Month 25: Using Public Facilities Isn’t Scary

I don’t want to EC out of the house or potty train because diapers are easier than using a gross public toilet.

from google.comPerhaps, reader, you’ve said this yourself.  Whether you use diapers or do EC this is an important part of the process!    Don’t get me wrong, I totally get that there are facilities out there that are really questionable and make even the burliest man want to pee in the poison ivy rather than even walk in there.    And I know that there are people who have conditioned themselves so completely by fear of every public restroom (even the spotless ones) that they can’t go in public.  Which really, can be a very uncomfortable state to be in when you find yourself in a situation where you can’t go home all day.       Now I am going to say something that might get you a little huffy.  Hear me out and look at this from a new angle.    I think it is really unfair and disrespectful to encourage a child to use diapers for the purpose of putting off the inevitable of dealing with a public loo.     Now or later — the situation will be dealt with and it won’t get any more convenient and you won’t get out of helping.

I promise that using public facilities doesn’t have to be a losing battle with a three-headed germ hydra.

Perspective

from google.com

I promise that using public facilities doesn’t have to be a losing battle with a three-headed germ hydra.    I know that bathrooms are big areas for germ accumulation.   But there are ways to arm yourself easily without much fuss.     First, let’s be truthful.   Those  changing tables aren’t automatically sanitary.   There have been a lot of butts on the toilet seat and the changing table.    Unless you are a diligent type who wipes it down first it isn’t clean.    Do you know how many people I’ve observed cleaning that table after use?   Zero.    Yes, you can put down your changing pad, but remember that your changing pad is in direct contact with the table and you will need to touch it and take it with you.   This isn’t paranoia, it is just the truth.   If you or an item touch dirt, you will walk away with some dirt.   It is what it is.

If you are already taking steps to be clean: wipe before you use, take a changing pad with you, and wash your hands after — only your tools will change, not your clean habits!     Wait, you say you’ll change the tot in the car?   Okay, then the my carry potty might be your product of choice to carry rather than a diaper bag.

Only your tools will change, not your clean habits.

“Go” Before You Go

Demonstrate wise habits by going to the bathroom before going out, and if you don’t go before leaving make a pit-stop upon arrival.   You DO NOT need to hover near a bathroom the whole time you are out, but be wise of the closest location(s) just like when you (or your spouse) were pregnant with a walnut sized bladder.   Knowing where the facilities are is just practical.  You never know when even you will need to make an unexpected stop.

Choose a Travel Potty Seat

If your toddler or child needs one there are many to choose from.    I used both the Primo potty seat and the Potette Potty Plus (without the bags — If you do use the bag inserts in an emergency make an effort to get the solids into a toilet later.     I’ve discussed before about not throwing plastic encased human waste in the trash!)    These are just two of the types out there.   Shop around and choose one that fits your and your child’s needs best.

Potette Plus fits on any toilet. Handles fold under.

Primo seat. Folds very small into 4ths. Somewhat flexible, but servicable.

One type of wet bag. Use whatever you have on hand to carry your seat when not in use..

Choose Your Public Toilet Weapons

Everyone has a different level of germaphobia.    You want to avoid two things:   doing nothing or wearing a Hazmat suit.      Find balance, Padawan, find balance.    Your options are:

Disposable seat covers. Sometimes available in public bathrooms.

BYOC. These planet friendlies are $9.99 at Target for 20.

Go small. Go Simple. Throw in your bag and wipe the toilet seat first.

Of course, you can go the most simplest of sanitation and if the loo is relatively clean and the toilet seat appears fine, simply put on your potty seat insert without touching the toilet seat, help the child potty, pull up the child’s pants, open your wet bag first, fold the seat without touching underneath, put it in the bag, then go wash your hands and then your child’s hands.        Unless you’ve been wearing gloves or had a tissue in your hand the whole time, you’ve already touched the stall door to at least lock it so you aren’t sterile to begin with.   Relax and proceed with normal cleanliness habits.

Clothing Choices

I’ve observed that pants that are tight fitting around the ankles (elastic at the hem, or stretch pants styles) make keeping a toddlers pants on a non issue.    For pants that do not have elastic features a tip is to not to scrunch the pants down, but to fold them down.   Doing so makes it less likely for the weight of the fabric to push the pants over shoes and if you need to you can hike them up higher without them getting in the way too much.       Overalls, are naturally the worst wear for toilet trips!  But if you find yourself caught with them folding them inward to keep the straps inside and the extra fabric out of the way can help.

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Do you have any ideas or tips for public elimination?

Posted on October 27, 2011, in Parenting, Potty Training, Toddlers and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. I love this! Exactly what I was thinking and the first green potty is the One we have! I love it. And you better believe I sanitize it before putting it up too :) Before that, is rather change diapers in the car or stroller or even my lap before I touched that nasty changer.

  2. These are great tips. I’m guilty of using pull-ups more than is probably needed just because I’m not sure how to handle things when we’re out. You’re right about the changing tables though. They can be pretty gross and aren’t such a great alternative anyway.

  3. Annaliese Smith-Platts

    I didn’t even think about sanitation when I wrote my pottying out and about post last night! You made some good points I didn’t think of! Yesterday whilst out we went and inspected every loo before I deemed one hygienic enough for us to potty with. But the thought never crossed my mind that I would not potty whilst out because of public toilet germs – as horrible as some toilets can be…

  4. Reading your blog has really encouraged me to pick up EC again…it kind of stalled when I traveled 800 miles in the car to OK to visit family, and then everyone getting sick the week we got home…though he just pee’d all over my favorite house pants lol i’m excited to get started again…even out and about…now to the sewing machine to get a few training pants sewn up. A few with PUL for out and about…most with out for easy mommy learning!

  1. Pingback: Month 27: Question–What are the EC Essentials? « Diaper Free…The Other Side of the Moon

  2. Pingback: Month 25: Pottying Outside (A Tip Review) « Diaper Free…The Other Side of the Moon

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