One of the big steps in your child’s development and also a really important milestone is toilet training. Making your child feel like a grown-up and saving you money in nappies and wipes, toilet training is good in so many ways. When it comes to that time with your little one, is it better to use a travel potty while out and about or use toilets?
Using a travel potty
The major benefit of having a travel potty with you when you are toilet training is that your little one can have a wee or poo whenever and wherever they want to. Obviously, you may want to use a bit of discretion with this as you probably don’t want to whip out the travel potty in the middle of the supermarket (your child probably won’t be too happy having to go with strangers nearby and some people will definitely be unhappy having to see a child going on a potty).
However, if you are at a park that has no toilets, or you have a long walk to wherever you are going, or at an event with toilets that are hard to get to or busy then having a travel potty to use is a great idea. Find them a quiet corner, shield them if necessary and your child can have a few minutes peace on the potty.
The next thing you have to think about when using a travel potty is: what to do with the contents when your child has finished?
The solution could be My Carry Potty, when we went to the Kind und Jugend tradeshow in September (an international tradeshow for all things baby and young child-related) we saw the very popular My Carry Potty. Created by a mum and now potty training expert Amanda Jenner, it was designed so that children can have a fun potty to carry around as well as being easy to empty when it is convenient to do so.
The potty comes in different character types (such as bees, ladybirds, cows) or just bright colours depending on which your child likes the best. The great thing about it is that it has a completely leakproof seal on the lid. So if you’re unable to empty the potty of its contents straightaway, you can snap the lid closed and carry it to the nearest toilet were you can then empty and clean it. This seems like a good compromise between using a potty while out and having to find a toilet.
What if I just use toilets?
A lot of parents don’t want to carry around a potty (even if it is the easy to use My Carry Potty) and don’t want to have to clean it out (you still have to carry around extra wipes to sanitise the potty). This means always using a toilet (or risking having to go behind a bush….)
In the long run, your child will need to go on a toilet when they are older and there is no harm in starting this from day one. It will also get your child used to holding a wee for a period of time while you get to the nearest toilet so could reduce the amount of accidents when they are older.
Bear in mind that some toilets aren’t that accommodating to little bums so you might want to carry around a travel children’s toilet seat. This will be a lot smaller and lighter than a travel potty and can just be wiped off with a wet wipe once used.
Final thoughts on travel potty vs toilet
As with so many things parenting, there is no right or wrong way and a lot will depend on the type of child you have and the people around you who are helping with childcare. Just remember that whatever method you go for with toilet training, there is always scope to change.
If your child is really protesting about using a toilet than maybe let them use a potty, with potty training the best advice I’ve heard is to go at your child’s pace. If they are upset or resisting at any point then it could store up problems for the future.
Make it fun, give plenty of encouragement and sooner than you think you will have a little one who can wee and poo with confidence! Just don’t forget the spare changes of pants and clothes…..