Go Baby, GO! 10 Potty Training Considerations when Traveling
Updated: Nov 21, 2021
Okay, so far on this blog, I have been posting about every single day of our potty training journey, but I need to get myself all caught up. We are currently (in real life and in real time), on a little family vacation and I am BLOWN away by how well David is doing with everything. We are on Day 3 of our little trip and he has only had 1 very teeny tiny accident (and it was at night and it didn’t even end up on his sheets or his blanket!), so I know things are WORKING!!!
Up to now, I have only posted about the first four days of potty training, but to be honest, Days 5 - now have been very similar with just fewer and fewer accidents. As of today, we are on Day 15 of potty training and things are going remarkably well even though we are traveling. I feel like my mantra these days has been “Go Baby! Go!” but it works and I can already see confidence blossoming in my son.
Here are just a few of the major successes we have experienced:
David woke up himself in the middle of the night last night to p
Not a single accident for the drive up and the entire first day!
Not a single accident while he was awake!
He made a big poop on the big potty in a public restroom (using his potette over the big potty)!
He now seems to know when he has a poop coming and HE ACTUALLY WAITS patiently on the potty for it to come out.
He doesn’t mind peeing in the woods on his little travel potty (We kept it in the bottom of an off-road stroller and just busted it out when he had to pee)!
LETS US KNOW when HE HAS TO GO!!!!!! GO BABY GO!!!
I was really nervous about this trip because it seemed to be a bit early still in his potty training experience, BUT it has given us all tremendous confidence now! Here are just a few items to bring and a few considerations for whenever you might decide to travel with your little potty star!
Items to Bring for Potty Training While Traveling:
1. Travel Potty & Your Regular Small Potty -
We used this both IN the car when we were traveling as well as whenever we went anywhere public.
I do recommend bringing a travel potty IN ADDITION to whatever regular potty you use at home.
Our travel “potette” functions as both an elevated potty but also as an insert for public toilets.
Okay, this is ridiculously naive of me but I wasn’t thinking AT ALL about wipes. I was thinking “We have ditched the diapers! My, how light my bag will be now!” BUT, you will DEFINITELY want wipes with you.
Use your wipes to clean out the potty after your child poops (this will be much more gentle on their tushy and legs than lysol wipes).
I also have my son use the wipes to wipe himself after a poop.
And they are great to wipe off your travel potty after you use it on a public toilet.
3. Plastic potty bags
We used plastic potty bags while we were in the car especially!
4. Puppy Pads!
We have placed puppy pads underneath David in both his carseat and his stroller. Luckily, we haven't needed any extra since he hasn't had any accidents!
BUT, you never know and the LAST thing you need while you are traveling is to have to hose down your carseat at a hotel...
5. Extra outfits
Although David has not had a single accident during the day, we definitely feel more confident knowing that we have extra outfits in case something does happen.
We also bring extra socks and even shirts because in the past, if he has an accident, it somehow ends up in his socks and even shoes sometimes!
Considerations for Potty Training While Traveling:
6. Build in a Buffer!
Assume that this trip will take extra time!
We budgeted for one 5 minute stop every half hour (seriously…) This gave us enough of a buffer that we weren’t ever frustrated with our son for telling us he had to go all of a sudden.
Had we not done this, I can imagine the exasperation we might experience when David has to stop for yet another potty break and we had just gotten back on the road… YES, stop on the side of the road if your child has to go immediately. I know it is a hassle but, it is WELL worth it.
7. Have someone sitting in the back with the little potty trainer.
This is especially helpful if your child does not (yet) have a vocal signal that they have to go. Luckily, by this point, our son now regularly lets us know that he has to go potty, so this is not as much of an issue.
We also have kept our little travel potty in the back seat so that when we had to stop, I would simply set up the travel potty on the seat right between the carseat and where I was sitting. I would place a small bag over the travel potty and once we were stopped, I would take David out of his carseat, sit him on the travel potty and ask him to pee. He generally would pee very quickly! I would then tie up the bag and yes, we would carry it in the car until we were ready to stop at a gas station or rest stop to throw it away.
8. Be Extra Vigilant!
While the drive was not a problem at all, when we first arrived at our airbnb, my son was just overwhelmed by the other people who were meeting us there. They also brought him toy trucks and oh my goodness… they won him over right then and there. All of a sudden, my super easy going, potty training star was throwing fits every time we asked him to go potty! He was having the best time with Grandma and Grandpa and could not fathom leaving either of them or his truck! So, we ended up saying things like “The trucks need to go potty too, David!” We can take them with us to the potty, but they aren’t allowed to play while they pee.”
It is so easy for us as parents to also get really into socializing and enjoying the company and surroundings of our vacation. Remember to continue to keep things casual, but to always watch your child!
9. Keep Things Light and Fun!
Although you must be super on it for your child’s success, you also want to make sure they continue to look forward to traveling!
Continue to offer gentle praise for your child and comment on how proud you are of their achievements!
Don’t ever get upset that they have to go again! Simply remind yourself of how impressive it is that they are this in tune with their own body already!
10. Do NOT travel if your child is still on the struggle bus…
If your child is NOT doing well with the commando phase (with extended outings), I would NOT recommend traveling. I know it is a hassle to cancel a trip, but this could end up being a complete disaster.
I am just imagining traveling when my son was still having upwards of 10 accidents a day. During that time, I was washing both his sheets and my own MULTIPLE TIMES at night… I do not want this kind of stress for you or for your child on what should be a relaxing vacation. Sometimes as parents, we have to do what is right for our child and it does not always feel right for us in the moment :/
How amazing is it that you are already traveling with your potty star?!?!? Let me know if you have additional recommendations and in the meantime, Happy Training!
P.S. - The Play-By-Plays of every day were HUGELY helpful for uncovering my son's bathroom trends! We continued to track until TODAY (Day 15!), so nothing to report for today! Besides, yesterday's play-by-play simply included his pees and poops and no accidents, so although VERY exciting to me, it is probably VERY BORING to the rest of the world ;)