We now have what, maybe four or five or more different potty seats at our house?!
We have two that fit over the toilet. One is fastened on, the flip lid kind (from One Step Ahead), the other is one that fits over the toilet seat each time you need it and is all cushiony (you can buy that at a lot of retail stores).
Then we have at least two types of potty chairs, if not three. Differences include handles vs. none, size of splash guard, removability of splash guard, size and shape of actual seat. We do not have the kind with sounds or flushing. We do not have the stand up urinal for boys.
Ah, so many choices.
What does it boil down to?
Both have different preferences, and those preferences have changed over time. In the begining, I was 100% committed to no potty chairs, just the toilet adapter kind. I did not want to have to transition my kids not just from diapers, but later from potty seat to toilet. That worked for a short while, but then ds started refusing to sit on the toilet because he said it was uncomfortable. We tried the cushy kind. It did not entice him.
By that time we wondered if he was ready to take a break from potty learning, but just to be sure, we got our first potty chair and asked him whether he wanted to give it another shot.
We all like it. It works well. The base that catches the pee and poop is a little small but it fits the job, you just have to carry it carefully.
ds would spend hours on the thing if we could keep him busy enough with constantly changing table-based activities at his little table, or if we were willing to show him a video. Never pee or poop (well, he peed once and really "got" the idea of trying to go, so we were all hopeful, but then nothing again for months...just like in the Once Upon a Potty story), but he was trying.
Anyway, then one day, ds decided to use the toilet again. And that was the day he actually started going pee and poop in something other than his diaper. He pees standing up and usually uses nothing when he sits on the toilet (he prefers just to keep himself up with the strength of his arms pushing on the adult seat), but occassionally he'll use either of the toilet adapter options. Out of those two, he prefers the one attached to the toilet. That is, the one he at one point said was uncomfortable. The other one slides around too much.
Now there is dfd. The big advantage for the potty chair for her is that it is fully portable. For a while, she wanted to go sit on the toilet every five minutes. ALL. DAY. LONG. And it wasn't just sit. She would sit for 15 seconds, get up, want to wash her hands, want to play with the water in the sink, want to sit back on the toilet, etc. Rinse, repeat. She'd stay in the bathroom goofing off even when it was time to come out. Maybe we could somehow manage this if we just had one, but with two, there is no way to keep this up all day. And not once did she go pee or poop.
So we've been using the potty chair with her because she *can* sit on it every five minutes if she wants. She can sit for fifteen seconds, and then get back up (though often this leaves her diaperless at the key moment...she'll stand up, walk away, and pee three minutes later before we've had a chance to put a diaper back on her...for this reason we've been setting a one minute timer that she LOVES and holds while on the potty). It is just sanity saving for the rest of the family.
However, the potty chair we all love turns out to be a bit of a hassle because sometimes the pee and poop basin part gets stuck in the seat if a kid messes with it before they go. Often the potty seats get messed with in the mix of things, so then we have a big messy splash fest trying to get the basin out after a kid (100% of the time so far ds, when he has been too lazy or too involved in what he is doing at the moment to go run to the bathroom and decides to use the potty chair instead) goes pee. Yuck.
So a friend passed along a potty seat her kid no longer uses. The basin doesn't get stuck, which is good, and it has handles, which the kids like. But the seat isn't that comfortable for them, and the splash guard is a hassle and has to be removed if dfd is going to be able to manage. So we have one other one, I believe, that dw just got for dfd to try. We'll see.
I'm pro-adoption reform, but not anti-adoption.