Nothing is more stressful and challenging than potty training the most stubborn creature on the planet: a toddler. It’s a real roll of the dice with each one because some are very receptive to the process while others are extremely unwilling. Almost every parent has found themselves endlessly pleading and bribing their little ones to use the potty. More often than not, the process cumulates in an emotional meltdown and tears from everyone involved.
Mindy and Brandon Wright found themselves in a similar situation with their youngest daughter, who didn’t want to potty train. One evening while brainstorming together, they came up with the idea of an advent calendar for potty training, and Lil Advents was born.
They developed their calendar packs to have everything you need to train your tike, including a numbered chart with fourteen punch-outs housing non-toxic wood blocks, an activity board, and various stickers. The entire thing is meant to be a positive reinforcement method to get toddlers more open-minded to potty training.
There are also tips and easy instructions for parents to follow to get successful results in three steps: Step one, encourage your toddler to use the potty. Step two, let your child place a sticker on one of the two spaces for each calendar day. Finally, in step three, Let the child open the compartment for that day to get a reward.
Lil Advents are very popular with parent groups and pediatricians, even winning several awards like a gold star in 2019 from the National Parenting Product Awards and Creative Child Magazine’s 2020 Product of the Year.
How Did The Shark Tank Pitch Go?
Mindy and Brandon came to Shark Tank asking for $300,000 for 15% equity, valuing their company at $2 million.
They educated the Sharks on the difficulties and short potty train curves that hinder most children from learning and how the market didn’t have anything like their product that encouraged children the same way.
While the Sharks examined the samples, the duo told their story, and how they had $320,000 to date and their margins were good, manufacturing at a fifth of the sales price.
Brandon told the Sharks about the couple’s sales experience, having sold over $8 million on Amazon selling other products, and how they used that money to create Lil Advents. While they were fine online, they needed the Sharks’ expertise to get them into retail. They even had a licensing deal with Hasbro to use their characters in their calendars.
Mark wanted nothing to do with this, saying his potty training days were over. Daymond also wasnt interested, saying he didn’t get it and it will always be a struggle to get new customers. Robert was impressed with the product and liked the Wrights but said he couldn’t help them in their quest to conquer the retail world. Kevin also wanted to avoid going into retail. All four were out. Lori, their last hope, saw a faint glimmer of success in their product but ultimately decided it was too niche for her and was out.
Mindy and Brandon left without a deal, but they were still hopeful, believing their product would still find its appeal with parents of young children.
Our Review of Lil Advents
Lil Advents makes advent calendars that have fourteen wooden toys hidden in each numbered compartment. These calendars come in four cute themes: farm animals, dinosaurs, vehicles, and unicorns. The wooden toys are shaped according to the theme of the calendar, so the dinosaur one has an assortment of blocks that are shaped as different dinosaurs. They also come with themed stickers and an activity board.
The blocks are non-toxic and the perfect size for little hands, and pairing with the activity of revealing the toys from the punchout boxes makes the entire process an exciting and positive experience.
Pros of Lil Advents
- Cute themes
- Easy to use
- Well made designs
- Non-toxic wooden toys
Cons of Lil Advents
- Not reusable, so you have to buy a new one for each child
Who is Lil Advents For?
Lil Advent’s calendars are for any parent who wants to keep their sanity while potty training their toddler.
Are There Any Alternatives?
Many potty training calendars are currently available in stores with stickers, toys, and other treats to encourage potty training. This advent-style chart is made of plastic with non-toxic soft foam character toys that float in the water and stick to bathtub walls. It also comes with a cute potty training story book, stickers, visual cue cards, and a certificate to give the child when they have successfully been trained.
Another fun option is this magnetic potty training chart that comes in two themes dinosaurs and unicorns. It is a waterproof, easy-to-clean chart with reusable magnetic stickers, making it a great option if you have more than one child to potty train. It has visual cue stickers that you can place around the bathroom to help kids learn good habits.
There are even options that are less than half the price of Lil Advents, like these waterproof potty training charts that come in two themes: space and arctic animals. These also use reusable magnetic stickers and can be hung in the bathroom and also has visual cue stickers that remind kids to use toilet paper, flush, and wash their hands.
Our Final Thoughts
There is always a need when parenting for new innovative products that make raising toddlers in this fast-paced world easier. Potty training is a significant milestone that every parent has to cross with their child, and it is one of the most frustrating, so there is always a demand for products to help ease the struggle.
Lil Advents are lovely tools that make the process easier, but they are a pretty hefty investment as parents will have to buy multiple boxes per child, which can become quite expensive. While they won’t overtake the market and become the number one potty training tool, these calendars will always make great gifts and find a place at any baby shower.