Sitting on the toilet without a stool supporting Matthew's feet makes him feel unsteady and scared.
Some step stools were about 7-3/4 inches high - high enough for him to plant his feet flat on while sitting on the toilet but too high for him to step up on without holding on to something.
Some were about 6 inches high - too low for his feet to rest flatly on while sitting on the toilet and he would still need support to step up on it.
Enter the Potty Stool.
It is made of molded plastic and has removable handles. It was expensive but I see it as money well spent. It's very stable. Matthew can get on and off of it without a problem. When Matthew sat on the toilet, his feet were flat on the stool.
Toilet Seat Insert
I vividly remember getting my bottom stuck in the toilet because I had fallen in when I was little. I laugh now but it was traumatic back then. I did not have a toilet seat insert when I was a kid. I do not want that to happen to Matthew or Elizabeth.
I had first bought the First Years brand toilet insert at Target. That didn't work. It seemed quite small for Matthew and the front guard was not high enough, which is very important with a boy. Elizabeth can use this toilet seat insert when she's ready.
Then I got the Baby Bjorn Toilet Trainer. It was perfect! Matthew currently uses the Baby Bjorn Potty Chair, which probably had the same "feel."
Familiarity + comfort = less transition anxiety.
Current Toilet Set-up
Matthew tried it this evening, got comfortable, and peed in the toilet for the first time. We're slowly going to work on transitioning him from using the potty chair to using the toilet.
This will be good for when Elizabeth is ready to toilet train too. The only other drawback (besides the cost)? The Baby Bjorn toilet insert is portable but the potty stool is most definitely not.