With my first son, I looked forward to potty training him. He, of course, was in no rush to say goodbye to his diaper. We tried toilet training him for several days and after much frustration and too many “accidents,” we just decided he wasn’t ready and left him alone for a while. Two months later, he was ready and it was so easy. It helped me tremendously that he was a boy; it was very convenient to take him to the bathroom without having him actually sit down on a stall in a public restroom. He was so considerate that he preferred his potty at home to do number two.
Fast forward a few years and the time came when my daughter started showing signs of being ready to bid farewell to diapers. This time, I wasn’t ready. I did not want to potty train her. Just the thought of having to take her to public restrooms grossed me out. Too many germs lurking in there that could give her who-knows-what-disease.
So, I delayed the inevitable. Even when she was showing signs of being ready, such as being uncomfortable in her diaper, taking it off and letting me know when she needed to go to the bathroom, I still was reluctant to toilet train her. It stressed me out to leave behind the peace of mind her diaper gave me. I felt that I needed to protect her bottom from all the nasty germs that surely were waiting to attack her as soon as she sat on a public toilet.
Yes, I have issues. I am slightly germaphobic. It doesn’t interfere with my daily life or cause problems to those around me so I just deal with it and carry hand sanitizer with me. Ever since I read they had the highest germ count, I hate touching faucets in public restrooms, so I avoid them as much as I can with the help of a paper towel. Since I travel a lot, you will see me using alcohol-based sanitizer frequently and then slathering hand lotion because my skin tends to dry out.
So, how does a germaphobe deal with potty training her daughter? Aside from facing my own issues, I have a few confessions to make. I started carrying disinfectant wipes with me. Yes, to wipe the toilet before my precious daughter’s bottom would come in close contact with it. I also had a folding toilet seat insert that I carried in my bag for peace of mind. Of course, this could not go on forever so after leaving the portable toilet seat at home, I started to put paper on the toilet seat after I had wiped it down with the wipes. Not very eco-friendly but it still makes me think I have avoided other people’s germs coming in contact with my daughter’s private parts.
My little girl is almost 7 years old now. Yes, she goes to the bathroom by herself and sadly for me, she loves visiting public restrooms. Let me phrase it this way: she has a very fast metabolism. Over and over again I have realized children come to teach us many things, especially to face your own issues and deal with them. So, I have gotten better at my own bathroom and germ hang-ups. And hopefully, my kids will simply be careful about their hygiene and not develop a phobia.
Products to help you during potty training if you hate germs
Dora Folding Potty Seat 1 of 6Folding potty seats are available with characters on them or in solid colors. You can find this one on Amazon.com.
Graco Folding Travel Potty 2 of 6This is a neutral option that serves the same purpose. Remember to wash and disinfect the potty seat at home after each use. Available at Target
Kalencom Potette Plus Portable Potty 3 of 6Another option is to invest in a portable potty that you can take with you in the car at all times. this one has a removable potty that you can take with you in a diaper bag as well. You will need liners. Available at Walmart and other retailers
Clorox disinfecting wipes 9 wipe to go pack 4 of 6To wipe down germy surfaces, disinfectant wipes come in handy. To go packs are very convenient, such as this one: Clorox Wipes To Go Pack
Purell Advanced Hand Sanitizer Refreshing Gel 5 of 6Alcohol-based hand sanitizers do not replace washing your hands with soap and water, but do kill germs and have not been found to lead to bacterial resistance. Pictured here: Purell
Tidy Tots potty chair liners 6 of 6If wiping down your child's potty irks you, try using disposable liners. Tidy Tots Disposable Potty Chair Liners are available at retailers such as Drugstore.com