5 points to consider when out and about with your potty-trained child.
BY POTTY TRAINING EXPERT SUE WELBY
1. Don't put a pull up or nappy back on your child when you go out.
This will confuse them, and it also tells them you don't trust they can do it.
It’s all about building their self-esteem and confidence or they may want to give up.
Top tip - Give them the power and ask them if they've packed their 'magic whizzer' so they can collect the special wee the fairies need to power whizzerland.
2. Plan short visits out first
Know where you're going and check out if there are any toilets. We don't want to stay in for too long when we first start potty training as some children will clock in their brains that potty training is only for indoors.
TOP TIP - stay in for the first three days after you've ditched the nappy.
Then BE BRAVE and venture out.
3. Create a fun toilet routine before you go out and the whole family follow this.
It’s a great habit to get into -we all sit on the toilet/potty before we go out. BUT don’t turn this into a power struggle.
Children don't like to be told what to do, as they love to resist us. They can feel very powerful to say “no”. We want to work with our children not control our children.
Research is clear on daily routines as being one of the keyways to deepen your relationship with your child.
TOP TIP - Offer choices in a fun way so your child feels in control.
Examples of choices
- “Do you want to go to the toilet with your eyes open or your eyes shut?”
They love to say eyes shut and you can make it fun guiding them.
- “Do you want to take your dinosaur or your car into the toilet area?”
Let them park it somewhere special or dinosaur can perch somewhere exciting.
- “Do you want mummy to use the toilet first or Freddie?”
- “Do you want to use the toilet in 1 minute or 5 minutes?” Then set a timer and they are more likely to listen to the timer.
4. Invest in a travel potty.
I highly recommend the whizzer. I love it. It is small and compact, comes in loads of colours and is very discreet.
TOP TIP- get your little one used to the travel potty at home first, it will appear less scary, and they will feel more relaxed when out and about.
Parents will also be more relaxed if they have practised using it at home. Remember our children feed off our anxiety and this can lead to more accidents.
EXTRA TOP TIP- let your child take ownership for their Whizzer, they can pop it in their own rucksack or your handbag.
We want children to take ownership for their wee and poo as it belongs to them.
They could also pack spare pants /knickers and clothes, (NOT forgetting spare plimsoles and socks as some wee accidents are huge!!
5. Expect accidents when out and about.
Little ones will have lots of extra stimulation and they won't necessarily be able to focus on the signals in their body. Be clear with your messaging and tell them what is expected when they go outside the home.
TOP TIP - try not to worry or stress what other parents are thinking if your little one has a toilet accident. They are probably not thinking what your brain is imagining.
I’m Sue Welby, often known as “Super Sue” or “the wee and poo lady.”
I support parents to understand and help their children to conquer toileting, sleep, and behaviour challenges. These three stressful aspects, which are often linked, may have you feeling helpless.
But you are not a failure. That’s how I felt as a first-time mum, after I didn’t receive the support I needed to help me guide my daughter through her challenges.
I am a believer in understanding and working with, not against, our children’s individual needs, interests, strengths, and personalities. I’m here to show you how to work with your child’s unique temperament during toileting for a low stress, high fun potty-training period.
My step-by-step video courses and 1-2-1 customized plans provide you with practical and non-judgmental guidance to overcome hurdles to your child’s development.
I use connection and play to help you understand your child's struggles more. I’d love to be your guiding hand in a way forward that puts your child at the centre for a calmer and happier home.