How can I help my child be comfortable about using public bathrooms?

How can I help my child be comfortable about using public bathrooms?

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If your child trades off between wearing diapers and underwear, it's often easier to put her in diapers whenever you go out, unless you're going somewhere familiar, with bathrooms designed for young children or ones she's used before. It's too much to expect a child who has barely mastered using her own bathroom at home to feel comfortable lining up for a stall or sitting on a toilet seat that's very different from anything she's tried before.

If your child wears underwear all the time, try to get her to sit on the potty before you leave home. Don't make it a mandate by saying she has to go, because she'll likely tell you she can't or doesn't feel like going. Just encourage her to give it a try and hope for the best.

When you arrive at your destination, take your child to find the bathroom. Even if she's not ready to go, she'll at least know where the bathroom is and what it looks like. And carry your own supply of tissue or wipes so you don't find yourself stranded if the bathroom turns out to be short on supplies. Since stalls designed for people with disabilities have a lot more maneuvering room, many parents choose to use these when they're available. If the seat looks dirty and no paper liners are available, use your judgment about whether your child should sit directly on it. You may need to help her squat or carry her over the potty as she tries to go. Or, if it won't put your child off, you can always make a do-it-yourself liner out ofby laying strips of toilet paper laid over the seat.

You or another trusted adult should always accompany your child to a public bathroom. Sometimes parents will need to be creative if the public toilet situation is awkward for a dad with a daughter or a mom with a son. No solution is perfect, but it helps to choose child-friendly destinations in the first place. If the bathrooms are not crowded, it's often easiest to use whichever bathroom you normally would. Women usually feel fine taking a little boy into the women's room with them, and a father can take his daughter to the men's bathroom, providing there isn't anyone at the urinals when they enter and there is a private stall. Sometimes, though, lack of privacy in the men's room makes the dad-daughter situation truly awkward. In this case, there are several possibilities:; Ddad can either send his daughter into the women's bathroom on her own while he talks her through the process through the door, or he can ask a friendly woman to accompany his daughter. Or, if the women's bathroom is completely deserted, he can slip in with his daughter, taking pains to let anyone coming in know that he's there. (Calling out "Dad in the bathroom! Just a moment!" should do the trick.) In the rare situations where a mom can't bring a boy in with her (some locker rooms are strictly women-only, for example), she can improvise in the same ways. The bottom line is that you — and other adults — may need to be a bit creative at times, but potty training needn't keep you stuck at home.

Watch the video: my son has a fear of public toilets (August 2022).

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