One if by Land, Two if by…Mini Van?

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Traveling with small children is always an adventure. Traveling with multiples – well, that’s really more of a quest. Whether you have twins in diapers or triplets in big kid underwear, bathrooms (and where to find them) are always a main concern.

I’m past the baby stage of traveling, so I’m blessed with a much-less-stuffed-full “diaper” bag. (I need a new name for our diaper bag, as it no longer holds diapers.) My twin boys are four years old. Both are long since potty-trained and yet, the attention to potties has not yet ended.

Car travel is one of the (few) times when it may be to an advantage to be a boy. I have traveled with the boys several times by myself through the middle of nowhere Missouri when one of the boys shouts out the dreaded “MOMMYIHAVETOGOPOTTYNOW!!” Never mind that we just stopped at McD’s three exits ago – he didn’t have to go then, of course. So I have been forced to pull over to the side of the road and let him go. (Luckily that usually prompts the other guy to go too.) As a woman, I’m slightly jealous at the ease at which they are able to just go, anywhere, anytime. Then again, I don’t have to worry about getting pee on my shoes.

During long road trips, my husband and I are divided on the best strategy. My advice is to put them in pull-ups to avoid accidents. He disagrees, believing that they should be able to tell us when they need to go potty. I rebut, saying that a sleeping boy doesn’t have much ability to speak, except to awaken screaming that his clothes are all wet, his car seat is all wet, and we are to blame. At that point, my husband doesn’t want to talk about it anymore, as he’s remembering all the times when I’ve been right (at least, that’s what I tell myself).

Once your kids are potty-trained, it really comes down to this: can they hold it while they are sleeping? If they are napping or sleeping at night in big kid underwear without accidents, you are probably safe to leave them in underwear while traveling. If not, then save yourself the stress and just put them in a pull-up.

Other crucial items for car travel from a potty-perspective are extra pull-ups and/or underwear, extra clothing (all the way down to the socks, please trust me on this one), wet wipes, a plastic bag for holding wet clothes, two or more bath towels (to dry off with and to place on the wet car seat), and possibly some candy as a bribe to get them to calm down. Or is that just me?

This past weekend, we had a four-hour road trip with our boys, and it was the first time we have made it that far without: a) an accident; b) stopping by the side of the road (it was about 18 degrees that day); or c) going potty in a water bottle in a moving vehicle (by the boys, not myself or my husband). The water bottle trick is an interesting one taught to me by my husband. Apparently men do this all the time (at least that’s what he told me). I was outraged and appalled. Then it came down to the emergency potty-situation (too cold to stop and no restroom in sight), and I was forced to give it a try. As strange as the experience is while it’s happening, it’s even worse to try to figure out what to do with the water bottle after the incident.

My advice is to make Dad figure that one out.

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10 thoughts on “One if by Land, Two if by…Mini Van?”

  1. We had the pullups or no pullups debate in our house as well. Interestingly i was for pullups while hubby was the one against. Since peeing in a bottle is something our girl can’t do ( but I’m sure the boys will!) we bought on “on the go” potty. But I think sometimes the novelty of it means more potty breaks than necessary.

  2. I am going to print this post and give it to people when they ask me when we’re going to start potty training. My answer has always been AS LONG AS POSSIBLE! There is such freedom being able to go anywhere with diapers.

    At the same time, WOW I am so NOT ready for my boys to be out of diapers. Sometimes it’s nice to stay an ostrich with my head in the sand and not see what’s coming in my near future.

  3. I would have to agree with your husband. Accidents happen, but if they are already potty trained, accidents while traveling are just part of the journey.

    After our daughter went through 4 outfits on a recent trip, I can understand how much of a pain this can be.

    After they wake up in a pool of pee a few times after being potty trained, they may start planning better in the future.

    But hey, our daughter is only 4 months old, so I’m sure I’ve got plenty to learn.

  4. When we’re travelling any great distances, our first stop is the gas station to grab a wide-mouth gatorade or one-liter soda. We’ve gotten away with using fast food drinking cups, but the key is to store it (if ur on the move like we are) withOUT the straw in it, just in case you become thirsty on the remainder of your trip. Too many close calls!

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