Potty Training: Are You Ready to Go Public?
Potty training has been going well and you wonder whether maybe it’s time
to move beyond the safety of home. However, you know that potty training
at home is very different to potty training in the big wide world but you
aren’t sure how different and what to do to prepare yourself and educate
your child on what to expect. Read on for tips on what to expect and how
you can prepare.
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You’ve done a lot of the hard work and potty training is now going well.
To get things running smoothly you’ve been staying home and it’s been
working. You’ve got a good system happening between the two of you and
there have been relatively few accidents in recent days. You’re even
starting to feel like this potty training thing is no big deal.
You wonder whether maybe it’s time to head out, to move beyond the safety
of home. However, you know that potty training at home is very different
to potty training in the big wide world but you aren’t sure how different
and what to do to prepare yourself and educate your child on what to
Just because it’s new and perhaps a bit intimidating, you can’t stay home
forever. No really, you can’t! Of course, it’s tempting to put them in
pull ups so you won’t have to worry about any potential accidents. The
only problem is that it isn’t really sending your child the right message
about the path ahead.
You know that your child can go for at least an hour in between potty
visits so if you time it right you might be able to get there and back
within the hour. Well, maybe. But bladders, especially children’s
bladders, aren’t always like that. You know what it’s like when you get
excited or nervous, you need to go to the bathroom more. Your child is
like that too, only they can’t hold on like you can. So you may well
find that your child needs to go more when they are out, not less.
So what can you do?
1. Explain to your child what will happen when you are out, how it
will likely be different from home and any concerns you may have.
2. Get them to go, or at least try to go potty before you leave.
3. Find out where the toilets are as soon as you get wherever you are
going and go straight away. It’s much easier doing this calmly before
they really need it than in the rush of a sudden urge.
4. If you’re out in public, as you move around always be on the
lookout for those tell-tale bathroom signs so you know exactly which
direction you should head if you need to.
5. If you don’t have a portable potty with you, try getting your child
to sit backwards on a regular toilet – some children find this easier
because they have the wall or toilet cistern to hold onto and don’t feel
like they are going to fall off the seat on to the floor.
6. Take some spare clothing, a couple of plastic bags, and some baby
wipes and paper towels with you in case of accidents.
7. If they have an accident in a shop or restaurant – let the staff
know and race to the bathroom with your child. Sure it is embarrassing
but you won’t be the first. All you can really do is apologise – quickly
– and leave a big tip.
8. If your child has an accident at a friend’s house then it’s your
responsibility to clean it up. Best to take your own paper towels so you
can quickly spring into action without having to ask for everything and
make it a big deal.
9. Don’t forget to take your sense of humour – accidents or not,
you’re going to need it. There may be several false alarms with your
child wanting to find out what happens when they say the magic trigger
word. If you feel this is happening, try not to get upset with them.
Instead try praising them for telling you and being so responsible about
their potty training, even though you know it’s not easy.