Is it okay to bring your child into the bathroom while you are doing your business?

A - posted on 10/25/2010 ( 58 moms have responded )

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So the other day my husband was telling a story about how he was on the toilet and our son (18 months old) ran by and fell backwards and hit his head. He was telling it because it the way my son was looking at him and fell was comical (don't worry- he wasn't hurt).

Anyway, someone was horrified because he had the door to the bathroom open while he was doing his business. They thought it was gross. I'm assuming its probably mostly because his side of the family is very prudish- and some of the comments they were making led me to believe it was because of the nudity.

I was just surprised because I didn't think it was any big deal, especially since our son is so young. If he were 3 or 4...yeah, there's not really to have the door open. But with our son being so young and therefore still pretty needy, he needs the interaction and supervision. Most of the time he'll play alone while we're doing our business, but will come in and show us a toy or whatever to check in.

I'm just curious what these other people have been doing.... have they always left their kids alone at any/all ages while they go to the bathroom? What is so taboo about it?

I have no problem if that's what people want to do but I don't really understand why its so shocking to let your kid be in the bathroom.... Yes, its not ideal but sometimes you have to do what you have to do. I mean, I have to bring him in the shower with me too to take one if I'm alone...he'd never play for 20 minutes while I took one. Am I the only person who does this?

Input please :)

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[deleted account]

Ok, my question is this...what would this person do in a public restroom...especially the ones that have no stalls, it's just a room? Leave the 18 month old alone in the store/gas station/restaurant? Yeah, that's GREAT parenting!

[deleted account]

A dear family friend of mine used to watch children in her home during the day. When she had to go to the bathroom, she would make them sit at the door and sing. If she heard their voices, she knew they were okay!

JuLeah - posted on 10/25/2010

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How do kids learn what they are never allowed tosee. Kids mimic right, so your son will want to be like Dad and do what Dad is doing.
We (american's anyway) are waaaay too uptight about such things. It is fine to shower with him. In many cultures families bath together always. While living in Japan, I visited the public bath house as it was the only option. Most parents were there with their kids

[deleted account]

One of the door handles in our house atm is faulty so i can't close the door because i can't open it again. The kids like to close all the doors as a game until they close this one door and get locked in. I'd rather have the doors removed from their bedrooms while they are as young as they are now but when renting it's a pain.

Jodi - posted on 10/28/2010

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I actually went around and disabled all the locks on the internal doors when my kids were little because I was so paranoid that one of them would lock themselves in a room and not be able to get out. So yeah, privacy flew out the window, but it is always worth it for the peace of mind.

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58 Comments

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Chelsea - posted on 10/28/2010

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My 3 yr old son follows everyone in my family to the bathroom. I stopped taking baths with him and letting him come with me to the bathroom when he was old enough to start asking questions ( "mommy whats that string hanging out?" How embarrassing!). We dont take baths anymore but he still follows me to the bathroom. I cant wait until I can pee in peace

Jill - posted on 10/28/2010

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How else is he going to know what goes on in there? I wouldn't worry about it. Funnily, though, when my son was two, he potty trained quickly, and then HE started closing the door. He didn't want anyone watching him do his business.

Jane - posted on 10/27/2010

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My kids are 20 and 17 now but when they were little, they were always in the bathroom with me. As they got a little older, the door would stay opened while they were playing...whatever. I think it all depends on the family dynamics. For us, we are a very opened family....my son has absolutely no issue with walking in my room while I'm standing there in underwear and bra and doesn't think anything of it because it's always been that way. I laugh because I STILL can't pee without someone barging in for some reason or another. I don't think it's shocking at all and I say what works for you is what works :)

Julie - posted on 10/27/2010

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Kid, dogs, cats ... whomever, they are all in the bathroom with me (thankfully never all at once).

As for shower, my son only gets showered since he outgrew the infant tub, so I usually shower him at the same time I take one. Although, I will sometimes just put on shorts and give him a quick one before bed if he'd dirty now that he's into being outside in the dirt so much!

Oh, I also change with my son in the room at the same time. It's a body, not a big deal! ... in the interest of not embarrassing other adults, I close the doors when they're here;)

Serena - posted on 10/27/2010

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I have the same problem at my house...my husband can use the bathroom uninterrupted. Nobody wants to go in there but the kids love to come in when I'm in there. My youngest son 15 mos loves to put toilet paper in the toilet while I'm sitting on it. Yeah it makes for awkwardness...

[deleted account]

LOL My hubby always closes the door and the kids leave him alone. But Mummy ,No thats a different story. I try and close it when DH is home but they still find me even if i ignore them. I often forget to close the door even when we have visitors. It's good for me though ebcause my kids don't want to not see me so when i go they sit in the hall ahving some great convo's with me but at least i know where they are.

[deleted account]

Lol some people need to get a life really...I'd be worried if it was an 18 year old doing it but at 18 months old...seesh they need to get a life!

Katherine - posted on 10/26/2010

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Take my 19mo in ALL THE TIME. She cannot be trusted. Rather have her in the bathroom without any privacy, than swallowing bleach, climbing chairs or doing God knows what else. Most of the time everyone is in the bathroom while I'm going, ie: my 5yo and my 19mo and they open and shut the door.

Lesley - posted on 10/26/2010

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LOL I never shut the bathroom door unless I have company I have a seat in there for my daughter to sit in. Also my dog always comes in the bathroom with me and when I do shut it she walks into it all I hear is BAM.. LOL sorry Giana

Tara - posted on 10/26/2010

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I personally have had an open bathroom door policy for going on 18 years now lol with six kids, it's a necessity. If I"m going to be be a while I will insist the youngest come into the bathroom with me, I'll try to close the door, but most times, nope. I want to hear and see as much as possible! This only counts if I'm alone with them, when there is another responsible person around I shut the door.

Jenni - posted on 10/26/2010

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Of course they can come in! How else will they learn how it's done. It gets them interested in the potty. They want to go like a big person. When they see mom and dad go then they understand it's part of the daily routine.

[deleted account]

Well my partner hates it when our daughter goes and opens the door and watches him. I mean she does it when I am going abuot my business too and it never bothered me. Infact I took it as an opportunity to get her understanding (trying anyway) about the toilet and when to go. That, and I cannot have a closed door between me and her or I have a bit of a freak out that someone will come into my house and steal her (yes, paranoid). But I don't think it is a big deal. It's not like it will injure her or anything. But I guess it is up to the people in the home. My daughter is only 19 months so it won't go on forever, but at the moment, I feel no harm in it. But I get a little worried on occasion because I have no idea what the law is on that sort of stuff in NZ lol.

That and kids always want to copy the parents, so I thought it was a good trigger for her to start toilet/potty training? Maybe? Lol.

Angel - posted on 10/26/2010

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I grew up in a house with 5 women(including me) with one bathroom. We had to take showers together and use the bathroom together all the time. Some times we would all have to use the bathroom at the same time and we would put two butts on the toilet at a time(LOL). Me and my honey always have the bathroom door open. Granted my son is 9 & 1/2 months, but we don't plan on making it taboo to be nude or use the bathroom around eachother. He comes in there with us along with the cat and the dog.

Jessica - posted on 10/26/2010

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There's nothing wierd or disgusting about it when they are that young! My son's 16 months and he comes with me all the time- he pretty much has to if I'm by myself. And when out places I see women who bring their toddlers into the bathroom with them all the time- no biggie.

[deleted account]

sigh...I thought I'd catch a break when I placed a plate of chicken nuggets and extra ketchup in front of my daughter this afternoon...no suck luck! I left the door cracked and after a minute of being in there here she comes...plate of nuggets and all! She sat down on her closed potty chair and continued to eat her nuggets while I took care of business. Don't call the sanitation police on me please.

Rosie - posted on 10/26/2010

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door is usually open at my house as well. my husband is a bit more prude, and always closes the door. even if i do close the door, i am always interrupted by a kid trying to open the door and tell me something anyway. i don't really see the issue. and i have a 10 year old, a 6 year old (well 6 on friday. sniff sniff, he's getting so big) and a 3 year old.

Jocelyn - posted on 10/26/2010

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I had both kids and the dog in with me today o_0
The only time I close/lock the doors is when DH is home and I can take a shower ALL BY MYSELF. Nobody will ruin those very rare occasions for me lol

Bonnie - posted on 10/26/2010

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Sara, the only thing that I can think of that comes to mind is they would probably say a public restroom is a different situation and their home is there own private space.

Sharon - posted on 10/26/2010

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Between the kids & cats I can't EVER have a closed door!

My 11 yr old & 15 yr old have developed some shyness but the 8 yr old still comes in freely while I'm on the toilet, but both boys will come in while I'm in the shower, they can't see anything.

EVERYONE feels free to talk to talk to me while I'm on the toilet though!

Bonnie - posted on 10/26/2010

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I don't see why it is a big deal at all. My husband almost always uses the washroom with the door open. For me, as much as I would like privacy sometimes, I have to leave it open or my boys will open it anyway. If my husband is home and I go in and close the door and lock it, my boys will bang on the door and literally try to break it down.

Kimberly - posted on 10/26/2010

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I have to bring my daughter in the bathroom with me when I shower if I am alone. My husband and I both leave bathroom doors open or walk in on each other to ask questions or get things. I don't see much changing later on unless we have guests over. No biggie.

[deleted account]

I go to the toilet alone but that is only because my toilet is upstairs and the stair gate stops him getting up there mwahahaha, he stands at the gate yelling me, does that make me an evil mom?

I don't see the issue if your child goes to the bathroom with you or not, big deal either way. We generally leave the door open (not when we have visitors) so we can hear him and what he is trashing :-) and I shower with him, it's the only way I get a shower.

Mary - posted on 10/26/2010

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Kate, I hear you! If John's peeing, Molly laughs as well. She once told him "Nooooo, Daddy, sit down, Daddy, sit down!" (in the same way she tells the dogs to sit for a treat).

Kate CP - posted on 10/26/2010

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I won't let my daughter go into the bathroom when my husband is using the toilet. But that's because she points and laughs. She finds it funny that he stands up to pee but he's thinking she's laughing for other reasons. ;)

[deleted account]

My son is 3 and unless we have company, the bathroom door is open when we do our business. To take it one step further, he goes in the bathroom WITH us when we go. He's learning to potty train and how else is he supposed to learn but by watching us? I also still shower with him as there are days when a shower would be impossible unless I had him in there with me. We're fine with nudity until the day one of us (our son, myself or my husband) is uncomfortable with it. We'll cross that bridge when we get there but for now, it's a non-issue.

Lindsay - posted on 10/26/2010

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I haven't been able to close my bathroom door in well over 5 years. If we have company over, I just use the bathroom in our bedroom as to avoid being exposed to company!

Dana - posted on 10/26/2010

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Psh, any person who thinks it's bad isn't a parent or a proper one. Now, hopefully, I haven't offended someone who's already posted or will post. ;)

Jenn - posted on 10/26/2010

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Oh yes, my son takes FOREVER to poop! He takes his pants right off - even his socks! LMAO!!!

Jodi - posted on 10/26/2010

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"Wish I knew what it was he had eaten, cause now she rarely goes in with him!"

Hahaha Mary, that made me laugh, because Taylah goes on and on about how stinky "boys" are because they stink up the toilet!! She said she won't go there after daddy, she goes to the other toilet. And even the boys are getting bad. My son can sit there these days for 1/2 hour (I reckon he is playing games on his iPod). It MUST be a bloke thing.

LaCi - posted on 10/26/2010

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I leave the door open when we're alone together. I shower while he takes a bath, because the tub and shower are right next to each other, shower has glass walls, so I can keep an eye on him at all times. If I close the door behind me and he wants in, he'll bang on the door and yell until I come out. It's just not worth it.

Jenn - posted on 10/26/2010

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In my house we all leave the door open. I don't see the problem and it doesn't seem to bother anyone.

Ez - posted on 10/26/2010

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Honestly, people are so friggin uptight lol. Take your kid in for a big toilet party.. or don't. Who cares? It's a minor miracle if I manage to sneak off to the bathroom alone lol.

Mary - posted on 10/26/2010

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I cannot remember the last time I used the bathroom in my own house unaccompanied. Once my daughter was mobile, there was no stopping her from coming in with me. Sadly, my 2 big dogs jumped on this opportunity as well, so now, they join the party as well. I cannot wait for the day when I can once again take a leisurely dump ALONE. Like Loureen, Molly now thinks mommy on the potty = story time, and she will often bring me a book.

She tends to leave my husband alone...He does usually still close the door, but unless you lock it, that is no longer a detriment to her. However, the first time she she busted in on him, she stopped, and said "Daddy stinky!" Wish I knew what it was he had eaten, cause now she rarely goes in with him!

Nikki - posted on 10/26/2010

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My daughter LOVES coming to the bathroom, doesn't bother me. She usually sits in the hallway just in front of the door laughing at me!

[deleted account]

My girls will not allow me to go to the bathroom without them..especially now the 22mth old.She thinks I'm going to a far away land they way she roars her head off seeing me leave the sitting room lol..i also brought my first daughter when she was small when i was showering all the time.No big issue other than i would love to be able to use the toilet with out my baby girl in there swinging out of the sink and pulling the place apart lol.

Sal - posted on 10/26/2010

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if my kids didn;t come into the bath room i wouldn't of been in the last 4 years......and would of only managed a handful of showers....it is no big issue...

Amie - posted on 10/25/2010

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The only time I lock the bathroom door is when I want them to leave me alone. LOL

I close it but they all know how to open doors now. Before that I'd just leave it propped open. Though even with that we ran into a few problems with adults who don't know how to knock. I don't understand that, you see a light on, why don't you knock? =/

I don't shower with mine though. That's mostly my own paranoia. I tried once with our oldest and almost drowned her, slippery babies. Never tried again or with any of the others. The only time I get to shower is when they are sleeping or my husband is on days off, then I get to shower earlier.

Jenny - posted on 10/25/2010

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My biggest problem is I leave it open all the time out of habit. It can be very entertaining for guests.

Charlie - posted on 10/25/2010

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Pfft , if i am at mums house and i need something from the bathroom i still walk in and get it LMAO.

And yes my oldest walks in and sees me reading and thinks its story time so now he just brings his own book in and asks me to read it .

A - posted on 10/25/2010

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I don't know if said person DOES lock their kids out, but I was only assuming she did since she found it so revolting that the door was open for our 18 month old to see, and commented on it like she couldn't believe it.

Johnny - posted on 10/25/2010

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Okay, I actually have to say I think it is kind of a bit weird to lock your kids out of the bathroom while you're doing your "business". I've never met any parents who've ever said such a thing. All I hear from other moms & dads is that they are looking forward to being about to "do the do" in private some day. If it wasn't my kids, I'd do like Sara's friend, but with my own kids, it's an open door policy. My daughter loves to flush my refuse, lol.

Becky - posted on 10/25/2010

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My kids scream and bang on the door if I close it! They're always in the bathroom with me, or the door is open so they can come in if they want to. I only close it if other people are in there, and even then, half the time, at least one of them insists on following me in! I really don't see why people have an issue with it! Yeah, when they're a few years older, it'll stop, but for now, they can be in there if they want to. Unless I'm trying to escape for a minute, which does happen on occassion! :) The only downside is that Zach likes to play in the toilet! Blech!

Jodi - posted on 10/25/2010

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Well, I'll shock the lot of you. My five year old daughter still goes into the bathroom when her daddy is in there...... :O

C. - posted on 10/25/2010

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Oh please.. Horrified??? I've let my son go in with me, my husband has done the same. We leave the door open half the time we're going to the bathroom unless we have company (in the middle of potty training.. The more my son sees that it's normal to use the potty, the more comfortable he feels).



And yes, there were times when my son wasn't potty training that I brought him in with me b/c I didn't trust him to be by himself (he gets into too many things). My family is very conservative, but as far as raising our kids, we're pretty open. My mom and sisters actually encouraged me to let my son watch me go to the bathroom so he could see what grownups do. I don't see anything wrong with it.

Jodi - posted on 10/25/2010

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After I had my oldest, I don't think I had the bathroom or toilet door closed again unless there was another adult in the house until my youngest was about 4......

[deleted account]

The only time our bathroom door is ever closed is if anyone other than me and the kids is over....

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