Behind every majorly stressed-out parent, there’s a toddler they’re trying to potty train on the eve of a family vacation.
Let’s face it – potty training toddlers is difficult under the best of circumstances. When you throw the chaos of travelling in the mix, it becomes a whole other ball game altogether! Although I recommend leaving off attempting to potty train your toddler until after big trips, life doesn’t always cooperate with that advice!
Travelling with a toddler in the midst of potty training is possible, and a portable potty makes it much more convenient for your toddler when a standard toilet isn’t available. We’re no strangers to opening the side door of our car and letting our children wee out the side, but it’s certainly not the ideal scenario. We always took comfort in knowing that most passersby could relate to us on a deeply personal level.
This post is part of our best travel gear for toddlers series
A portable potty seat is a much more practical (and modest!) option for travelling with your toddler, especially those long car rides and camping trips. But which one will best suit your needs? There’s no need to stress because we’re going to take you through:
Travel Potties vs. Potty Seats and Other Toilet Training Solutions
Not all portable potty seats are created equal, so we’ll break down the main options for you. In the end, the product you choose depends on your child. As we’ve previously mentioned in our guide How To Toilet Train While Travelling, each child is unique when it comes to toilet training. Some children enjoy having their own special loo to go in, while others want to be “just like Mum and Dad.”
Travel potties are a popular choice for road trips because they’re essentially just miniature toilets that you can insert disposable liners into for each use. This kind of portable potty for toddlers is great for those inevitable “emergencies” that tend to crop up when you’re 45 minutes from the nearest sign of civilization.
A downside to this option is that you’re literally stuck “holding the bag” until you reach your next rest stop. However, if it’s between a stinky car ride or a soiled car seat, I’d take the smell over the mess!
If your child has an aversion to a portable potty, a potty seat is a popular alternative. A travel potty seat provides an additional barrier between your toddler’s bum and the public toilet. These seats generally have anti-skid pads or some other material that prevents them from sliding around, and many can be folded down compactly so that you can slip them quickly into a diaper bag or backpack.
A portable potty seat is an excellent way to put your toddler at ease when using adult toilets and prevent contact with bacteria and germs. However, you must wipe the seat down with an antibacterial wipe after each use, as it’s coming into contact with many more people than a travel potty would. These also aren’t much of a help if you have an emergency in transit.
Disposable Toilet Seat Covers
Disposable toilet seat covers are a third option when travelling with a toddler “in training.” These work well anytime your toddler needs to use a public toilet, and you can simply toss them in the rubbish after each use.
Each disposable cover is large enough to fit over the entire seat with room to spare since toddlers are notorious for touching more than they’re supposed to. The most significant drawback is that they don’t help those in-between stops, and you have to keep buying more.
As a mum of two boys, I will admit that the ability to have your child stand up and whee can be both a blessing and a curse while on the go! If you’re the parent of a toddler boy and the idea of opening up the car door and pointing them outwards doesn’t appeal to you, a portable urinal is another way to go.
Features to Look For in a Portable Potty
Most portable potties for toddlers are similar in design and intended use, but there are several features to look for in order to get the best one for your toddler.
Size: Your kids’ portable potty should be the right size for your vehicle and child. For example, if you have a small sedan that’s already packed to the hilt, you’ll have to put the larger potty and your toddler outside the vehicle each time they have to go. That may not be a practical solution in rain or snow! Additionally, if you have a very petite child or one who is big for their age, choose a portable travel potty that best suits their size.
Portability: Ease of transportation is another essential feature to look for in your travel potty for kids. A potty or seat that folds or collapses for storage is both convenient and space-saving. Sometimes it’s difficult for passengers to navigate their way around the portable potty if there’s no good place to put it while not in use. Look for one that comes with a travel-friendly carrying case or bag.
Easy to Clean: Let’s be honest for a second, and all just admit that no one actually likes cleaning portable potties. However, it’s a task that you must accomplish to avoid nasty germs and messes. Choose a travel potty or seat that has few, easy-to-clean components. Remember that you’ll also be attempting to wrangle your child while sanitising, so the quicker the process is, the better.
Comfort: You want your toddler’s potty training experience to be as positive as possible while travelling, so make sure to find a portable potty or seat that’s as comfortable and simple to use as possible. If your bub is getting pinched or falling in each time they have to go, everyone ends up frazzled.
Durability: Even if you’re only going to use your portable potty for one child, you’ll more than likely be taking it out multiple times during your trip. Choose a sturdy travel potty or folding seat that won’t crack or break after a few trips to the public restroom. You’ll be glad you did!
Best Portable Potties and Toilet Training Seats
We summarise our top 5 here, but read on for more information on eash and alternative berands to try for different travel scenarios you may find yourself in.
|My Carry Potty Portable Potty||A cute all-rounder||$$$ - check here|
|Honboom Portable Potty Training Seat for Toddler||Best foldable potty||$$ - check here|
|Gimars Non-Slip No Falling Travel Folding Potty Seat||Best travel toilet seat||$ - check here|
|OXO Tot 2-in-1 Go Potty||Best camping potty||$$ - check here|
|MCGMITT Portable Potty Training Seat||Best road trip potty||$$ - check here|
Pricing $ = under $20USD; $$ = $20-$30USD $$$ = over $30USD
Our Top Choice: My Carry Potty Portable Potty
Why We Love It: This portable travel potty’s innovative design makes it a clear winner in our book. The My Carry Potty looks like an adorable suitcase on the outside. Your child can open it to reveal a potty you can set anywhere while on the road or camping. The seat’s leak-proof seal and tall splash guard protect against unwanted messes, and you can easily insert a removable liner for speedy cleanup.
Cons: Although the My Carry Potty is just the right size for your child to take with them, it’s not the most practical solution for a day on the trails.
Best Collapsible Portable Potty: Honboom Portable Potty Training Seat for Toddler
Why We Love It: This travel potty for kids weighs just over a pound and folds nearly flat for effortless storage. Some folding potties collapse inward when they’re being used, but the Honboom Portable Potty is made of thick plastic that easily bears a child’s weight. In addition, the splash-proof guard prevents messy accidents, and it comes with disposable drawstring bags that eliminate odors.
Cons: The splash guard is handy, but it does come out easily. Ensure it’s securely in place before your child uses the bathroom.
Other Options to Consider:
Best Folding Portable Potty Seat: Gimars Non-Slip No Falling Travel Folding Potty Seat
Why We Love It: This folding potty seat is both compact and colorful. The seat fits most standard toilets, and you can fold it with just one hand. The silicone stoppers also prevent your child from slipping around, and you can quickly wipe it clean before putting it back in the waterproof storage bag.
Cons: Some reviewers expressed concerns about the travel bag transmitting germs, and they found that putting the seat into a Ziplock bag was more sanitary. The underside of the seat also has some hard-to-clean spots, so a more thorough cleaning after travelling would be wise.
Other Options to Consider:
Best Portable Potty for Camping: OXO Tot 2-in-1 Go Potty
Why We Love It: In our opinion, the best portable potty seat for camping is one with the most uncomplicated design. The OXO Tot 2-in-1 Go Potty opens quickly for your child to use at the campsite or on the trails. The best feature of the OXO Potty is that the handles fold outward, so your toddler can use the seat in public restrooms as well. The side flaps also hold disposable bags in place for speedy cleanup.
Cons: The OXO portable potty seat may leave a gap when used with certain full-sized toilet seats, so you may need to help toddler boys while they’re sitting down.
Other Options to Consider:
Best Portable Potty for Road Trips: MCGMITT Portable Potty Training Seat
Why We Love It: This portable travel potty is well-suited for road trips because it’s both sturdy and folds down for convenient storage. One feature we like on the MCGMITT portable potty seat is the collapsible insert that allows everything to be broken down, unlike others that take up extra space on your vehicle’s floor or trunk.
Cons: Some customers found that the disposable bags that came with the potty seat leaked and tore quickly. The underside of the potty seat does have several structural pockets that make it more difficult to clean than other options.
Other Options to Consider:
Other Items to Pack While Potty Training a Toddler
Potty training your toddler while travelling might be challenging, but it’s certainly not impossible. Just make sure you have your potty training survival kit packed with these essential items:
- Hand Sanitiser
- Sanitiser wipes
- Old muslin cloths
- Spare underpants and shorts/skirts
- Pocket issues and coins (some countries will charge you for the toilet -not great if you’re in a hurry!)
- Portable potty seat
- A wet bag
- Piddle pad for the car
- Bed liner (if not using a night diaper)
- Ziplock bags
- Rewards/reward chart
We talk more about all the essential items to pack when travelling with a toddler over here.
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Travelling with a toddler soon?
We have a bucket load of experience traisping across the world when our little ones were at the toddler stage. It is without a double one of the most challenging stages, but also rewarding experiences that you will cherish for years to come. Helping you through all different scenarios, come on over and check out:
- Survival Tips for Road Tripping With a Toddler
- Camping With a Toddler: Tips & Essemtial Gear
- Essentials You Will Need Taking a Toddler to the Beach
- Don’t Make These Toddler Flying Mistakes
- The Best Toddler Harness Backpacks for Travel
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