When I started potty training my first born, I was ready to stay in the house for a couple of weeks. You can laugh at me now. Who knew that it would take close to a year and that I’d have to learn how to handle potty training on the go?
Once you start potty training your toddler, regardless of how it’s going, you’ve probably had that moment when you realize it’s now really hard to get out of the house. But don’t barricade yourselves in before you read these tips!
Us moms would like to take our kids with us to get groceries, play at the park, meet up with friends, go to church…but we’d rather keep the training momentum going and, of course, we’re afraid of our preschoolers having accidents in public.
So do you stay within a zero-mile radius of your home until you completely trust your kiddo? Of course not! I mean, life goes on and so does your schedule!
Refreshing My Memory of Potty Training on the Go
We recently went through the second round of potty training in my mommy career, and it was surprisingly pleasant–especially compared to, ermm, past experiences. Still, it took me a hot minute or two to remember just exactly how it all works. And one thing that takes some prep and thought is potty training on the go.
This might seem a bit overly thought-out, but trust me, in the moment we moms want a bit of an action plan. It’s not as easy as it sounds to run errands with a potty-training toddler. Here’s how I did it this time around, and it worked WONDERS for us!
12 Hacks and Tips for Potty Training on the Go
What to Pack for Your Potty Trainer when Traveling
Your diaper bag is going to enjoy some final glory days before retiring. Here’s what to make sure you have on hand when potty training on the go.
- Pull ups
- Change of clothes including underwear, socks, etc.
- Rewards (stickers, M&Ms, whatever you’re using) for successful potty times
- A book for reading while sitting on the potty
- Products like these Amazon potty training favorites
How to Dress Your Potty Training Toddler
This is one of the hardest decisions! We don’t want our kids developing any diaper habits. We also would prefer not to see a river of pee running down the cart in Target. Here’s what I did before I felt confident going out with a potty-trainer.
I kept Sylvie in underwear, but I put a diaper on the outside of her underwear before dressing her. This way, she’ll feel wet and uncomfortable and be able to stop herself from emptying her bladder when she starts to go. The diaper keeps any accidents from becoming a disaster.
It’s not a perfect solution, but there is no perfect solution. (Isn’t that comforting?)
Before You and Your Preschooler Travel
Get that kiddo to go potty before leaving the house. Make this a rule for everyone in the house so that it becomes routine.
Also, remember to ask questions. If you’re going to visit a friend or to someone’s home, give her a heads up and figure out what extras you need to bring before heading out. (Does your kiddo need a padded seat to go over a big toilet seat?) Some family or friends might have a training potty that they can pull out, so just ask!
More Reading on Parenting Preschoolers and Toddlers
On the Road with Your Preschooler
For long road trips with preschoolers (20 minutes or longer) I again put a diaper on the outside of my daughter’s underwear to protect the car seat.
Longer road trips are still possible with a toddler in training mode. Be prepared to stop at gas stations or rest areas every half hour. I know.
If you’re concerned about taking your child potty in a gas station bathroom, here’s what I’ve done in the past:
- bring in a travel potty seat for toddlers – It’s a little more work, and you should bring wipes and a bag for cleaning the seat up afterwards, but these can really be a lifesaver!
- disinfect the toilet seat and hold on to your child – you’ll need to steady your little one on that big potty for sure!
Potty Training in a New Place
Hooray for arriving at your destination! First thing, no matter where you’re at, find the bathrooms at your destination. Show your kiddo where they are, and ask if she needs to go right now. If your little one usually doesn’t know if she needs to go, take her there right away and have her try.
Then, carry on with your grand adventure.
I know that in the first few days of training, it’s wise to stay in the home while your preschooler works on her new skills. But you don’t have to be chained to your home and your bathroom! I hope you enjoy getting out and about with your toddler.
Did I miss anything? Moms, let me know in the comments how you take that potty-training kiddo out of the house!