View Poll Results: When is a child/was your child old enough to use public restrooms by themselves?
4 or younger 6 11.76%
5 12 23.53%
6 5 9.80%
7 3 5.88%
8 or older 25 49.02%
Voters: 51. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-18-2011, 12:58 PM   #21
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Re: Age and accompanying kids to restrooms

My boys won't go in with me anymore, so I just have to trust that they are okay in a bathroom alone. They are 7 and 9 (and I trust them, it's the strange men in the men's room I don't trust). My daughter is 5, and she has the choice of her own stall or in with me (most of the time). She's old enough to do everything on her own. I wouldn't send her into a bathroom by herself, though if she's with DH... not much longer before I think I'd prefer the woman's room alone to the men's room with Dad.

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Old 05-18-2011, 01:05 PM   #22
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Re: Age and accompanying kids to restrooms

My ods is 5 and as of right now I couldnt imagine letting him go into a restroom by himself,I say at least 8 or older,he might be a grown man with mommy still accompanying him to the potty
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Old 05-18-2011, 01:48 PM   #23
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Re: Age and accompanying kids to restrooms

I started letting my oldest into her own stall around 5. Now that my middle dd is 4, I let her go into a stall on her own. Those stalls are kind of cramped and if she doesn't need my help, I don't feel like squishing myself into the stall with her. However, I do check the stall she's going into to make sure it isn't horrible dirty or in a need of a seat wiping from those darn hover people and then I stand in front of her door just in case she has trouble.

My oldest is 8 now and depending on where we are, I will let her go into the bathroom unattended, and she even takes middle dd with her sometimes. When they go together without me, they go into the same stall together.
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Old 05-18-2011, 02:51 PM   #24
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Re: Age and accompanying kids to restrooms

I just realized how ambiguous the poll is, sorry about that! I was more wondering about the going into the stalls with them, but accompanying them is also relevant, I suppose.

My niece is a pretty independent one and is good with wiping on her own and so on, so she's fine doing her business, it's just the "public toilet" aspect that gets me. I realize that common surfaces (phones, keyboards as mentioned by PP) often have more bacteria than a public toilet might. I guess it's just a mind thing. It's one thing if it's my phone and I know that nothing questionable (besides germs) is on it, and another thing if we're talking about urine, which is sterile, but I wouldn't want to be touching foreign waste, you know?...

Which brings me to my next point - I'm actually surprised at these responses. I didn't realize that so many people actually touch their skin to public toilets and don't have a problem with it. Of course, this is just a small sample of people, but a larger sample might render the same results. For those that dislike hoverers, I can feel your pain. I've been in stalls where someone sprinkled on the floor and the seat and didn't clean up after. I will say, though, that it's entirely possible (at least for me!) to hover and get all the urine where it's supposed to be. Not all hoverers just spray and run

But anyway, I suppose that as far as actual bacteria go, I can just check for general cleanliness and wipe down the seat for her as needed.
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Old 05-18-2011, 03:28 PM   #25
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Re: Age and accompanying kids to restrooms

My son is 4 and I let him go into the stall by himself, but it will be another year or two before I let him go into the mens by himself depending on the location.
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Old 05-18-2011, 03:55 PM   #26
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Re: Age and accompanying kids to restrooms

You know I just thought about this the other day. I took dd (just turned 5) to the bathroom at the play place and was about to go in with her and thought why? She can definitely handle it herself. My 4yo maybe but she might waste all the TP lol. But I think even she can. Not sure why I've felt the need to have us ALL go in the stall for one person to pee. I think from now on I will be waiting outside the stall with whoever doesn't need to pee (except DS who is 2, I will still help him of course).
So I think 4+ can go in the stall alone or in a single bathroom alone.
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Old 05-18-2011, 04:31 PM   #27
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Re: Age and accompanying kids to restrooms

My dd is 4 1/2 & I go in with her, lay down the tp, put her on the potty (because if she gets on by herself, her hands will touch the toilet, which is worse than her heiny touching it!!). I would never send her in by herself, more for safety reasons than cleanliness. DH never puts tp on the seat for her, which kind of grosses me out, but he insists it's fine.
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Old 05-18-2011, 04:36 PM   #28
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Re: Age and accompanying kids to restrooms

My oldest will be 6 next month. I recently started giving him the option of going into the men's room by himself. But that's only if DH is with us, so DH can go in to check on him. He is at the point where if we are somewhere just the boys and me (no DH), I'll let him go into the women's room by himself, or take his 3 yr old brother in there.

Before I get flamed, I stay where I can see the door, and only if it's a place that's not really busy. If it's a REALLY busy place like Walmart, then I do go in with him and wait by the sinks.

Of course it just depends on the child, but for my oldest, it was when he was a little over 5 1/2. It might be older for my now 3 1/2 yr old, he's a dawdler. LOL

I voted 6... simply because my guy was a little older than 5 1/2 before I started letting him go in alone.
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Old 05-18-2011, 10:06 PM   #29
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Re: Age and accompanying kids to restrooms

Yes, I also answered for going into a restroom unattended, not a stall.

DS is nearly 5. He can go into a stall unattended. I can’t imagine when he’ll go into a multi-stall restroom unattended. Not anytime soon.
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Old 05-18-2011, 10:15 PM   #30
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Re: Age and accompanying kids to restrooms

I often still take DS1 in to the women's bathroom with me if I have all the kids with me - I wouldn't leave him outside to wait for us. However, both he and DS2 are quite capable of using a bathroom by themselves. If it's somewhere that I can just wait outside the door and I know it's just going to be a quick pee, I'll let the boys go into the men's room alone.
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