There’s nothing more frightening for any Potty training Parent than the prospect of leaving the house with a child sans diapers. Eventually, you will have to. When that time comes, (and it will), here are a few tips you can rely upon that will help you make it through the journey (no matter how far from home you venture with the potty-training junior):
Hit The Potty Before Hitting the Road
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Plunk kidlet on the potty just minutes before you leave the house – this is mandatory. Junior is not allowed to escape this fact of life, and the best way to enforce the rule is to ensure it becomes a ritual, perhaps for the entire household – take turns on the potty (if you show your potty trainer that you’re trying to pee before you leave the house, even if you don’t have to, you’ll encourage the same in him). Make it a fun habit!
Remember To Look At Your Watch!
Though your brain and bladder may cooperate once you’ve left the confines of home, remember junior’s brain/bladder communication isn’t in perfect sync, yet. Check that watch of yours, every thirty minutes, just as you would at home. Whether it’s junior’s cute face, the look of fear in your eye, or the thought of cleaning up a puddle of pee, you’ll be surprised how welcoming establishments are when you politely explain your little one needs to use the restroom (even if restrooms aren’t for the public). If the thought of making special arrangements for your little one gives you hives, seek out accessible restrooms in advance (most coffee shops & any major department store will have a public restroom available).
Make The Public Restroom His Home Away From Home
For some potty-training preschoolers, the thought of using a public restroom makes him long for his Huggies. Others may see it as an adventure! Whatever the case, make the experience as close to home as possible. Invest in a potty-seat ($10-$25), especially if you travel often (more on this, later). Bring wipes. Stock up in hand sanitizer (cleaner than using some public sinks, and you’ll never have to worry about whether the restroom is well stocked). Continue to use whatever method of reinforcement you use at home. Remember, consistency is key.
It’s Okay To Break The Rules, Sometimes
Society will understand if you occupy the largest stall in the restroom, even if it’s a Disabled stall. If you’re pushing a stroller where most of your potty-training paraphernalia is located, it’s much easier to wheel the buggy inside the stall, then to fumble through a diaper bag or try to manage everything (including a preschooler) in your arms.
You Can’t Pack Too Much
While potty training the kidlet, the days of throwing a sippy cup, wipes and a diaper in your purse are over for the next few months. Bring at least two full changes of clothing, including extra socks (you’d be surprised by how saturated an outfit can get), and if junior isn’t being night trained, a diaper/pullup in case of an unexpected nap.
If you realize you’re short supplied, ask a fellow stroller-pushing pedestrian! Chances are, they’ll have what you need (whether it be wipes, hand sanitizer, or extra clean undies!). Also, know where your Starbucks’ are in the neighborhood. Though they may have overpriced lattes, they also have fabulous standards for bathroom cleanliness. Also, if you frequent a park, find an establishment within a 2 minute run with clean bathrooms – introduce yourself, pop in daily, and make friends with the staff (this can occasionally result in little treats after successful potty adventures!).
7. Remember to Breathe. Accidents will happen. Guaranteed. Let junior know that accidents are okay, and nothing to provoke teary eyes, but that they can be prevented outside just as inside the home. Just remember to breathe, laugh, and let go!