Now that the world is opening back up and travel plans are on the table again, travelling while potty training could become a reality for you. It's important to make sure that you account for your toddler's potty training needs as you plan your next trip.
We've gathered the best resources and advice from around the internet to create a master list of tips for travelling while potty training. If you're planning to travel during potty training, here's what you need to know.
1. Don't start training right before a big trip
Our first suggestion comes from Mommy Nearest, who tells us that potty training takes a few weeks to master. That's why it's crucial to "give your child time to fully train at home before taking him or her on a major trip."
New surroundings, different bathrooms, and full travel schedules can be [confusing] for children as they potty train, so plan your trips accordingly. Mommy Nearest also tells us that "if you suspect your child is going to be a slow trainer, block out even more time." Our small PeapodMat is perfect for toddler or baby changing if you need to keep the diapers on for a little longer!
2. Bring a toilet training potty
This next tip comes from Today's Parent. They advise parents to bring a toilet training potty or travel potty when going on vacation. If you're travelling while potty training your toddler, having a portable potty is going to help them immensely. Instead of relying on you to help them reach the toilet, they'll be able to use their own potty somewhat independently.
In colder months or at night, these can be a lifesaver for road trips. If your toddler needs to go, just pull over, put it on a seat in the car, and they can relieve themselves without going outside.
3. Skip the hotel
If you're travelling with a potty training toddler, you might want access to laundry even more than you usually would. So instead of staying at a hotel, Baby Can Travel suggests you stay at an Airbnb, VRBO or other accommodations where you'll have access to laundry. That way, you'll always have clean clothing, bedding, and extra underwear for your toddler.
4. Bring a leakproof mat
Speaking of clean bedding, a leakproof mat will keep the mattress, sheets, and comforter clean and dry. These are perfect for naps or bedtime since the right leakproof mat, like our PeapodMats, will be absorbent enough to hold a full bladder's worth of urine. After an accident, the PeapodMat can easily be washed and dried on a regular cycle, ready for the next nap.
5. Bring a wet bag for soiled clothing
Next on our list of travelling tips when potty training comes from Kids on a Plane. They advise parents to "bring along a 'wet bag' for dirty clothing if accidents occur." This is useful for keeping dirty clothes separate from clean and can be toted around while you're on the airplane, in the car, or sightseeing around your destination.
You can use Ziplock bags, cloth diaper bags, or even specialized waterproof wet bags explicitly made for incontinence items. Then, when doing laundry, unzip the bag and toss it into the washer without ever touching soiled clothing!
6. Plan to stay in the same place for the first week
According to the Travelynn Family, if you’re taking a longer trip with multiple destinations, you should plan to stay at your first destination for around a week. “It is true that potty training is harder if you’re moving around every other day. Travelling with kids is all about embracing slower travel.”
Taking the time to stay in one place will help your toddler to get settled and adjusted to travelling, using public toilets, being out for longer than usual, and sleeping away from home.
7. Continue your reward system
When you're travelling while potty training, you may want to you keep up any reward system that you’ve been with you. It’s enough that you’ve taken your toddler from their usual environment (and bathrooms). Make sure you continue to incorporate rewards if they’ve been working. One mom from the blog recommends taking a sticker pad with you and adding stickers every time your toddler uses the potty.
8. Prepare for public toilets
Another tip is to prepare for public restrooms. This means bringing a portable fold-up seat cover and covering up automatic flush sensors. We've heard from a few travelling parents that the loud and abrupt flush can frighten or even traumatize children. Also, make sure you bring some disinfectant wipes to clean toilet seats with – you'll want to sit your child sideways on large toilet seats.
9. Give them confidence
Last on our list is this wonderful psychology tip from Today's Parent. They recommend that you encourage and praise your child when they use the toilet. You also want to avoid stressing or getting frustrated with your toddler. Instead, if they make a mistake or have an accident, make sure that they know it's not the end of the world.
Instead of using pull-ups, which can set your child back or make them think you don't trust them, use your PeapodMat for longer airplane or car rides and while they're sleeping or napping. The PeapodMat will protect seats and beds from urine while encouraging your child to wear big kid underwear.
"If you use a pull-up, you're sending the message that they really can't do it," Dr. Maureen Healy, author of The Emotionally Happy Child, explains. "It just confuses them."
When you're travelling with potty training toddlers, you may encounter some resistance. Still, as long as you make sure you're well prepared, bring an extra set of clothing, encourage them to use the bathroom before leaving locations, and have the right attitude, your vacation should be a success!
We hope that our roundup of expert tips for travelling while potty training has been helpful to you. Want more tips? Read our Bedwetting Travel Tips post. Tag us on Instagram if you have any more advice we missed, and enjoy your travels!