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5 Tips for Potty Training While Traveling

5 Tips for Potty Training While Traveling

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.”

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Join The Conversation
TiffanyLaStarza TiffanyLaStarza 4 years
MY SON 5 IS TRAINED BUT HE HAS TO RELY ON SOMEONE TELLING HIM TO GO TO THE TOILET I THINK WHILE WE WERE FIRST TRAINING HIM WE DIDNT LEAVE IT UP TO HIM IT WAS LIKE EVERY 20 MIN WE WOULD TELL HIM TO GO NOW ITS IN HIS HEAD HE NEEDS TO BE REMINDED ALL THE TIME OR HE WILL HAVE AN ACCIDENT HE FEELS LIKE HE NEEDS TO BE CHANGED RIGHT AWAY AND HATES THE FEELING BUT STILL RELIES ON BEING TOLD TO GO TO THE TOILET ... DRIVING ME INSANE BUT BEEN TOLD ONE DAY IT WILL JUST CLICK LOL WAITING FOR THAT CLICK TO HAPPEN....
TiffanyLaStarza TiffanyLaStarza 4 years
RACHEL YOU COMMENT IS JUNK WHAT WOULD U KNOW IM GUESSING YOUR KIDS NEVER HAD AN ACCIDENT AND WERE TRAIND IN LIKE AN HOUR LOL WHATEVER IF U HAVE EVER TRIED TO TRAVEL WITH A CHILD THAT IN TRAINING U WOULD SEE THAT THESE TIPS ARE REALLY GOOD AND IM NOT TALKING ABOUT TRAVEL LIKE HOURS AWAY FROM HOM EVEN JUST GOING TO THE SHOPS MOST TIMES THEN NOT WHEN YOUR CHILD SAYS I NEED TO GO TO THE TOILET THAT USUALLY MEANS IM GOING TO THE TOILET LIKE NOW SO WOULD U BE THE PARENT WHO ALLOWS YOUR CHILD TO PEE ALL OVER THE SHOPPING CENTRE FLOOR OR WOULD YOU BE THE PARENT TO BE SMART ABOUT IT AND COME PREPARED SOME PARENTS NEED A REALITY CHECK... ITS NOT JUST ABOUT THINKING WHAT MESS U MAY HAVE TO CLEAN UP ALSO THINK OF THE CHILD IF U HAPPENED TO PEE ALL OVER THE FLOOR WOULD YOU FEEL GOOD ABOUT YOURSELF ??
SusanSundstrom SusanSundstrom 4 years
Rachel, I agree with most of your thinking. (1) I understand why little potties look great, but why not buy a smaller ring that fits on the bigger potty to make kids feel safer about not falling into the toilet. Also, the way I help kids pee outside: stand behind the child, pull the pants down, put your hands behind their legs and then tilt them back so you are holding them in a sitting position. They are now in the same position as if sitting on the toilet. You can tilt them back slightly and hold their legs up a bit. This way nothing gets on them and nothing gets on you. (2) I have never met a kid who does not see a pull up as a diaper (I take care of children 1-5 yrs in my home so I am not just talking about my own 2 children). You might as well save your money and buy regular diapers.
AlfredaWellsMorrissey AlfredaWellsMorrissey 4 years
We never used a travel potty. For long car rides, we just help our kids pee on the side of the road. We bought an easy PEE-ZEE for cross country skiing, thinking we didn't want to take her coat of outside in the snow, but we were scared to use it and miss then have her snow-pants wet, so we just ended up undressing her anyway. It just encouraged her to pee quickly. The trick to peeing outside for girls, bend her over, lean her well forward point bum away from feet and panties. It took a couple of tries before we got the hang of it, and she was a tad resistant the first time, but there was no other option and she had to pee, so she either had to hold it or go. For public toilets, the key is to put her on the side of the seat so her leg doesn't go in break with all the yucky stuff, and lean her forward. I hold her so she doesn't fall in, she doesn't have an issue with having to be held. Really the trick is lean her forward because if she leans back she will pee on her pants. I don't carry a diaper bag so if it can't fit in my purse, it doesn't come with me. My older daughter thinks pull-ups are diapers and if she is wearing one, she will pee in it even if she is standing beside the toilet. My younger daughter, will go in her pants if she feels like it, the toilet if she feels like it and it doesn't matter what she has on. Kids are different. Mine don't seem to be squeamish about big toilets loud flushing or peeing outside. I tried to not make it a big deal, so they don't think it is a big deal. We travel a lot so we just learned to be flexible and make due with what is available. The only real challenge we experienced was on planes. There are times when you are not allowed to use the bathrooms. We flew into Detroit the day after a terrorist attack on a plane landing in Detroit. They needed to pat down the kids before getting on the plane. We were not allowed to use the bathroom or have items in our lap for the entire flight. Luckily my daughter was wearing a pull up since we pulled out of a dead sleep from her bed and plopped her in the car (she still wets the bed and we got tired of changing the sheets every morning so she wears a pull up to bed). They gave us 10 min for everybody to use the bathroom, then the instant they said no more bathroom use, my daughter says, "I have to pee." Question, for those bringing potties for times when there is no bathroom, where do you dump the pee and rinse out the pee cup? Best advice I can give out. Don't stress, and try not to care what other people think. Will they ever see you again? If you stress, your kid will be stressed. My daughter once filled up an entire seat in a McDonalds with pee. Luckily it was in a walmart. We bought her a change of clothes, cleaned up the seat and moved on. Things happen. Dresses are great. Carry a ziplock bag and a change of underwear in your purse. If she pees, put the wet underwear in the ziplock, back in your purse, put the clean pair on, you are good to go. Can't help you with boys, but I would think at least peeing outside would be self explanatory.
AnnetteKerr AnnetteKerr 4 years
The day after the movers unloaded all of our stuff in our new house my 2y/o daughter decides she wants to start potty training, of course I was not ready bc my house was in boxes. But I said "okay lets do this then." She did well for the first few weeks but while unpacking I messed my back up badly. Over the last 3 months I found out I have a herniated disc, and at time have to walk with a cane. I have great difficulty and pain bending down which as potty training parents know is essential for helping your child to go potty. She has totally regressed bc I have not been able to be consistent and my husband doesn't help much in the evenings. She is also VERY resistant to going poop on the potty in the last 3 months she has only pooped on the potty 2 times. The 2 bathrooms in our house are quite a walk from the living room where we hang out. Any suggestions for me, I know I can't help my injury but I still feel as though I'm failing as a mother.
ArceliaRuiz ArceliaRuiz 4 years
Yeah Rachel doesn't know what she's talking about. She must not travel much. She seems sheltered. These r good tips that make potty training on the go simpler.
HollyBrock18222 HollyBrock18222 4 years
My daughter used pull ups all the time and when I started using them I called them panties. And my daughter never knew the difference. Idk why everyone is against them?
LaressaMarengere LaressaMarengere 4 years
Wow Rachel. You obviosly don't travel much. We. Drive up to. 8 hours one way just to take our children to their grandparents
Rachel3790 Rachel3790 4 years
I think this article is junk. Apparently I don't agree with most of what is said through this site. 1.All childcare centers say potties are junk kids can use a toilet and why should we add and extra step to potty training. Bring them in. 2. Pull ups are junk if they go in their pants you can't tell and unless it bothers them they won't tell you. 3. I hate toilet seat or handle cover why not just tell your kind not to pee anywhere but home. Nothing like teaching your child the world isn't safe. Why don't you just teach them to wash hands and clean up. WHAT an IDEA! 4. Amazingly something I agree with. 5. As they says Prepare for the worst hope for the best. Don't tell the child you expect accidents. They will give them to you.
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