How to Handle Potty Training while out

Potty training is easier to control when you’re in the familiar and comfortable environment of home. But there always comes a day when you must head out to the shops, or go out to a friend or relatives home and take your toilet training toddler with you.

For many parents, leaving the home environment with a toddler whom is potty training can be cause of some stress. You may question whether you should put your child in a diaper when out, undoing all the hard work and success you may have had so far. You wonder whether your child will be able to hold their bladder for the small amount of time they’ll be in the car. You also may find yourself ensuring that there is a toilet at the destination in which you’re heading.

But handling potty training when out does not have to be any different then when you’re at home. It’s just a new experience for you and your child and one that must be learned at sometime. So how can you make this trip easier for you and your child? You can do this by being prepared and as conscientious out and about, as you are at home. Here are some tips that will help you and your child adjust to potty training while being ‘out’.


Accidents will and do happen no matter what stage of potty training your toddler is at. But when out, it helps to be prepared for these accidents. Ensure there is a toilet close by to where you’re going, because sometimes there are none or they’re just not easy to reach in a short period of time.

Pack spare underwear and clothes in case an accident does occur.

For a car trip, you may pack a towel in the car incase an accident occurs in the child seat too. Sometimes we may get held up in traffic and a short trip turns into a long one. If the trip happens to be long, you may want to plan places along the way you can stop and have your child relieve their bladder.


Have your child go to the toilet before they leave the house to ensure their bladder is empty. If there is a bathroom at the shops or at a relative’s home, remember to have your child go to the bathroom before you leave for the return trip too.


By this time you may be able to recognize the times when your child needs to go to the toilet. It helps to recognize the times when a bowel movement is usually performed and avoid leaving the home at this time.


Just like at home, you should always ask your child every 30-60 minutes, depending on their stage of potty training, if they need to go to the toilet. In the early stages of toilet training I used to set an alarm in the kitchen or I used my watch to advise me when to ask this pertinent question. Make sure you ask them regularly and if you’re out for a long period of time, it may pay to take them to the toilet even when they have not told you they need to go.

Getting away from the familiar surrounding of the home while potty training is something that must inevitably happen. Planning ahead and making sure you stick to the same routines out as you do at home will lessen the opportunity for any accidents to occur when out and about.