Many parents struggle to unplug from their mobile devices long enough to reconnect with the real world and show a little humanity now and then, me included. Although I’m not always the best role model for my kids when it comes to putting my phone down, I’m a firm believer that giving kids too much screen time can adversely affect the way they interact with people in the real world. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that kids under the age of 2 avoid screen time and limit their usage to just a couple hours per day after that. But parenting isn’t easy, and I think it is only natural for parents to turn to help from technology when potty training gets a little too real.
If you’re looking for a technological solution, consider these five popular potty training apps:
Potty Training App 1: The New Potty-Little Critter – iOS
Mercer Mayer’s Little Critter books have been teaching kids for several generations. The New Potty app is an interactive story of a little sister learning how to use the potty as told by her big brother. What’s cool about this potty training app is that parents can record their voices reading the text of the story. It is designed for children ages 2–5.
Potty Training App 2: Potty Time With Elmo – Android & iOS
You may be familiar with the Potty Time With Elmo book and DVD. This potty training app is based on the book and includes the story of Elmo teaching his doll how and when to use the toilet. The app includes potty-themed songs, some jigsaw puzzles and a rewards chart that unlocks new stickers as your child completes certain actions.
Potty Training App 3: Dino Bath & Dress Up – iOS & Android
Dino Bath & Dress Up was developed to help teach children how to go potty, take baths, wash their hands and get dressed. It’s pretty cute and offers six different dinos to help do mini-tasks, and offers sticker rewards for completing them.
Potty Training App 4: Potty Time – Android & iOS
The Potty Time app offers eight ways to celebrate your child’s potty training success and features Emmy-nominated host Rachel Coleman to cheer your child through the process. The potty training app offers a matching game, videos and a story for your child. For parents, the app offers a way to chart your child’s success on your mobile device, print a success chart to hang and even print a certificate when your child is successfully potty trained.
Potty Training App 5: Daniel Tiger’s Stop & Go Potty – Android & iOS
This potty training app resonates with me, as my son still refuses to go to the bathroom when he’s busy playing. The app focuses on Daniel Tiger and his friend Katerina who don’t always want to stop playing when they have to go potty. When they start to wiggle (we call it the potty dance in my house), that’s when the app emphasizes the need to “Stop & Go Potty!” It also teaches about the importance of wiping properly, flushing and washing their hands. Some games include stacking rings with Baby Margaret and changing her diaper (because she’s a baby, not a big kid). It even features tips for parents from Mr. Rogers himself, Fred Rogers.
Apps come and go all the time so you might find better ones on your own, but these seem to be the most popular at the moment. Remember that potty training apps should just be used as an accompaniment to standard potty training techniques, so don’t assume they’ll do all the dirty work for you.