After years of including diapers and wipes in the monthly budget, packing a bag fuller than Mary Poppins’ endless sack of goodies, and excusing yourself from social functions to change the baby, it’s finally happened.

The children are all potty-trained.

Although the financial savings and the elimination of soiled diapers are the big advantages to having a toddler who no longer requires diapers, there are some hidden benefits parents can look forward to when their children start wearing underwear full time.

Independence

Using the toilet on their own is a huge step towards asserting independence. Preschool teacher Nicole Bremer, 31, of Omaha, has potty-trained 15 years worth of toddlers.

“The best thing is seeing their level of independence increase ten-fold,” she said. “Not only do they start going potty on their own, but they start trying to do other things by themselves like zip zippers, write independently and explore their surroundings. Watching them flourish is so rewarding!”

Restroom tours

Once your toddler is ready to go, they’ll be ready at a moment’s notice! One of the perks of potty-training is “getting to tour every public restroom in town,” said Jill Swenson, 35, of Omaha.

Whether with or without your child, you’ll be able to find any bathroom from Target (front of the store) to First National Bank/Scooter’s in the Old Market (toward the back, get the key from the barista and make a purchase).

As an added bonus, moms and dads alike can take their younger children to the restroom now. There’s no need to examine whether or not the bathroom has a suitable place to change baby when your toddler is ready to use the toilet!

Flying without diapers

Remember the books, electronics and snacks you used to stuff your carry-on bag with when you traveled? Well, welcome them back.

One of the biggest benefits to potty-training is no longer having to carry diapering supplies on airplanes, said Joanna Beranek, 36, of Papillion.

Sure, the diaper bag is now replaced by the “keep-me-occupied” bag complete with crayons, color books, tablet, cars and dolls, but there’s no need to expose your child in your lap or squeeze into the tiny airplane bathroom to change your little one. The bag is filled with the goodies, and your only concern is waiting for the fasten seatbelt sign to turn off so you can get your mini-me to the potty.

No embarrassing smells

Everyone understands that kids are going to have some stinkers from time to time, but not having to explain away the smells is a bonus.

Kelli Kentch, 36, of Omaha, doesn’t miss the “Oh, sorry for the smell, my child pooped" conversations in public places. Conversations can focus on what cute little thing your newly trained child has done, not what’s coming out of their diaper.

Bring on the little purses

How many moms really carry a purse when they have a diaper bag in tow? Now that your child is potty-trained, you can break out the cute purses again.

Stephanie Gaulin Higley, 30, of Oklahoma City, won a free Coach purse from her business this summer, and loves to be able to tote her designer purse instead of a bulky diaper bag.

Our kids grow up so fast, and we should cherish the moments before they become independent little adults-to-be. However, the conveniences and perks of no longer having an on-person restroom are one of the best things about seeing our babies become toddlers.

So bring on the little purses and the clean smells!

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Jen Schneider is a middle school teacher and mom to two children.

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