Backyard Potty Training



Are you interested in potty training your child in nature, but camping out in the woods is a bit too much?  Try camping in your own backyard and potty train your child there!

Bringing your child outdoors to nature brings them that much closer to The Potty Fairies, as they live in the fields and woods near your home!  The Potty Fairy and her helpers, Bud and Blossom, will love leaving incentives all over the yard and in the tent when your child stays dry and uses the potty chair.

The Bare Bottom method might just be the thing in the privacy of your own backyard.  Your child can wear an oversized tee shirt and have a bare bottom beneath the teeshirt for a quick and easy bathroom visit. Camping and potty training go hand and hand. Potty Training Camping is a fun way to train your child. Make it creative and fun.

Things to Think About When Camping with a Toddler

To prepare for a weekend potty training outdoors camping there are a few things to prepare for a successful weekend.  Overall, you will want to set-up a tent for sleeping and arrange your beds.  You will want to plan a menu for meals and snacks.  Think about entertainment and adventure. What will you do? For potty training, you will want to set-up an “outdoor” bathroom. 

More specifically:


Get Toys Readily Available: Select some toys from the house that your child enjoys and put them in a container to stay outside with you during the duration of your “backyard camping trip”. Familiar toys might help your child feel more safe and secure with the new adventure. A new toy may help with the sense of a new adventure.  Some small camping toys would be fun including tents, children, and fairies! Glow-in-the-dark hula toys sure are fun for night time play.  Plan on using balance bikes or trikes. I made little art bins for each of them with their pencils, pastels, crayons.

Prepare a First Aid Kit:  Prepackaged first aid kits are cheaper than buying everything.  With backyard camping, you may just want to have a few bandaids ready and insect sting lotion. Cleansing wipes are a most and you will want a lot of those. A few containers are nice and portable one if you are taking a hike or a bike ride.

Get a Potty Chair: If you are focusing on potty training you will want to have a portable potty.  It might be fun to set-up a “magical” spot for going to the bathroom.  A sheet hung on the rope could create walls around the potty chair. Balloons, streamers, and decorations could help make going to the bathroom special and exciting. If using diapers at night, an extra large Ziploc bags are helpful to put wet diapers in until you can wash them or put them in a garbage.

Snacks are a Must: Have favorite easy to serve snacks available particularly when it gets close to making meals so that you can tend to cook outside.  Children are very busy and will burn a lot of energy when outside for long periods of time. Be sure to have healthy snacks that will keep them going.

Protect your Child: Sunburns and bug bites can happen even if you are just in your backyard!  Be sure to remember sunscreen and bug spray.  A sunburn and bugs can make a camping experience negative quickly. Choose your products carefully and be sure they are recommended for the sensitive skin of a child. 

Pack and Play or Baby Gate: A “Pack and Play” may also be helpful for times that you need to contain your child.  I have also seen some people place a baby gate all around the tent so that their child stays safe and can play.  If you bring a gate to create a play area, an old rug or mat would help create a cleaner place to play. An outdoor rug is nice as it can be hosed off to keep it clean.

Don’t be restricted to the campsite or the backyard: Toddlers can get bored with if there is nothing to do.  Try and plan an outing each day for a hike, bike ride, swimming or playground.

IMG_5336 (1)Fun in the Yard: A nature scavenger hunt is always fun! Go to the Dollar Store and find some inexpensive toys that can be hidden outside, found and played with!  Pool toys are particularly fun if you have put up a swimming pool set up for your little one to take a dip. Add some bubbles and flowers to create a fairy pool. 


Nighttime Fun: Plan on having a campfire. Camp chairs are fun to have and there are little ones made just for little tots. Remember to roast marshmallows. Sing songs and tell stories. Cook your food over the campfire: Campfire pizzas, campfire roasted hotdogs, and sausages cooked on sticks.  Hamburger, potatoes, and carrots cooked in tinfoil, oatmeal, bacon, and eggs, sandwiches. Keep it simple, Have fun.

IMG_5304Practice Sleeping in a Tent: Before actually sleeping in the tent, set it up with sleeping bags and mats etc.  Sleeping in the backyard is certainly good practice for when you do head to campgrounds or the woods.  Getting a small swimming pool with blow-up sides works nicely for toddlers sleeping in a tent for the first time.  Add a sleeping pad to the bottom, pillows, and blankets and you have created a safe and comfortable sleeping spot. A favorite blanket or stuffed animal is also welcome.  Put your potty training child in diapers at night.  Night time bathroom trips are tough.

Nighttime Awake Time:  Make a plan on how you will handle it if your child wakes up during the night and starts crying.  Consider bringing a portable nightlight so that there is a soft light.  My children always liked music so I would have your phone or computer set for some soft comforting music.  If sleeping in the “swimming pool” bed, blankets and stuffed animals should be nearby.  Be sure to watch for the fireflies and night and listen for outside noises.  Shadows on the tent wall with a flashlight and hands make for fun nighttime plays and stories. Giving your toddler a headlamp is also fun so your child can look at books while laying in their bed.

Camp with a Partner: This is must, it will save your sanity. One adult watches the kids while the other cooks or one prepares breakfast with the toddler while the other tears down camp with a baby in the pack n play. Be a team dividing up duties and everything will go a lot smoother.

Work together for a successful and fun camping experience.



Make Camping Magical: As you hike, walk, explore, try to see things through your child’s eyes. Some children love to look at bugs, other love to collect rocks, some like to look at flowers and some love to find frogs. There are so many things to look at in nature that can fill the day with wonder.


Some specific Potty Tips while camping:

Plan lots of potty breaks.   Don’t leave the camp until your child goes to the bathroom.  Demonstrate the need to go before leaving to your child. Once you leave, you don’t know when the next available time will come that you can use the bathroom again.

Offer Incentives: Don’t give treats for going to the bathroom but rather give treats for staying dry. Let the Potty Fairies leave treats when the day is going well and let your child find them here and there.  Let your child know that the Potty Fairies are noticing that your child is doing a great job.  Give lots of praise for what you want your child to be doing.  Catch them being good.  Share positive stories about your child’s potty training success when your child can overhear you! Gummy worms are a fun reward when camping.

Diapers are needed sometimes during potty training: Diapers in the car and at night.  For longer car rides we did opt for the diaper.  When driving in the car, wear the diapers and as soon as you arrive at the campsite, undies go back on.  At night time, have your child do a “before bedtime potty” and then put on diapers. As soon as your child wakes in the morning, have them go potty and put the undies back on.  Invite The Potty Fairies to leave a fresh pair of undies for your child at night to put on the next day. 


IMG_7157- front cover of book

Bring The Potty Fairy with you on your camping trip!  Download The Potty Fairy story on your device and share the story with your child while camping. Watch the magic come to life and potty training take off! Enjoy and have fun.

The Potty Fairy

Copyright June 2017

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