5 Tricks to managing a toddler who's still adjusting to left without diapers
To potty train or not to potty train?
I get many calls for advice around this time of year, mostly from parents asking me if they should wait to potty train their kiddos until they are done with their holiday traveling or do it now? Or if their children are already mostly trained, how on earth are they supposed to get to where they are going without them having an accident in the car or on the plane? Traveling with a newly potty-trained toddler sometimes can be a hassle, but with these tips and tricks, you can set yourself up for a successful trip.
Planning ahead may seem like an obvious thing to do, but you’ll now have a toddler with a small bladder traveling with you, so you should plan your trip according to the availability of bathrooms along the way. If you know that you’re going to have a crazy travel schedule, and you don’t think your newly-trained child will be able to handle it, perhaps you should wait to potty train him until after the holidays are over, and he’s back to a normal routine. You want to set yourself and your child up for success, so pick a time to potty train when you know that it'll be good for you and don’t feel guilty for not wanting to take on that extra stress during the holidays.
3/Use the bathroom before you leave
The rule in our house is that we cannot leave until everyone has used the bathroom. The kids always are very willing to do it when they know they won't be able to leave until they have tried, plus I have made it part of their everyday routine. Now, I always know the last time that the kids have used the restroom and how long they should be able to hold it before they need to go again. To ensure their bladder is really empty, have them go potty 30 minutes before you leave and then again right before you actually leave the house. This is also a good trick to use before your child goes to bed at night to help them stay dry overnight.
3/Limit your child's fluid intake
I don't mean you must tell your kids that they aren't allowed to drink anything, but if you know you're going to be in the car for the next three hours, maybe let them have enough sips to quench their thirst, rather than allowing them to drink an entire 12 ounces of water, unless you are fine with very frequent bathroom stops. Like I said, set yourself up for success!
4/Bring extra clothes & shoes
I’m sure that you’re in the habit of packing an extra set of clothing for your child, but often extra socks and shoes get overlooked. If your child has an accident while they are standing up, their socks and shoes will get drenched, and then they’ll have nothing to cover their little feet for the rest of the day! It’s such a bummer when this happens, and you’re out in public somewhere, and your child really needs shoes! So remember to pack that extra pair!
5/Bring a back-up travel potty
As a professional potty trainer, I have never been a fan of these little toilets. I could probably write an entire article about why I don’t like them, but they are great for roadtripping with your little ones. It’s always easy to pull over to the side of the road and let your little boy go pee, but what if your daughter needs to go? Even worse, what if your child has to go poop, and you are nowhere near a bathroom? Cue the little potty! Pack a couple of plastic bags that you can use as liners for the potty. That way, if they do go poop, you can just tie it up in the bag afterwards instead of having to clean out the basin.
Brandi Brucks is the director of Your Village Consulting in Austin, Texas and potty trains children as young as 21 months up to 4 years old. She’s successfully potty trained more than a hundred children, and she’s helped their parents get through it without losing their minds. You can find her book, Potty Training in 3 Days, here.