Girls in the men's restroom

[deleted account] ( 55 moms have responded )

My husband was off today, and he's a very hands-on dad. He had to go to Home Depot and wanted bring our daughter with him. I decided not to go. I packed her a little bag with extra panties and pants "just in case." At 2.5, she's not 100% accident free yet.

Well, husband stopped, mouth open for a minute and then said, "You need to put a pull-up on her, I can't take her to the men's bathroom if she needs to go."

He's never had an issue with changing her, bathing her, or taking her to the bathroom at home. And I don't really understand the issue of him taking her into the men's restroom at a store. If we had a son, he'd be going with me into the women's restroom until he's old enough to not need help with the potty.

But I decided to wait and discuss the issue with him later, and went ahead and put her in a pull-up.

What is your take on the situation in general?

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Jenn - posted on 11/17/2010

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Chrystal - you think he should take her into the women's restroom but not the men's?!?! WTF?!? So you'd rather a grown man was in the ladies room, rather than a TODDLER going with her Dad so he can help her use the toilet instead of her peeing her pants?

Laura - posted on 11/17/2010

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Also I'm not sure what all men's restrooms look like but I'd imagine you can't see much except a man standing against the wall. It's not like their flaunting their penises around for everyone to see. Most men I've talked to seem to be discrete and don't want anyone let alone a child to see them. Idk for me at that age it's just doesn't seem that hard to get them to a stall without seeing anything.

Bonnie - posted on 11/17/2010

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I'm sorry, but I do not want a grown man in the ladies room. Not only that, but that is bound to cause waaaay more problems than a 2 year old going into the mens room with her daddy.

[deleted account]

I find that repulsive and really sad Dana, poor men who are trying the best they can to be good daddys are being accused of being paedophiles for taking their child to the toilet. People are far too judgemental nowadays, most people are not doing anything wrong but we have been programmed to believe they could be, that is sad.

Jenn - posted on 11/17/2010

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I think if a child is still young enough to need help using the toilet, then there shouldn't be an issue taking them in with you regardless of sex. And we've already debated the handicapped stall issue ;)

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Mary - posted on 11/19/2010

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Yeah, Sara, I sort of thought it might be something like that. I obviously don't know you or him, but from things you've mentioned about him, he didn't strike me as someone who would fall apart over taking her into a men's room.

A - posted on 11/19/2010

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That's right. Forget she was trained. That obviously changes things. Glad you figured it out with him :)

[deleted account]

Thanks Sherri.

A N, my daughter can and will use the restroom in public. She does it with me all the time. She's been trained for a few months now. The pull-up was just for my husband's sake for that day. Since posting this, we've talked about it. He didn't really have a reason for not wanting to take her in the men's room. I explained how I keep her clean while using a public toilet, and that I'd rather her not be in pull-ups when he takes her out without me. He agreed. I think it was just him panicking and not thinking clearly when he asked that she be put in a pull-up!

A - posted on 11/19/2010

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@ Tracey--

I totally know what you are saying. I felt really bad this summer when I was traveling, because I'm always the type that avoids using the disabled toilet- even if there is a line. Well this summer I was in the airport and there was a line and I was waiting for a regular stall to open but the cleaning lady ushered me into the disabled one. I REALLY had to go (#2) so I went ahead and when in. I had to be in there a while and I could see a disabled person waiting to come in and I felt so completely horrible. I really didn't have a choice that time though. It was either go in there or go in my pants. :(

A - posted on 11/19/2010

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Well there could have been many many reasons for his motivation. I think its best to figure out WHY he said this first and not to make assumptions.



I know A LOT of public restrooms do not have a changing area in the guys room- and don't have a family bathroom either. Working in retail, I've gotten complaints about this from dad customers before. If there are free standing sinks and no changing area, the only option is to lay them on the floor or clean them standing up (which can be a pain). So its possible your husband just didn't want to lay your kid on the dirty public restroom floor to change her.



Or it could be a totally different reason- like him not wanting other men to see her naked. I can understand this to a point. While its stereotypical to assume sexual predators are mainly men, I can see why he wouldn't want some freak in the bathroom to see her. Of course the same could happen with a woman but I'd say thats a little less likely. Or he doesn't want your daughter to see the guys' penis' in the urinals. Which in my mind is somewhat understandable, but not really because I think its best to just teach a child that men and women have different body parts.



Or it could be he'd be embarrassed changing her in there with other guys to see- maybe his peers would think thats a "womans job" or something.



I think the best thing to do is to find out the reasons he said this first, and then try to discuss it and/or find solutions. If he's worried about sanitation, for example- bring a mat or changing pad. Or, call ahead to the store and see if there is a family bathroom or mens changing area. If he's just embarrassed to do that in front of peers- tell him to get over it! lol



Either way I dont think its something to get in a big fight over. I'd just be thankful your husband thought ahead about something like that because my husband lives in the moment and wouldn't even have thought that far in advance. LOL

Sal - posted on 11/18/2010

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and i have must asked hubby and apparently he takes our 3 yr old in the mens, never thought anything of it....( i guess he would just arrest anyone who decided to flash)

Sal - posted on 11/18/2010

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i had an incident some years ago (before parents rooms and disabled loos were common) where i was in the ladies (with my son in the cubical) where a man knocked on the door, announced himself and bought his daughter in, i was surprised but not upstet, there was an older lady there however who was appalled,then the man polietly that he was sorry to upset her but when the choice was between her being offended by him with his pants on and his daughter being offended by some man with them off he wasn't going to put his daughter at risk, the older lady then said she was ok with it and understood and went on her way.

Stifler's - posted on 11/17/2010

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I think we sometimes forget that the percentage of men that are paedophiles is the minority.

Bonnie - posted on 11/17/2010

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Shannen, I know how you feel because I can't even fit myself and two small children in a regular stall, so I don't even see how it would be possible to fit three.

[deleted account]

Thank you Toni.
Tracey BTW i have 3 children. 4yrs,2yrs and a four month old who is more often than not in a pram. So please tell me how i am supposed to use a normal stall if i have them all with me? next time please refrain from your little outburst untill you know why some people use them.

[deleted account]

At the big shopping centre near us they have a "feeding room" but what really peeves me off is that it's a no men allowed room. We only found this out when my husband had tried to go in to feed our son whilst he was out with him alone to find a sign saying no men allowed. Now I understand some women prefer privacy whilst breastfeeding, but considering the sign for the room was of a bottle you'd expect they could have made part of it screened off so they had privacy if they wished and so men could still bottle feed their babies!

Charlie - posted on 11/17/2010

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In our big shopping centres we have kids rooms where mum or dad can take them use change stations , breastfeed on big comfy chairs or warm bottles in the microwave even use the adult toilet in there but for smaller places that only have mens or womens i think it is fine to take a child that young into the toilet to change .

Rosie - posted on 11/17/2010

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i think it's odd. if she needs to pee, she needs to pee. i understand that there are urinals, and i don't think it's necessarily a good thing for a little girl to see that, but there's always something you can do about that. block her view, go in first make sure there's noone there, whatever. besides most places now have family restrooms.

[deleted account]

Lol as I said I went in them many times with my dad and I can't remember any of those men's bits! On the other hand my mam and sister walked on a nudist beach this year by mistake and my sister's was traumatised by an old man's penis in her full view lmao!

[deleted account]

I agree Laura, you shouldn't be able to see anything other than men stood at a urinal which may prompt a question or 2 from a observant little girl but she shouldn't see any penises.

September - posted on 11/17/2010

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I would and have taken my son (2 yr. old) in the ladies restroom and that is only because women do their business behind closed doors. Whereas most men use urinals to pee. I would be uncomfortable and I’m sure my husband would too with letting our daughter walk into a restroom where men have their penises out….but that’s just my opinion.

Johnny - posted on 11/17/2010

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Just a comment on the cleanliness issue. I'm not sure about other places (I find other countries have cleaner washrooms than here) but where I live, the men's rooms are cleaner than the ladies. The stuff me and my girlfriends are constantly complaining about with our public facilities, urine on the floor, footprints on the seats, toilet paper all over the place, unflushed toilets, even the occasional turd on the floor, doesn't apparently happen according the men I know. So at least here, we wouldn't have the cleanliness concern.

Dana is right, my husband was concerned about taking our daughter into the men's room to change her. But now he's done it loads of times. He has taken her to the potty a couple times, but at fairly "classy" restaurants, not at Home Depot or the mall. I do think that sadly there are a lot of silly people out there who automatically think pedophile when they see a man with his daughter. But perhaps ignoring that and proceeding as if it is entirely normal is the only thing we can do to change that attitude.

Laura - posted on 11/17/2010

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I only have boys but I don't think it's a big deal. Family restrooms would be ideal but if she's already trained I think it is very counter productive if she asks to go potty and gets told to go in her pull-up because she can't go into the mens room. If it's a issue with her seeing other men just carry her in with her head turned into his chest until they're in the stall. And use wipes to wash her hands. Just my opinion. I still take my 4 year old son to the ladies room.

Dana - posted on 11/17/2010

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Toni, actually we've had this debate here in DM before, I think it might have been Carol's husband who was questioned when he brought his daughter into the men's room to changer her. People do jump to conclusions and think men are pedophiles when taking daughters to restrooms.

Dana - posted on 11/17/2010

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Eh, I can see where he's coming from. At 2.5 it's one thing to see your dad naked, it's another to see strangers lined up at the urinals. Or a man might be uncomfortable changing their little girl with other men milling about.
I wouldn't be bothered by my husbands request.

[deleted account]

Lots of different thoughts here...

Yes, my daughter has seen my husband naked and has seen him use the bathroom. We're pretty open within our own home. But I can see where he'd have a major issue with her seeing another man using a urinal.

And the point about him not sure how to get her on a public toilet while keeping her clean is a good one. Maybe I need to give him a tutorial at home so he'll be more comfortable with it. Covering the toilet with paper and holding her in a squatting position just came natural, as that's what I had to do to get her to pee in public. But men need a little help with these things. He does pee differently than she does after all.

I haven't had the chance to talk to him about it yet, but this is something we'll have to resolve. She's very good about telling us when she has to potty, and I don't want to hinder her by keeping her in pull-ups when she has a day out with Daddy.

[deleted account]

Chrystal that is ludicrous, why should anyone think that a man, who is dad or who is looking after a child taking that child to the toilet is doing something to give them issue with? Are you suggesting that people may think the dad is a paedophile if he takes his daughter to the male toilet because there isn't a family room? Or even that people could think he was if he did? Why is it not ok for him to take his daughter into the male toilets if she is not old enough to go to the toilet on her own?

Chrystal - posted on 11/17/2010

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I can see where your husband is coming from. With dads and sons it's different he can easily take him into the public restroom and it not be a problem. But with dads and daughters it's a little different out in public. Can't really explain it, but he's right it could be an issue to other people, and he doesn't want that kind of attention on them. If it's a really big accident then I don't see the harm with him taking his daughter into the women's restroom but not the mens.

Bonnie - posted on 11/17/2010

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I think it has always been more of a natural thing for mothers to take their sons in the ladies room, but not so much for men to take their daughters in the mens room. I thought majority of places now have a family washroom (it's just one area to fit one family where you can lock the door), or at least most do here. I never really see men going in or out of the mens room with their daughters. If it is needed though it is needed. She can't go alone and there is only so long she can wear Pull-ups.

[deleted account]

My dad used to take me into the mens toilets and I never had any penis issues. Generally the men using the urinals do not just flap their penises out so unless you are standing next to them at the urinals and looking you shouldn't see anything untoward.

Jennifer our local shopping mall has a new family room it is brilliant. It has buttons that have to be pressed to enter and exit (to stop little ones running off without you knowing) and it has a feeding area with high chairs, a microwave, bottle warmers, chairs and a tv section to entertain the little ones, as well as large family size cubicles and several change stations with mobiles above them and individual sinks next to them. I love it.

Tracey, not all places have such wonderful facilities as my local mall as Mary has pointed out many places put the baby change facilities in the disabled toilets so we have no choice but to use them. Also in some places there isn't enough room in the regular stalls for mom and her kids to fit in so she has to use the disabled toilets (she could have 3 kids under 5 on her own, she can't leave them unattended to use the toilet). Sometimes there are genuine reasons to use disabled toilets, we don't know anyone elses situation.

Stifler's - posted on 11/17/2010

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In Australia the baby change table is always in the disabled toilets if there's no parents room.

Mary - posted on 11/17/2010

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Yeah, Sara, he needs to get over it! My dad had to do it when my sister and I were little, and my husband is going to have to do it with Molly as well.

I wonder, though - is it because of the whole potty-training thing? My husband never had a problem taking Molly into a men's room with him when he had to go, but I do know the thought of having to help her use a public restroom (even the "family" room) fills him with dread. We're not quite there yet, but I know I dread the thought of manuevering her onto that big, nasty toilet myself! However, I'm a mom, so I'll just do it. Even if we had a son, I could see my husband avoiding solo outings with him for a while just to avoid having to put a toddler on a public toilet with an audience!

Oh - and Tracey - I hear you, and I understand your frustration. However, it wasn't until I had a baby that I noticed just how many public restrooms have their changing tables within the disabled stall. I ususally change her in the back of my Pilot, but on road trips where the back is full, I don't have any other choice. I've also noticed that MANY regular stalls are so tiny I'm squeezing just to fit myself in there (and I'm on the smaller side). Some of them really cannot accomodate an adult and toddler within their confines.

Stifler's - posted on 11/17/2010

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I try to aim for the parent's room/disabled toilets. If there is none there's no problem taking her in to the men's room and into a stall and just hold the door shut til she's finished, no big deal. I agree, women do it with little boys.

Tracey - posted on 11/17/2010

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Considering the scarcity of disabled toilets STAY OUT, they are for the disabled - not for people who are too embarrassed to use normal toilets - if you don't want your kid seeing penises tell her to close her eyes, if you think the toilets are dirty then get a disposable toilet seat cover or use baby wipes to cover it and then complain to the shop management.
I am fed up with the times I have to wait to take my son in the disabled toilets because perfectly able people decided it is an easy option.

[deleted account]

I have no problem with it, for either sex, except when they're over 6 or 7 years old. I was taken into them men's with my dad until the age of 3 or 4 and I have no bad memories at all. I don't remember penises, I obviously had no interest whatsoever, or was just used to see my dad naked so it wasn't memorable.

As for family toilets, we don't really have them in the UK. Recently some baby changing rooms have been installed with toilets but personally I wouldn't use a baby changing room for a child not in nappies, the same for a disabled toilet.

[deleted account]

We generally look for a parents room or disabled toilet. I usually have to go at the same time as my daughter so it's easier to go into a disabled toilet, which are generally where the change tables are, with more room that squish into a stall.
My hubby has the same issue and mens toilets as your Jodi although he has done it once.

Amie - posted on 11/16/2010

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ROFL! I just asked my husband what he would do if some guy was showing his dick around the men's room (using the urinal or not, our daughter there or not) he said he'd punch him. So there you have it. Nor are they disgustingly dirty. Now this could just be the ones around here but I'll trust my husbands word.

Oh also, mens rooms do have baby change tables here. Never knew that before but then, not using the mens room myself how would I? LOL

Jodi - posted on 11/16/2010

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Becky, my husband is ok with our daughter seeing him naked, he just has a problem with her seeing other men naked :) I can understand that.



However, when I really stop and think about the flip-side, I used to take my son into the womens change rooms at the swimming pool and he would see other women naked there and I never thought THAT was an issue.......

Becky - posted on 11/16/2010

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Yeah, although we only have boys - and I have no problem taking them into the ladies room, I can understand his reluctance too. She could use a stall, but that doesn't mean she's not going to see somebody using the urinal. Is your husband comfortable with her seeing him pee or seeing him naked? If not, then I really can understand! To be honest, I think my husband would probably be uncomfortable with it too.

Jodi - posted on 11/16/2010

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I can actually understand where he is coming from. My husband is really reluctant to take our daughter into a men's room too. And now that she is 5 1/2, he is finding it even more difficult. It is the urinal that is the issue. He feels it is inappropriate for her to walk in and see "any old guy with his dick out of his pants" (his words, not mine). My hubby will take her if he absolutely has to, but generally he will try to find a family room or a disabled toilet (these are usually separate here in Australia) if he can. She's still a bit young to be going into the ladies toilets on her own.

[deleted account]

Well, here's 2 cents coming from a mom who has no daughters so here goes. First, I think all major businesses (like Home Depot) should have family restrooms for that exact reason. I don't see a problem with a Dad taking his little girl into the men's room BUT I could understand his reluctance to do so. Aside from the fact that she may be exposed to stranger penis at the urinal, maybe he just knows what most women know....that men's restrooms are disgusting, nasty places and maybe he didn't want to take his baby girl in there so she could pee on a dirty seat. I mean, if she's only 2.5, she hasn't mastered squatting yet lol I'm just sayin' I kinda get where he's coming from. And if you think about it, what sex are the majority of the shoppers at Home Depot? Men. Men, who can't aim into a toilet to save their lives. Ew. Sorry girls....sorta playing Devil's Advocate on this one lol

[deleted account]

I agree with the pull-up issue Teresa. For a while now she's only been in pull-ups for naps and night time. But I just let it slide today. I just wasn't a good time to have a discussion about it with husband. His mind was on getting to Home Depot, and like most men, he's got a one-track mind!

[deleted account]

Men's rooms do have stalls, but they also have urinals out in the open. I can understand his discomfort. If it needs to be done, it needs to be done, but if it's avoidable.... I agree w/ that more. I don't agree w/ expecting a potty training toddler to use the pull up instead though. That mindset can backfire in the potty training process (trust me, the girls were in pull ups for a year... not from restroom issues, but driving ones).

Johnny - posted on 11/16/2010

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Well, I've thought about this. I'm not too sure. I do remember my Dad taking me into the men's room when I was little and it certainly didn't scar me or create a scene. Since I don't hang out in men's rooms, I'm not really sure how many men are seen taking their daughters in there. It must happen, there are lots of situations when there's no mommy available and there is no family room to use. I guess that if a place has a separate wheelchair washroom that could be a good alternative. Here, I actually find that much of the time, that's where the place has located their changing table anyway.

[deleted account]

That's my take on it as well Amie. And I'm positive I can change his mind.

I just wanted to ask to see if I was missing something...

Amie - posted on 11/16/2010

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Well considering my husband took our 3 year old (girl) into the mens washroom today while at the grocery store...



I think it's silly. There's no reason for that to be a big deal. He's her father, mens rooms do have stalls (though not as many), it's perfectly fine.

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