Motherhood | How To Survive Potty Training In Public

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Some friends may have wondered, where have you been? Seems like we haven't heard from you since the end of Summer. I explained a bit of that recently here. Well in addition to 2016 being an awesomely craptastic year, I've been pretty busy...indoors...Potty Training. I never once thought I'd become so acquainted with a little pink plastic toilet. Brace yourself, there are shenanigans ahead...

It's not that I intended to become a recluse but public restrooms are not fun places at all. The thought of a trip to the restroom (with a toddler in tow) was enough to make me never want to leave the house. #RealTalk 

Just the like...EWWW! I'm a plus size woman and I can be a bit claustrophobic in some public stalls. Can you imagine trying to hold a squirmy two year old while hovering them over a PUBLIC toilet? And somehow still manage to not get pee on your shoes?! Yep, this is totally what I imagined happening. 

So I've put together a few tips for my fellow potty training parents! 
1. Acknowledge Restroom Symbols 
My Pumpkin recognizes and counts STOP signs as we drive, so why not familiarize her with the public restroom symbols. My logic for this is if she recognizes it and I acknowledge the signs, this will jog her memory as to whether she needs to go or not. Basically, get her to understand she doesn't HAVE TO hold "it" until we get home. This has helped us to build on our routine outside of the home.

2. Know your Child's Signals 
Every child doesn't do the squirmy potty dance. For instance, if my kiddo starts rambling about her tummy "working" or she's feels really "full"...she is trying to let me know she has to go #2. So pay really close attention to the queues they are displaying at home and watch for them while you're out.  

3. Check Your List and Check It Twice
You'll have to ensure you've packed the necessary tools to tackle a public restroom. Accidents will happen. Been there, done that, with evidence here! 
Let's just call this list my Public Potty Preparedness Pack (say that five times fast! Ha!)

Here's the thing...have you ever walked into a public restroom and the soap dispenser was empty?
Well wish you would have had hand sanitizer or antibacterial wipes, right?!
Have you ever gotten yourself all situated with dropped trousers in a stall then to only realize there toilet paper dispenser was empty? This is when those flushable wipes will come in handy. 
Oh, and what about the accidents...I mean, it's a possibility that will happen, right?! Keep an extra pair of clothes/underwear for your little one, including socks (liquid travels down those little legs quickly). When starting out, make sure kiddos training pants are absorbent. That can be a lifesaver.
That brings us to another item on my list...a storage bag. Well, where do you suppose you're going to stow those soiled clothes until you get home? Also, you can get rid of a few plastic grocery bags this way.
Lastly, paper napkins. Well these are always good to use if you go into a restroom with no toilet seat covers and only those air hand dryers. You have to remember, those toilets are built for adults and your little one will struggle to get up there and WHO WANTS TO TOUCH A PUBLIC TOILET ANYWAY?! We're generally doing the "mommy will help you hover" game right now but some kids just can't easily "go" in a public restroom, let alone with them dangling in mid-air. 

It's not all that bad though. We've survived numerous trips, even a truck stop or two while traveling. A really great help has been the surge in family/unisex restrooms. This is a game changer. They offer more privacy through the hiccups and pitfalls that public potty training can bring. This is true especially for my husband when he's out with her alone.  

We've made a lot of progress in the potty department. We're making our way to the last restroom hurdle, mastering the "wipe"! Sigh......that's another tale for another day.

Do you have tips or tools on tackling potty training?

Til' next time, 
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