11 answers

Potty Training on a Road Trip

This weekend we're going on a 4 hour drive to visit a friend. My son has been out of diapers during awake hours for 11 days now. We don't do pull ups but we do put a diaper on him for naps and nighttime. He still only makes it to the potty for peeing, and 6 out of 7 times a day, so he's not completely trained yet. I don't want to put a diaper on him for the road trip, because I think that is confusing (we don't diaper him when we go out at all). I'm picking up a potette today so we have the portable potty to use instead of gas station toilets (yuck! and he's afraid of public bathrooms because they're "too loud"). How do I protect the carseat? How often should we stop and sit him on the toilet? Same as normal? (every 1.5 to 2 hours) I'm not worried about poop, just the pee. (He won't poop sitting in the carseat.) Thanks for any advice you have!

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So What Happened?™

Thank you for all of the feedback!! We got a piddle pad and left our son in underwear for the road trip, there were no accidents. On the way back he told us he had to go, said "pull over daddy!" and peed in his Potette on the side of the road. He is peeing and pooping on the potty full time, for 5 days now without accidents or even using a diaper (he is staying dry at night too, getting up to pee). I'm so glad we didn't put a diaper on him at this crucial point because I'm now the proud mommy of a potty trained little boy. And he is really proud of himself too. Thanks again!!

Featured Answers

PULL UPS!!!! I would put one on just to save the car seats but still stop regularly for a potty break. At the worst he wets the pull up at best you have a dry one at the end of the trip. A.

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Offer your son a potty break at similar intervals as when you're at home or when he tells you he needs to go. He probably will not need to pee as often as he does at home, because of the change in environment (air conditioning/heating in the car, different liquid levels etc) but it's still a good idea to keep reminding him that he might need to go.

The portable potty will help, but if you are in an emergency a plastic bottle will also work fine for little boys ;) Just make sure you mark it :D

For the carseat, you can either go for a seat protection (Any absorbent pad or towel over a waterproof layer. We had a well lanolinized Sheepskin and DD would wear thicker cotton pants changing to a cloth diaper when the intervals between potty breaks exceeded my comfort level at the time.) or you can accident-proof your son with something to soak up the pee just incase (an absorbent washcloth in his undies, cloth or disposable sanitary napkin (seriously) or cloth training pants) will keep your car & car seat fairly dry if there's an accident. I would add them in when my daughter wouldn't make use of 2 potty stops in a row (longer than 4 hours) so that I didn't feel the stress of the possibility of an accident in the car. But since there is not much waterproofing in the "accident-proof" version, you will need to change him immediately to avoid compression wicking from his clothing to the carseat.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi M.,
If you've gotten your son completely out of diapers, even for the car, I wouldn't put him back in diapers. Stop at least as often to let him use the toilet as you normally would, bring extra clothing and get chux pads or something like that to protect the car seat. It's good to give him some practice with being trained and being away from home since eventually you do need to venture out with them. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

The company One Step Ahead makes a great car seat cover that lays across the car seat and hangs over the edges with pockets for toys, books, sippy cup etc. I have a smaller one that just covers the seat, that works ok, but the one I have tends to bunch a little. Good luck.... does he ask to use the potty yet?? Just keep his potty schedule the same, and limit the drinks or time the drinks so that you will be stopping for a potty break about an hour later!! If you are concerned, I wouldn't go back to diapers, but you could use some of the thick training underwear with the plastic outer lining just for the car ride. I got some at target for outings when my daughter was training.

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We had similar situation for our boy - and made a game out of peeing on the tree/flowers/whatever was beside the road. I also slipped a lappad under him in the carseat - just in case!!! :)

1 mom found this helpful

www.onestepahead.com has great potty training travel gear including a "piddle pad" to protect he carseat. They also have a great blow up potty that I have used with my kids.

Stop as often as you need. I stopped on the side of the thruway while my daughter was training (neither of us could tolerate the public toilets either). As she sat on her inflatable potty a NYS Tropper pulled over to check on us. He chuckled, gave her some words of encouragement and left. She never did end up peeing, but it was cute! GL!

Edited: I just realized that it would be too late for you to order anything. Go to TRU and get the moisture proof lap pads. They are small or can be cut to fit the carseat.

1 mom found this helpful

I would definately not put him in diapers or a pull up for the trip. I was in the same predicament with my daughter shortly after we started potty training and we took a two hour trip which I put a diaper on her. The whole next day was like starting over again potty training. I think you should definately use that potty seat in the car and offer it just as often as you have been at home. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

PULL UPS!!!! I would put one on just to save the car seats but still stop regularly for a potty break. At the worst he wets the pull up at best you have a dry one at the end of the trip. A.

I agree with the previous posts that say go ahead and put him back in a diaper for the trip. If he is used to it for sleeping, then it won't be that strange for him. Driving tends to put kids to sleep, anyway. This way there won't be any accidents. Still stop every 1.5-2 hours and offer a potty break, same as usual. He'll probably need a break from the car anyway, so he can move around a little bit. We've driven with our potty training son from NY to IA and back, and the diapers are a comfort for everyone. I always worried about being stuck in traffic or not being around a potty when the need arrives. It is doubtful that a diaper during the drive will confuse him. Just praise him each time you stop for staying dry, and then put him back in underwear at the end of the trip. Good luck!

I promise you putting a diaper on him for a 4 hour trip will not interfere with his training and most likely he will not even pee in it. If he does then just pick up where you left of 4 hours before.
Encourage him not to pee in them and tell him it is there just in case of an accident and make a stop every hour.
There has to be a level of comfort for him on this trip and the hassle of changing his clothes on the way because he pee'd in them may become overwhelming and make the experience a not so fun one.
I think he'll understand the reason for the diaper and it's so temporary. Good luck and have lots of fun on your trip!

Hi M.,

We went on a trip to Disney World when my son was potty training and had to fly. I bought one of those portable potty's from Babies Are Us or Bye Bye Babie, they fold up and can fit in a purse or in the back of a stroller/back of a car and they come with insert/bags that are easy to use and can be thrown away. I brought a pack of wipes and we were all set. I would use it everywhere. If you bring one of these in the car just pull over and sit him down whenever he needs to go and whenever you think he needs to go.

I dont think he will get confused if you diaper him for the trip. Explain that you will be going for a long drive and he will probably fall asleep and you dont want him to have an accident. Also you certainly dont want him having accidents at your friends home. Just keep him diapered for the day. He wont be confused and you will avoid embarrassing him.

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