A few days ago, a reader emailed me asking for a few pointers on how to continue potty training while travelling. We’ve travelled successfully with both our kids during the potty training phase and wanted to share a few tips on how we survived with minimal accidents – there were a few but none so disastrous that it’s been saved in my long term memory. HA!
Here are a few travel tips for parents starting or partly through the potty training process with their toddler(s):
1. Take Frequent Potty Breaks
If you are traveling by car, it is important to look closely at your route to make sure you have a stop every 1-2 hours for bathroom breaks. This will make your trip take a bit longer, but the regular reminder to stop and potty will help minimize the accidents and keep you on track with potty training while travelling.
Don’t ask them if they want to go potty, tell them it’s time for a bathroom break. Leaving it up to them to tell you when they need to go will result in your toddler giving you about 5 seconds notice to find a toilet/potty.
2. Use Transition Diapers or Training Pants for Long Rides
While there will be visiting the potty frequently, if you’re on a long train, plane or car ride, use training pants or transition diapers instead of underwear. This will save your toddler’s clothes and seats from messes and will provide a bit of absorption if an accident occurs before the next bathroom break.
3. Pack Extra Outfits in Your Diaper Bag
Plan ahead with at least one extra outfit in your diaper bag (our Baby Cargo Georgi Diaper Bag is still going strong after 2.5 years of daily use – read the full review here) so if an accident occurs you don’t have to sort through your kids’ luggage.
4. Use a Wet Bag for Soiled Clothing
Bring along a “wet bag” for dirty clothing if accidents occur. This will keep dirty items separate from clean ones.
We’ve used both Ziplock bags and Cloth Diaper Wet Bags in the past and while they both work really well, I prefer travelling with a Bumkins Wet Bag because they’re great at holding in the smell and keeping dirty items separate from the clean clothing in our bags.
I don’t have to touch the soiled clothes when doing laundry. Just unzip the bag and toss into the washer — everything will fall out eventually during the wash cycle.
5. Know Where the Bathrooms Are
If you’re at a theme park or amusement park, make sure you know where the bathrooms are. The Baby Care Centers at Walt Disney World theme parks are clean, air conditioned and also have supplies (wipes, diapers, training pants) for purchase in case you run out.
6. Make a Potty Training Travel Kit
One problem many potty training toddlers have is adjusting to new bathrooms and toilet seats. Public restrooms often have sensors and the automatic flushing can be very loud and catch kids off guard. Pack a small potty training kit (a Ziplock bag works in this case) to make bathroom breaks a little less stressful for them.
Here are three items to pack in your potty training travel kit:
- Sanitizing/Disinfecting Wipes – Use these to wipe bathroom countertops or any surface toddlers touch (which is pretty much everything!)
- Disposable Seat Covers – The Summer Infant Disposable Potty Protectors are large enough that the entire seat and sides of the toilet are covered. Toddlers who need to hang on to steady themselves touch the cover and not the actual germy toilet seat.
- Post It Notes – cover the sensor with a piece of paper and you’ll stop the toilet from flushing automatically and surprising your little one
These potty training travel tips will help keep your little one on the right path toward potty training success no matter what your travel plans are for the year.
What advice do you have for parents facing the travelling while potty training dilemma?