Protecting Car Seat When Potty Training | No More Yucky Moments! 

 March 18, 2023

By  Jaycen Mag

Potty training is an important milestone for parents and children alike. However, it can also be messy and leave your child's car seat soiled and smelly. In this article, you'll learn how to protect your car seat during potty training, including tips on how to clean and maintain it, as well as some of the best practices for potty training on the go.

Whether you're just starting out on the potty training journey or you're already in the thick of it, this post will provide you with the information you need to protect your child's car seat and keep it looking and smelling fresh. Plus, you will also learn some kickass potty training tips for your car rides.

Key Takeaways

  • Use a protector on your car seat that is specifically designed for your toddler’s car seat, or you can also make one. 
  • Use potty-friendly clothes that are not too tight or even disposable training pants. 
  • You can also place a light-weight, compact potty in your car for longer trips. 
  • It is a good idea to keep an extra set of clothes in your car so that you can quickly change your child if something goes wrong until you fully potty train them.
  • Before you leave the house, make sure you have all the necessary items to make the potty-training experience as easy and mess-free as possible. This includes extra clothes, training pants and supplies, and of course – disposable potty seat covers!
a mother putting her baby in the car

How to Protect Car Seat When Potty Training: Some Helpful Tips

Ah, potty training… It can be a difficult journey and an even harder one to do while on the go. It's a process of trial and error and, inevitably, messes. No matter how prepared you are, accidents are bound to happen, especially in the car and the car seats. That's why I've compiled some helpful tips on how to protect your baby's car seat when it's time for potty training.

Tip #1: Put down a waterproof seat cover

It's been a long few weeks of potty-training our baby. While we have made a lot of progress, there have also been occasional accidents that have made it onto the car seat. To avoid any further accidents, I decided to take a proactive step and put down a car seat protector for long car rides.

I researched online and learned that there are protectors that are specifically designed for car seats, but I was hesitant to spend a lot of money when I knew I could achieve the same result with some creativity.

I ended up using a large piece of waterproof plastic sheet, like a beach tarp or painter's plastic. I cut it to size so it fits over the car seat and secured it with four pieces of duct tape. I was amazed at how simple it was to make my own waterproof seat cover and started potty training confidently on the go!

My daughter, who loves to help with anything car-related, was equally as excited as I was. She helped me to put down the cover, and when the job was done, we celebrated with high-fives all around!

a toy in the baby seat with covers

I'm so glad I took the time to put down a waterproof seat cover. It not only protects the car seat, but it also serves as a visual reminder that she must potty before getting into the car.

Overall, having a waterproof seat cover has been an absolute lifesaver, and I would highly recommend other parents to do the same. It's a cheap solution that is so effective and keeps your car seat protected!

Tip #2: Choose the right clothes

We live a pretty active lifestyle, so I knew that I had to be extra careful to keep our car seat clean and dry. Fortunately, the loose clothing I chose for Katie meant that when she went to the bathroom, she could quickly and easily take her clothes off while seated on the potty; thus, keeping our car seat nice and clean no matter if we were at home or out and about.

a man putting a child in the car seat

Not only did this work well for a potty break, but it was also great for when we went to the store. Katie could easily and comfortably slip off her clothes and sit on the potty without having to worry about her clothing constricting her or being too tight or uncomfortable. Moreover, the use of disposable training pants also made potty training toddlers easier.

When potty training a toddler, choosing the right clothing is critical for protecting your car seat. Loose-fitting clothes or pull ups make it easier for your little one to take off while seated on the potty, while keeping your car seat clean. And don't forget; a happy potty-trained toddler is a productive one!

Tip #3: Place a potty on the floor

This might sound like an impossible task for some parents - the thought of having to transport a potty, clean it up in between trips, and store it in the car. However, luckily potties have come a long way since your parents potty trained you.

Today you can find lightweight, compact, and easy-to-clean potties that can easily fit in a corner of the car between trips. And once your child gets used to using the potty in the car, you won’t have to worry about them having accidents anymore.

various potties designed for traveling

Not only will the potty help save your car seat from those dreaded accidents, but it can also save you lots of headaches in the long run. You won’t have to be as strict about when your children can drink or eat because you won’t have to constantly worry about when they need to make a bathroom stop. It also prevents any stress or anxiety on both you and your child about “having to go.”

Tip #4: Keep an extra set of clothes in your car

No matter how diligent you are in making sure your child is always wearing the correct clothing while in the car, accidents can still happen. It is a good idea to keep an extra set of clothes in your car so that you can quickly change your child if something goes wrong until you fully potty train them.

toddler's colorful clothes on the blue surface

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I protect my car seat while potty training?

Thankfully, I've discovered a few ways to protect my car seat while potty training. The first and most essential tip is to use a non-approved seat liner meant for cars with fabric protectant and water-proofing spray. This will provide an extra layer of protection for your car seat and soak up any accidents.

In addition, you can also put pee padding under the child for extra absorption. This can also help with any leaky diapers that may occur.

How do I stop my toddler from unbuckling the car seat?

After doing some research, I figured out a few tricks to help me get a handle on the situation.

First, make sure your child is strapped in snugly. Make sure the straps aren’t too tight or too loose, but just enough to where he is comfortable. If the straps are too tight, he may try to wiggle out of them.

Second, explain to your child the importance of being buckled in. Let him know why it's important to remain buckled and that it's for his own safety. Use simple words that he can understand, as you don't want to frighten him.

Third, find a distraction. When my toddler was unbuckling, I would hand him a toy or his favorite stuffed animal. This usually worked, and he would forget about trying to unbuckle his seat.

Fourth, try backseat inventories. If you’re in a hurry and your toddler is still unbuckling, you can try having him grab certain things from the back seat while you drive. You can tell him to grab a certain amount of toys or items, making sure he stays buckled in the entire time.

Finally, plan ahead. Whenever I know I'll be on a long car trip, I make sure to have enough snacks and toys for my toddler. This helps keep him entertained, so he’s less likely to try to unbuckle himself.

Can you put a pee pad in a car seat?

At first, I was a bit skeptical; I wasn’t sure if pee pads were a good idea for a car seat. I mean, wouldn’t they make a mess and be hard to clean? But after some research and talking to other moms, I learned that you can actually put pee pads in a car seat and they can really help with odor control, clean-up and protecting the car seat fabric from the mess.

The best part? Pee pads are ultra-absorbent and have a special built-in odor inhibitor to help lock in smells, so you don’t have to worry about your car smelling bad. Plus, they’re easy to clean and reuse.


Having gone through all the necessary steps to keep my car seat free from accidents during potty training, I can confidently say that I'm well-prepared for anything that comes my way. From washable seat covers to easy-to-use stain removers, it's essential to know the right tools and materials to protect your car seat during potty training. Taking the extra time to make sure my car is clean and potty-training friendly has been a worthwhile effort in the long run.

As any parent knows, potty training can be an exciting yet challenging experience. Taking the necessary precautions to protect your car seat from accidents will ensure that you have a safe, clean ride for you and your little one.

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