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A Publication about Elimination Communication from DiaperFreeBaby
Questions and Surveys
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Responses to: What are your strategies for public pottying?
With my 23 month-old daughter she'll often pee before we get in the car to go anywhere. If the outing is less than 1 and a half hours then we can just wait till we get home to pee again If the outing is very long then we have her in training pants with a waterproof cover.We also carry a Baby Bjorn Little Potty in the car. If we use a public restroom, we go in a stall and I sit with her forward on the toilet so that my body supports her and she will go nearly all of the time. With my 5 month-old, whenever I try to potty her away from home it is either in a bathroom stall holding her in classic position over the toilet or outside in the grass, away from public view. If I'm outside at the park with friends and I can't really give her privacy to pee outside, I just let her pee in the diaper because I know EC is a long journey, and that particular pee won't mean a whole lot in the big picture.
Most of the public time we spend is at local playgrounds. This makes pottying very easy, as there is always some bit of landscaping—grass, plants, or mulch—where a bit of pee is innocuous. Local etiquette seems to allow older toddlers to relieve themselves in certain corners, and so I pee my son "in the bushes," in plain view. It's a great conversation starter, and the reactions I get, though often incredulous, are almost uniformly positive. Every once in a long while, we get a poo at the park, and I usually feel a bit flustered and unprepared, since it's so out of the routine. The cleanup kit is pretty basic, though—any old cloth or spare training pants liner, some water from my water bottle (or worst case, from the sippy cup), and a scrounged bit of newspaper or plastic bag to carry everything home in.
Although my daughter is only 6 months old, when we are in public, I try to use the family restrooms, especially if they have a kid-sized potty.Whether it's a big toilet or little one I either hold her on one side of the seat or, if the opening of a horseshoe shaped seat isn't wide I put one of her legs on the edge of each side, and if she needs to go she will. Of course, timing is always the key element.
I love the way, when I go to the public restroom with my baby, someone always offers to hold him while I use the toilet.When I say "Thank you, but it is the baby who needs to pee, not me," they say "Oh!" and smile. I know they have no idea at all what I am doing. I take a portable potty out with me now, so I can catch those unexpected pees, but mainly we just make sure we know where the nearest bathroom is, and offer him an opportunity to pee whenever we pass one.
Gabriella is very shy about toilets "outside."When she says "toilet" and two breaths later insists "no need [outside] toilet" I ask if perhaps she just wants to go look at it, and then maybe she'll use it. It took me a long while to realize I could pee her over the disposable diaper when we were traveling. She wouldn't void in a diaper if given any other choice, so we did that a lot. Now she says "holding no fall in" when I hold her over a public toilet. She never fell in, but apparently when we are out without our insert, she realizes that the insert is for "no fall in."
While out and about, I made it very clear to Ruby that going "sissy" in her special thick underwear was okay and"no biggy." But I carried around a fold up potty and by around 11 months she strongly preferred the potty, unless we were around many people and felt her privacy was being violated. The key for us was being super laid back in public and helping her maintain her awareness during elimination, but not judging her or even immediately frantically changing her thick underwear when she went in them. She was always very turned off to public restrooms. These days they are no problem, but before her graduation from diapers she refused to eliminate there. I never once pushed the issue on that.
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Please send your responses to Infant Pottying Today. We'll publish them in a future issue.