly tipped it down his arm.....he wasn't amused. I found this potty on the Babyworld site and the brilliant thing about it is that wee flows through holes in the potty base into a lower chamber so it can't be spilled. It's then emptied by removing the seat section. It's marketed as a travel potty as it also comes with a lid but I bought a Tommee Tippee travel potty for this purpose (it's less bulky). This potty comes in sturdy plastic and in yellow with an orange lid or blue. My daughter loves this potty but it may not be that good for a child attempting potty training for the first time as it doesn't look like a traditional potty and has no back rest. Also children like to see what they've done when they first start training.
Collapsible, portable potty with absorbent liner