Potty Training Your Cautious Child Away From Home

Jan 18, 2023 | 2 Minutes Read

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. 

Assure your careful little one that you’ll stick to the routine that you’ve established, but that you will need to add some new steps too, like finding the bathroom in a new place. Prepare them ahead of time: “When we go to Grandma’s (the store, restaurant, shopping center, etc.) we’ll still use the timer. Right when we get there, we’ll go on a potty hunt and make sure we know where it is. Do you think the bathrooms work the same way as ours do? Let’s see!”

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

When you’re on longer trips, give your child the option to wear Pull-Ups® training pants even if they’re regularly in underpants. A child who is sometimes in underwear but who will be going on a long trip will probably do best wearing Pull-Ups products, particularly with the cautious personality, who may be determined to stay on schedule. Explain by saying, “Things are going to be different today and sometimes we won’t be able to get to a potty fast enough. That’s normal. It’s OK to wear Pull-Ups today.” However, a child who regularly wears undies might feel insulted by having to wear Pull-Ups training pants again. For these children, you might bring some Pull-Ups training pants along and have them handy just in case they’re needed during the trip.

Potty Talk:

  • 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.”


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