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How do I get my three year old to use public restrooms?

My problem is that he screams and cries and tells me he's scared. I'm afraid that if I force him he will revert back and it took me forever to get him to do it at home. Does anyone else have this problem?

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Janiesgot3sons

Asked by Janiesgot3sons at 4:26 PM on Jul. 14, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (2)
  • The noise from the public toilets can be scary. I'd ask him first what is scary about them. Go into the bathroom when neither of you has to go and ask him to explain. Pick a quiet bathroom with few people - like in Macy's on a weekday instead of Walmart on a Saturday. Once you know the problem, you may be able to help.
    For example, if it is the noise:
    (1) Keep a pack of post-its with you. If you use a potty with one of the auto-flush sensors, put a post-it note over the sensor so it doesn't flush when he's sitting there.
    (2) Open the door and let him out before you flush. Being able to get out of the stall before the noise starts may help.

    Another thing that may help is a portable seat adaptor. These are small, fold-up and can fit in your purse. This lets him sit more securely without you having to hold him or his holding on to the dirty potty seat.
    kaycee14

    Answer by kaycee14 at 5:02 PM on Jul. 14, 2009

  • Yesssss! My daughter did that.. it stopped when she started going to preschool and had to use the public bathroom there. Sorry I don't have advice.. but I definitely know how frustrating it can be when they HAVE to go but won't.
    anestheticsex

    Answer by anestheticsex at 6:05 PM on Jul. 14, 2009

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