4 Tips When Traveling With Children

potty train on vacation

Who doesn’t love taking a vacation! Whether you are heading back to your hometown for a visit, to an educational European country, or to a sandy warm paradise, packing the family up for a well deserved vacation is exciting and fun.

However – if you have young children, it may seem a bit more daunting. Lugging around twice the luggage with a cranky, sweaty child that is on the verge of an all out meltdown is hardly the relaxing, luxurious vacation you hoped for. Here are a few tips to helping your vacation run a bit more smoothly.

1 – The Element of Surprise

You’ve probably given your child the speech. Be on your best behavior. Stay close at all times. Don’t be loud. But the best way to keep your child in their seat, quiet and pleasant, is by planting a few surprises along the way. If you are in the middle of a long haul flight, don’t pull out all the stops in the first 15 minutes. Pack some quiet (actually, completely noise free) games, toys or activities. Pull them out one by one as needed – think sticker or coloring books, even puzzles. Here’s a few of our tips for potty training.

2 – A Little Bit Of Junk Goes A Long Way

Maybe when your family is home, 30 minutes of television each day is the limit. This will probably go out the window on your vacation, and that’s OK. If your family sticks mostly to organic foods, or has a very healthy diet, pack a special treat that they aren’t typically used to eating. You don’t need to pump your kids full of sugar (in fact make sure you do NOT do that) but, a few small treats spaced out throughout your travel day may really help you out!

3 – Be The Early Bird

Try to be early for every single thing you have planned. It’s better to be early than be the last to arrive – especially when it comes to flying. Take advantage of early boarding if possible. Get your kids settled in their seat, immersed in an activity so that they’re not in anyone’s way. The last thing you want is your child irritating the one intolerant person on your flight, and then you have to deal with the evil eye throughout your travel.

4 – Cut Yourself Some Slack

So, your kid had a meltdown in line and you gave him a handful of candy. The only way to get your 5 year old to calm down on the flight was to give her a big wad of bubble gum. Your kids watched 3 movies on your overseas flight. Whatever works, works! When you’re on vacation, your kids are too. What you promise or basically bribe your kids with when on vacation is not representative of how you are as a parent – you are just rolling with the punches and doing the best you can. Don’t feel bad about it – think of it more as self preservation so that you are able to enjoy the vacation too!

4 Tips When Potty Training Triplets

potty training tripletsCongratulations on your bouncing babies! Even the proudest of parents find the potty training palaver a bit of a problem. However, you are lucky enough to have three beautiful babies to potty train! Many people will probably congratulate you on your good fortune at not only having one, but three babies. However, I know better. Right now, you’re probably exhausted and covered in baby vomit and, the thought of potty-training your little cherubs fills you with dread. However, I am here to help you. Just follow my simple guidelines and your babies will be potty-trained in a jiffy.

Bulk-Buy Nappies
Ensure that you have plenty of potties and nappies. It may sound blatantly obvious but you wouldn’t believe how many parents forget to buy plenty of nappies. However, you will not be one of those parents. One pack of nappies per child won’t cover it, I’m afraid. I would suggest taking yourself down to your nearest Costco or other bulk-buying warehouse, and buying as many packs of nappies that will fit in your car. Remember, there is no such thing as too many nappies, especially when potty training triplets.

Gold Stickers are Key
Make it fun. When you were young, you probably loved receiving gold stars and various stickers. So, if you haven’t thought of it already, buy stickers to reward your toddler with each time they use the potty correctly. As with the nappies, I would suggest bulk-buying stickers as toddlers go crazy for shiny stickers, take my word for it.

Potties are Possessions
Make the potties their possessions. When you’re a triplet, you’re likely to feel like you have to share everything with your two other siblings. So, make sure that your toddlers know that the potties are their possessions. This will make them keener to use their potties, because they may be the only thing which is specifically theirs. You can also try getting each triplet different coloured potties so that they all know which is theirs. This will prevent squabbles over whose potty is whose.

Individual Needs
Treat them all as individuals. This doesn’t mean that you should favour one over the other because this will just lead to resentment later in life. You need to accept that, whilst one of your triplets may be potty trained within a month, the other two may take a little more encouragement. If the other two toddlers are perfectly trained and the other one is lagging behind, give them encouragement but be sure to give the other two attention at the same time. Remember that, no two children are the same, no matter how similar they look.

Whilst potty training triplets may seem like an impossible task at the moment, once they’re done with the potty and have moved onto the toilet, it’ll be thoroughly rewarding. Just remember to stock up on nappies and gold stickers and you’ll be fine. If you try to make the experience as positive as possible for everyone involved, your toddlers should be toilet-trained in no time.


Potty Training Twins? These 3 Tips Will Help

potty training twinsWell, if you have been blessed with twins you know that raising them is fun and rewarding. You have twice the fun, twice the love and twice the work! When your twin toddlers are ready to start potty training, it’s best to have a solid game plan to get through this tricky stage with your sanity.

All children grow at different paces. Comparing your twins ability to potty train is the same as comparing a child against a friends child – it just ends up being frustrating, and can make you feel like your child isn’t developing at a normal rate. There is no rule that says twins need to develop at the same rate. One child may be ready, and one may not, which is completely fine. You can see the average age for potty training here. A few signs that your child (or children) are ready to start potty training, is that they are interested by other kids using the toilet on their own. If they are starting to let you know they want their diaper changed – being unimpressed that they are in a soiled diaper – you know it’s time to start their potty training!

1 – Sharing Isn’t Always Necessary

Twins are going to be sharing a lot of their things for the majority of their young lives. One thing they should not be sharing – is a potty seat. Not only because it’s kind of weird, but even though they are potentially potty training at the same time, they are two separate kids that are just starting to voice their opinions. Guaranteed, if you have two small ones sharing two potty seats, there will inevitably be a few tears shed over someone using someone else’s potty seat. Plus, at some point in time they will be wanting to go at the same time. Save yourself a headache, and invest in two separate potty seats.

2 – Relax… And Learn To Live With A Bit Of Extra Chaos

Chances are, if you’re already the parent of twin toddlers, you adapt pretty well to hectic situations that may send other mothers running. Embrace the crazy – because with two kids potty training, things are going to get a bit more chaotic, and a lot more messy. You know there will be accidents. You know there will be meltdowns. Prepare yourself mentally, and prepare your home – maybe designate your more expensive furniture as ‘off limits’ when they’re not wearing a diaper. Use baby gates to keep your twins isolated in an area where they have easy access to the bathroom!

3 – Choose Your Positive Reinforcement Wisely

It’s easy to use positive reinforcement to help your child learn. Using the washroom properly may merit a treat – a piece of candy or access to a toy, etc. However – take a good look at your twins, and how competitive they are. If you give something to one, and not the other, how will that result? Try to avoid additional tantrums by figuring out what is an appropriate reward for the potty training success!

3 More Simple Potty Training Tips

parent support potty trainingMost parents trying to potty train their child will have read every ‘how-to guide’ on the internet. However, most of these are basic, step-by-step guides on how to potty train. They don’t contain any helpful hints; they just drone on tonelessly about the exact angle at which to place your child on the toilet seat. So, if you’re in need of some tips and pointers, look no further; this is the place for you.

Musical Chairs

How many of you made up songs when you were younger? A lot. A lot of adults listen to music when they’re trying to revise for exams and, when you’re a toddler, it’s not much different. True, your toddler might not respond well to Vivaldi’s Four Season’s but the same principals apply. Potty training needs to be fun and engaging for your toddler so, why not make up your own potty training song? It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece; just set it to the tune of the Dora the Explorer theme, or any other program that they watch and enjoy. Once they’ve finished using the potty, sing another song, reiterating what they’ve done. That way, they’ll know that what they’ve done is good and what they should do in the future.

Toilet Time is Fun

You need to make potty training fun. If it’s boring, your child will probably take longer to train than those who make it interesting. You could try dying the toilet water with red or blue food coloring. Most toddlers are delighted by the fact that they know that they’ve caused it to change from red to orange or blue to green. I know most parents probably won’t understand their excitement, but hey, if it helps, why not?

You can also try putting shaving foam in the toilet. Every time your child uses the toilet, you give them marks based on accuracy. When they need to do a poo, you pretend that they’re sending the torpedoes in to finish the job. Although this may not be as effective when potty training girls, it is especially effective with boys. Come on, how many boys don’t like playing war games when they’re little?

Toddlers and Toys

Toddlers respond well to toys and potty training sticker charts. If you have a little girl, you could put some toys in a sparkly bag and allow her to choose one each time she uses the potty correctly. Most boys don’t respond well to sparkly bags so, if you have a boy, you could draw a racetrack on the wall. Each time your child uses the toilet, or potty, correctly, they can put a sticker on the wall and, once the racetrack is full, they can have a small gift. By giving your toddler rewards each time they use the potty, you’re reinforcing that what they’re doing is good. It also helps them to associate using the potty with getting nice things like presents.

So, go forth with your fun potty training activities and reap the rewards.

3 Tips for Potty Training While Travelling

potty training travel

Many parents suddenly find themselves on the road at exactly the same time their toddler needs potty training. I know that it can be difficult because, if you’re going to be on the road for a long time, you’re going to have to take your child to the toilet at some point. Now, I know that many peoples first instinct would be to panic and say ‘But we can’t potty train her whilst we’re traveling!’ Well, this is not the case. Just read through my helpful hints below and, Voila! Potty training while traveling becomes a breeze.

Stickers Make the World Go Around
Bring your stickers and potty training chart ! Just because you’re not at home, doesn’t mean you don’t have to continue as normal. Make sure that you have any rewards that you would give your child at home for using the potty correctly. If you’re going to be on the road for a long time, make sure that you bring plenty of rewards because, toddlers respond better to rewards than they do to verbal praises.

Public Restrooms Can Be a Problem
Prepare yourself for the public restrooms. To most adults, public restrooms are completely unintimidating. However, for a tiny toddler, they can be terrifying. All the big people standing in a queue, waiting to use the toilet can be intimidating, not to mention the automatic flush system. So, make sure that you reassure your child by talking to them and giving them rewards when they use the toilet correctly. You can also make your child sit sideways on the toilet seat so that they don’t set off the automatic flush, which can be scary to a small child. The most important thing to remember is that, your child is a lot smaller than everyone else in the restroom so, everyone and everything’s going to be scary. Just be patient.

Accidents Do Happen
Make sure that you’re prepared for accidents. You can put seat covers over your seats so that you protect the upholstery from any ‘leakages’ which may occur. Accidents do happen, even at home so, if your child does make a mess on the seat, don’t scream and shout at them; they’re likely to be scared afterwards because they know that what they’ve done is wrong. Make sure that, if they’re crying, you soothe them so that they don’t become afraid of going in the car next time. If your toddler has a negative experience and you reinforce this negative experience by shouting at them, they’re going to become terrified of ever going anywhere that that experience could be repeated again.

So, now you know how to potty-train your child while traveling. Remember that, just because you’re on the road, doesn’t mean you have to do anything differently. If you suddenly change it because you’re on the road, your child may get confused and think that they’re doing what they’re supposed to do when in fact, what you asked them to do was just a one-off. If you’re going to be potty training while traveling, be sure to pack your potty, stickers and patience; you’re going to need it!


How to Potty Train in 3 Days

Can I Really Potty Train My Child In 3 Days? 

We’ve all heard about the Start Potty Training Method but does it really work?

Is it really possible to potty train a child in 72 hours? To my surprise, the answer is a definite YES.

Created by Carol Cline, this proven toilet training method has become popular among many Montessori schools and early-learning prep centers around the country.  Toddlers seem to respond rather well to the unique training structure while providing parents with solid and practical blueprint to continued achievement.

Four of the mothers in our playgroup tried out program and had immediate success. To this day, all four moms still praise the system and recommend it to all new parents.  I’ve even found myself suggesting the Start Potty Training Method to co-workers and friends with toddlers.

The program comes in three different formats including text, audio and video to demonstrate the various potty training techniques; you can choose the format that best suits your style.

The 136-page introduction guide that comes with the program is a great resource that outlines TONS of potty training tips and practical advice that will make the entire learning process a lot easier for your little one. I read the whole thing from front to back in less than 2 days. By day three, I was ready to begin the adventure of potty training my 2-year old daughter. After reading the guide, I felt a tremendous amount of confidence and excitement to start the training. I truly believe that having this confidence was the main reason I was able to stick with the program and deal with any unexpected mishaps. Knowing what to expect was a huge advantage.

As with any potty program, consistency is key, but the Start Potty Training method seems to be the most reliable in terms of success rates among children aged 18-36 months.

Remember, the goal is the program is to teach your child to begin using the potty rather than using diapers. That doesn’t mean that your child will be perfectly potty trained in three days. As expected, there may still be occasional accidents due to the nature of the body and mind learning a new process, but expect to see daily improvements.

All I can say is that wish someone would have told me about Start Potty Training Method when we had our first child 🙂


chief mom


Sophia Wren is a full-time mom and international life coach. When she’s not spending quality time with her daughters, she is enjoying hiking and running triathlons with her husband of 25 years.

When to Start Potty Training Girls

What Age Should I Start Potty Training My Daughter?

Are you wondering at which age you should begin introducing a consistent toilet training method to your little one? In last month’s newsletter, we asked that exact question to all 10,000+ of our newsletter subscribers, and the replies were pretty consistent to the previous year’s poll.

58% of our survey responses stated that most moms choose to start their potty training between 20 months and 2 years.

Our own testing panel also agreed that 2 years old (24 months) is a reasonable age for a child to begin a toilet training process.

Most parents who start potty training around 2 years of age find it cleaner, easier and more supportive of the independence and autonomous development of the child. More than half of the mothers in our volunteer focus group chose to begin the Start Potty Training Method on their child’s 2nd birthday, and had successful results.

Some parents begin potty-training later than 2 years old, but often times find their child is old enough to adamantly defy them or use the potty to get their own way. I usually recommend that new parents start to at least mention and introduce the concept of proper toilet use by 12 months so that when the time comes, the child is aware of the concept and expectations. This tends to help the child feel more comfortable with the entire process.

Girls tend to show an earlier interest in potty training, with some parents starting as early as 15 months. It’s important to understand these potty training signals to see if your toddler is ready to begin.  My own daughter started showing signs around 20 months. The transition from diapers to underwear will be much smoother if you react to a child’s awareness, rather than be fixed on a specific age.

Remember, potty training is more than just removing diapers and offering some directions to the child. It’s a supportive, encouraging and exciting time for both child and parent. This training is a chance to build communication with your child and raise the level of trust in each other.



Brenda Johnson is a mother of twin girls and an international life coach.  As an early-years Montessori consultant, her experience in toddler behavior and cognitive development has earned her mentions and praise in educational literature throughout the US and UK.