Updated: Jan 26, 2018
Leaving the house without the protection of a diaper can be one of the biggest fears of parents post-training. Here are some ways to avoid the mess.
So you left the house and your child is back out in an environment that is full of fun, learning, and other children after 3 whole days of minimal stimulation. Well, unfortunately, a distracted child is a more accident-prone child. They may simply forget that they aren’t wearing a diaper anymore and have an accident. Be patient with them. And remember, no scolding!
The best way to prevent accidents is to have them sit on the potty before you leave the house and/or when you get where you’re going. This is where an extra potty comes in handy so you can just keep one in the car. At first your child will probably feel more comfortable using that potty over a regular size toilet in some strange place anyway. Public restrooms can be scary places. I can barely tolerate the loud sound of those automatic flushers and ultra-high powered hand dryers, so imagine your 2-year old's reaction.
Make sure you have lots of changes of clothes available in case of an accident. Even socks and shoes - it has no where to go but down! You can just change them and be on your way – hey it’s not a diaper! While you are out of the house, at least the first few times, ask often if they have to use the potty. This might remind them that they actually do have to go.
Remember going to the hospital after your water broke and sitting on a towel to avoid a mess in your car? You can do the same thing in your toddler's car seat. Or use a cut bath mat with rubber-backing for extra protection and minimal cleanup. You won't need this for long, probably only the first couple of days.
My daughter, who came into this world stubborn, would sometimes refuse to sit on the potty if she was too wrapped up in something fun or interesting. If it had been a while since she had gone to the bathroom, I would sometimes bribe her to sit with a jelly bean (gasp!). But, hey it worked. I didn't have to clean up a puddle in the middle of Aisle 6, and after a few days, she stopped needing the bribe anyway. Just use your discretion, some kids will be satisfied with verbal praise alone.
With each outing both you and your little one will gain confidence, and eventually you won’t need to tote that huge diaper bag around anymore!
Unfortunately, a distracted child is a more accident-prone child. Be patient with them, there are ways to improve your odds!