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How to Continue Potty Training during Christmas at Home and Away

Christmas is fast approaching and we’re sure that most parents are approaching it with a mix of anticipation, trepidation and excitement. It is, of course, a joyful time when the innocence of childhood reins free but it can also be exhausting.

The inevitable flurry of house guests and long journeys to see relatives, as well as the challenging of finding the perfect gifts for everyone, can be very disruptive.

A Disrupted Routine

It is therefore not surprising that the chaos of the holidays often impacts on a child’s potty-training routine. There are a number of reasons why potty training falls low in a child’s list of priorities during this period.

  • A disrupted sleeping pattern (waking up early for Santa/staying up late to see if they can catch a glimpse of him leaving the gifts under the tree/eating more than usual)
  • Consistent distractions from visitors, TV programmes and new Christmas presents
  • A different diet with lots more sweet treats and rich foods
  • Less attention from mum and dad due to the many other demands on parents

While you will inevitably not be able to be as alert to reminding your child to use the loo during this busy period, your little one may also ignore the signals when he or she is busy playing with their new toys.

All about the Anticipation

That’s why it’s best to try and anticipate their bathroom trips in advance to reduce the risk of accidents and regression. If they always use the loo at certain times, e.g. on first waking up, then don’t let anything get in the way of sticking to this. Even if they wake up earlier or later than usual, it’s important to continue the pattern. This should be applied both at home and away.

Take your child to the toilet after a big meal or around 20 minutes after they have had a drink. They will be excitable and may struggle to focus on going to the loo. Plan for this in advance and take their favourite bathroom book/sing a song or choose another favourite pastime designed to encourage a sense of calm and keep their attention and focus on the task at hand.

Keep the Basics in Place

The challenge is to re-establish the routine to retain a sense of familiarity. The best way is to keep the basics in place as far as possible, and this goes for both parent and child.

Don’t take the “easy route” and put your child back in nappies if you’re going away from home for Christmas. This will simply confuse them and increases the risk of regression, creating a whole new issue.

Give your chid the best possible opportunity to get their potty training right. In unfamiliar places such as hotels, a relative’s house or out and about, show them where the bathroom is and all the essentials including the light switch. If possible, when you’re sleeping overnight in a new location, pack a step stool with you in case the sink is difficult to reach.

Ideally, the place you are visiting will also have a Family Seat to retain a sense of continuity. If not, you can always bring your potty-training accessories with you to keep track of your child’s progress and enhance the sense of familiarity. Make sure that all achievements and progress are praised as usual so your little one keeps potty training in their mind as something positive.

For more on potty training during the Christmas period, browse our other blog posts and check out our Potty Training Guide. And don’t forget that when you buy two or more Family Seats, you save £5 on each one. So now there’s a great way to continue your potty-training routine in relatives’ houses at Christmas and beyond.


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