So you’ve started the potty training process and everything is going pretty well. And then a holiday rolls around, or it’s time for vacation, and you’ve got to take this show on the road! The idea of potty training while traveling can be quite daunting, but thanks to our Facebook community, we’ve compiled some great tips to help you make it through.
Where to “Go”: One suggestion is to bring a potty seat with you. Find a bag that it fits in and just tote it along. Most public toilets are much too big for little bums and those portable seats also often come with handles, making it easier to hold on. You’ll want to take some time to consider which kind of seat you buy as some may prefer the ones that fold up for storage while others like the durability of the solid unit. Bringing a familiar seat may also be comforting to your child while on the road.
Another approach is to use a complete fold away potty. You can line the potty with a recycled plastic bag for a no-mess, no-fuss clean up. Savvy parents will find that the portable potty is just the right size to store toilet paper, baggies, and sanitizer while on the go. A great advantage to this approach is that you don’t even need to find a public restroom (or brave the germs!), just let the child go in a private place by the car and off you go.
Another option is to go ahead and brave those rest stop toilets. One of the best pieces of advice we’ve heard is to carry sticky notes in your purse. If your child is afraid of the loud noise and rush of water of automatic toilets, place one over the flush sensor to stop it from going off.
Other Tools for the Road: Should you choose the public bathroom route, you might consider bringing a little fold up stool. Some children have a difficult time having a bowel movement if they can’t plant their feet firmly, and in public restrooms and hotel, little toes are likely to dangle. Bringing your own little stool can increase their comfort level quite a bit.
As you travel, be sure to ask your little one fairly often if she has to go. You don’t want to be stuck on a long stretch of highway with nowhere to stop and hit an emergency situation! Try to get your child to go at convenient locations, even if they don’t have to go a lot.
Of course, accidents may still happen, so bring along gear for whatever training method you are already using: underwear, training pants, pull-ups, etc. Extra changes of clothes, lots of wipes, and some old plastic shopping bags to tie up any wet clothes are also good to have on hand.
Don’t forget to make it fun! Bring along the Potty Time CD to sing with, or use the DVD in your portable device as you travel the miles.
And Don’t Forget: Be sure to pack your sense of humor and an extra dose of patience. There may be extra accidents or close calls. You may have to stop more often than you hoped, but try to focus on the adventure of traveling…and you might just get lucky, like Jyl C. who tells us, “My eldest potty trained herself on a long road trip. We had a family emergency and had to do a 15 hour straight drive. She figured out we would stop if she had to go and she could get out of the car. By the time we got there she was trained. I think we stopped every 1 to 1.5 hours when she wasn’t sleeping. Not the fastest way to travel but it works.”
Not bad for a 15 hour trip!