Beginning potty training is a stressful enough time for both you and your little one. Adding in all the newness and confusion of traveling, like unfamiliar (often dirty) bathrooms and such makes things even tougher.
But that doesn’t mean that you and your child have to be tied to your home until they’ve been successfully trained. Kids need to learn when you’re out and about, not just at home base. With that being said, let’s cover the things you need to know to tackle potty training on the go!
Before you even think about leaving the house, get a handle on where every restroom is in the places that you’ll be going to (and indeed, whether there actually is one in the first place!).
When your toddler needs to go to the bathroom, the last thing you want is to have to rush around trying to find the nearest one! Knowing the situation in advance will save both of you a lot of stress if you know exactly where you can take them.
Go Potty Before You Leave
One of the golden rules of potty training on the go is to always make sure that your little one goes to the bathroom before you go out. Make this a habit that they get used to doing every time you go out, even if they don’t actually need to go.
Have them go sit on the potty for a short period of time before you leave. More often than not, they need to go and just don’t realize it. While there, you can have them read a book or sing a potty training song with them.
Limit Drinks While You’re Out
You don’t want your child to get dehydrated while you’re out and about but at the same time, you know that having them drink their usual amount of fluids will mean that they need to use the bathroom on your travels.
This can be beyond awkward if you already know that there won’t be facilities in some or all of the places you’ll be, so the best solution is to be sensible with their drinks and space them out at intervals so that their bladder doesn’t fill up too quickly.
Take a Portable Potty Seat With You
Having a travel potty seat gives your child the chance to stick as closely as possible to their normal potty training routine, even while you’re not at home. It also means that they don’t have to balance on the seat of a possibly dirty, and certainly unfamiliar toilet seat.
Just having the peace of mind of knowing you’ll have a little bit of home while you’re out and about and in the middle of potty training helps tremendously. And don’t worry about their size — most training seats fold up neatly to make them easily portable.
Carry Sanitizers & Wipes With You
Unfortunately not all public restrooms are of the cleanest variety and it’s almost certain you’ll come across some nasty ones at one point or another. Even the “clean” ones could be covered in unseen germs that could harm you and your child.
You certainly don’t have time to spend hunting for just the perfect bathroom when it’s that special time to go, so you should make sure to carry things like hand sanitizer and travel sanitizing wipes.
Baby wipes will give you a quick cleanup option in public restrooms that are often times are missing even regular toilet paper. Make sure to have plenty of travel packages of flushable wipes in your potty training bag so you’ll always be prepared.
Help Them Wash Their Hands
Teaching your child to wash their hands after using the restroom is important at home. And with the cleanliness of public restrooms (especially those in travel stops) often leaving much to be desired this becomes even more important.
After your child has used the potty (and even if they haven’t), help them to wash their hands. Remind them in simple terms why it’s important, and help them to ensure that they wash their hands completely.
You might even try teaching them this song about washing your hands from Disney Jr. so that they’ll be eager to do so when the time comes:
Despite your best efforts, accidents will sometimes happen while you’re out so it’s best to be fully prepared just in case. Always have a spare change of clothes and underwear with you, as well as something a bag that you can put wet or soiled clothes in until you’re back home.
I hope this has made venturing out into the great unknown while potty training your child a little less nerve-racking!
If your problems seem to continue regardless of whether you’re at home or traveling, then you might try checking out this video from a mom named Carol. It covers how she successfully trained her own child and has helped a lot of parents find their own success. You can watch it here.
Oh, and make sure to pin this so you can remind yourself on what you’ll need before you head out on your next trip. Have fun!