Friday, September 22nd, 2006
Review: Three Toddler-Friendly Toilet Seats
Note: See our updated article written two years later.
I own three new toilet seats, which is two more than I’d like… though I really do appreciate them all. That’s right, I’m writing about toilet appreciation. What has become of me?
My sorry plight began a couple months ago when I began searching for a toilet seat that combines adult and toddler-size seats in the same unit.
There are inexpensive colorful plastic alternatives such as Flip-N-Flush that you install between your existing toilet seat and lid. I poo-poo’d the idea of a neon red or blue piece of plastic on a toilet our visitors may use.
More importantly, I prefer toddler accessories which blend into a normal household, treating my kid as an equal to mom and dad, rather than as a special case. My 27-month-old daughter is aware of product distinctions between kids and adults. For example, she wants to eat with our metal utensils rather than her toddler-size plastic ones. Why should a toilet seat be any different?
Here are three integrated toilet seats that have a child seat which stores compactly between an adult seat and the toilet lid.
Xpress Trainer by BP Solutions is the first seat I purchased. Unfortunately, it was only available for elongated toilets at the time of sale and we have standard-size toilets in our home. *cough* Don’t trust your wife to know your toilet type before you make an online purchase.
Xpress has a unique design. It is double hinged. The toilet lid nests on top of the toddler seat. An adult using the toilet can lift the two in a single action. The parts are made from hard plastic and feel durable.
The bad news: I bought the seat via the manufacturer’s eBay store which is not active as of this writing. I’ve been told the company is working to bring a standard size seat to market, and one would assume the seats will then be sold online.
Dr. Merry’s PottyPal has a concave lid which conceals the toddler seat when closed. This seat is the one my daughter currently uses. She has no trouble lifting the lid and sitting down, but an adult lifting the lid would have to lift the toddler seat out of the way as a second motion. PottyPal is sold in both standard and elongated formats.
My beef with this product, and it’s quite minor, is that the seat’s plastic feels too thin. It’s perfectly fine for its intended use, but it has that “might crack” feel if I were to stand on the closed lid while trying to hang a picture on the bathroom wall. Also, all parts of the product, including the hinge and screws, are plastic.
I bought PottyPal because I was looking for a seat I saw at a brick ‘n’ mortar Target store and PottyPal was the only seat of its kind sold on Target’s web site. Whoops, it’s not the same seat. But hey, now both of my bathrooms will be kid-friendly.
Footnote: Dr. Merry’s web site, pottypal.com, is listed on the product’s box and literature, but visiting the web site reveals the domain is for sale. I called Dr. Merry’s toll-free line and was informed the web site “is down at this time,” but PottyPal is alive and well.
Child and Adult Toilet Seat by Bathroom Basics is manufactured by Target and sold in its physical stores. We discovered it by sheer accident while browsing an innocuous in-store display that contained toilet seats hung on a wall. Until we noticed the word “child” on a price tag, we didn’t know a child-friendly seat was in front of our eyes. Just like PottyPal, the child seat nests within a concave lid.
This seat rocks for two reasons. First, although it is painted white, it is made of wood and has a sturdy feel. Second, the toddler seat attaches to the lid with two hooks which prevent the seat from falling when the lid is lifted. The toddler seat is as out-of-the-way as possible for an adult.
On the flip side, a toddler might need help unlatching his seat. So this product works best in situations where you will leave the latch on or off most of the time. I purchased the seat on clearance for $14.
Note: In October 2008 Target began selling a new version of this seat with a thicker locking clip.