No need to let potty training derail your travel plans. Whether you’re embarking on a road trip or a full day of air travel, these tips from Circle of Moms members will help you address the challenges of potty training while traveling.
1. Bring a Travel Potty on Road Trips
If your travel plans involve extended car time, many Circle of Moms members recommend bringing a travel potty chair along. As Louise G. explains, a travel potty generally has a disposable bag attached to the seat, which simplifies clean-up: “They have a solid plastic top but the bottom is like a plastic bag. So when it has been used you remove the bag and throw it away.” Carla C. seconds the suggestion: “Get a travel potty. We use the Potette Plus. Very easy... We just returned from a trip and spent 14 hours on the road and did not have one accident!”
2. Pull Ups, Just this Once…
While many moms rail against the use of pull-ups during potty training, some argue that pull-ups are fine for occasional travel. As Alison L. suggests: “I would say go ahead with the pull-ups…Your daughter will totally understand that a road trip is not a typical circumstance.” And Sarah S., who drove cross-country with her potty-training son, agrees: “I just explained to him that he was in a pull-up in case mommy couldn't get him to the potty fast enough.”
3. Prepare for Public Restrooms
If your child will use bathrooms in airports, train stations, rest stops or other public spaces, prepare for common challenges of public restrooms by bringing a portable fold-up seat, covering the automatic flush sensor (the loud and abrupt flush often frightens children), or having your child sit sideways on a large seat. You can also find more public restroom advice in 5 Tricks for Potty Training in Public Restrooms.
4. Continue Your Reward System
Your vacation doesn't need to interrupt a reward system that’s working. If you’re giving treats or prizes to motivate potty use, you can continue that system while traveling, or introduce special travel-only rewards for added motivation. Gayle G. is one of several moms who suggest a sticker reward system: “Take a sticker pad and stickers each time he...[uses the potty]...[then] have him put a sticker in the pad.”
5. Prepare for Accidents
Accidents happen, but a potty training hiccup doesn’t have to ruin your road trip. Several Circle of Moms members, including Nancy D., recommend investing in a car seat cover called a PiddlePad: “This is what I use for accidents so I don't have to disassemble the car seats, wash the covers, and wait for them to air dry, which really stinks when you have plans and time is of the essence.” Heather R. agrees: “We bought two piddle pads and they have been a lifesaver!" And of course, as Alicia B. wisely advises: “Always bring changes of clothes.”