Do you remember going on holiday before having children? Those were the days when packing was a breeze and the only real headache was negotiating lengthy queues at Airport Security. Those of us with kids – and especially kids of potty training age – will know that peaceful summer holidays are now a little harder to come by.
The potty training process is often a lengthy one but if you have a beach holiday slap bang in the middle of the learning curve, don’t panic! With a few nifty travel and parenting hacks as we’ve detailed below, you may just have that uninterrupted sunbathe on the sand that you’ve been dreaming of for months…
The answer to pretty much every parenting issue is to be prepared. We’ve pulled together a handy holiday packing list for your potty training tot.
· Swim nappies
· Night nappies
· Favourite toy to sleep with – this helps to maintain continuity
· Easy pull on/off clothing – think shorts for boys and dresses for girls
· Two extra pairs of pants for every day of holiday, and extra dresses and shorts to cover for accidents
· Arm bands – potty training is all about independence which makes it valuable to support your toddler’s growing independence in other areas along the way, e.g. swimming
It’s not just what you pack that you need to consider in advance. Depending on how far along your toddler is in the potty training process as well as how confident they are, you should decide whether to use airport/plane toilets along the way or rely on nappies.
It’s also probably best to use the airport toilets before your flight. Most airports have a mother and toddler facility that your child will recognise and be happier with.
Plane toilets in particular can be distressing for little ones as it’s all so unfamiliar. They may also have to wait in a long queue to use the toilet which can cause other issues and provoke accidents. Go with your gut and decide what is right for your child.
When lying on the beach, choose a spot near the toilets so that your kids have easy access when they need to go. If there is an accident, treat it exactly as you would at home and don’t make it into a huge deal.
Keep an eye on older siblings and discourage bad habits, such as peeing in the ocean. This will only confuse your toddler and disrupt a healthy potty training process.
While holidays will throw any family routine out of whack, it’s important to retain consistency where possible. Encourage your child to use the toilet before leaving the villa/hotel room, and before and after meals. If they are not yet ready to train at night, use night nappies to keep them comfortable. While some parents seize the opportunity of a new environment to ‘master potty training’ in one fell swoop, this isn’t the best way to approach the situation. Just carry on as usual and support all the hard work and progress you’ve made at home with a complementary process.
Dodgy tummies are often a problem when your kids are away from home. Keep constipation at bay by including raw veg and fruit in your child’s diet and keeping fluid intake levels healthy.