Quick Poll: When to Stop Bringing Boys into the Ladies Bathroom

I’m still catching up on my thoughts/photos/sleep from last week’s trip to San Francesco, so in the meantime I wanted to talk about something else that I’ve been thinking about. Kids and bathrooms.

Now that Jack is 5, I’m trying to be more aware of the fact that he’s growing up. For example, in the past when we would go down to the beach I’d think nothing of throwing him in the shower with me to get the sand off. Now that he’s 5 and about to start kindergarten, I figured that would be getting kind of weird soon (even though he still doesn’t even register my nakedness when he walks in on me), so I stand outside the shower while he does most of the washing on his own.

However, I still take him into the ladies bathroom with me… and I’m starting to think that it’s almost time to make a change. So, I asked the question on my Facebook page and really enjoyed reading everyone’s comments. If you have an extra couple minutes, definitely check them out here.

Since I’m not the only one trying to figure out that magical age, I want to know what you think. For normal day-to-day stuff (ex Target, restaurants, the library, etc), what age do you think a child should stop going into the opposite sex bathroom?

In our case, we are starting slowly with just one little change. Instead of mostly taking Jack into the ladies room with me, when we are out as a family Travis will take him into the men’s room every time. However, when Jack and I are out on our own, he will continue going to the ladies room with me for the time being.

To be honest, I’m not comfortable enough for him to go in to the men’s room on his own, just quite yet. I’m thinking that after he starts kindergarten we will reevaluate again. And if I’m still not comfortable, I’ll wait a few more months and reevaluate yet again. And that’s okay. Because there are some bad people out there and I’m a lot more concerned with keeping my kid safe than some random lady thinking it’s weird for my son to be in the ladies bathroom.

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5 thoughts on “Quick Poll: When to Stop Bringing Boys into the Ladies Bathroom”

  1. Agreed. My child’s safety is more important than some stranger feeling slightly uncomfortable for 60 seconds. Its not like he’s peeking through the doors to see them or anything.

  2. Never really thought about it here in New Zealand. Most malls have family bathrooms (with a standard toilet and a rather cute little toilet), and a lot of places now have unisex bathrooms anyway (separate little rooms with a toilet and basin). Don’t see why it’s an issue anyway, I have taken my son into a ladies room before, it’s not like he’s going to see anything. I have let him go by himself before, but only in unisex bathrooms, not a men’s room.

  3. A boy in the woman’s bathroom is different than a girl in the men’s bathroom just due to the “openness” of the men’s bathroom. I think you do whatever makes you comfortable. Personally I don’t think 5 is to old to be going into the women’s bathroom. Probably 6 or 7 is borderline unless you’re in a creepy place, then they are never to old 🙂

  4. I’ve not had to think about it yet, Elodie is almost 6 and Felix is 3 tomorrow and only recently potty trained in the last few months. If they need the toilet when we are out they go with whoever is around, if that means Elodie has to go into a gents cubicle when she’s out with her Dad then so be it. We do have family bathrooms in places here, some are great with two adults loos and two kids loos, they think it’s hysterical but they are few and far between and often occupied and if a kid’s gotta go, they’ve got to GO NOW in my experience. Ha ha! I think maybe once he starts to notice it might be time to change but if HE is comfortable go with it, his safety is more important (even if it’s just something as simple as accidentally locking themselves in a cublicle and not being able to undo it!)

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