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How do I get my toddler to use public potties?

My 3.5 year old has been a challenge to potty train because I've had two babies since her. She was using the potty at 18 months, but then went all the way back to diapers 2 months later when I had her brother. She regressed again at 3 years when I had her sister. She is now using the potty at home for peepee very well with no accidents (still won't poop in the potty due to a terrible bout with constipation at 2 yr), but she will not use any potty but the one at home with her Elmo seat. She won't even use our potty if the Elmo seat isn't on. We aren't making trips away from home more than 3 to 4 hours at a time because we have to go back home for her to peepee.

Any advice for getting her to use the big potty (toilet without a toddler seat on top) and for pottying away from home? She acts like she is completely terrified of a full size toilet.

Answer Question

Asked by ThrivingMom at 9:24 AM on Jun. 19, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 15 (2,099 Credits)
Answers (17)
  • I'd buy one of those elmo potty seats to take along. I'd be afraid of a potty with a giant hole in it too! Imagine trying to sit on a seat with the ring being 3 sizes bigger than your bottom!

    Answer by butterflyblue19 at 9:32 AM on Jun. 19, 2010

  • Get another elmo seat for on the go and antibacterial wipes and throw it all in the bag, I would say public toilets are intimidating especially with the auto flush but if the seat helps take it!

    Answer by snowflake7575 at 9:32 AM on Jun. 19, 2010

  • i don't blame her..i don't like using potty away from home either.

    Answer by shay1130 at 9:33 AM on Jun. 19, 2010

  • hey..i like the idea of an extra seat to take with you...great idea!

    Answer by shay1130 at 9:34 AM on Jun. 19, 2010

  • You ladies are making me feel way better. I felt like I was doing something wrong since she's so old and won't potty without her Elmo seat. She starts pre-K in August and I've shown her the classroom potties and she's scared of those too, but they also have that open front seat. She is only going 3 hours in the morning though, so I'm not too worried. She will potty before leaving and be able to hold it during 3 hours of class.

    Answer by ThrivingMom at 9:38 AM on Jun. 19, 2010

  • she may get used to the idea of going potty at pre k. They will have a bathroom break and all the kids will line up to go and if she sees the other kids going she will probably want to go too

    Answer by shay1130 at 9:49 AM on Jun. 19, 2010

  • OMG--I can't wait to see the answers,, MY DS has to VISIT every bathroom in EVERY place we go,, LOL! I think a big tote bag with a potty seat, and clorox wipes IDK..... I wonder how we cannot visit everybathroom in the midwest,,LOL Good luck momma!

    Answer by kimigogo at 10:11 AM on Jun. 19, 2010

  • I agree with the idea of getting another Elmo seat. Also, you can put post it notes over the sensor to keep the auto flush from going off.

    Answer by ShadowRaven at 10:12 AM on Jun. 19, 2010

  • Just go with her and encourage her to go when you go. It works for my daughter. She's the same age.

    Answer by GinNTonic at 10:55 AM on Jun. 19, 2010

  • Our kids, we love em' even when they make doing a basic thing insane,lol when we decided to have kids these things were not pointed out to me, all the things that make us crazy, someday we will look back at and maybe laugh but deffinitally be happy to know we made it through each milestone, ahy? I had 2 that didn't want to use a public potty, especially if we went to a amusement park or a place where all there was , was a porto potty. I just had to wait it out, nothing I tried worked, just had to wait for them to feel comfortable doing it.Good luck I hope yours get it soon for you."

    Answer by Stefono at 11:04 AM on Jun. 19, 2010

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