Cautious children want to know what’s coming next, so help them to feel part of the process when adapting the potty plan for a new location or situation.
Include your cautious child in the preparations for the trip. “I’m going to start packing our bag for the trip to Grandma’s house. Will you please help me make sure we have everything we need to use the potty there?" Your meticulous child will enjoy double-checking your packing accuracy, and letting you know what’s missing. Out & About Checklist to help you and your cautious toddler work together at packing your bag.
When you arrive at your destination, check out the bathroom with your child as soon as you get there. “Does this look like our bathroom? Do you see anything new here? Wow, this bathroom has an automatic flusher … these are really cool because they flush without a handle … it’s like magic. They can be loud though, so be ready for a loud noise. I’ll show you now so you know how it works. Do you see this little circle? The toilet can see when someone stands up after they’re done using it. It makes the toilet flush all by itself. Want to wave your hand in front of the sensor to see it work? Sometimes it flushes when we just move around on the toilet and aren’t even finished yet! And it’s loud! Don’t worry or let it scare you, just remember that the toilet made a mistake and thought we were finished.” You might want to bring sticky notes to put over the sensor so that the automatic flusher won’t frighten your little one.
For Longer Trips
- “We’ll be in the car/plane for a long time today. Will you feel more comfortable in your Pull-Ups or in the underwear you’ve been wearing?”
- “If you start to feel like you have to go, tell me right away because it may take us a little longer than usual to find a bathroom. As soon as you tell me, we can do our best to get to the potty in time. It’s OK if we don’t make it, though, because you have your Pull-Ups on. Sometimes, kids don’t make it to the potty on time during long trips, and that’s all right. It will all go back to the regular way once we get back home again.”
- “Airplanes have really tiny bathrooms, and they work a little differently. Let’s go see how it works before the plane takes off so if you have to go later, you’ll know what it’s like.”