Toilet training on the go - going out while toilet training
Going out and about can be a challenge for potty training parents – while your little one needs to learn to use the potty in all situations, the prospect of public toileting and wet bums can make the idea a little worrying at first.
Potty training outside the home doesn’t need to be stressful - there are plenty of ways to maximise your chances of a successful outing.
Whether you’re going on holiday or just visiting the local park, preparation is key. Remember, accidents will happen when potty training is on the go – after all, 15% of five-year-olds still wet themselves occasionally.
With a little consistency and plenty of calm, you can help your toddler to feel clean and confident as they get to grips with grown-up toileting.
This article explores:
- Potty training on long journeys
- Potty training outside the home
- Potty training travel tips
Toilet training outside the home
If your toddler’s very first steps felt like a big moment, their first footsteps outside in underwear can feel monumental. In fact, 16% of parents said they stayed home for the entire first week of potty training.
Still, there comes a time when all tiny toilet trainees need to experience potty training outside the home. Understanding signs that it’s the right time to start potty training may help to make your first outings a success – your child should be aware of needing to wee or poo and able to say so.
Here are a few simple steps to help you take your toilet training journey out of the home:
- Take your potty with you. It is recommended that you take the potty along whenever your child goes out, so they understand this new practice is the way you’d like them to do wees and poos every time. Try a shorter journey first, such as a walk to the park where any accidents are easier to manage, then progress to visiting family. Make sure to have a pack of Baby Soft® Toilet Tissue on hand for easy cleaning in any situation.
- Go further afield. Once your little one is used to the feeling of nappy-free adventures, try a supermarket or shopping centre – somewhere that has its own toilets. Every step requires careful planning, but that doesn’t mean you need to worry. Try to remember, using the potty is something to celebrate, whatever your surroundings.
- Keep an eye out for toilet opportunities. As you shop, ask your child how they feel and keep a mental map of the closest public toilets for potty training purposes. ‘Holding it in’ on those fateful journeys is a new skill that your little one may find stressful at first, so try to reassure them.
- Prepare them for public toilets. There’s a chance your toddler will find public toilets unsettling – after all, these spaces can be busy, noisy and the toilet is bigger than their potty. What to do depends on your child – some prefer to use their normal potty in the cubicle, while others will take straight to training on the toilet.
Items such as potty training seats, potty training pants and steps, can be a great help. Check out this article for more training advice both inside and outside the home.
Toilet training when travelling long distances
Many parents try potty training in the summer months when there aren’t as many clothing layers to tackle. And as training can take between three and six months, it can mean you’re going to have to continue your potty training journey when on holiday.
If you’re facing the task of toilet training on holiday, then you probably have a few questions – can you even take a potty on a plane, for instance? The good news is you can – many mums and dads bring a folding potty that fits inside hand luggage. Others opt for a folding potty training seat for potty training, which can be placed on the aeroplane toilet to make it easier for your toddler to go.
That said, don’t be afraid to use nappies on night flights in the early days. Wetting through the night is a common challenge – and completely normal since night-time bladder control develops later than day control.
Encourage your little ones to go before you leave the house, and again before getting into the plane or car. Then, schedule regular toilet breaks. Rather than relying on them to tell you they need to use the potty, set a toilet timer.
Creating a potty training travel kit can also help you prepare for long journeys – this makes the process easier for dads, mums, and little bums. Your kit may include:
- Portable potty or training toilet seat
- Car seat protector for peace of mind
- Potty training pants
- Spare clothes
- Waterproof bag to store anything that gets wet
- Hand sanitiser, Baby Soft® Toilet Tissue and Baby Soft® flushable wipes to help your toddler learn how to stay fresh.
On long car rides, don’t feel the need to take every potty training break at a petrol station. After all, your toddler is probably unfussy about gracing the pot in spur-of-the-moment locations, so long as it’s safe.
By the time your child visits the beach, they should know what the potty is for. Asking your toilet trainee to choose a place for their travel potty could help to remind them it’s there – if your child can’t see the pot, sandcastles could prove more distracting. You may need to give gentle reminders for potty breaks as they may be having too much fun to remember.
Toilet training travel tips
Going out while potty training is a big step for you and your child – and can be a lot to take in all at once. We’ve come up with some top tips to help your little one to master the skill and stay confidently clean wherever they go:
- Take it slow – Potty training is a marathon, not a sprint, and every child is different. Taking baby steps from the bathroom potty to familiar places, such as grandma’s house or the park, may help your child to adapt.
- Be sensitive to feelings – Children are very receptive to stress during potty training, and for some toddlers, even the toilet flush can seem scary. Try to comfort and reassure them.
- Keep things consistent – If your toddler goes to nursery school or is regularly cared for by a family member, make sure they understand your toilet training methods so they can use them, too.
- Avoid nappies – It can be tempting to swap back to the nappy for holidays or big days out, but this may confuse your child. Once they show promise on the potty, try to reserve nappies for bedtime.
- Expect some accidents – Accidents are a normal part of potty training, especially in unusual surroundings. Some accidents may even help children to understand what it means to be clean. Seat protectors and spare clothing can help mitigate the mess.
Feel supported and informed during this developmental milestone. Check out these articles for more potty training tips from