petrified of public toilets ("loud toilets") - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 05-08-2009, 05:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My 3 year old has been out of diapers completely (at night too) since she was 2 1/2, she started using the toilet at 18 months and led the way. That being said, more recently (in the past few months) she has become terrified of public toilets. Yesterday we had a 6 hour flight. She went to the bathroom at 9am but didn't go again for 9 hours when she couldn't hold it anymore and pee'd in her seat on the airplane...
We tried to go to the bathroom 3X in the airport and 3X on the airplane after her telling me she had to go... but each time we got close to the bathroom she screamed and cried and said she didn't have to go anymore. ......
I've offered earplugs or my ipod (which she loves) but nothing works. I've asked her what will work and we talk about different possibilities but in the end she says nothing will work.
Does anyone have any ideas? This was her first accident and the longest she's held in her pee ever.... I told her it wouldn't be fun to sit wet pants and she repeated it after it happened... luckily it was in the last 20 minutes of the flight....
I would love any ideas......
thanks!!!
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#2 of 17 Old 05-08-2009, 03:57 PM
 
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DD has the same issue, and it's a recent thing. She has been PT since before 2.5 and is now 3. Actually she has 2 bathroom-related fears that have popped up this spring:

1. loud toilets
2. toilets that flush themselves

Fortunately most places we go don't have automatic toilets, but I still have to reassure her nearly every time that I'm SURE the toilets have handles. Sometimes she won't admit that she has to pee until I've told her this. She always checks for toilet handles when we enter a bathroom stall.

As for loud toilets, I make sure that we never flush until she is fully re-dressed. If it's not a crowded restroom I will let her exit the stall and stand right by the door while I flush. If it's a crowded restroom we always wait for the disability stall so she can stand in the far corner while I flush.

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#3 of 17 Old 05-08-2009, 07:28 PM
 
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this was an issue for us as well. thankfully at 3.5 it's becoming unusual that she askes about it anymore. in our case an automatic toilet flushed while she was on th toilet once and she refused for a very long time. in a case where we were out and about all day i had to hold her on the toilet and rub her back, talk to her, ect until she finally gave in an peed. things that have helped us are: always dressing and holding her before flushing, sticking a post-it note to the auto toilets so it can "see" her and won't flush until we're ready. when possible we try to listen to someone else to flush so she hears how loud it is and what it sounds like. She also got good at "squatting" so in an "emergency" she would pee by the van.

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#4 of 17 Old 05-08-2009, 09:11 PM
 
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My DD (27 months) is scared of public bathrooms, or any bathroom not at our house because the flush might be loud (she's not potty trained but has to come in with me when I go). I reassure her that I will pick her up before I flush. She is usually ok with it as long as I'm holding her and she knows it's about to be loud. We have gotten tripped up with automatic flushes though! My DD also just has lots of fears in general, and I try to be really clear about what things are scary because they are not safe (so we don't do them) and what things are scary but will not hurt her (so we practice to help it not be scary). Good luck!
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#5 of 17 Old 05-09-2009, 09:37 AM
 
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:

Dd doesn't like loud toilets, but we've been able to avoid her needing to use them so far. I remember being afraid of them as a very small child- that's a whole lot of water moving very fast!

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#6 of 17 Old 05-09-2009, 09:41 AM
 
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My four year old daughter had/has the same problem. We found that placing a "post it note" over the sensor will keep it from flushing.I carry some in my purse then wait until she leaves the stall to wash her hands until I remove it. They are incredibly loud but this seems to help and she thinks it is fun to cover the toliet "eye".
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#7 of 17 Old 05-09-2009, 10:08 AM
 
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We just had a traumatic public restroom experience yesterday! Those darn automatic flushers!!

Ds has just now gotten the courage to even go into the stall ...although after yesterday we may be back to square one....so I can totally commisserate.

Since ds wouldn't even go near the toilet, I started carrying along a travel potty for him. We have this one
which ds totally loves. The only thing I don't really like about it is that I'm always having to be sure I have plastic grocery bags packed. I think one that doesn't use bags would be nice.

Also, holding him over the toilet seems to alleviate a lot of anxiety for him. He's really afraid he'll fall in.

If all else fails, we find a tree
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#8 of 17 Old 05-09-2009, 02:27 PM
 
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my son does ok but he doesn´t like them either...neither do i actually. but he gets scared only if he´s right beside the toilet. this is what i do

we both pee, or only the one of us that has to, i tell my son to go wash his hands, and i flush the toilet when he´s out of there. he´s 3, it works, but it didn´t work when he was 2. then, i wouldn´t flush it, sorry!
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#9 of 17 Old 05-09-2009, 05:57 PM
 
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I love the post-it tip! I just put my hand over the toilet sensor when there is an automatic flusher. And I make sure we are both dressed and then I flush so that she can quickly get out if it's too loud.

On a side note, she loves the "magic" water faucets and paper towel dispensers though. lol

Danielle, fabric artist, mama to Eleanor 5/05 and Charlotte James 09-26-09
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#10 of 17 Old 05-09-2009, 06:08 PM
 
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for ds1, who will be three soon, if Momma pees first, everything is OK!

computergeek2.gif  wife to bikenew.gif and momma to my intact boys headscratch.gif 06/19/06 and mischievous.gif 10/10/08 We delayed/selective vax; constantly wash.gif  always intactlact.gif

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#11 of 17 Old 05-09-2009, 06:08 PM
 
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Your 2-3 year olds sound like me. I became afraid of the toilet at a very young age, ever since I can remember, and I never really got over it. I have to force myself to use those automatic flusher toilets - hate, hate, HATE them . Lol. Recently, I had to pee so badly at the mall, and the auto-flush toilets were WAY to sensitive - one went off and flushed as I opened the door to go into the stall. Needless to say, there was NO WAY I was going to pee in that bathroom. I fear that my kids will see my auto-toilet fear, and then they will be scared as well.

I like the post-it note idea, thank you!!
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#12 of 17 Old 05-09-2009, 10:11 PM
 
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My sons call these "evil robot potties". Now he just asks if it's a robot potty, and covers his ears the whole time he's in there
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#13 of 17 Old 05-10-2009, 07:58 AM
 
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My ds is also terrified of the public toilets. If they're the automatic sensor kind, you can put a little towel or even few piece of toilet paper over the sensor so it can't possibly know when to flush until you are ready for it.

There have been a few times my ds has absolutely refused to try the public restroom, but mostly if I tell him it won't flush until we're ready (and then pick him up when it's done so that loud noise doesn't startle him too much), he's fine. Then we laugh at the funny toilet as we go out the door.

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#14 of 17 Old 05-10-2009, 05:16 PM
 
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I remember being terrified of automatic flush toilets as a little kid. I think my mom just insisted I use it anyway, and reminded me to sit up and back so that I covered the sensor. They still freak me out!

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#15 of 17 Old 05-10-2009, 05:19 PM
 
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My son is afraid of the loud public toilets too, I promise him I won't flush until he is out of the stall and at the sink (he is usually in the ladies room with me)

The automatic flushers are a problem, I usually carry something like a post it note to put over the sensor.

I am sorry your little girl wet herself, but I feel REALLY sorry for whoever is assigned to that seat next

Katherine, SAHM to 2 little princes
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#16 of 17 Old 05-10-2009, 05:33 PM
 
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DD became terrified of the loud public potties when we were at the park in an echo-y bathroom and DD2 pushed the flush button while DD1 was going potty. She jumped up and peed all over herself and it was very traumatic Since when what has helped is having her "sit" on my lap (basically I just scoot all the way back on the potty and hug her). Then she gets up and wipes and whatnot and I say ok, ready for the flush, 1-2-3 and she covers her ears. It's gotten easier. The lap thing works on all kinds of different bathrooms so it's a comforting constant.

CPST & mom

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#17 of 17 Old 05-10-2009, 07:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all for sharing....
I think since I have baby #2 on the way (late June) that it may be part of the process..... sigh...
I do love the sticky note idea. I have tried to cover it with tp or the toilet cover but it always falls off....
We've also tried not flushing till she leaves and all of those things fail to work.

I think I will carry pull-ups with me and if she needs to go then she can feel safe in them (if we're not near nature becuase she loves peeing in the grass). I love the folding potty too, i will have to purchase one asap.

thank you all!!!!:
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