For recently potty trained (or in the process) kids, consider using pull up type training diapers on travel days and while in flight. Kids often have to pee at challenging times – standing in long airport security lines, when seat belt light is on, or in the car on the freeway! I actually recommend anyone with a little bladder or difficulty holding it, wear these “flight pants” for air travel days when time and convenience really matter. (I also recommend this for seniors or those traveling with incontinence issues)
For little egos hurt by this, it can help to refer to the training diapers as “flight pants”- explaining that even astronauts wear “flight pants” when buckled in during flight and unable to use the toilet!
I suggest involving the child with the labeling and transformation process – having them draw on the diapers with marker to designate them as “flight pants.”
Excitement and/or stress can quickly lead to wet pants – an uncomfortable situation for all involved! Do not make a child wait when they have to go to the toilet. Pull up type diapers are a practical solution for travel days.
Put the flight pants on before you arrive at the airport. My son treats the pull ups like underwear that he pulls down when he is able to use a toilet. Most times, he doesn’t even wet or soil the diapers and we remove dry ones at the destination. However, for those times when they are needed, “flight pants” saved the travel day!
Just like with diapers, pack more than you think you may need. Sitting in a wet seat is sure to produce an irritable child. And eating unusual foods and anxiety can produce loose stools unexpectedly. Pull up type diapers are easy to change as the sides can be ripped open instead of having to slide them down the legs.
Which brings to mind – pack at least one extra pair of clothing for both you and your child.
On our trip to Europe this past month, twice my son told me he had to “go” on planes when we were in situations where it was not possible. Either due to turbulence or in the process of landing or taking off, the timing was not great. (NOTE- I have learned not to “ask” if he needs the toilet- he always says no-, but instead to take him to the lavatory shortly before boarding, right after we board, and right before we begin descent for landing.) I was extremely thankful for those flight pants! The other time was on our international flight to Switzerland, he was sleeping very soundly and woke up with wet flight pants. Traveling is sure to put your child in unfamiliar situations and the best thing is to prevent misery.
I also had him wear pull-up type diapers (actually Easy Ups are what I prefer) when we were going to be in situations at our destination that were not good environments or times to need a bathroom. In Greece, we did walk into a shop and ask if there was any toilet for “the little boy” – the shopkeeper was hesitant to share his private restroom, but recognized the look on my son’s face and gave in.
Accidents and spills do happen! I know for my son, he is very proud to be potty trained. When he has the occasional accident it usually is due to excitement, distraction, or being overly tired.
And when accidents happen, he is so embarrassed that he cries – loudly.
Not a good thing to happen when I am strapped in an airplane seat and unable to get him out of the wet clothes!
Remember – it often is how we present things in life that matter. Flight pants are used by some of the world’s smartest people for traveling well. And writing on diapers is new and exciting and one more way to involve kids in the flight process.
ENJOY the Journey!
This post was originally published 20 December 2007.