I'm super excited to help you with this free potty training guide for toddlers or kids with autism to become trained more quickly in public restrooms. Once your child has been successful going at home, it is time to help him/her master these skills in all bathrooms. This can be done on the third day of the potty training in three days process I've outlined for families and professionals. If you haven't started days one or two, I recommend doing that first before following this guide in the community.
Public restrooms are often the more difficult because there are not always toilets that fit your child’s size, unless of course you may be visiting a children’s museum or at a daycare. I personally found it very frustrating to train my own three kids especially because the seat toppers they have for little boys, do not seem to be very good at accommodating their body parts without making a mess, if you know what I mean!
The following provides you with the necessary steps needed to start working on this potty training guide in community restrooms. However, I know not everyone wants their child going in these bathrooms, as they can often be a place with lots of germs. No problem, just find a portable potty you can leave in the car to use whenever needed. I actually recommend doing this in general because it helps if you are on the road and get a sudden "emergency" with little time to make it somewhere. However, at some point you will likely still need your child to be able to go in public places as it's not always feasible to go back to the car. For that I recommend still bringing lots of wipes and hand sanitizer.
• Going in public restrooms is a training process itself and should usually be started after your child has initiated after completing the official potty training in one day done at home.
• Start by going to 1-2 frequented places that have a bathroom easy to access, such as the library or kid friendly restaurant meant as an opportunity to practice going to the bathroom in public. You don't want to do this when you are meeting up with family or friends as it could be time consuming and get in the way of socializing with others.
• Be sure to bring a change of clothes and you may want to put your child in cloth training pants with a vinyl cover to help with messes. Do not use disposable training pants or diapers however, or your child will not be able to feel when they start going.
• When first getting to a public place always show where he/she should go when you first get there. Then continue to take them every 15-20 minutes while there until he/she has used that restroom at least once.
• Bring a smaller toilet seat topper to place on top of restroom toilets. This helps prevent fear of falling in.
• Give lots of praise for the behavior of sitting on the toilet and a prize or a sticker for their potty chart if they actually go on the toilet even a little bit.
• If your child has an accident, practice going 2-3 times saying, “When you have to go, you have to hurry to the potty.” Have him/her sit briefly on the toilet, then guide your child to do it again 1-2 more times.
• Eventually, once he/she has gone regularly in community restrooms, you can have them practice holding themselves up by placing their hands on the toilet seat behind them.
• Always have boys sit to urinate until you have finished the potty training guide for bowel movements.
You may need to follow all of the steps in this potty training guide when going to places for a week or so until your child has initiated in multiple community restrooms. This may take time, so be patient. He/she will learn more quickly if you go to 1-2 places for a few days following your official training day.
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