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ECing a toddler in public what did/do you do?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Our first ECing summer my son was a non mobile baby. So I was still just so happy to be "catching" a pee to think about the appropriateness of where we may have been doing it (a tree, a parking lot, the side of the road etc). No one ever said anything and often people smiled at us.


This spring and summer my son is/will be a walking talking toddler. I find myself wondering how to handle the balancing of his needs, and the needs of others.


Should I

ask him to wait till we can get to a restroom,

and If we can't just tell him to pee in his diaper.


say who cares what people think and continue to let him pee when he needs to.

If so when do I stop letting him do this and teach him that he needs to pee in the acceptable locations.


I do have a car potty and use it. I'm never sure what to do with the contents once he is done.


Obviously there will be times when asking him to wait till we get in the store to pee instead of doing so in the parking lot will be fine. However there are also times when that is not an option, because there are no restrooms where you are, there is a super long line to get in etc.


So what do you do? What did you decide, and how have your los responded to your choice at the time and in the long run?




post #2 of 9

I PT my toddler at age 2 so that is the closest I can come to relating to your problem. I planned ahead appropriate pee stops and made sure she sat on the potty first thing before we left the house.. again before we went home.. she actually enjoyed scouting out all the public toilets.  I was familiar with her timing and planned my errands around it to some degree... I would visit places that had public toilets rather than places without... We never had accidents when out, I think because I paid more attention to giving reminders than at home.  We also never had an accident where DD announced her potty need and then didn't make it in time... (the accidents were rather where she was too busy to notice she needed to go) but I think if she had announced she needed to go and there was no nearby toilet I still would have asked her if she could hold it.  I think with boys this dilemma might be easier to solve, as a last resort I have heard of moms discreetly aiming the pee into a disposable diaper (one which he is not wearing)--maybe the people around you see what you are doing but surely everyone who has PT their own children can sympathize with you.


As for what to do with the contents of the potty--put a trash bag around the potty, something absorbant on the inside (like a pantyliner or breast pad) and youre off!  Tie it all up and when you get where you're going, dump it in the trash somewhere. You can also buy a travel potty (and buy the inserts or just make them as I've described above) but I find mine hardly ever gets used cause it takes so long to set up. I tend to use the plastic bag without the potty cause my DS is still little enough to hold!

post #3 of 9

I've used a travel potty w/ a homemade "liner" (plastic bag with a paper towel). I also help DD to squat over the gutter or in an out-of-the-way place. With DS I let him pee wherever (we lived in a less densely urban place) and he was good about telling me if he had to poop- he'd go on a plastic bag or something else.


I kind of took my cue from dog owners (or rather, what I WISH dog owners would do... no peeing in the middle of the lawn where kids play, no peeing on the playground, on a building, etc... instead pee goes on curbs, gutters, under a bush, etc. And absolutely no leaving poop around). 


And, I recommend always traveling with a couple of extra pants/undies/socks. A busy toddler sometimes just doesn't want to bother with a pee break. I find they come all at once too- like no misses for a week or two, then 3 in one day.




post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

great tips for the car potty.

Right now it's still pretty cold so our outings are mostly to other indoor venues. This makes finding a bathroom pretty easy (I've yet to have someone tell me my boy can't use it). I like the idea of thinking of where you would like a dog to go, and I pretty much followed that last summer when we were not near any bathrooms.


My son is 17 months and won't be 2 till next fall. So I guess part of what I'm concerned with is how long can I keep letting him pee outdoors before it's no longer ok?

We spend a lot of time outdoors in parks in the summer where restrooms are just not available. In these situations how old is too old to pee outside?


I had someone tell me about how he saw a small child peeing discretely outdoors, and how horrified he was that the child had not been taught that it was not ok to do that.


I grew up in the middle of nowhere with tons of land and no visible neighbors. We peed outside when we were playing and working outdoors a bit far from the house. It was no big deal, there was no one around. How does this work in a more populated area where your likely to see people even if you are hiking in the woods?


I feel like I should know when it's no longer ok, but get concerned that maybe I'm a bit more relaxed about the whole thing then I should be.

post #5 of 9

My plan was always get to a bathroom...if not possible, I felt comfortable discreetly using nature (with a tree or bush for cover) for the toddler. I'm sure people probably saw me and no one ever said anything. It's no different than an older potty learning child not being able to make it to a bathroom. People seem to understand that. I guess we never had a #2 that needed that sort of setting. In the winter it's much tougher. I think that time of year I was mindful of it before leaving the house by offering potty-tunities when they were available rather than waiting for straight cues.

post #6 of 9

I think 17 months is well old enough that people shouldn't consider it strange he needs to use the potty.  I can't imagine someone refusing to let him use a bathroom when he is old enough to walk and talk!  He is defn on the young side but not like it must have felt last summer.... 


I felt it was appropriate to use the great outdoors with my DD until she was around 2 1/2.  By then she had enough control to hold it.  Now she is 3 and she would be embarrassed to go outdoors with people watching.  So just take your cues from your DS.  If you are in any doubt about the appropriacy of his peeing somewhere my advice would be to use a potty or other receptacle so that you can take the waste away with you.  And ignore the comments as I find you get comments from some people no matter what you are doing right or wrong....

post #7 of 9

My Son is a little over 2.5 now and he has been peeing on curbs for about a year.  We live in a progressive area I guess but no one has ever given us dirty looks.  Poops definitely are always done on a toilet though.  The only thing that was tough for him when he was younger was not having a stool in public restrooms,  I would have to hold him and it was hard for him to relax that way. 

post #8 of 9
My son decided to potty train at barely 19 months. This is what I do:

I have a small potty that I got from IKEA that I keep in the car. When we're out with the car it's easy...he goes in the potty and I swab it out with a prefold which then goes into a wetbag. I then spray it with diaper spray solution and wipe it out with a cloth wipe. Easy Peasy. When we're going somewhere without a potty I'll sometimes bring said potty chair along (it fits in the diaper bag). If there are public toilets I strip the kid to the waist and set him backwards onto the seat so he can go.

I always have a bunch of extra clothes and underwear with me just in case.
post #9 of 9

I say wherever somebody let's their animal pee it's ok for my kiddos to pee. :-)


We do keep a potty in the car but for pees I empty it in bushes or parking lots.  We keep extra clothes in the car. 

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