Toilet training is something of a landmark, both for toddlers who learn to attend to nature’s call on their own and for the young parents who spend months teaching them to do so. Toilet training a tiny-tot is by itself a big task, but when it comes to doing the same thing in a caravan, the prospect seems way too daunting to take up. As such, most people caravanning with their young children prefer to wait out the duration of their trip by keeping their little ones in nappies.
Is toilet training a toddler in a caravan a good idea?
It depends. If you’re not a frequent traveller, you can postpone your caravan tour by a month or so and toilet train your kid at home. Alternatively, if you’re planning a short trip and will be back in a week or two, you could commence training then. On the other hand, if you’re on the road at least a few months in a year or live in a static caravan, it’ll only make sense for you to toilet train your toddler in the caravan itself.
Will it be easy?
Not exactly. But then again, toilet training a little one is challenging, no matter where you do it. You would need to stick to the same basics in a caravan and a regular house. A caravan will just present a few specific challenges, which aren’t all that difficult to overcome. Let’s go through them quickly and come up with solutions.
One of the main hurdles you might have to face in a caravan is limited space. This doesn’t mean that toilet training requires a lot of room. But what toddlers do need is some privacy. It’s an innate feeling that we all have, and ordering them to just ‘go’ while the setting around them is the one that they just woke up, ate or played in, might not elicit the desired response. You can counter this by creating a ‘potty’ zone. It doesn’t have to be extensive. Just a corner of your caravan that isn’t used for anything else, and some smart orientation of furniture should do the trick. Place the portable toilet in this area. Eventually of course, your kid can move to the main toilet in the caravan.
When caravanning with a toddler for extended periods of time, and especially if you’re in the process of toilet training him/her, don’t compromise on bathroom fittings. A caravan toilet and shower are absolutely essential. You don’t want your kid to learn to ‘go’ exclusively in a portable toilet out in the open, and have no frame of reference when it comes to using a standard toilet in a bathroom.
Caravan carpets and floor mats sure add a homely feel to your house-on-wheels, but they can also add to your cleaning woes if you’re toilet training your toddler. Laminate floors are much easier to clean, since both water and washing space is going to be limited.
If you’re using toys, books or visual aids to prompt your kid to use the toilet, don’t put them away as soon as you get home. Having the same toys and stories around will maintain some continuity, helping your toddler accept his/her new toilet setting with less resistance.
This is common sense, really. You’re toilet training a toddler. Clothes are going to get dirty. You won’t have as much laundry freedom in a caravan as you normally do at home. So carry lots of extra clothes for your little one, while he/she learns to go about one of the most important tasks in his/her life!
That’s about it. Assess your situation carefully and decide whether or not to toilet train your kid in your caravan. If you live in a static caravan, just follow the above tips along with general toilet training guidelines and you should be well on your way.