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The Iconic Rubber Ducky Turns Toilet Training Into Play 

December 13, 2017 -  A South Bend inventor and Chicago-area pediatrician have repurposed the iconic bathtub rubber ducky to create a toilet toy that teaches toddlers what to do when nature calls.

The Potty Duck Potty Training Toy leverages widely-recognized best practices in childhood education – play, imitation, relaxed expectations, and fun – with a hands-on experience that lets kids see what’s going on when one sits on the commode.

They help the ducky drink (squeezing it under water), then press out the “pee” and flush the toy toilet’s handle to release the water into a tub, sink, or big-person toilet where the toy toilet can be attached with suction cups.

“Potty Duck is the most magical potty training motivator available today,” says Dr. Barton Schmitt, the American Academy of Pediatrics’ leading expert on potty training, who recommends it to parents who contact his call centers across the United States.   

Fred Longenecker of South Bend was working on a prototype for the toy when he mentioned it to Dr. Shelly Mann, a Goshen College classmate who practices pediatrics in Grayslake, Ill., at a Goshen College soccer game.

“I said ‘that is so cute – I think it will be a great idea for the potty training,’” Mann recalls. The collaborators hired a designer in Connecticut who recommended a manufacturer. The toys went on sale this year on Amazon.

Mann and Longenecker say the toy can help young children become familiar with the function through play long before they begin training. Mann recommends it to parents when their children are 18 months old.

“I’m not talking about early potty training,” she says. “I’m talking about preparing a child – ‘This is just something you do as a part of a natural routine.’ When the child is ready, you can train them.”

“Gradual learning is the way that potty training should happen,” Longenecker says, contrasting educators’ and pediatricians’ recommendations with some parents’ expectations. “It shouldn’t be dropped on kids to be done in a week. Why not treat it like learning to walk, learning to hold a spoon? These simple tasks that children learn take time.”

America's leading pediatrician on potty training heartily endorses Potty Duck Potty Training Toy

September 8, 2017 -  The new water-potty toy for potty training, Potty Duck, has received a ringing endorsement from Dr. Barton Schmitt, MD, FAAP, a renowned leader in the field of pediatrics and author of the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines for potty training.

"Potty Duck is the most magical potty training motivator available today,” says Dr. Schmitt, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the Children's Hospital of Denver. “I recommend Potty Duck in my potty training workshops and in my pediatric advice protocols for pediatricians and nurses."

Dr. Schmitt has written more than 100 articles on pediatric health care, including articles on gradual potty training.

Dr. Schmitt has pointed out that the biggest mistake parents make in potty training is doing nothing to prepare the child until the week they start toilet training. Parents can reduce stress and make training easier by viewing potty training as a gradual learning process, similar to learning to walk. For this reason, Dr. Schmitt recommends using Potty Duck not only for potty training, but also prior to the child actually starting potty training, so the child can begin learning through play.

Dr. Schmitt's endorsement of Potty Duck adds to the recent high rating of Potty Duck given by the developmental toy experts at, a program of the National Lekotek Center based in Chicago, as well as the 2017 Toddler Product of the Year Award granted by Creative Child magazine.

Pediatrician Dr. Shelly Mann developed Potty Duck based on Dr. Schmitt's potty training guidelines. Hence, his endorsement is a fitting salute!

See the Science Behind Potty Duck and learn more about gradual potty training.


2017 Creative Child Toy Product of the Year Award Went to Potty Duck

June 12, 2017 – The Potty Duck™ potty training toy by Potty Discovery, LLC, Grayslake, Illinois, has been named the Creative Child Magazine’s 2017 Toy of the Year in the Toddler Products category. The Potty Duck is the first offering from Potty Discovery LLC, a newly launched potty training toy company that advocates for making potty training fun for children ages 18 months and above.

“We are honored to be named 2017 Product of the Year by Creative Child Magazine,” said Dr. Shelly Mann, the pediatrician co-founder of Potty Discovery LLC. “Potty Duck has been warmly received by parents, therapists, and caregivers since it was first introduced. The toy was designed to make potty training enjoyable for children, and easier for parents. Awards such as this, as well as the recent high rating from the National Lekotek Center, confirm that we are on mission by producing toys that do more than just entertain, but that also ease the fear around potty training.”

Creative Child’s Awards Program takes a unique approach to reviewing products by having a panel of psychologists, educators, parents and children evaluate new toys based on educational value, creative nurturing, creative play, and overall value with respect to retail. Each product is tested by a variety of reviewers who are people who would purchase the product. Award winners are based on the scores and comments of the reviewers.

A complete list of all award winners will be posted online at


The Iconic Rubber Ducky Has a New Mission for Children, Parents, and the Environment

January 4, 2017  After more than 60 years of floating around in bathtubs with little to do, the iconic rubber ducky now has an important mission―to help potty train children through play.

Potty training through play
Introducing Potty Duck™—a squirting rubber duck and flushing toy toilet for boys and girls ages 1 to 3. By squeezing the soft rubber duck to make it pee, and flushing the toilet, children are learning the steps to go themselves.  

How it works: Children play with the toy in a bathtub, sink, or basin. Using the toy as an example, parents or caregivers teach the child the words: pee, toilet, flush, and "go potty." Science shows children are great imitators. When children seem ready, parents encourage the child to practice sitting on a real potty to try to "go like the duck." With practice, children soon catch on, saving time and money on diapers. Potty Duck becomes a child's favorite potty training buddy - while playing with water, for pretend play without water, and when imitating the duck to actually use the potty.

“Parents are often anxious about potty training, but it becomes fun and enjoyable when you use Potty Duck,” says Dr. Shelly Mann, the pediatrician co-founder of Potty Discovery LLC, who tested the toy with her patients in 2016. "Parents tell us that Potty Duck makes potty training much easier. The rubber duck gives children a helpful example to imitate."

Rubber duck aims to save parents hundreds of dollars in diapers and reduce landfill waste
1948: Introduction of disposable diapers.
1949: Introduction of uncapsizable rubber duck.
2016: Introduction of Potty Duck, a rubber duck for potty training.

In the late 1940s, nobody could have guessed that the just-invented rubber duck and just-invented disposable diaper would both become ubiquitous in America. Since the invention of disposable diapers, the average age of completing potty training has significantly increased as well.

In 1999, The New York Times reported that the age at which children become diaper-free has steadily increased since 1957 when 92 percent were toilet trained by 18 months. By 2001, according to a report in the Ambulatory Pediatrics Journal, the average age of potty training completion in the U.S. had reached 35 months for girls and 39 months for boys.

Today, a typical baby undergoes 5,000 to 8,000 diaper changes, costing the average family $1,500 to $2,000 in diapers over the baby’s first three years and resulting in landfill waste that takes 250 to 500 years to decompose.

For these reasons, part of Potty Duck’s purpose is to help families corral the costs of disposables.

Just $19.95 at  
Potty Duck is available for purchase at and on Amazon. The package includes a soft rubber duck squirt toy with a flushing toy toilet and potty training tips and instructions from Dr. Mann. Potty Duck meets or exceeds all safety requirements for children’s toys, and is BPA-free and phthalate-free. Ten percent of its proceeds go to organizations that build toilets and improve sanitation for children around the world (Honduras and elsewhere). For more, go to


About Potty Discovery LLC
Based near Chicago, Potty Discovery LLC is a social enterprise focused on making potty training fun and easy while bringing multiple social benefits. In addition to Potty Duck, more potty toys and products are in development. Learn more at


Media inquiries

Please direct media inquiries to:
Linfred (Fred) Longenecker
Potty Discovery LLC
Email Fred Longenecker


"Before Potty Duck, our two-year-old wasn't interested in potty training. Potty Duck captured his imagination and made it fun!"
- Mom in Texas     See reviews

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