The Potty Parade: Take Potty Training on the Road
It's time to introduce your child to the joy of public restrooms. Ick, right? But going potty in public is a huge part of being potty trained. You've already shown your toddler how to pee outside of your house, so now, it's time for a Potty Parade! So get ready: This is going to be the most fun you've ever had in a public bathroom!
Here's how to lead the potty parade:
- Plan the parade route. Choose a few places that your kid loves to go (the playground, the library, the coffee shop that carries his favorite cookie, etc.)
- Fill your kid in on the plan. Explain to your child that you're going to be having a potty parade (yay!) and you're going to be wearing underwear (double yay!). Tell her about all the places you're going to go, and that all these places have potties that you're going to try together. (Or if you're bringing a portable potty seat for the trip, show her.)
- Pack accordingly. Don't get caught with your pants down (ha!): Pack several changes of clothes (maybe even a set for you!), a couple of plastic bags for wet clothes), an on-the-go potty or adapter seat, antibacterial wipes (for icky public toilet seats), disposable potty covers and lots and lots of reward treats!
- Make a day of it. Have fun! The potty parade can't just be about going potty (that's BORING!). Play with your kid at the toy store, then take him potty. Have a special lunch, then go potty after you're done.
- Model it. As the parade leader, continue your potty supermodeling skillz by letting your child watch you use the toilet in public restrooms, too.
- Watch out for auto-flush toilets. Some children already have a fear of flushing, which makes public toilets with auto-flushes extra scary. If you encounter one on your route, hold your hand over the sensor until your kid is done, and reassure your child that nothing bad will happen.
- Don't stress. I know, I've told you a thousand time not to stress already. But that's because it's super important! Your kid won't go potty if she senses your anxiety over it. If she doesn't use the public potty, that's OK. And don't give up on the first stop of the parade either. Just keep on truckin'.
For more potty training advice from Teri Crane, check out her potty training tips.
Talk to other potty training parents who are also in the pee-pee & poo-poo trenches on our Toddlers & Preschoolers Message Board!