I think every new mom dreads the day their baby becomes a toddler who can walk around a public restroom, and even more, the day they use it.
I seemed to do OK keeping my oldest from touching anything when he started using public restrooms, but now that there are two of them, it somehow became a mess.
With all the back-to-back appointments we go to, we spend a lot of time in public restrooms. And when we go, it’s a family event.
The first thing that baffled me was why they were so calm before going to the restroom, but once we were there, they were rowdy. Even the baby was squawking! Don’t be alarmed. It’s the echo. They LOVE it! There isn’t much I can do to lower the volume, but I try to encourage singing over squawking. This might also distract them from making commentary when it’s your turn to go potty. OK, you can be a little bit alarmed.
I tried to control all four hands, and finally had to give up and give it to God. I’ll never forget the time I corralled all of them into a big stall, and after locking the door turned to see my little guy splashing his hands in puddles on the toilet seat. I died.
I can offer a few tips, but mostly all I can offer is that you’ll get over the germ thing a bit, and my kids haven’t gotten sick yet.
As long as you can, keep them in the stroller! Even if they are going to use the potty, you can keep them in the stroller when not actually on the potty. You can control where the hands go that way.
If they are going to stand in the stall, give them a destination for those hands. They will absent-mindedly touch the walls, or other undesirable things, if they don’t know what to do with their hands. This might also help them to not open the stall door while it’s your turn to use the potty.
- Backward Toilet Seat Cover
Depending on how you already do it, you may need to turn the toilet seat cover around. I always tore the inner tongue of paper so it was still attached in the back. But if you turn it so the attached part is in the front, it stays put a lot better. I hate when it slides right off as I lift my child onto the seat. It also flushes down more reliably in this position.
- Hold Them
When you’re about to put your child on the seat, tell them to hold your arms, and touch NOTHING else. I would hold my guy under the armpits, with his arms wrapped around mine while he did his thing. Even easier for girls, I imagine.
- Wash Hands
Even if the unthinkable happens while in that stall, keep reminding yourself you are going to SCRUB those hands. I doubt anything will survive the scrubbing you will be doing before you leave.