When should I stop bringing my child of the opposite sex into the bathroom with me?

When a child is an infant, taking him into the bathroom with you is a no-brainer, regardless of his sex. As he starts to grow, walk, and talk, however, things generally get a little more complicated. What factors into your decision to let Baby go into the bathroom alone?

Can he do everything by themselves?

If Baby is still too short to reach the sink to wash his hands or hasn’t totally mastered bathroom skills like wiping and flushing, he will need to continue coming to the bathroom with you.

Can somebody else go with him?

If your partner, an older sibling, or another family member can accompany Baby into the bathroom, that could be the perfect alternative to you taking him. On the same note, if there’s someone else available, they can wait outside with Baby while you use the restroom.

Are there family restrooms available?

There are some places that offer family restrooms, which are single-occupancy bathrooms intended for uses just like this. You won’t have to worry about running into anybody else, and you’ll have total privacy. In a pinch, a single-occupancy women’s or men’s room will also do the trick.

Is there a stall available?

Taking a child into the men’s room can be uncomfortable because of the openness of the bathroom. You might be able to briefly poke your head in to see if there’s a stall available that would allow for some privacy for everyone involved.

Have you talked about strangers?

Baby might have a general idea of who to talk to in public and who to avoid, but maybe it’s time to have a more specific conversation about what to do if a stranger tries to talk to him. If you don’t think Baby would understand what to do around strangers with you out of sight, continue to bring him with you.

Do you feel comfortable letting him go alone?

Sometimes you just have to go with your gut. If for whatever reason you don’t feel that Baby would be safe using the restroom alone or waiting outside while you use the restroom, that’s all the justification you need to take him into the bathroom with you.

The bottom line

You’re the only one who knows the right time to stop bringing Baby into the bathroom with you. When that time comes, hooray, two minutes of privacy! Until then, hooray, two extra minutes with Baby!

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