This 4th of July we took a 5 hour road trip to NM with our three year old. He's been on many road trips before but this time he wore his 'big boy' underwear and made it there and back without any accidents! As a mama going through my first potty training experience, I was so proud for us both. He still uses his night time diaper and that's ok for me right now. During the day he is now going to the potty on his own for number 1 and 2. It seems like only last week he was still having numerous accidents, but after this trip it became so clear how far he's really come. My advice for this life stage is to go for it. Don't try to avoid travel and road trips just because they are still potty training. Don't be scared that they'll completely regress and you'll have to start all over again. This trip went so well we even had energy left over and took a little detour to Meteor Crater on the way back.
Here's a few tips I've learned while traveling during the potty training days.
Pack plenty of pull-ups & underwear. You know your child best and if they aren't consistently telling you when they've got to go, don't be afraid to put them in a pull-up. During the first year of potty training, I would explain to V that a long car ride was ahead of us and that he needed to wear a pull-up just in case he had an accident. I would always make it very clear that he still had to let me know if he needed to go and we would do our best to make a quick stop. Always let them know that accidents are ok. On this particular trip he let me know he didn't want a pull-up this time, so we decided to let him give it a try. He was right on!
Make plenty of stops and reminders along the way. On the way to NM and back we probably stopped a total of 6 times. Any time we made a stop for gas or food we would make sure to ask him if he needed to use the potty. Sometimes he said no, and other times he said yes but we made sure he always had the opportunity to go.
Have one or two changes of clothes easily accessible. During the first year of potty training we sometimes had to change V at a rest stop or in the car because of accidents. Even though V had been consistently getting better at controlling himself, I always expect at least one or two accidents and come prepared.
Try to get them used to different potties before the trip. An issue that I often had with V is that while he would easily go pee and poo in his own potty, he did't want to use any other potties! This was frustrating because I would get plenty of accidents when we were at other peoples houses or at public restrooms. There's only so much we could do but we always tried to encourage him and eventually with time he was able to use 'strange' potties.
Good Luck! ♡
Dad, Dad, where is the big rock? I can't see it.