public potty-training with toddler AND newborn - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 05-20-2013, 11:45 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm running into an issue with my 2.5 year-old who is fairly well potty-trained. When out of the house, I usually have my 8 week-old in the Moby wrap (when awake, she doesn't tolerate the stroller long).


My toddler will need to use the potty, and then I find myself managing that, i.e., lifting him up, cleaning him up, etc (and he is a boy, so sometimes he will pee out and onto the waistband of his underpants/pants) with my newborn in the wrap...not such a huge problem if she stays asleep...BUT, DS tends to need to use the potty around the time she wakes up. So the scenario looks like this: she's screaming to get OUT of the wrap while I'm doing all of this potty stuff, I have nowhere to put her, and if DS has an accident or gets himself a little wet and I have to change him, it's a nightmare and I end up losing my cool.


Anyone have any suggestions as to how I can manage this better? The only thing I've thought of is putting her down on the restroom floor on a changing pad (yuck)...which kind of freaks me out, especially for when she starts rolling. I love wearing my baby but haven't figured out how to do it while also physically managing my toddler since carriers still somewhat limit your movement...

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#2 of 15 Old 05-20-2013, 02:42 PM
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I sympathize, mama.  I PTed my 21 month old when his sister was 9 months.  I don't have much advice, other than try a back carry so you have more mobility/lifting leverage? 


Also, I take one leg out of his pants when DS uses the potty, to eliminate that pee-on-the-waistband issue.  The associated shoe comes off too.

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#3 of 15 Old 05-20-2013, 08:57 PM
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Car potty for emergencies + change of clothes in car. Patience. That is pretty much it. It gets better. =) DS potty learned at 26m with a newborn. Better now than later. -)

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#4 of 15 Old 05-20-2013, 11:44 PM
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I take a small potty with me everywhere we go- leave it in the car or put it in the bag if we're at the park. If the car is close enough, we can usually manage to even get a nurse in for the little one. I have two that we EC'd and while it wasn't easy many times, I found public restrooms just too much with two in tow.
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#5 of 15 Old 05-21-2013, 03:43 AM
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What about putting your baby in a back carry? I would also be hesitant in the first few months, but I know it is possible to safely back carry a newborn (go to the Babywearing forum for more info and advice on that). That way you have your hands free to deal with your toddler. You could also have the baby in a front carry and then for the short time your son needs your help sling the baby onto your back (this would only work with a soft structured type carrier, probably not a wrap). I realize the stress of the crying, but if it's only a minute or two is it really that awful? It would also be a great opportunity to teach and encourage your son to do all the steps more independently. And, in a pinch you could use hand sanitizer rather than lifting him up and helping him wash his hands.


Good luck!

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#6 of 15 Old 05-21-2013, 07:42 PM
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I like the idea of a car potty. Don't have one? Well, you can do what I did--buy a large plastic bowl with a lid and use that! I bought one from the dollar store, and it works great! The lid is important, because you can just close the bowl and empty it out when you get back home.


When you arrive at your destination, you can ask your son if he needs to use the potty. If so,  it is much easier to use the car potty instead of the public restroom. He can even do it while the baby is still in the car seat. Often, my daughter says she does not have to go, but I will ask her to try anyway. Sure enough, she usually does go once she is on the potty. So, when you arrive, you can pull out the car potty and ask your son to give it a try. If nothing comes out, then you can try again when you are back at the car and ready to leave.

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#7 of 15 Old 05-21-2013, 08:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for your replies!


We do have a car potty, but on most of our outings, we walk (we live in a pretty walkable neighborhood).  We walk to playgrounds/parks, the library, restaurants, stores, etc. So that is where we've been using the public restrooms; initially, I did lug the little potty with me, but when he became better at using the potty, I've stopped bringing it along, mainly because newborn baby doesn't tolerate the stroller for long, so I can only take so much with me, either walking period, or walking from the car to our destination.


I agree about a back carrier, but since baby girl is only 2 months, I can't put her on my back yet. Once she's sitting up, I can't see why I couldn't plop her on a changing mat on the floor if I needed to for a minute, and by then maybe she'll like the stroller for longer periods of time and problem will be solved. But for now, my main issue is less of a how-to-potty-train-on-the-run issue and more of a concern as to how to manage it when I'm carrying my newborn strapped to me at all times.


Also- I agree that if she's fussing/crying for a minute or two it's not really a big deal, but in our recent experiences, if she's awake and this is going on, she wants OUT of the wrap and starts pushing against me (probably because I'm somewhat squishing her as I bend over to help DS with everything) and her head/shoulders have fallen out of the wrap a few times, which adds to my stress in the moment because, not only is she screaming, she's flopping out of the wrap.


Sigh.  I thought this seemed just too complicated and chaotic and that there must be a simpler way to do it. But perhaps I just have to ride it out!

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#8 of 15 Old 05-22-2013, 07:04 PM
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Do you take a stroller for your oldest. If not I would maybe try that. Gives you a place to put the baby down and more so a place for all your stuff (snacks, water, extra clothes, books, groceries)

My youngest is pretty good on her bike, but I still walk with a stroller. Mostly to carry all the park stuff, but also if she gets tired she can hitch a ride

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#9 of 15 Old 05-22-2013, 07:27 PM
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Oh wow, I sympathize. My 2.5 yo has also recently learned to use the toilet and I wear my 6 mo everywhere. So much easier when DS1 uses our little toilet in the van but that rarely happens. Seems to always be in a public place. This results in DS2 screaming in the Ergo while I help DS1 hop on and off the toilet, with his pants, and oh yeah, the hand washing. Sigh. There's no way I'm setting DS2 on the floor unless I have a big blanket and nope, I don't carry that around with me. And DS2 doesn't like the stroller generally so we're stuck.

I sing a lot during these potty breaks to calm the baby. And I panic too. Then heave a huge sigh of relief when we finally exit the restroom.

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#10 of 15 Old 05-22-2013, 07:27 PM
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I sympathize sweet mama!  DS potty trained at 25 months while DD was 7 weeks old, and we are now a year past that and still happy!

As for baby, she can go on your back in a woven wrap (non-stretchy wrap) see this link:  I started DD on my back at about a week old, and she's always loved it, I think because she could see over my shoulder.

Remember, in a few months, your DS will be independently able to use the bathroom.

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#11 of 15 Old 06-02-2013, 10:10 AM
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I'm dealing with this too.


Usually when I'm out with the kiddos, it's during the day and I'm by myself.  I don't usually bother bringing the stroller on most kinds of outings because I find it easier to use a carrier at this stage.  I probably look a bit like a pack animal with the baby carrier and the diaper bag, and usually a bag full of crud for the toddler for whatever outing we're on.  The babe is happiest in the carrier, and really unless you're using a single-room unisex or family restroom,there's no way a stroller would fit in there anyway.  I've never been too comfortable with leaving a baby in a stroller outside a restroom either, so...


DS (the older child) still needs a lot of help using a toilet, and of course sometimes still has accidents.  And invariably, the baby will wake up in the middle of all this "fun" and start fussing at some incredibly inopportune moment.  Throw in a tiny bathroom stall to amplify the sense of claustrophobia and magnify the sound, and that completes the picture of awesomeness.


So, I usually try to time outings for a time of day when the older child is less likely to poop (he has pretty regular bowel habits).  With the pee issue, I find I make him go at times/places that are more convenient to me (instead of waiting for him to ask to go pee).  Also, I keep a couple of quart-sized yogurt containers in my car, so he can pee in those (if we're in a place where the toilet situation is sketchy).  Getting a kid to pee in a cup in a parking lot is downright easy compared to taking a baby and a toddler in a public restroom.  You can dump it in the bushes, and wash it out when you get home.  Weird, but effective as hell.  Also good for those times when you're somewhere where there's no restrooms at all.


As for what to do with the baby, I've never found a good solution to that.  For me, a restroom floor is a no-go.  When you have two kids, you can't even really hold a baby in your lap that well.    They're too small to use the chair thing that some restrooms have for quite awhile.  It just sucks, sucks, sucks.  I suppose you could use a bucket car seat for a place to put the baby, but then that means you have to lug around the carseat too.  Meh.

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#12 of 15 Old 06-03-2013, 12:09 PM
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I'm taking notes. Baby is due in July and DD is potty training. I still have her in a backup diaper on outings but undies at home. I hope to encourage her initiating so I take her as much as possible if she asks while we're out so that means lots of public washrooms. It's starting to get challenging just with the belly so I can only imagine how it'll play out with a newborn. I'm loving the BTDT feedback!
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#13 of 15 Old 06-03-2013, 02:24 PM
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I'm right there with you all!

DD is 34 months and totally out of diapers, but she often gets so engrossed in whatever she's doing during outings that she doesn't tell me she needs to go till it's a little too late. DS is 3 months. When I have him in my woven wrap or sling, I just secure his head (by pulling fabric up over it) before I bend down to help her. The baby is pretty tolerant of the wrap, so I at least have that going for me. rolleyes.gif


It's gotten to the point where I'm able to hoist DD onto the toilet while holding the baby in my other arm (not in a carrier). I cannot lift her to wash her hands, though, nor can I wash mine. Don't know what can be done about that one aside from try to remember to use hand sanitizer. Not that I have the free hands or time to dig that out of my bag and use it.


When at the playground (no restroom in sight) and DD starts doing the dance, I'll be honest with you: I put the baby in the stroller, usually screaming, and I hold DD in a squat in the bushes to pee. This happened this morning, when a mom of a 2 year old was asking me about having a new baby and potty training, no less. The other mom seemed mildly mortified. But honestly, what am I supposed to do? (We walked there - no car.)


On the bright side, with the weather warming up DD is wearing more pants that are easy to pull up/down on her own. Lots of elastic waisted skorts and shorts instead of jeans with snaps and zippers. Potty training during winter was the absolute pits!

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#14 of 15 Old 06-05-2013, 07:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Sageowl, your post cracked me up- you pretty much summed up everything we've been dealing with!


Well, things have gotten better. DS uses the potty independently and accidents are far and few between, and he seems to be able to hold it for a lot longer and I'm less nervous. All in all, it makes for happier times in the restroom. 


I've also had my son pee in the bushes at the playground once. He found it extremely intriguing...I guess it went against everything I had been preaching the last few weeks about how peepee only goes in the potty...ha!  Lately, since we've been running less to public restrooms when we're out and waiting until we get home, I haven't had any more meltdowns in the stall and hopefully if chaos ensues again, baby will be a bit happier and less needy in the wrap if she wakes up and I have to nearly squish her to deal with DS.


I have to check out that back-wearing wrap though...that sounds like it would work for me!

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#15 of 15 Old 08-22-2013, 01:09 PM
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If youre at a place that has high chairs, take the high chair into the bathroom and put the newborn in there, if she's not too small. 

EDIT: OK, she's 2 months, that's tiny but when she gets older.... :)

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