Remember that lovely house or apartment you decorated pre-kids? With the white walls, unblemished furniture and minimalist look? Then babies and toddlers come along and your living room turned technicolour and your kitchen surfaces are piled high with sterilisers and bottles. Then potty training happens and your zen bathroom suddenly has a collection of enormous potty trainers, steps and training seats. And what is supposed to happen when you jet off on your family holiday? Are you supposed to pack all of this potty training gear with you? How do you cope with a long flight when you have a little one who isn’t quite there yet with the potty training?
Buying a travel potty
A travel potty should be lightweight, easy and quick to set up and compact.
There are quite a few on the market from the My Carry Potty (pretty hefty so maybe a better option for a ‘keep in the car boot’) to the Graco Twisting Travel Potty (twists up to open and use with a liner).
My all time favourite is the Potette Plus 2-in1 Travel Potty. This nifty piece of kit doubles both as a Travel Potty and Trainer Seat. To use as a Travel Potty, you open it out and lock legs into place, then attach a liner. After use, discard the liner as you would a nappy. What I love about this is that if a bathroom is disgusting, your child can sit on this instead – anywhere, anytime. The seat itself is relatively cheap (GBP 15) although you do have to buy the liners as extra. I would often use other plastic bags if I didn’t have any official liners on hand.
You also might want to check in advance with your hotel/rental as to whether they have a potty/potty seat. If you’re renting a family friendly property, they may have a potty chair for use.
Too big for a travel potty but too small for a real toilet?
Well then you might want to carry a foldable potty seat with you. Again, quite a few on the market including the Mommy’s Helper Cushie Traveler Seat. Be careful when you buy them as not all toilets are created equally and therefore the foldable seat may not fit properly! Back to the genius that is the Potette Plus, you could easily use this as your foldable potty seat and it is designed to fit both round and modern elongated toilets.
Whatever you do carry, always make sure you have a plastic bag to carry that dirty seat in!
Parent Guide has an amazing round-up of potty chairs & seats
What should I do on a flight?
Keep things easy for yourself. For a while after fully potty training my children, I would keep them in pull ups on a longhaul flight and perhaps the first few nights when jetlagged and tired. Contrary to what some people believe, I don’t think putting them in a pull up will ‘confuse’ them and reverse all that amazing potty training work you’ve done. You should also make sure to do a toilet stop just before you get on the plane – or set up that travel potty in a far corner of the gate where you can lurk unseen!
What else do I need?
Nothing you don’t already have in your Mary Poppins bag. Tissues, hand sanitiser, spare plastic bags to carry dirty potty seats, spare liners if you’re using something like the Potette and baby wipes.
Good luck with your potty training and travels! Whilst Mesdames Jetlag & Mayhem are out of this stage, they are still scared by airplane toilets and the dreaded flush….