It’s easy for children — particularly high-energy personality types — to get thrown off their game when they’re in a new situation. For kids, “new” might mean an airplane ride to Grandma’s or something as simple as using the restroom at the mall. On-the-move Big Kids are particularly prone to distraction and ditching routines, so remind your child that you will continue to play the games you’ve been playing at home even when you’re out and about. Your eager little one loves new situations, so adapting the games will continue to keep her interested. And when you get back home, you can talk about all the bathrooms you’ve seen and compare them to your home potty. Here are some tips for when you’re on the go.
Prepare your child ahead of time. “I wonder how long it will take us to play the Potty Game at Grandma’s (the restaurant, the shopping mall, etc.)? Do you think it will take more time or less? Why? Hmm. What do you think we could do when we get there to go super fast?” When you arrive at a new destination, find the nearest potty, or count the number of potties to keep your Big Kid interested. So when it’s time to go, your little learner will be confident knowing the location of the nearest loo. Be sure to pack your homemade Potty Book in your diaper bag. You can read the book together when trying out all the new potties on your journey.
For Longer Trips
Give your child the option to wear Pull-Ups®, even if they’ve been regularly wearing underpants. It simply helps decrease the travel stress for everyone. Using Pull-Ups now and again while on a long trip won’t throw off your long-term potty training plan. Stick to it as much as is reasonable, knowing there might be setbacks when your family is off the usual routine. A child who is sometimes in undies but who will be going on a long trip might do best if Pull-Ups are used because “things are going to be so different today and sometimes we won’t be able to play our potty game if the pilot says we must stay in our seats. So it’s OK to use your Pull-Ups today.” But a child who regularly wears undies might feel quite insulted at having to wear Pull-Ups again, and instead, parents should bring one along and have it handy “just in case” for use during the trip.
Regardless of your child’s choice — undies or Pull-Ups — keep playing your potty games. You may need to let your child know when it may take longer than usual to find a potty, so don’t let them feel discouraged. Here are some helpful scripts for taking the show on the road.
- “We’re going on a trip today, and we will be in the plane/car for a long time. Will you feel more comfortable in your Pull-Ups, or in the underwear you’ve been wearing?”
- “When we play the Potty Game on the road, it may take a bit longer than usual to find a potty. So, the first moment that you feel like you have to go, let me know and we’ll do our best to find a potty as soon as we can.”
- “Sometimes, kids don’t make it to the potty on time during long trips. That’s OK. When we get to Grandma’s house, we will be able to play our Potty Game again. No big deal.”
- “How do you think we go potty in the airplane/train/bus? Do you think it will take longer or shorter to find a potty? Why? This should be fun, let’s find out!"