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Top 5 Tips On How to Handle On-The-Go Accidents

Apr 27, 2023

Your child is starting to use the potty after practicing at home and you're now ready to finally leave the comforts of home. You want to keep the momentum going... but you're wondering how the heck do you handle accidents when you are out of the house.... and ensure minimal mess?

Whether they are at home or while you're out and about, "accidents" in potty training are a very normal and important part of your kiddos potty training journey... and you can expect them for the weeks and months to come. In fact, it can take up to 12 months after starting potty training for your child to no longer have daytime wetting.

So with this in mind, here are my top 5 tips for managing accidents once you head outside of the home to make it as easy (and mess-free!) as possible.

1. Remain Calm

When your child has an accident, the best thing you can do is remain calm!

Accidents are the BEST learning opportunity to guide your child on what has just happened and what to do next time.

In fact, in the beginning the goal of potty training is not for your child to stay completely dry, but to learn about their urges and how to respond to them. So once your child has peed on the floor, it is often at this point they have that crucial "aha" moment that we're looking for... the moment your kiddo realizes: "Oh! That feeling that I had inside is the feeling to pee or poop and I do this in the potty!" 

Once you adopt the mindset that accepts are a crucial part of the learning process, it will help you to stay calm and supportive through these moments... and when you remain clam and supportive, you'll help your child develop a positive approach to using the potty. 

 2. Avoid shaming or blaming

Whether you are at home or out and about, the most important thing is to avoid shaming or blaming your child for accidents. Shaming looks something like this:

"Ugh! Why aren't you getting it!" 

"You know you should be peeing in the potty, not your underwear!"

This type of reaction to accidents can make your child thinking they are doing something wrong and instill anxiety and fear around needing to go potty... and this is the very last thing we want!

3. Don't be tempted to use a pull-up!

One of the biggest mistakes I see parents make in potty training is putting their child in a pull-up once they leave the house just in case a child has an accident. 

Now I know...its easy to walk down that diaper isle and think that pull-ups are a THE tool to help with potty training your child, especially when their marketing says "training pants" and "FUN, FAST, EASY." But truth is, aside from creating the ability to teach kids to push down and pull-up, pull-ups have no other use in potty training. In fact, not only does a pull-up NOT help with potty training your child... they can actually prolong potty training and make it even more challenging.                   You see, children at this age learn through all the senses and when it comes to potty training, they learn by:

  • Watching what you do and imitating your behavior
  • What they hear through the language you use 
  • What they smell when they have a bowel or bladder movement 
  • What they feel - internally (their urges!) and up against their bodies 

Pull-ups are made from the same fabrication as diapers, so if you put your child in pull-ups they feel the exact same as diapers to kids. They also do an outstanding job of absorbing urine, making it super comfortable for your child to sit in their wetness. 

In short, the messaging a child receives is mixed and super confusing:"I can pee in the potty AND I can pee in my underwear sometimes." The truth is, if we put our children back into diapers or in pull-ups, we are giving them the opportunity to use it... and we can’t expect them not to!

4. Try an alternative to pull-ups

So the question is, can you still help your child with potty training outside the home AND help avoid the mess accidents can cause?

There is a new innovation in the market that does exactly this... Its called Dribbles by Sposie!                  

Dribbles by Sposie are absorbable pads that fit discreetly into your child's underwear to help absorb accidents. The genius of this pad is that it's slim design doesn't absorb urine like a pull-up or a diaper so your child can actually feel their wetness and gives them enough time to get to a potty or toilet to finish. It also means that Dribbles does not interfere with your child's potty training, so you can minimise accidents at the same time as helping your child with their potty learning!

Not only does this product help with mess caused by accidents, but it can help with shame and embarrassment often associated with accidental leaks.. helping to boost your child's self-confidence. 

So whether you're heading to your parents fully-carpeted home, heading in a long car ride or on a playdate, minimize mess and help your child with their potty learning by lining your child's underwear with Dribbles before you head out.

5. Be Prepared

When you head out the home, the more prepared you are the better! Here are some preparation tips to help make those outings as easy and accident-free as possible:

  • Pack extra outfits, underwear, some wipes and hand sanitizer for moments of mess
  • Line your child's underwear with Dribbles and take some with you!
  • A portable potty will help for those moments when a public toilet is not available
  • Take your child with you to public restrooms before you start potty training to help them get used to the sights, sounds and people that can be overwhelming to start 
  • Start with smaller trips outside of the home and increase this overtime to build your child's confidence!

Although using a potty or toilet on the go will take some time to get used to... don't forget to believe in your child and their capabilities! In order for your child to learn and have the confidence to independently use a toilet, we need to give them opportunities to learn and believe in their ability to do it!   

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