How to Handle Potty Training Your Child in Public

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Potty training in public is one of the great trials of being a parent.

There truly is no greater test of one’s patience and well-being than rushing a screaming toddler to a public toilet in the nick of time.

Before you embark on this journey, make sure you are prepared.

How to Potty Train in Public

Potty training in public is not wildly different than training at home. The primary difference is that you don’t have easy access to all of your home supplies. As long as you bring along extra clothing and cleaning materials, you should be able to potty train anywhere.

Materials Needed

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Step 1: Plan Ahead

Going anywhere with a toddler requires no small amount of planning. Just a day at the park can feel like you’re planning a two-week vacation.

Double the amount of effort when you are potty training.

You will need to have training pants, wet wipes, cleaning supplies, at least one change of clothing for both of you, a plastic bag for refuse, a plastic bag for your soiled clothing and a portable potty if you so desire.

If you would rather not travel with a portable potty, you need to now exactly where the closest restrooms are as well as their level of cleanliness on any given day.

When my kids were potty training, I avoided leaving the house as much as possible.

It wasn’t worth it to me to get that much-needed vitamin D and social time. If I absolutely had to leave the house, I admit that I often took a step backwards.

They wore their diapers and we put potty training on pause for the afternoon. This isn’t the wisest option but it is the one I chose for my sanity.

There is no shame in putting a bad potty-training choice above a psychotic break.

Step 2: Practice Communication

You know those parents that practice sign language with their children? Potty training is when this really comes into great use.

Though most two and three year old children can speak by this time, they are already used to communicating.

They will be able to tell mom that they need to go potty as soon as they get the urge.

I never used sign language with my kids. I thought about it and that was as far as I got.

We still communicated fine, luckily for us. The rule was, if you have to go potty, tell me and we will go. We went every time, even when there was not so much as a tinkle.

Did that mean that we spent more time in the potty than we did anywhere else for that six months? Yes. Yes, it did.

Step 3: Get Familiar With Restrooms

You are now the parent of a toddler, which means you need to know where every restroom is at all times.

This is important as soon as your child starts potty training and will remain important well into their teen years.

That’s right, even when you think they can handle the most basic tasks, like locating restrooms, your kids will surprise you.

Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box when it comes to locating restrooms. You don’t need to only look for restrooms in shopping centres, gas stations and restaurants.

Many buildings that you wouldn’t always think about have public restrooms. Banks, government offices, beauty salons, doctor’s offices and other small businesses will often allow you to use their restrooms if a child is in need.

I live in a college town and I know where every public restroom is on two separate campuses.

Step 4: Practice Patience

Patience has always been the biggest struggle for me. I have had to work hard at maintaining my composure during potty training and so will you.

Patience is required every time your child says they need to go only to find that they don’t.

It is needed each time you tell your child to try to go potty, are told that nothing will come out, and then they ask to use the restroom three minutes later.

It is also necessary to show patience when you are cleaning up the awful mess left by the kid who is still learning to control their bowels.

There is no great secret to patience. What works for one person may not work for the next. I cultivate mine by meditating and practicing yoga.

Someone else might find that meditation makes them angrier. You may need to try several different techniques before you find your zen.

Key Takeaways

You and your child might decide you would rather limit public adventures while potty training.

However, you can somewhat easily enjoy leaving your home while still fitting in your routine.

Do you plan to potty train your child while in public? Tell us in the comments!

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