Potty Training: Public Bathrooms

The one thing I have been faltering at working on is getting Wallace to use public bathrooms. He is almost fully day potty trained at home but he likes to sit on his little potty and not the big toilet. This isn’t all him though. I’m nervous to jump this hurdle and not really looking forward to false alarms, wet clothes and shoes, and running to every public bathroom we are near. And what about in the car?! (Also, I hate pull-ups so I’m not going there.)

Right before Wheatland, he asked to sit on the toilet to pee. Three times in one day, actually. He was a little nervous the first time but I think he likes that he is so up high and can watch his pee go in. He is still pretty little and not as strong as most two year olds so I hold his knees and he puts his hands on the front of the toilet seat. That keeps him upright and gets the pee aiming in the right direction.

I have gotten him on it a few more times since our trip but generally forget to offer the option. Or, he runs in to go to pee on his own and sits on his potty, dumps it, and flushes. He can get his pants off but not back on again. He insist on pants off and they have to be for the big toilet anyway.

Today we were out at the library with our friend M and her three year old S. He leaked through his diaper already and I had to pee (horrible night so I got an iced coffee before the library). I took him into the bathroom and I went. On a whim I asked if he wanted to go too and he did. I took his pants off and set him up there. It was a total success and he even flushed the loud toilet! I had a hard time containing my excitement and tried to be really casual about it. Then I forgot to wash his hands, doh!

Any advice on this next stage of potty training?


About JennP

Single mom by choice, lesbian, natural living, parenting, car free, Chicago.Thank you for reading and feel free to leave a comment!
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7 Responses to Potty Training: Public Bathrooms

  1. Gille says:

    I don’t really have any advice. This was the part that worried me too. Honestly, the first time he had a full blown, pee on himself accident (in a restaurant no less) it calmed me down a good bit since the thing I feared happened and wasn’t so bad to handle. I ended up just making sure to check where the potty was wherever we went, giving him plenty of time to get used to where we were before asking him to go (too much excitement or newness and he wouldn’t go potty) and then having a change of clothes and a wet bag of course. Once there was a pattern to how often he went, I could kind of time it so we didn’t end up in every bathroom we were near. Good luck. This was the scariest hurdle but so good to get over. He’s almost there!

  2. Thank you for sharing your experiences! I think I’m mostly scared how he will do with it all. He is pretty reserved with new places and people. Gotta remember the wet bag!

  3. Gille says:

    Aw sweet boy. My son is the opposite. I was almost certain an accident with him would put us in the spotlight just by how extroverted he is (I’m so not). I can only imagine being the reserved little one during an accident. Hope it goes easy on him as well.

  4. Sarah says:

    Wallace is quite a bit younger than my older two were when they finally started going in public toilets, but my youngest was really motivated. I just basically tried to convey to her that accidents would definitely happen, everybody had accidents sooner or later, and that was OK, bc she was learning something new, and doing such a great job at learning it, so this was the next step, and we would take care of it just like at home. She’s fairly sensitive, and I was little concerned that it would be upsetting, but she was as matter of fact about it most of the time. When she wasn’t, I’d just get her somewhere private as quickly as possible and give her time to recover. Happily, no one else ever said or did anything that was upsetting to her. She’s still quite wary of automatic flushing toilets, but if she knows it could happen, she’s ready for it. It’s just about practice, extra clothes, wet bags and going for it, I guess! But she just turned four, and I’ve only stopped keeping a change of clothes either with us or in the car maybe three months ago? And she was cloth diapered, and started training herself – quite without warning! – at about twenty months. There were lots of three step forward, two step back sharing situations. She seemed to want to experiment with all the possibilities, lol. And among our friends, I think moms who avoided pull ups and let the kids feel the wetness and accident finished with that phase faster. No one wanted to be wet!

  5. Sarah says:

    And I have no idea how “sharing” jumped in there! Lol… I think I was trying to say “seeming”?

  6. He gets upset about accidents at home so out in public would be really hard on him.

  7. I started him on the little potty at ten months. He had a hard time going poop as he got to eating more solids so I would put him on it a couple times a day and we would read books. Sometimes I could tell when he needed to go in an elimination communication kind of way. Once he was walking (18 months) I started having him do naked time at home and helping him get on the potty when he needed to go. I cloth diapered as well though had to take a break in Chicago for a bit. Any diapers I didn’t have to wash were a blessing! He is also the sensitive and sweet type and I need to work more at explaining accidents when they happen. It was hard enough to teach Wallace that you don’t pee in underwear so putting him in a diaper that he isn’t supposed to pee in is just stupid. We have been using cloth again while we are out but now he has been leaking through them a lot. I’m not in a rush but think he is really close to being ready here.

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