Have you started the potty training process with your toddler, but are hesitant to leave the house? The first diaper-free outing is a big milestone. But it doesn't have to be a stressful ordeal. Here are some pointers to help you confidently step out with your potty training toddler.
We will cover:
- Dressing your potty training toddler for outings;
- The best diaper bags for potty training;
- Travel potties for potty training away from home;
- What to pack in your potty training diaper-free bag.
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Dressing Your Potty Training Toddler for Outings
If you are following The Tiny Potty Training Book by Andrea Olson, short outings will begin during Step 2 of Phase 1: The Potty Training Experience. Your toddler will still be running around the house bare bottomed, while you learn when your child needs to go and your child learns that pee and poop belong in the potty. But when it's time to head out on short outings, your potty training toddler will need to wear clothes!
Allowing your toddler to go commando for the first couple weeks (wearing pants with nothing under) can really help, since snug underwear may feel like a diaper.
There may be certain situations where you feel best having your toddler wear cloth training pants. Perhaps out of courtesy while you are visiting a friend's house. Just be aware that your toddler may mistake the training pants for a diaper, so you need to keep a watchful eye. It's up to you when you feel that going commando has served its purpose and your child is ready to switch to underwear.
Remember to dress your toddler in comfortable clothing that is easy to remove. Loose pants or shorts with an elastic waistband that can easily be pushed down are ideal. Choosing shoes that can be rinsed clean with water is something I learned from experience.
Best Diaper Bags for Potty Training
Now let's take a look at the best diaper bags for carrying potty training essentials.
Wet/Dry Bag & Wet/Dry Clutch
The best diaper bag for potty training is a wet/dry bag or backpack! The outer "dry" pocket can be used to store extra changes of clothes, wipes, and a towel, while the inner "wet" pocket can be used to carry a folded travel potty. You can either ditch your diaper bag and replace it with a wet/dry tote bag, or continue to use your diaper bag and pack wet/dry bags inside.
It's also nice to use a smaller wet/dry clutch to pack your toddler's extra outfits. That way you can move any wet clothing into the waterproof pocket of the clutch. If you can't squeeze two clean toddler outfits in the outer dry pocket, you can start with one outfit in the dry pocket and one outfit in the waterproof pocket. If your toddler has an accident, you can use the outfit from the waterproof pocket first and replace it with the wet clothing.
Logan and Lenora offer stylish wet/dry bags that are perfect for packing potty training essentials.
Diaper Bag that Becomes a Purse
If you are looking to replace your current diaper bag with one that doesn't scream, "baby," you might want to swap it for a stylish diaper bag that can later become your purse.
If you are interested in investing in a high quality diaper bag for carrying your toddler's items and later for another baby, I recommend looking into Lily Jade or Petunia Pickle Bottom diaper bags. They both offer beautiful bags that you can continue to carry after the diapering and potty training phases are over.
I prefer backpack style diaper bags, since they allow you to care for your child while comfortably wearing the bag on your back.
Travel Potties for Potty Training Away from Home
The two best travel potties to use while potty training away from home include the OXO Tot 2-in-1 Go Potty for Travel and the Kalencom Potette Plus. Both of these can be used either as a toilet seat reducer on a public toilet, or as a stand alone potty.
In the potty configuration both of these travel potties require a liner. The OXO Tot Go Potty for Travel can be used with disposable potty chair liners. The Potette Plus can be used either with a collapsible reusable liner or with disposable portable potty liners. The reusable liner has the advantage of being more eco-friendly, while the disposable bags with absorbent pad are convenient to tie up and throw away. For a DIY option, you can line a plastic grocery bag with a folded paper towel.
Both the OXO Tot Go Potty for Travel and the Potette Plus are a nice small size for young toddlers who potty train early.
Here is my video comparing the Potette Plus vs OXO Tot 2-in-1 Go Potty for Travel:
Potty Training Diaper Bag Checklist
The key to stress-free outings is to bring along your potty training essentials. Here's what I recommend packing in your potty training diaper-free toddler bag.
Wet/Dry Clutch Containing:
- (2) Toddler outfits - shirt, shorts or pants, socks, underwear or training pants
Wet/Dry Tote Bag or Backpack Containing:
- Main waterproof pocket:
- Folded travel potty/toilet seat reducer with reusable liner or disposable potty bags
- Outer dry pocket:
- (4) Cloth baby wipes
- Small towel or cloth prefold diaper for cleaning up any puddles
- Small wet bag for holding wet cloth wipes and towel
- Post-it® Notes to cover sensor on auto-flush toilets
- Optional: extra pair of toddler shoes
Eventually you will be able to downsize your potty trained toddler bag and just carry a wet/dry clutch containing one extra outfit and a washcloth. We still carry a wet/dry clutch everywhere we go, even though it has been ages since my 3-year-old son had an accident. The spare outfit often comes in handy when he gets wet playing in a fountain or spills food on his clothing. These days, we only bring the travel potty on overnight excursions.
Update 3/21/2019: Here's a video showing what I pack for my second child, now that she is a toddler.
Be brave, You've got this!
In addition to packing a potty training bag, remember to offer the potty right before leaving the house and as soon as you arrive at your destination.
I hope these tips helped to ease your mind about potty training away from home. It's likely there will be some accidents, but if you are prepared there is no need to stress. Simply clean up and continue with your day!
P.S. While I was writing this post I searched online to see what other advice I would find on packing a potty training bag. I noticed that many of the blog posts were sponsored by Huggies Pull-Ups® or wipes. So if you appreciate my potty training advice, which doesn't encourage keeping your child in diapers, please show us some love by commenting below or sharing this article. Mahalo!
You may also want to read our list of Potty Training Supplies or, if you plan to practice EC with your next baby, check out our tips on Packing a Potty and Cloth Diaper Bag for Elimination Communication.
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Have you ventured out of the house yet with your potty training toddler?