Mom packing a suitcase with son sitting beside her

Survival Guide To Travelling Whilst Potty Training

You have been watching your toddler and they are showing all the signs that they are ready for toilet training. You’ve also booked a trip coming up in a couple of months.

Is it time to go into lockdown with frozen meals, rolled up rugs, and a diaper free toddler? Despite all the scary stories you have heard, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Yes, it is in fact possible to look up ‘how to keep up with potty training on vacation’ and not be met with zero search results because it is doable and we are going to see how.

Here is the best advice on how to travel with a potty training toddler. 

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Take Along Your Trusty Travel Potty

This is the best piece of advice you will find when looking for tips on how to travel while potty training – don’t forget the portable potty. 

Along your potty training journey on vacation, you and your toddler will be faced with all kinds of different bathrooms from tiny airplane toilets to noisy public restrooms. 

Understandably, your toddler may be reluctant to go in unfamiliar toilets and this is where your trusted travel potty will come in handy. 

There are plenty of different kinds of travel potties out there for you to choose from. Some will come with disposable liners for easy clean up or you could even opt for a travel potty seat that goes on top of regular toilets – it all depends on what suits you and your toddler best. 

An added advantage of travel potties is during potty training and car rides – your toddler will mostly need to go urgently. Having the travel potty in the boot of the car so you can simply pull over and let them use it is a lifesaver. 

Girl sitting on a potty on a road playing with toilet paper

Stop and Go

Potty training travel is possible but one thing you will need to add to your itinerary is frequent breaks for your toddler to be able to use the toilet. 

One mom while drawing on her experience on how to travel while potty training said:

’We knew potty training is really all about bladder training, so in the beginning when our daughter was going frequently, we made sure to stop every hour to bring her to the potty.’’ 

Gas station in one mile? Stop for a pee break. Public toilet sign while you’re out sightseeing? Stop for your toddler to use the potty. Heading to a restaurant to eat next? Give your toddler the chance to use the toilet. 

This will not only ensure they always have access to a toilet when they need one but also reduce the chance of accidents. 

Extra Clothing

While you can do a few things to reduce the probability of accidents happening; they will inevitably still happen.

So decide how many pairs of extra clothing you will need on your potty training travel – and then double it. Having 2 to 3 extra pairs of underwear and pants for accidents while out and about is super important to plan a stress-free (okay, lower stress) trip with your potty training toddler. 

Girl sitting on a potty outside on grass

More Gear That you Will Need 

Here are a few other pieces of gear that moms swear by:

  • Leak proof mat: This is more ammo in preparation for accidents that may happen. Lay one down on the car seat and put one on the mattress in the hotel room and it will keep the bedding and comforter clean and dry. A popular one is the PeaPod Mat because it’s super absorbent and easy to wash and dry for it to be ready for the next nap – winner!
  • Wet bags for dirty clothes – Toss any clothes soiled throughout the day into the wet bag so that they stay separate from the clean ones. At the end of the day simply empty the bag into the washer and you’re sorted!
  • Post-its for the sensor flushes – Most parents who have been dared to travel with a toddler while potty training will have a sensor flush story. This is when the toddler has finally happily sat on the big boy or girl public toilet and the sensor flush goes off by accident and then you have an epic meltdown on your hands. A simple hack to save your toddler being spooked by the sensor is to cover it with a post it to prevent it going off while they are trying to go
  • Reward system – It’s a good idea to try and keep your reward system going for encouragement when your toddler successfully navigates potty training on the go just as you would at home. This helps maintain consistency and gives them more incentive while keeping things fun too. So pack those stickers, patterned tissues or stamps that got your toddler excited about potty training at home. 

Enjoy the Ride 

The last piece of advice here about how to travel with a potty training toddler is probably the most important one. 

Going through life with a toddler is a rollercoaster ride. Add potty training whilst traveling to the mix and you’ve added a few upside-down loops to the track! 

Toddlers are curious and make new memories all the time. Which is why it is important to enjoy the ride with them. 

Sing your favorite rhyme together each time you use the public toilet. Do a special silly high five with them every time they are successful at using the toilet while out and about. 

All in all, planning a trip or vacation with a toddler while they are still mastering potty training is scary but it can be done and still be fun!

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