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August 7, 2012

Public Potty How-to???

When Baby A started using the potty last spring, I managed to keep us close enough to home that we didn't have our first public potty encounter for a little over a month.

By that time, I'd procured a travel potty seat.  This little gem has been fantastic.  It functions similarly to the potty seat we used at home.  I think it was integral in making the public potty experience as comfortable and familiar for the girls as possible, and -- knock on wood -- we haven't had any public potty hesitation.

Too, the potty seat provides a protective barrier between my girls' precious bums and the seats on those public potties.  They know to put their hands on the handles, and, in using the potty seat, I don't have to worry about them accidentally falling into public potty water.  Shudder.

I've faithfully carried this seat in my [still huge] diaper bag for over a year now.  If we're just running to the store, I'll leave it at home, or at least leave it in the car.  But for longer trips, it is securely by my side.

On our trip to North Carolina a couple of weeks ago, the potty seat accompanied me every step of the way.  By Day 4, though, as we made our trek home, I was tired.

That's the longest stretch we'd ever been away from home, and I was just done...tired of being "on" every single moment...tired of cutting other people's food before eating mine, every single meal...and tired of unfolding and folding that potty seat every single trip to the potty.

I just couldn't do it anymore.

So, for our 87th trip to the potty during our mini-vacay, I walked Baby A straight to the potty.  I left the enormous diaper bag with Daddy.  I spread out some toilet paper for her to sit on.  She did her business, seemingly unscathed, and I walked a little taller back to our table.

Our girls are 3 1/2.  Baby A has been at this gig for over a year now, and B will celebrate her anniversary this fall.

I know other people don't lug around a potty seat for the duration of time. do you do it?  No judgment here, I promise...I really want to know. 

Do you spread toilet paper on the seat?  Wipe the seat before they sit down?  Make sure there are no visible traces and go for it?

Please tell me I don't have to lug around this bulbous diaper bag and folding potty seat for the duration of time!


Deanna said...

I never took a potty seat (or high chair, for that matter) in public. I just never wanted to have to drag stuff like that around with us. Keeping up with two little ones is enough to handle as it is!

I wipe the seat and line it with toilet paper for the girls. I must admit, though, there are times when they hop up there before I'm ready and go without the tp on the seat. I just grin and bear it. After fighting the battle to actually get them to USE public restrooms, I don't want to scare them by freaking out about germs. They love to wash their hands in the "big sinks", so we just wash up as best we can!

Marcia (123 blog) said...

Well, I never thought I'd say this but it does seem as though our public toilets (in the places I frequent) are mostly cleaner than the ones I went to in the US. Except for the airport - they are all disgusting there.

So I wipe well and lift the child and say ALL the time, "don't touch!" and then lift the child off, wipe, and we wash hands. That's it :)

if I know the toilets may be disgusting (like when we went to Sabie, the petrol stations along the way are quite disgusting by my standards, and definitely by yours :)), I lugged a potty seat with us on holiday and we used that at every toilet.

Jill said...

Most places we go have those paper seat protectors so I just use those and if they don't then I definitely put toilet paper down. It always slides off though as they're getting on.

Double the Giggles said...

Love this post! My boys are sitting backwards on a regular sized potty (believe me, we tried everything out there and this works best for them) - Only problem is that I have to not only wory about them touching stuff in public restrooms, but I need to strip them down completely from the waist down (including shoes) to allow them to straddle the seat backwards. There is no hope for us in avoiding germs of some kind, so we just do a visual check for cleanliness, I repeat "don't touch ANYTHING" about 20 times and *I* scrub them up after (not like at home where half the fun is them getting to pump the soap and do a mediocre hand wash all on their own after doing their business). Not sure if I'm more weirded out about their hands touching gross stuff, their bottoms, or their socked/bare feet accidentally grazing the floor as I try to dress/re-shoe them in a tiny stall!

Johanna Baker said...

They sell mini-packs of Clorox bleach wipes. I carry a pack EVERY WHERE I go. They fit in even the smallest of purses. Cam and Gray know to stand on a square of tile, and NOT TOUCH ANYTHING. Then, I wipe down the entire surface of the potty and then wipe it again with toilet paper (to dry off the bleach). Then, one girl stays on her square, while the other does her business. Then they switch.

If the potty is too gross (like a park or gas station), I have a portable potty too. The girls just go in the back of our SUV. I LOVE ours - it folds small, uses ziploc bags for no mess handling, and holds wipes and extra zip lock bags. The ziploc factor has saved me lots of icky moments. You can find it here:

TwinMomMichelle said...

I have to admit. I'm not a germaphobe. I wipe down the seat if there is anything visible. I always use the paper liner if it's available. But really so long as we do a good handwashing before leaving the restroom, I don't stress it.

Rebecca @ Unexplained X2 said...

1. Wipe it down.
2. Constantly hiss "don't touch ANYTHING!!!"
3. Cringe as Hailey holds on for dear life (her little tooshie is so little that she's probably afraid of falling in...I can't blame her).
4. Wash the crap out of their hands on the way out.

Mama Mama Quite Contrary said...

If the seat looks bad, I wipe it down with toilet paper before I let them sit down. That's it. I am not afraid of germs (in fact, for the most part, I think the exposure is really good for kids) but mostly, I am just tired of hauling a ton of crap around with me. I carry only my purse now and I feel like a liberated woman! Most places have water fountains and toilets. I make sure they eat before we leave and they haven't had an accident in months. (I do keep a change of clothes and baby wipes in my car just in case though.)