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Protecting Car Seats From Toddlers During Potty Training

By Kathy Gleason ; Updated June 13, 2017

Potty training can be challenging for kids and parents alike. Certain situations are even harder when it comes to potty training -- for instance, overnights and on car trips where you don't always have quick and easy access to a bathroom. If your child has an accident while in the car, it can be a hassle to take her car seat apart to clean it, so prevention of problems in the first place makes sense.

Training Pants

One simple way to protect your toddler's car seat while potty training is to put him in training pants when going on car rides that are either long or to out-of-the-way places without convenient rest stops. You can either use reusable fabric or rubber training pants for this purpose, or use disposable training pants that are similar to diapers except they pull up instead of fastening with sticky tabs. This makes them more like underwear and can ease the transition to potty training for some children, while at the same time protecting the fabric of car seats from accidents.

Dry Seats

Pregnancy.org reminds parents of another option for protecting car seats -- dry seats. These are available from many baby and children's stores, as well as online, and are specially made to fit a child's car seat or stroller. It's a fabric, removable insert that gets fit over the bottom and a bit of the sides of the car seat. if your child leaks urine or feces, the dry seat is much easier to remove and wash than taking the whole car seat out and trying to clean it. Always check with the car seat manufacturer before using an aftermarket product like dry seats to ensure their safety with your particular car seat.

Making Your Own Covers

Another option parents have for protecting car seats is to fashion their own car seat covers. If desired, you can use a disposable mattress pad, which is made of the same material as disposable diapers and is usually used to protect a toddler's bed at night. Simply cut a mattress pad to the size of your child's car seat, making sure it doesn't interfere with the way the seat belt buckles, and place it underneath your toddler before a long car trip.

Tips for Traveling With a Potty Training Toddler

Child development experts at the Kids Health website suggest that parents consider keeping an extra portable toddler potty in the car when traveling. This way if you have to pull over on the side of a deserted road when nature calls, it will be more comfortable for your child, hopefully preventing accidents that occur from trying to "hold it." You should also always have extra clothes for your toddler with you, and if you're using a dry seat, an extra one of those in the trunk can also be a huge help in case a problem does occur while away from home.

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