Five Tips for Surviving Car Trips with a Potty Training Toddler!

5 Tips for Surviving Car Journeys With A Potty TrainingToddler

Travel and potty training – a piece of…

As I mentioned in a recent post, we do quite a bit of travelling. Not exotic, around-the-world travelling, but driving up and down the M4 and M5 type travelling. You know the sort, the really fun, enjoyable travelling that is made even more fun with a toddler in tow. What makes this sort of travel even more fun is a car drive with a potty training toddler. YEAH.

When I realised we were mid potty training and had a five hour car journey ahead, I was fuming with myself. Why hadn’t I waited a few extra weeks to potty train?! Why had I done this to myself?! In reality, b was bloody amazing! He actually needed to stop for a wee less than I did!

Here are some things which made the journey go a little smoother:

Five Tips for Surviving Car Trips with a Potty Training Toddler!Puppy training pads

My mum friend, let’s call her L, is a genius! She recommended using puppy training pads in the car seat, as a “just in case” back up. Puppy pads are super absorbent and lock away moisture, like a nappy really. Fortunately we haven’t had one car wee incident and still have the first puppy pad we popped in the seat. But if you are doing a long journey and don’t fancy having to wash your whole car seat, I def recommend popping one in. You can get them in all the main supermarkets and home stores for a few quid.

Panty Liners

I know it sounds silly but hear me out. Little man has really got this weeing business sorted. The poos, less so. He tends to go a bit and then stop and sometimes he doesn’t tell me and is happy to sit in it :/ If I know he is due a blowout, I’ve been popping in a panty liner. They are much slimmer than kids liners (mainly as the kids ones are there to absorb wee and wee isn’t my issue here). B hated this at first but I said it was non-negotiable as he wasn’t telling me if he needed a poo. He is slowly starting to tell me more now which is good and he is ok with the liners. I explained to him that it makes it easier for mummy to whip the liner out without having to go through 10+ pants a day (really!). And he gets that and it hasn’t confused him.

Limit the drinks

I know it sounds like a no brainer but if you can, limit the drink intake slightly. It’s no surprise that if b downs a glass of squash, he needs to pee more. If I limit him to just water, which he is more likely to sip, he pees less.


Ask a few minutes before the services come up! I found if I asked b if he needed a wee at the 1 mile warning, he’d say no and then a minute after the services, he’d say that actually yes, he did need a wee. Great. If however I asked b a good 5-10 minutes before the services came up, it gave him time to decide or undecided if he needed to go. This worked LOADS better on the way home. We basically stopped ONCE for him on a 5 hour journey. Mummy here needed a second pit stop!


If I knew we were a bit out from a service stop, I found distraction worked really well for b. And distraction in the form of a snack worked even better. We passed a services and he then told me he needed a wee. We were probably 20 minutes from the next one but I found giving him something to eat helped keep him busy and keep his mind off his bladder.

Overall I was super impressed with his ability to hold his bladder and to tell us he needed to stop. I really underestimate my son sometimes.

Have you been potty training? What works for you on car journeys?! You can read more about our potty training journey here, and what we now sing to the Paw Patrol theme tune 😉

travelling with a toddler that is potty training tips what to do advice



  1. Thank you so much for writing this! We are in the middle of potty training our son and he\’s doing really well he has will always say he needs a wee buy forgets to tell us when we\’re in the car. I will definitely be getting some puppy pads and remembering to ask before services next time we visit parents who are a 4 hour drive away!xx #anythinggoes

  2. This is truly a great post. Puppy training pads- ingenuous. My son isn\’t ready for training yet but ill remember these tips. Sharing to help all the other mama\’s out there in the midst of training 🙂 #MARVMONDAYS

  3. Oh yes puppy pads and timing is essential. We do a lot of travelling to in the car and for ages I was putting them in a pull up for the journey but they have started to protest about that now, so we are just having to go for it!! #MarvMondays

  4. Oh this is so familiar! My son is mostly done now but we\’re still at the point where if he says he needs to go we don\’t have longer than about five minutes to find a loo!

    Our absolute saving grace has been the Potette travel pot. It folds up and comes with disposable bags that you just chuck after your child is done. I dread to think of the messes we would have got in without it as its been used too many times to count.

    Thanks for sharing #anythinggoes

  5. Oh this is super useful, we will be reaching said milestone very soon and also spend a fair amount of time up and down the m5! I love the puppy liners, really is a genius idea. #marvmondays

  6. I potty trained Monkey a year and s half ago yet it\’s already a distant memory! I don\’t recall any long car journeys but I suspect we would have used pull ups. Although I really like the thought of the puppy pads as I would prefer up use them over pull ups any day! Thanks for joining us at #BloggerClubUK hope to see you again this week X

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.