With Spring Break and Summer travel on the horizon, many parents are getting ready to make the plunge into the potty training process – warmer weather means less layers to work around and spring breaks mean more time to commit to a process that requires consistency. And, while the extra time on hand can provide parents the necessary resources for continuity, Spring Break can also serve as a major setback to those already working their way through potty training –all the extra activities break from normal routines and can cause confusion for overwhelmed or overtired toddlers. With Spring Break bringing extra car trips near and far, 72 percent of moms agree that having a potty-training tot in the car is the most difficult place to be.
To help us out we chatted with Pull-Ups® Potty Training Partner and Mom Blogger, Meagan Paullin about the obstacles – and solutions – to Spring Break potty training routines. Check out her tips below as well as the Pull-Ups website where you can discover the best tips and tools to get moms and dads through potty training when traveling.
Momtrends: What are some of your packing essentials for parents that are potty training?
Meagan Paullin: Be prepared! Pack an extra change of clothes, Pull-Ups® and wipes. And, when you're on the go - be consistent. If you have rewards at home, like stickers or checklists, be sure to bring those with you when you travel. Toddlers do much better when you continue as many of their normal routines as possible.
Momtrends: In general, how many breaks should families take on car rides with a potty training child?
Meagan Paullin: This depends on how many breaks you take at home. Each age and stage will have different needs - just follow your usual routine. If you normally take potty breaks every hour at home, try to do that while on the road too. If it's shorter intervals, like 15 minutes, then be sure to bring a portable potty seat. That way, you can stop anywhere, anytime, for little ones to "go" when they feel the need.
Momtrends: What are some potty training routines that you can still practice while traveling?
Meagan Paullin: I think that almost any routine can be adapted to travel with you. The basics - remember to stop for potty breaks as often as you do at home, not just when driving, but wherever you are. An alarm on your phone works great for this! Bring the same rewards you use at home. If you have a portable potty seat at home, bring it too. Just try to keep things as close to the same as possible.
But, there will still be challenges, since you can't stick exactly to your home routine. A few tips: Remind kids at each attraction or event you go to, that there is a bathroom there. Little ones might not realize that other places still have a potty too :) Point out each bathroom as you pass it, so they can let you know if it's time to go.
And the biggest part - keep your sense of humor. Yes, they will possibly have an accident, at the worst possible time. Yes, they will tell you they need to go potty when it's the absolute least convenient time. That's the way it goes, and getting stressed will only upset you both. Have supplies like extra Pull-Ups® and wipes, change of clothes, and wet-bags to contain the mess, and remember that life goes on. This stage will only last a while :)
There are additional tips and great articles on the Pull-Ups® website to help parents figure out what works for them!
Momtrends: What age, in general, can Pull-Ups® be introduced?
Meagan Paullin: Most parents start potty training with Pull-Ups® between the ages of 18 and 40 months. And, although every child is very different, 2 years old (24 months) is a common age to “officially” begin the process. Not only do Pull-Ups® help kids learn about bathroom independence as they train, the training pants also feature super fun Disney characters and the Big Kid Academy has many tools to help keep toddlers motivated. What's not to love?
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