How can I help my daughter get over her fear of public bathrooms?

Amber - posted on 05/20/2010 ( 6 moms have responded )

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My 2 1/2 year old daughter is potty training. She does great at home, but that is it. She is absolutely terrified of public bathrooms. Even the mention of going into the walmart bathroom, and she starts to cry and beg. What can I do so she will not be scared anymore?

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Christine - posted on 05/21/2010

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If it's sound.. I can speak for Walmart.. as an old assistant store manager from there.. but back by the old layaway area.. there is usually a family bathroom.. at least in the super stores.. and in that one.. if you used that.. it's just you and your toddler.. and covering the sensor would be easy .. and so that could be an option.. otherwise.. I think it'll just be a matter of her outgrowing her fear of the loud sounds.



If it's really bad.. you could also bring something like a hat that pulls over her ears, or ear muffs of something.. carry it in your purse.. and let her wear something to protect her ears while in there.



Sounds weird.. but sometimes little things like that work. =)

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Amber - posted on 05/21/2010

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I think that it is that it is so loud in the bathrooms. We go in and everytime a toilet flushes she freaks out because it is so loud (especially in Wal-Mart) I could hold toilet paper over the sensor for our toilet, but when other people are using the bathroom too it does not help

Christine - posted on 05/21/2010

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Honestly.. not sure why she'd be scared..but I dont think the right answer is to just find a way to get her over it.

She will get over it in her time.. in the meantime.. set an example.. let her see you using the public toilet.. and over time she will realize that there is nothing to be scared over.

Or if she has a close playdate peer.. let her see her peer doing it.. and that helps too.

But I wouldn't push.

Our daughter.. had no fears of any kind and then she hit a little over 2 and boom ! She was afraid of the dark (which was never and issue before).. she was afraid to be alone in a room.. afraid of going on the big slide which was her favorite for so long.. afraid of a bunch of things.. including poo in the potty.

She could pee in the potty.. no problem.. but poo.. while she could do it.. it scared her..

we didn't push her.. we found ways to help her deal with her fears.. which weirdly all just came at once.. guess that part of the brain evolved or something at that time..

But we got her night light for her dark room.
She has a special baby doll she takes into a room that she is afraid to go into alone.

The big slide.. I did it with her a few times.. and then had her friend do it with her.. and now she does it on her own.

poop.. I set the example.. I let her see me go to the bathroom.. even if she wanted to see my poo.. sure .. why not? And in a few months.. she wasn't scared anymore.. and pooped in the potty.

So my advice.. take your time.. set the example.. and let her do it on her own schedule.

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What exactly makes her cry and beg over it? The sanitary reasons, or loud noises, need more info to know how to help.

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