We all have to go to the bathroom and it is pretty easy at home, right? Well, if you throw a public bathroom & kids into the mix, this seemingly easy task becomes a battle field. Yes, I am not exaggerating and unfortunately, things do not get any easier with the more kids you have. Oh, no! As time passes you come to believe that you have potty breaks down packed & become brave and decide to take trips that will surely require bathroom breaks at, you guess it, public bathrooms! You make all the preparations in the world and before you leave home, or the hotel you are staying at, you send them to the bathroom; so that it buys you a few hours without making a bathroom pit stop.
However, as soon as you arrive at your destination, you hear these words: “I need to go to the bathroom”, followed by your other child: “me too!”. And then it begins, you hauling the kids into the closest potty room available. We have two boys and most of the time my husband accompanies them to the men’s bathroom, while my daughter and I am are stuck making the line at the ladies room. However, this scenario only happens when he is with me and then when I am alone with the three kids it is a whole other story. Since, all moms & dads have to go to the bathroom with their little ones, today, I want to share with you a few easy steps to navigating public bathrooms with them.
- Use the “big” stall! Pack a lot of patience when heading into the public bathroom and use the big stall, even if you have to wait for it, this will be your best option. Everyone will get to use the potty and no one will be out of sight. If the “big” stall is taken and you have to use the smaller stalls, ask your kiddos to take turns and stand outside the door to help them in case they need something, or not lose the stall.
- Don’t touch anything! I remind the kiddos to patiently wait until I can put down the seat cover before they can use the potty. Thankfully, our oldest can basically do our whole bathroom routine all by himself and helps our youngest son get through it. While I get the toilet ready for use, I ask them to stand by the door and for one at a time to use the potty. Yes, I do have to remind them not to touch anything specially the sanitary napkin dispenser, YUCK! I also help them get the toilet paper, so that the paper doesn’t touch the floor. As soon as one finishes the process begins again with the next child, until everyone has been able to use the potty.
- Wash up! After we get situated, it is time to wash up. Although, sometimes this is easier said than done, some public bathrooms are well equipped and there are sinks low enough for my three-year old to reach without having her face touch the sink’s counter edge (YUCK) or me having to clean up the wet counter so that she can sit up on it to wash her hands. As with the toilet seat scenario, I have one kid at a time wash their hands and I pass them the paper towels to dry their hands, this way I can supervise that they are washing correctly and they don’t make a mess for the next person who will use the sink.
Bathroom breaks are some of the things you don’t read in baby books or speak about with other parents, however, they are among the most annoying parts of parenthood. However, the good news is that the older they get the easier it is, my now ten year old is a lot of help when it comes to helping his brother get through potty breaks without mommy or daddy. Now I would love to hear from you, how do you navigate public bathrooms with your little ones? Remember to drop me a note in the comment section below.