Got Questions? We've got answers from experts and parents who've been there.
Unless your child is begging to use the big potty (which often happens with younger siblings), it's actually best to start with a potty chair. For many children, the toilet can be scary: There's loud flushing and whirling water escaping to "the unknown," and your child may feel unsteady sitting up high. With a little potty, her feet are on the floor, making her feel physically grounded and relaxed. Also, being able to get to the potty without your help will let her feel more in control -- and cut down on accidents. Down the road, switching to the big toilet (with or without an insert) shouldn't really be a big deal, since she'll probably already use one outside the house. --Nancy Rones
Copyright 2007. Used with permission from the November 2007 issue of Parents magazine. Updated 2009
The answers from our experts are for educational purposes only. Please always refer to your child's pediatrician and mental health expert for more in-depth advice.