When your child begins potty training, I recommend spending the first few days in the home, to allow your child the opportunity to get used to the process in a familiar environment.
However, the time will come, when you have to venture out of the house.
Here are a few tips to help make this as smooth as possible:-
- Provide underwear. Supplying a pull-up or nappy when you are out and about is likely to confuse your child. It also makes it less likely that they will use the toilet / potty as required. You may wish to use training pants (underwear with a more absorbent core) on long journeys.
- Accept that accidents are a normal part of the potty training process. Preparing for such is key
- Place a waterproof car seat cover on your buggy, to ensure it is protected. If it gets wet, simply pop it in the wash.
- Carry several changes of clothes, some wipes and a wet bag to put wet clothes in. If your child as an accident, do not make a big deal. Just say ‘opps maybe next time.’ Their little bladders and brains are only learning how to sync together.
- The first few times you leave the house, focus on short journeys and travel somewhere they are familiar – perhaps to a relatives or home of a familiar friend. This helps ensure that they do not feel too overwhelmed in an unfamiliar environment.
- Offer frequent opportunities for your child to use a toilet or potty – around age 2 – 3 most children can only manage around 2 hours at a time. It can be helpful to set an alarm on your phone, so you can time when to offer toilet opportunities
- Public toilets can be very overwhelming for a child to use initially – very noisy and lots of people. If possible I would try to avoid using these until potty training is well established. However, this isn’t always possible. It can help to keep some supplies in your bag to make this process a little easier. I recommend some wipes (to make sure the seat is clean) post-it-notes and antibacterial hand gel. If the toilet uses an automatic sensor, it can frighten the child if it goes off to soon. Placing a post-it-note over the sensor prevents this happening until the child is off the toilet. Soap and water are the best way to ensure hands are clean. However having some wipes, coupled with antibacterial gel can be better than nothing, if the toilets happen to have run out of soap.
- Carry some rewards. If your child uses the potty / toilet when out and about, it is important that they see this as a success. Reward them both verbally, and with a physical reward (perhaps a sticker of their favourite cartoon character). Having these in your bag, ready to hand out can be really useful. Also ensure to praise their efforts. If a child tells you they need to go, but has an accident before they get there, make sure to acknowledge by saying ‘great try’ and offering a sticker for their attempt. Children also love to overhear you praising them to others.
- Making the environment to use the potty / toilet as familiar as possible to your child, can really
help their progress. I recommend the Potette Max. This ingenious piece of equipment comes in
an easy to carry, discrete, slim-line carry bag. It can be used in 3 ways – either as a training seat
to be used on top of a toilet, as a standalone portable potty (with disposal liners for
convenience) or as a regular potty. This allows your child to use the potty / toilet wherever they
are, whilst allowing a familiar environment as home.