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Mama Drama: Potty Training On The Go

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Dear Mama Drama:

My two year old is potty training and has moved into wearing “big girl panties.” I am freaked out about taking her out of the house because I’m afraid she’ll have an accident and will become too discouraged. How can I take her out and help her to be successful?

~ Stuck in the House Mama

(photo credit)

Dear Stuck:

Taking toddlers out in the world while they are potty training can be an adventure. Remember that it takes time to learn to read the signals that your bladder is full, tell mom you need to go, use your muscles to hold it in while you get to the bathroom, and get your clothes off in time. Here are some tips for a dry and happy outing:

Carry small sticky notes in your purse or diaper bag to cover the sensor on the automatic toilets. Many toddlers and preschoolers are frightened and unsettled by the seemingly unpredictable powerful flush and loud noise that accompanies it.

Dress your child in easy on and off clothes, such as pants with an elastic waistband. The easier clothing comes on and off, the more successful you little one will be.

Have your daughter go to the bathroom (or at least sit to try) before you leave the house. Make this a regular part of your routine.

Observe and learn to identify the early signs of your daughter’s own special potty dance. They all have one and identifying the early signs helps prevent accidents.

Keep outings short. Shorter trips give your little one a greater chance at success.

Stake out the restrooms in the nearby vicinity and have a plan for how to get there quickly.

Be prepared to drop whatever you are doing to head for the bathroom. Most kids in training do not have the ability to hold it “one more minute” as they have most likely waited until the last minute to let you know they have to go.

Keep an extra set of clothes on hand for when accidents do happen. Remember that accidents are part of the process and that being gentle with your little one will help her to continue to feel good about the process.

Monitor your daughter’s liquid intake before heading out and while you are out, so you can estimate when she’ll need to go.

Take periodic potty breaks, at least once an hour if you are on a longer outing. If your little one says she doesn’t need to go, have her try anyway. It’s good practice and prevents you from running back ten minutes later when it’s an “emergency.”

Once you are home have your daughter go to the bathroom, then celebrate her success!

Share your tips for successful potty training outings!

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