A mum has asked if she is being unreasonable to think it is wrong when parents allow their child to use a portable potty in public…

Taking to Mumsnet to ask for advice, a concerned mum has asked if she is being unreasonable to think parents shouldn’t allow their children to use a potty in public. The mum says that her own children are not yet at the potty-training stage, but feels that subjecting the general public to the process is wrong.

Out In The Open

The mum says she was standing in line at a local event when the unexpected happened. “I went to a fair today,” she wrote. “There was a kid and their dad in the queue. The dad whips out a potty and the kid does their business right there and then!” With so many people also in the line, the mum says she felt the decision was a little inappropriate. “Is this what I have to look forward to?” she asked. “Would most people at least go and hide in a bush or something? There were loads of people around and the place was heaving.”

A Time And A Place

Comments on the mum’s post were divided with some agreeing that parents should try and find a more private space before allowing their child to use a potty. “I never did this with either of mine,” one mum wrote. “What happens if you are in a restaurant? Or a school play? If your child can’t wait even a minute they’re not ready.” “I saw someone whip one out in the frozen section of our local supermarket and vowed never to use one,” another said.

Others, however, were quick to rush to the dad’s defence. “I have done similar many times,” one mum shared. “I’m pretty sure I was judged, especially by those who have no idea what potty training entails or how difficult it can be.” “I’d be grateful if my child used a potty rather than just pulling her pants down and going on the ground every time I turn around!” another said.

While we can understand the benefits of a portable potty when training your child, we do think this dad could have a been a little more discreet. And the frozen food section is definitely a step too far!!

Do you think it’s wrong to let your child use a potty in public? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Have a fear of missing out? For exclusive stories, reviews, competitions, special offers & more, make sure you join our Secret MoM Business facebook group here

  • No, I wouldn’t do that, but had a potty in the boot of the car.


  • “…her own children are not yet at the potty-training stage.” Says it all right there. Come back and comment when you’ve had to clean poop off carseats, swings, playground equipment, isles in Woolworths etc which is what I would’ve had to have done had I not had a portable potty for my kid. I think EVERYONE would be infinitely more grateful to see a little kid learning to use the toilet rather than having mess everywhere spreading germs.


  • Define public- we used to keep one on the back of the ute in case of a long drive and there being no toilets around. We would be discreet however and not do it in front of people and it was usually number one.


  • This is teaching a child that it’s perfectly alright to relieve themselves in front of everyone. If you’re taking your child out somewhere who is not yet potty trained then put a nappy on them. It’s definitely not alright to let them go near food either.


  • Wow! I think you do need to be discreet and also consider the child and surrounding people. Adults don’t go the toilet in public, and if they do they cop a fine. I think it’s about teaching children where to go to the toilet too, and it’s private. I appreciate potty training and we’ve all had to manage it. I don’t see ANY benefit in doing it in public. And in a supermarket???? Surely there are food safety and hygiene issues associated with that. Not okay.


  • Totally grouse and totally wrong, what kind of parent lets their kids do this in public, not teaching them what is right or wrong in a civilized society. If the kid has such an issue about not being able to hold on then wear a nappy.


  • That is definitely wrong. These children may grow up to be adults that urinate in public also. Children need to be taught that it is a private thing!


  • How disgusting – I wonder if the parents do that too?


  • I wouldn’t humiliate my child by making them use a potty in public. I took extra clothing in case of accidents and always tried to get them to the toilet asap. I think it is poor form making a child go in public. I am sure the parents wouldn’t like to relieve themselves in front of strangers.


  • I never took a potty anywhere, where ever we went we found the toilet so we always knew where it was.


  • Seeking out a toilet when the kids need to go teaches them bladder control and that there’s a time and a place for toileting. Both my children were always whisked to the toilets and never had an accident, even when waiting in a queue. At home we had a potty in the bathroom/toilet and in the beginning for our first born in the main room, when we didn’t have visitors. Children need the same privacy considerations that we do. If your not prepared to sit down and wee in public, why should children have to? At the very least the dad should have found a more secluded area for his child to go. I suppose he was worried about being accused of something inappropriate, which is sad. But still, even if it was just round the back of the toilets, it would have been better.


  • I wouldn’t do it. I’d find a toilet ASAP or at least try to find somewhere with some privacy. Accidents happen and it can sometimes be a good thing to teach them about being more aware of when they need to go, rather than at the last minute. Using a potty anywhere, anytime could get them accustomed to being able to go as soon as they need to which isn’t the case when you’re older.


  • When we were little Mum kept a potty (in a plastic bag) in an old handbag in the car boot. We also did that with my nieces and nephews. One of them in the early stages wouldn’t use the “big” toilet so we used the potty in the public toilet cubicle. It was used at my Aunty’s place under the back verandah once when she wasn’t home. On the spur of the moment she had decided to go shopping. If we were in a country area and there was no bushes or trees we could go behind we would open both side passenger doors and the child could use the potty without everybody driving past being able to see. asap it was always rinsed out and washed with disinfectant.


  • Not in public there is no need its just embarrassing for everyone


  • They could’ve been in training phase. Or better yet couldn’t hold or had to wee his pants.id prefer a kid be able to go


Post a comment
Like Facebook page

LIKE MoM on Facebook

Please enter your comment below
Would you like to include a photo?

No picture uploaded yet
Please wait to see your image preview here before hitting the submit button.

Your MoM account

Lost your password?

Enter your email and a password below to post your comment and join MoM:

Loading articles…
↥ Back to top

Thanks For Your Star Rating!

Would you like to add a written rating or just submit?

Write A Rating Just Submit