Potty Training while out

Successful potty training is not only about teaching your child to use the bathroom, but also learning how to deal with potty training in a variety of situations. One of the more difficult situations to manage is maintaining the training while out. Without the comforts and privacy of home potty training presents a whole new set of challenges that a parent must learn to deal with if they want to meet with success.

Leave your pride at home and bring your patience. As a parent there are many situations you will encounter that might be a bit embarrassing (to say the least) not the least of which is potty training away from home. Expect your child to make sure that the cashier, waitress, people seated behind you, people waiting in the lobby to be seated, and the restaurant manager to know when the have to use the potty. If this happens to you consider yourself lucky, they could be telling you that they have already used the potty on their booster seat.

Prepare yourself to be pulled away from whatever activity you are trying to accomplish. Invariably your child will need to go at the most inopportune moments, so be ready for it. Try to keep all your valuables (purse, wallet, car keys etc.) packed in the bag you’ll be taking into the bathroom with you. This way your aren’t leaving valuables in a shopping cart or on a park bench or some other location where they are vulnerable. Distracted as you will be, it would be an opportune time for a criminal to take advantage of the situation.

Be sure to pack well. Try to pack for every contingency. For example, packing more than one extra set of clothes. Maybe she won’t have more than one accident, but there is a distinct possibility that she may get dirty in some other way and need to change. Pack disinfectant wipes along with regular toilet wipes. If you are going out there is a good possibility you will be frequenting public restrooms. If you wouldn’t want to use it, why make her? Take some disinfectant wipes to clean up prior to use, and some liquid hand sanitizer to clean up afterward. If at all possible take a portable, disposable, or collapsible potty seat. The familiarity of using the same seat each time will help the child feel comfortable in strange places, and will assist in building a potty routine. It is also a good idea to pack some toys or books in case she gets a little stage fright when trying to go in a strange place. The distraction will help you both to relax and let things come naturally. It is also a good idea to pack some disinfectant spray for the toys if possible in case they hit the bathroom floor.

In some instances while out it will be much more difficult to get your child to go to the potty than others. It may be easy to get her to go in the grocery store, but what about at her friend’s birthday party? This is a bit more challenging. Try to watch her closely, and when you believe she needs to go there is only one thing to do. Scoop her up and remove her from the party. She will not be happy but she will also want to return to the party as soon as possible, so she will want to get the potty time over with. Try to help her understand that going potty is a necessary part of life, and that even when she doesn’t she want to, she still has to go. She won’t agree with you, but you are the parent and you know best. She’ll come around eventually, and if nothing else you could resort to plain old fashion bribery. It works wonders if she knows she’ll get a couple of raisins or some other treat (healthy if possible) for doing a good job.

The most important thing to remember when potty training while out is that accidents happen. Do your best not to get upset, and just deal with the problem at hand. Reassure her that accidents happen sometimes, and that she will do better next time. Don’t necessarily let her believe it is okay to have accidents, but also don’t punish her for them. Try to keep a positive attitude and your child will follow suit. If you are well prepared mentally and keep a well packed back of supplies with you there is nothing to worry about. You and your child will figure it out eventually, and there is nothing more rewarding than having an opportunity to be proud of your child’s (and your own) accomplishments.