How do you deal with public restrooms & potty training?
We're currently trying to potty train our 2 1/2 year old, and in general, things are going well when we're at home.
But, we recently went on a road trip, and visited many public restrooms. We had some successes, and some failures. Public restrooms present a huge number of challenges for young kids. Are there any secrets to dealing with...
- Automatic flush toilets don't do a good job sensing a toddler, and have a tendency to flush randomly while in use. This is not a recipe for success.
- Bathroom floors can be really messy, and the little ones need to get fully undressed to straddle the seat properly (pants & shoes off). Where do you put the clothes? I found that walking on really gross floors with socks on (at least) was almost unavoidable.
- Other dirty surfaces. There's such a range, from totally clean to totally disgusting. How do you deal with all the dirty surfaces? I don't really want to spend all my time cleaning surfaces before we begin, but the likelyhood of touching something gross is high.
- Accidents. Toddlers frequently have accidents while going, especially without their favorite potty seat. What do you do then?
I have an answer for two of your problems anyway.
Cover the sensor of the automatic toilet with something, your hand (if you can stand there and not be in the way, or be needed for helping), if you plan ahead, you can put a roll of masking tape in your bag and use that. The toilets at the mall posed this problem for my son and this solved it.
I bought a little toilet seat that folds up and fits in my giant mommy purse. It helps the little bottoms, but only if you have it with you. this is the one I have: http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?order_num=-1&SKU=14909486
I don't worry so much about dirty bathroom surfaces, I just have them wash good afterward.
We did fabulously at home for a few months and all during the 'training' years... we just slapped on 'big boy' pull-ups and left to run errands. If they ask to use the public potty, then great, if not.. no stress.
I'm with Lindsay, I make them wash well afterwards and don't sweat the small stuff. :)