Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Public Bathroom Boogie

One of the most daunting tasks of IPT is using the public restroom to potty your infant. I avoid it when possible, and just use this wonderful thing instead (in the comfort of our minivan):


However, sometimes there's just no getting around using those public restrooms. And when it comes down to my baby pooping on herself or using a public restroom, I'm all for the latter option. While it's not easy at first, you'll soon become an absolute pro. Maybe one day I'll make a video tutorial for all you visual learners out there.

The first thing to remember is: RELAX. Remember, your baby will tense up if you tense up, and it'll turn into a vicious cycle: you're stressed --> baby's stressed --> baby can't go potty --> you get more stressed etc. etc., and then you'll become loath to use the public restrooms. So to repeat, RELAX.

Next, try to use the big stall with the changing station in it. Most of the time you'll find these, though some places put it out in the main area. Inside the stall, lay the baby on the changing table and take off the diaper. If she's gone in the diaper, clean her off. Now, sit your baby up, and pick her up putting her in the classic hold, shown here.

Take her over to the toilet, and rest her bum against the inner rim of the toilet seat. Rest one heel on each side of the top of the toilet seat.

Now cue her as you normally would. When you're going through this whole routine, you should talk and smile at your baby as if this is nothing different than what you do at home.

After she's finished with her business, you need to wipe her with the toilet paper you've so cleverly stored in your pocket, or held in your hand while holding her. Or, if you're like me, you'll have forgotten that step, and this is where things get tricky. With a baby that's pretty sturdy (say around 3 or 4 months), you can do this, any younger, I'd say just pick 'em up, put them on the changing table, and clean up any drips. If the baby is stable though, you can lean the baby against your thighs as you're in a slightly bent over/squatting position. The baby is now resting safely on your thighs, so you can take one hand and grab the TP, that always seems to be positioned just far enough behind you to make it difficult, but yet not impossible to reach. Keep your other hand holding the baby steady.

Wipe the baby. You'll need to keep supporting her with your thighs. Yes, this can count as part of your exercise for the day.

Pick the baby up, careful not to let her feet drop into the toilet, and then place her back on the changing table, happy and pottied.

If you happen to be in one of those places that has no changing table, it's a bit trickier. You'll have to take baby's diaper off while she's in your arms. (Check first to make sure she's not messy. She probably won't be since you're doing IPT.) I have found the easiest way to do this is by holding her so that her back is against me, with my arm under her knees. I unfasten the diaper with my free hand, and then put the diaper in the place that looks the cleanest. Usually that's on top of the toilet paper holder. Now you can proceed as instructed above.

Putting the diaper back on is pretty easy. Just put the baby on your knee as you squat down, and then put on the diaper. You may need to readjust after getting out of the bathroom, but it'll do.

Things to Remember:

RELAX

DO NOT RUSH

NEVER, EVER USE A PORT-A-POTTY TO POTTY YOUR BABY. THERE IS A DANGER OF DROWNING. If you are in a situation with only port-a-potties, go back to your vehicle and use the potty on the go.

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