Every parent longs for the day that their little one no longer needs diapers; that magical day when your “big boy” or “big girl” is potty trained. Any parent who has been through the experience called potty training can tell you it’s not a quick and painless experience. It usually involves some cajoling, a little bit of pleading, and a whole lot of laundry.
Finding that perfect time to start the process of potty training is a lot like hunting for the mythical unicorn – you have heard of its amazing powers but it only seems to exist in books. When my son came to me and said, “No diapers! I use potty now!” you would think I would be overjoyed. Let’s just say that if I was searching for a unicorn, I found a ferocious and hungry yeti instead. His timing could not have been worse – we were a week away from our Disney vacation. So while on the one hand I didn’t want to discourage his obvious enthusiasm on the other hand, potty training at Disney World sounded like a nightmare to me.
Here are my top four tips for potty training at Disney World (or any other vacation destination).
- Bring a small potty seat. If you are driving this is a great thing to have on hand for those moments where your “big kid” has to use the potty but you are 40 miles from the next rest area. These are also great to have in your resort room since it is closer to what they have at home.
- Each of the four theme parks at Disney has a Baby Care Center. These are a great place for kids to go the bathroom because it is a quieter and more relaxed atmosphere. However it is not always possible to get to the Baby Care Center when an emergency potty stop is announced. I recommend always having a park map handy to find the closest restrooms. This can make a quick dash to the potty a whole lot easier than having to find a Cast Member and ask.
- While we are on the topic of park restrooms – most of them have automatic flush sensors which are loud and can startle and scare a lot of kids. A packet of Post-It notes can make this problem disappear! Before your child uses the restroom place a Post-It note over the sensor. Once they are all done and ready to wave bye-bye to their handiwork, pull the Post-It off and the toilet will flush.
- Pack a couple extra changes of clothes when you leave for the parks in the morning. Before you leave your resort room in the morning, pack at least two full extra outfits (including shirts and socks!) in a backpack. Accidents happen, even at Disney World and if you don’t have back-up clothes you are left with two (equally undesirable) choices – head back to the resort with a toddler in dirty clothes so that he or she can change OR buy a new outfit from a Disney gift shop which can get expensive quickly.
We survived potty training at Disney and I am sure you can too – with a little planning and a lot of patience! And there is no better place than Disney for that extra special “great job” treat!
Written by Melissa Rhodes