The iPotty Can’t Touch The Damage We’ve Already Done

A funny thing has happened over the last few weeks. Dozens? Yeah, I’d say probably dozens of people have emailed me, tagged me, tweeted me, or left links on my Facebook page to articles about the iPotty.

Image from AP via HuffingtonPost

Why? Because it reminds them of me. Errr… not of me but of my love for the iPad as potty training device.

My dad’s email to me about it was titled “You thought of it first.”

I thought it was one of those fake products that websites conjure up for page views, but a little research proved it is indeed something people can pay money for. It is also something people have REALLY strong opinions about.  One comment on this DailyMail UK article about it said,

This is stupid. I toilet trained my daughter in less than two weeks with a potty, stickers and a bag of prizes which consisted of little dinosaurs.

Uhm, go you? You get a cookie! See, I don’t really care how you potty train your kid or when you potty train your kid. And if you need/want a special potty that will safely hold your iPad for your toddler throughout that process, I am the last one to judge you. 

Not that I’m actually going to shell out the cash for one. Mainly, I hate the little plastic potties to begin with and try my best to get the kids up on the big toilet as early as possible because cleaning a log of poop out of a plastic bowl is 10x worse that wiping it off their butt. I have no idea why. That’s just the way the world works.

But the iPad part? We’re big fans of that as ONE of many potty training tools around here.

You certainly don’t NEED one to potty train a child. So don’t think this is me saying go out and spend hundreds on a potty training tablet. You CAN do it with stickers and little dinosaurs, but if desperation calls to you… or let’s just call it inspiration, and beckons the iPad you already have, go for it. It may be the one thing to keep your kiddo on the potty just long enough to drop that first big poop you’ve all been waiting for so you can errupt into a fit of manic joy and make it rain jelly beans.

And if you feel you need special chair for that, one that will insure they don’t drop the iPad in a bowl of pee? Hey, I can think of worse things you can waste your money on- about half of Babies R Us.

But this is just going to train them to feel like they HAVE to use an electronic device every time they potty! Some say.

Doubtful. I read stacks of books to my now 4 year old when he was potty training. He certainly doesn’t expect that kind of treatment anymore. He’s quite efficient now. I used to worry he’d ask for jelly beans or marshmallows after every poop through college, but that goes away, too.

Potty training can be a time for bonding! Don’t just abandon your kid with an iPad, others say.

Listen, I’m not advocating letting the iPad do the whole thing for you. But sometimes I don’t have 30 minutes, 8 times a day to sit there and engage in loving discussion. Every now and then, I need to break away to do things like make sure dinner isn’t burning or that my other kid is alive.

So before we freak out that this is the downfall of society and we’re creating tiny tots who can’t poop without an app, let’s all calm down and realize that it’s all up to the parent and how they use it. If they are truly relying on an app and an iPad to potty train their child, while they text and get drunk in another room, then let’s just all have a hearty LOL.  I think their kids will still be in diapers at high school graduation.

There is no way to potty train a kid without a shit-ton of involvement on the parents’ part. So please spare me the concern that parents who rely on a little technology to make the process easier are somehow ruining the next generation.

We’ve already done that by breastfeeding too long/not breastfeeding at all, using disposable diapers/using diapers at all, putting our kids in daycare/homeschooling, letting our kids chew on plastic toys and suck on pacifiers. The iPotty can’t touch the kind of damage we’ve already done.

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  1. I can’t believe anyone’s getting their panties in a wad about this! I would have killed for an iPad when I was training my chronically constipated older kid. I tend to agree with your Dad. You thought of it first and deserve some kind of royalty for dreaming up your version of the iPad throne 😉

  2. A good internet rule is never look at the Daily Mail, and if you really must, never ever read the comments. It’s read by middle aged, middle class, right-wing bigots who hate everything except stricter immigration laws and blaming rape victims for their assault. It’s basically the British equivalent of Fox News. Take everything in the articles with a pinch of sale, and treat everything in the comments as an outright lie. I’m not surprised the commenters got annoyed about this. It’s technology, and technology is evil! Everything was so much better in my day, blah blah blah…

    Also, first time commenting! Hello, and sorry about the ranting!

  3. Awesome. And yeah, if I can use my Ipad to help train our second, I’m totally going for it. Because NOTHING worked with my first. I wish I would have had the Ipad the first go around.

  4. Great! yet another parenting topics for us all to tear each other down over. I don’t think I’ll ever understand what the big freakin’ deal is about someone parenting their child differently than you decided to parent yours. Who cares?

  5. AMEN!! Your broader point is a great one! We’re on the verge of potty training for the first time and I gotta say, whatever works! Let’s also remember that kiddos being loved and cared for is really what matters. I’m as guilty as anyone, but continued judgment from and for others is my least favorite part of parenting.

  6. HAHAHA, AMEN! I probably won’t shell out the money for the chair (well, I also don’t have an iPad, so that would be TWO expensive things I’d have to purchase!) but if you want to have one for your potty training, go for it! SO many people use an iPad or tablet when potty training these days (how is it any different from giving them books or puzzles to play with while they sit on the toilet, except for being more expensive?) that I can totally understand wanting a device to keep it from being dropped in the potty. Why people have made such a big (negative) deal over this is beyond me!

  7. Jennifer Codispoti White on

    What I want to know is what are some good apps? We’re about to get serious about potty training and will do just about anything to keep my son on the potty for more than 30 seconds. Right now it’s just a novelty. Sick of changing man poop diapers.

  8. Ok 2 things….

    1) why is cleaning poop out of the little potty so damn gross!?! I gag every time!! I have changed horrific diapers without batting an eye!

    2) it is impossible to write a post about pottytraining and not use the term shit-ton. Lol I think it’s subconscious, but it makes me laugh. It doesn’t take much to amuse me, I have the sense of humor of an adolescent boy. This bodes well for my little guys. 🙂

  9. If your crazy campaugn of “ranting” as the voice of reason and asking people to stop judging each other as parents succeeds, the whole Internet just might collapse and burn.

    That would be fun to watch.

  10. We aren’t quite to the potty training stage yet but I have never understood those little potties!! Isn’t the whole point of potty training so you can just flush it away and not have to clean it up?

    I was already thinking about getting an iPad just to survive long flights but if you’re telling me it’s a potty training tool too I might just run out and get one today.

  11. Oh for heaven’s sake. Why can’t we all just get along and go with the flow? What works for one obviously isn’t going to work for another, and with all that’s going on these days, does it really frackin’ matter how one mom potty trains her kid?!

    Sometimes….when I go to the bathroom…I take my iphone with me because it’s the ONLY place I can go to be alone. Why do we all have to judge each other??

  12. Jordyn Timmerman Tracy on

    And to think I was beginning to feel bad about giving my 2-year-old a book while she sits, which will probably lead her to be like her marathon-pooping father who can spend 20 minutes on the throne with a book. I can only imagine how long either one would sit there if they had an iPad.
    But I have no issue with other parents needing it!

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