Potty Training Tips for Tots that Travel

Potty Training Tips for Tots that Travel

File 12-01-2018, 21 11 04Christmas comes with its own set of stresses so was I insane for wanting to potty train the toddler in addition to all the madness and mayhem? Well we took on the challenge but an even bigger one was to follow. Before the decision to start potty training (which was led by the toddler) we had booked our ‘E’ weekend to Edinburgh, which meant flights, lots of distractions and unknown distances until the next toilet…..just perfect for a newly potty trained toddler.

We have lived with the mind set that when you have kids, you shouldn’t have to limit your travel plans but just adapt and adjust. Even for us, this was a little bit of a daunting challenge to face up to so we asked a few other family travel bloggers for some advice on how to tackle it…read on for some hints and tips.

Initial potty training tips

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Take a look at my Instagram profile where I’ve saved my potty training stories for you to have a look at – I share how we’ve been successful in getting our kids dry within three days of taking nappies off. Tips involve:

  • Build up over a few months :
    • Read stories like Pirate Pete’s Potty (Pirate Pete and Princess Polly) or Princess Polly’s Potty books
    • 2018-01-11 23.08.19-2
    • Point out slightly older children that now wear pants and go to the toilet (especially siblings/cousins) and explain that they are now a big girl/boy
    • Introduce a few potties around the house to let them play with/sit on/use as they like. We have a few of these types around the house and they have worked perfectly fine – they also come with a range of designs, meaning your kids can choose one they love. Peppa Pig Steady Potty with Non Slip Feet – Princess Peppa
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      These potties have been great for the house, nice and sturdy and colourful. They are a little bulky to take out with you though.
    • Check to see some willingness to start using the potty/toilet before starting taking nappies off
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      He’s ready to rock this potty training
  • Explain when you’re going to start
    • Take them to buy new pants/knickers to let them choose and get excited over them
    • Create or buy a sticker reward chart and introduce it
    • Make sure you have a few days that you can dedicate towards potty training them – ideally in one location. (We did ours at home and stayed in for a few days)
    • Tell them the night before that in the morning they get to wear their big boy/girl pants/knickers
    • File 11-01-2018, 22 08 24
      Not Pinterest Perfect but quick and easy to draw up with the help of a Smyths catalogue, some sharpies and some stickers from a local £1 shop
  • Take the nappies off and away you go
    • Plenty and encouragement and praise
    • Over-do the enthusiasm and use of the sticker chart initially
    • If they have an accident, don’t make a big deal of it, just direct them to the potty or toilet to make sure they have finished and tell them that’s where they need to go then praise them for going on it.

Every child is different and this worked for our two but may not work for everyone, we did have a couple of set backs after the first few days of success when our toddler started getting stubborn about using the potty. We overcame that initial bout by giving him the choice of the potty or toilet ( we had been getting him to use the potty to start)  I think he felt more grown up using the toilet and liked having a choice.

The second setback was that he didn’t want to sit on the toilet for very long and hopped off before he was finished. We read books to him as a way of getting him to stay longer which eventually overcame that problem.

Travelling with a newly potty trained toddler

So, your toddler has got the hang of things but now you’re going away….how will it work outside the home? With the upcoming Edinburgh trip which included a flight, I asked some other family travel bloggers for some advice on how to tackle the next phase of potty training. Here’s what they said:

  1. Be Prepared: You thought your nappy bag was big, you might need a bigger one for your recently potty trained toddler. Fran from www.backwithabump.co.uk says to take plenty of spare clothes, a potty at all times (in the boot and in the buggy)
  2. Choose a portable potty: 
  3. Protect the car: Car journeys can be a tricky one if your little one has a habit of dozing off in the back, if you haven’t put a nappy on to cover the sleep then you could end up with a very damp car seat. Lynne from www.foodandwellbeing.co.uk recommends the Pop In Car Seat Protector (Campervan Green) to help with any accidents.
  4. Regular trips to the loo: It’s easy to forget this one when you’re in a new environment and absorbed by exciting surroundings but always take them to the loo when you arrive and before you depart from your destination. Sinead from www.sineadlatham.com also swears by taking your little one to the loo every 30 minutes or so to avoid accidents. We were lucky that we only needed to go every hour or so.
  5. Keep the praise high and the pressure low :Often with a lot of things going on, you can either get a little paranoid and be checking too often and make it an issue or not recognise their successes due to everything else going on. Kati from www.howtorockatparenting.wordpress.com says don’t put the pressure on, keep going with things that work like the books to relax them and keep up with the praise.

We followed the prescription set by the experts and found ourselves to have a relaxed and accident free trip (although a few near misses – that foldable potty was amazingly quick to set up and it had to be!

The bit that probably stressed me out the most was when the seatbelt sign went on in the plane, we had taken a toilet trip just prior to boarding but then were grounded for an hour. Luckily the air hostesses were more than accommodating and even though the signs were on, were more than happy for us to use the toilets until the plane was ready to take off. Communication in those instances is key!

I think sometimes, the thought of these things can be worse than the reality so with a bit of preparation, communication, a relaxed attitude and the right tools, it got us through!

Good luck to those of you attempting to do the same and let me know if you have any more to add to the list!

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We rocked it!


This is an Amazon affiliate post so any purchases you make through links clicked will result in me being paid. Thanks for your support.


9 Replies to “Potty Training Tips for Tots that Travel”

  1. Gorgeous photos! Can’t believe the potty went to feed the ducks with you! Haha 🙂

    Thanks for mentioning me in this fab post with lots of very helpful tips on potty training toddlers.

  2. So glad we’re out of that stage. N was dry at night at 2.5y, so gradually started using the toilet before bathtime. But just before he was 3 had a major set back after he’d gone back to nursery and we had to give up. Then he just decided to do it himself, had 1 accident and that was that. #bigpinklink

  3. Oh gosh, I remember these days well! The only thing that worked in the end for my two was the purchase of a potty that looked like a frog! Glad it’s going well and you managed to get away. Thanks for linking up this week to the #bigpinklink

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