Friday, May 18th, 2007
A Look Inside a 3-Year-Old’s Bathroom
The bathroom is a home’s perfect storm for usability issues for toddlers. With my daughter turning 3-years-old next month, here is a riveting rundown of products in our washroom.
Built-in Toddler Potty Seatâ€”This is a toddler seat that resides compactly between an adult seat and the toilet lid. Forget removable seats that you hang on the wall. This sucker is always there and its built-in nature makes a kid feel more like Mom and Dad. Source: Dr. Merry’s PottyPal at Amazon.
Freestanding Toilet Paper Holder — Most bathrooms have the toilet paper positioned directly to the side of the seated individual. In our room it’s located behind and to the right, which is fine, unless you’re a toddler with short arms. Obtaining some TP would require my daughter to stand up, step down, take two steps to the wall and position herself at an angle to pull the tissue, while, uh, dripping. A freestanding roll holder perfectly resolves the issue. She loves not having to ask us for help, adding one more bit of autonomy to her life. Source: Chrome Free-Standing Toilet Paper Dispenser at K-Mart.
Potty Step — We went through three step stools before finding the right one for our daughter. The first came with her portable potty seat, had two steps and consumed too much room. The second was a Potty Pal Step Stool we bought with our integrated potty seat, but it was thin and concerned us as a tipping hazard. Our third is wide with rubber feet and an anti-slip topside, and seems untippable. Source: FÃ–RSIKTIG from IKEA.
Potty Chair — We no longer use a standalone potty chair, but ‘back in the day‘ we used a Safety 1st Potty ‘N Step Stool bought at a brick ‘n’ mortar Target. It worked fine. Half of the unit converts into a stepping stool once your child graduates to an adult toilet. We found the step stool too large for our daughter’s small bathroom, so we keep it in our second, larger bathroom.
Wipe-Off Calendar — We have a laminated undated write-on wipe-off wall calendar next to the toilet to chart our daughter’s potty, teeth brushing and nap triumphs. It’s a reusable reward system. In truth, she has outgrown it, having not used it in several weeks, but it should make a good addition to her bedroom to teach her about time.
Plastic cup — There’s nothing more fun than filling a cup with water and pouring it over yourself.
Non-slip Stickers — Duck-shaped non-slip appliquÃ©s line our bath tub to provide foot traction. Source: Mommyâ€™s Helper Tub-Water Temps at Babies R Us brick ‘n’ mortar store. Also sold at One Step Ahead, but look for a coupon code first.
Shower visor — A visor is a must when moving from a bath to a shower to keep eyes clear when rinsing hair. Source: Baby King visor at a brick ‘n’ mortar dollar store.
Over-the-Door Coat Rack — We hang her bath robe and towel here to dry. Source: Are you kidding? Look in any home products store.
Wooden Storage Step Stool — A kid’s got to reach the sink to wash her hands. The lid lifts to reveal a storage compartment where we stash her hair accessories, not a perfect solution, but workable for now. Source: Brick ‘n’ mortar Target store. A similar stool by KidKraft can be found on Amazon.
Towel Ring — We installed a towel ring on the wall next to the sink. It’s positioned to be within reach while my daughter is standing on her step stool. Source: Brick ‘n’ mortar Target store.
Two knob faucet — Our faucet has separate knobs for hot and cold, an impossible interface for a toddler to handle. Our cold water is too cold for much of the year and she’s not yet able to mix in hot water appropriately. Until I install a single-lever faucet, my daughter will need help washing her hands.
Motion Sensor Night Light — During a late night potty break, my daughter will cry and cover her eyes if I flip the light switch. However, a night light doesn’t bother her. The light remains on for 60 seconds and a hand wave will resurrect it. The light doesn’t activate during the day. Source: Jasco Motion Activated Night Light from a local hardware store. Also sold on Amazon.
Liquid Soap Pump Dispenser — I place the dispenser near the sink edge so that it’s reachable. Buy one that has a wide base and keep it filled. The weight of the soap will help prevent it from being knocked over Psst. Here’s a secret. Kids tend to over-soap their hands, so preschools often water down liquid soap to conserve. It also makes rinsing the soap off much easier.
Cup with toothbrush, flossing bar and toothpaste — There’s nothing interesting here. I broke down and bought a Winnie the Pooh toothbrush. When facing my tired and cranky toddler, I tell her Pooh wants to brush her teeth, and that’s all she needs to hear to open her mouth.
So, those are the highlights of our bathroom. I’d love to hear what solutions you’ve found, especially any alternatives to the ones I mentioned.