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Potty Training In The Car: Is It A Traveling Nightmare?

Potty Training In The Car: Is It A Traveling Nightmare?

Yes, teaching your toddler to use a potty is challenging, but what could make that experience even worse? Potty training in the car! It’s confusing enough for your toddler even when you’re at home, so is it even possible to keep working on it while traveling? Should you just cancel your trip until she’s a bit older?

Don’t worry, mama. Potty training while traveling is possible! Although it might be a bit more demanding and could make your car ride longer, your bub can use her potty even on your next road trip. There’s absolutely no reason for you to cancel your well-deserved weekend away.

The most important thing to do is to prepare well and arm yourself with patience. You can’t expect your toddler to know how to use a potty at home, let alone while you’re miles away from the only toilet she’s used to. Try to understand just how confusing this is for your little one.

Because of that, preparation is the most important part of making this possible. If you’re not sure where to start or how to approach this issue, I’ve got you covered. Let’s learn about potty training in the car together, so that you can enjoy that lovely family road trip you’ve been planning.

Things you’ll need for potty training in the car

Potty Training In The Car: Is It A Traveling Nightmare?

Do you think that having a checklist would make the whole process of potty training in the car a lot easier? If you answered yes, then that’s exactly what you should do! But what do you even need for this little adventure?

To make your car ride as comfortable as possible for both you and your toddler, you’ll need some potty supplies. Here are some things you should keep in your “potty bag”:

  1. Large towels that will make it easier for you to clean your baby
  2. Extra pair of clothes (if you think you have enough, pack some more)
  3. Wipes for cleaning
  4. A bag where you’ll keep her dirty clothes
  5. A protective cover for her car seat
  6. Disinfectants for an easy way to clean your baby’s seat and the car
  7. A potty designed for traveling
  8. Toilet seat covers in case you decide to use public bathrooms

You should also consider putting a large towel in your baby’s car seat if you’re out of options, but there are some better alternatives such as covers and pads that are designed for this purpose. In case your tot has an oopsie in the car, it will be a lot easier to clean it up this way.

If your little one is used to using a toilet, you’ll probably want to introduce her to public bathrooms during your trip. This can be pretty stressful for your toddler, since she’s used to the one you have at home. Getting a small, slip-resistant potty seat will make this experience a lot more comfortable for her.

Potty training in the car: how to do it?

Now that you have everything you need, the only thing left is to learn how to actually do it. All your potty training supplies won’t do much if you don’t know how and when to use them, right? Well, worry not, mama. We’re learning together.

The good news is, potty training while traveling isn’t rocket science. It doesn’t need much more than patience, understanding, and good preparation. If you’re not sure what types of things you should do or pay attention to, we’ll go through them together.

1. Take regular potty breaks

Taking regular potty breaks is key here. Don’t wait for your toddler to say she needs to go. There’s a high chance she won’t do that at all but rather pee in her seat. Because she used diapers not too long ago, it’s a lot more familiar to her than using a potty anywhere outside of her home.

If you have a potty training schedule that you follow at home, try to stick to it. You’re still training your baby to use her potty just the same, only the environment changed. It’s easy to lose track of time when you’re traveling, so setting an alarm is a good idea.

And if you don’t have a set schedule, plan on making a stop every hour or so. When you do, make sure everyone goes so that your baby feels included and less stressed out.

If you can, make these stops as interesting as possible. Plan them in fun places for your kid, such as stations with playgrounds, McDonald’s, or use your imagination and make the place fun yourself! Once your baby is done using her potty, make sure you reward her with playtime.

2. Prepare for the worst-case scenario

You might prepare everything perfectly, plan your trip with interesting stops every hour, and accidents can still happen. No matter how much you’ve thought it through in advance, there are some things that you simply can’t plan. For example, you might find yourself stuck in traffic.

This is why it’s important to bring a travel potty with you, even if your baby has now transitioned to using toilets. In case of a traffic jam, your baby will be able to go wherever, as long as you have your potty with you.

On top of that, make sure you add a layer of protection to your baby’s car seat. This doesn’t have to be anything fancy and, in the worst-case scenario, placing a waste bag will do the trick.

3. Make sure your toddler is okay with public toilets

Potty Training In The Car: Is It A Traveling Nightmare?

Public toilets can be pretty overwhelming for your toddler, especially if she’s never used one before. After all, she’s used to potty training at home, in her safe, small bathroom she’s familiar with. Public bathrooms, however, are often large, crowded, and loud, all of which can stress out your bub.

If possible, introduce your tot to public bathrooms a couple of weeks before your trip. Visit your local shopping center or make small trips around town and take your toddler to the bathrooms with you. Wash your hands, flush the toilet, and let her get used to the noise in advance.

4. Be patient and understanding

The most important thing is to be understanding and patient. All of this is new for your little one, and she may feel quite anxious about the whole situation. You being mad at her will only make things worse by making her even more stressed out.

Even if she does something wrong, don’t raise your voice at her or punish her in any way. Change her clothes, clean her seat, and tell her that she should let you know when she needs to go again. Scaring her will only make things worse in the future and could leave some negative side effects.

Things to avoid

There are some things that you might not consider when potty training in the car, but you definitely should. If you want to keep your baby clean and dry, and the whole experience “painless”, here are some things you should avoid.

1. Making your child hold it

No matter what, never assume that your baby can just “hold it” until your next planned stop. Her bladder and control thereof are a lot different from yours, and she’s still learning that she can’t pee whenever she feels like it.

If your little one says she has to go, stop as soon as possible if you don’t want to deal with cleaning her mess. If you have to use a travel potty, do it. Even if it’s by the roadside. It’s a lot better than having to clean her up, and it will let your toddler know that she should always tell you when she needs to go.

2. Stay away from salty snacks

What will make your toddler pee a lot? Drinking a lot of fluids. And what will make her super thirsty? Salty snacks.

Although we always snack up when traveling, especially when with a toddler, it’s crucial to choose the right type of food. Bringing snacks is completely okay. In fact, it might make the road trip a lot more interesting and fun for your toddler. But make sure you pick healthy ones.

Whether it’s bananas, sweet potatoes, apples, or any kind of unsalted snacks, it doesn’t matter. As long as it’s healthy and doesn’t make her thirsty, you should be just fine.

3. Never assume your toddler doesn’t need to go

You asked your toddler if she needs to go and she said no. If you’re assuming she’s not lying, you’re probably making a big mistake. There’s a high chance your baby simply doesn’t feel like getting out of her comfy seat and having to deal with using the potty.

This is especially true if your little one is playing or watching something. There’s a 99% chance she simply doesn’t want to interrupt whatever she’s doing. To avoid accidents caused by this, stick to your schedule and don’t ask questions. Even if she says no, make her go.

Potty Training In The Car: Is It A Traveling Nightmare?