Baby Hints & Tips

Dads and Public Toilet Duty

A regular concern for fathers when out and about with their children is where to take their daughter when they need the toilet.   Should you  take them to the women’s and potentially accept the wrath of other women or do you take them to the men’s with open urinals.  This seems to a particular issue due to the lack of parenting rooms.  Some fathers have also been asked to leave parenting rooms, by mothers feeling these are a female only space.

We asked our community how they manage the public toilet situation.

What do other fathers do when they are out and about and need to take a 2 year old daughter to a toilet in public? Should he take her into the men’s or women’s?

dads and public toilet

Dads should take their daughter’s to use the men’s public toilet

  • I think the father goes to the mens & the mother goes to the women’s and the child regardless of gender goes with the parent. Love parents rooms!!!   Aster
  • For under school age I don’t see an issue with dad taking a daughter to use a cubicle in the mens. Just as a boy under school age can use a cubicle in the womens. If disabled/parent options are available then they are preferable but dad shouldn’t use the womens.   Jenny
  • My daughter has been to the mens a number of times when out and about with dad. He checks first but most men are ok with it and they don’t flash themselves anyway as they dont want other men to see either. He prefers parents room or disabled toilets though if an option (also tend to be cleaner than the mens).   Julie-Anne
  • My husband takes our 2yo daughter to the mens, unless there is a baby change room with a toilet and he will take her in there first…   Deanne
  • Well if it only a choice between the two (ie no disabled or parents room) then you would have to take her to the men’s – you can’t go into the women’s toilet. Seeing a random man peeing won’t traumatise her – she probably won’t even notice.   Claire
  • I think at 2 the mens is still ok and if not everywhere has a disabled toilet or a parents room these days and if they need a change table its usually in a parents room or the disabled toilets.   Amy
  • I never knew there was an issue… My partner would take her to the men’s I would imagine… There’s no such thing as parents rooms in my area…   Brooke
  • I was always taken into the men’s, by the time I was old enough to care I was old enough to go to the women’s myself. Kids don’t worry about the things you think they do.   Ellie
  • My dad would take me to the mens when I was younger and no parents room was available… one day I asked him “you dont poo like that, do you?” But seriously I see no issue with the dad taking his child into the mens room!   Kyarra

Dads should take their daughters to the women’s toilets.

  • Women’s! If there’s no change table in the men’s then he will take her to the women’s at a restaurant. There isn’t always a parents room. Absolutely fine to take her to the women’s. He had one of his mates say that I should take her instead and he told him that’s he’s her dad and he should be able to change her. If they don’t have appropriate facilities that’s not our problem. Kendra
  • Women’s as she is better off in there and we all understand and he can close the door.   Monique
  • It’s so sad that a father simply trying to do what’s best for his 2 year old daughter would be looked upon by some as a sicko for assisting her in a women’s toilet. What a terrible time we live in. I would offer a smile and look at that father in admiration for dealing with an awkward situation for the sake of his little girl.   Lesley
  • I’d be quite happy to have a dad in the females toilet with his daughter. Until all places have a parenting room facility I don’t see the problem. As for people commenting about sickos and freaky people they can get into parenting rooms too. Do what you think is right mate. If people have a crack tuff luck. Your doing what you think is best for your little one.   Lynette
  • The women’s , if obviously there is NO disabled & NO parent room toilets – men’s urinals are public, women have toilet cubicles. Just knock on the women’s toilet door first calling ” daddy , taking daughter to toilet ” – if anyone comments ignore them.   Alicia
  • If there’s no parents room, take to the women’s. The women have cubicles for privacy and women will understand what you are doing. Not so much privacy in men’s room for child or other men and you never know who is lurking.   Rebecca
  • Dads should be able to take their daughters in the women’s if need be. If they arnt old enough to go by themselves he will most likely be in the stall helping her. I went on a school trip when I was 15 and stayed in a place that had unisex bathrooms, showers included. No one cared. So if a bunch of teenagers don’t care I think we as adults should be ok with a dad taking his little girl to the toilet.   Laura

Use the Parent’s room for dads taking their daughter to the public toilet.

  • My husband at first didn’t want to use the parents room incase women were in there breastfeeding, but I told him it’s a ‘parents room’ not ‘mothers room’.   Sarah
  • But Kerri, you would only use the toilet for a minute or 2, not park in it for a few hours. I’m sure disabled people can wait a minute. The toilets have facilities for the disabled and of cos they should get priority, but they aren’t for disabled only like the car park. Many disabled toilets have the baby change facility in them too. And if you’ve got a toilet training toddler that needs to wee now, it’s the best facility with room for a parent/pram/baby sibling & privacy.   Rebecca
  • No way in hell would my husband be taking any daughter of mine into a filthy men’s toilets…. If no parent room or disabled was available, he would be taking her into the ladies toilets where there would be less chances of these sickos you all talk of lurking around! And any lady that dare questioned my hubby doing this would have to deal with me! There is absolutely nothing wrong with a dad taking his daughter to the ladies toilets, and boo to anyone who thinks there is! As for the comment made about boys using the ladies toilet until 5 then they should use the men’s, the age is actually 10 that they are allowed to use the females toilets as ladies toilets are SAFER in regards to children finding themselves in harms way!!!   Renee
  • Parents room or disabled definitely! That’s what my hubby uses. It’s shocking in this day & age that sometimes the childrens/baby/parents room is inside the women’s toilet. In Adelaide airport the feeding/change area is inside the women’s toilets. So when I was feeding my daughter my husband had to wait outside. In the end we used the prayer room and if anyone would have complained I would have said my daughter was praying to the milk God LOL.   Katrina
  • I agree Rebecca, our disabled toilets have change tables in them, like many others, just like many parents rooms have disabled toilets in them too.. It’s about sharing. But I would never park in a disabled car park!   Sarah
  • I have the reverse problem my boys are getting older and going to the women’s they get embarrassed when people look at them judging them for being boys they are 7 and 8 but still not old enough to go in a men’s by themselves. Most disable toilets are there to accommodate both babies and the disabled persons and people should be more tolerant of that.   Megan
  • Disabled, parents rooms or WOMENS! Why would I want my 2 yr old exposed to a men’s bathroom! I’m sure other women would agree a men’s bathroom is no place for a little girl!   Shay
  • Same goes for fathers when they need to use baby change and that is located in the womans toilet! What do they do??   Leslie
  • My partner uses this elimination order: baby change room – if none, then disabled- if none then ladies- only if our eldest daughter is with him too, otherwise yep- mens room it is if they gotta go, they gotta go, especially as a toddler lol.   Kirsty
  • A lot of the disabled toilets have facilities for babies too so there shouldn’t be a problem with parents using them.   Emily
  • I was witness to a father taking his 2/3 year old little girl to the toilet, the parents room and disabled was both in the same room only one toilet but change table, microwave etc he copped the most awful abuse from another mum who wanted to take her disabled daughter to the toilet. It was a awful situation for everyone involved. The other mum wouldn’t wait until the little girl had finished she made such a big scene it was terrible. I have a son so my husband would just go to men’s toilet but I would avoid using a disabled toilet for fear of being abused.   Robyn
  • Usually now theres a disabled toilet at most places we use those.   Kristy
  • Disabled usually have a baby change table.   Tara
  • Disabled or parents rooms…i would never allow her to go in the mens toilets…   Katrina
  • Whichever option you feel is best at the time and where you are. It’s only a child.   Melinda
  • Parents room or disabled.   Jenn
  • If the mens toilets aren’t clean enough why isnt anyone speaking up? Make a complaint thats not on FB.   Jessica
  • Disabled or parents room.   Alana
  • That’s horrible that another parent would do that. You would think they would be understanding. I have boys so I don’t have this problem yet. I will go to the parents room, disabled and as a last resort the womebs as I usually have bub in the pram.and can’t get into the womens to easily.   Juanita
  • Hubby goes disabled if theres no parents. Then mens if he has to.   Simone
  • My dad took me into the mens when i was a kid. If a disabled or multipurpose loo was free he took me to that one.   Monique
  • If there’s no family room or disabled toilet the men’s. mums bring their sons into a women’s room so why not dad’s take their daughter into the men’s room. people saying why would you expose her to a men’s room why expose your son to a women’s room?   Kai
  • If theres a disabled or baby room toilet: thats what we use& in the majority of public areas these facilities are available.   Arlene
  • If my husband isn’t around I still insist my 9 year old son comes in with me…..I would rather take him into a parents room, but sometimes thy just aren’t there. Also I don’t see a problem with a father taking his 2 year old into the ladies toilet. They’re generally cleaner and most women are mothers and would just smile and keep on walking!!! People need to get over the “sicko” issue though, not everyone is or thinks that way, it’s jut a very sad few. Anyone says anything to more or my husband about taking whomever into whichever toilet has the issues, not us!! Do what you think is best for your daughter. If you’re uncomfortable taking her into either the men’s or the ladies and there is no parent room available, use the disabled one!!   Emma
  • Parents room or disabled. I don’t have boys but I do not think a 5yo should be sent alone into the men’s. That is way too young. If a woman is upset about a boy that age in the ladies then they have problems!   Misha
  • If there is no parent room or disabled room, it is perfectly acceptable to take her into the male facilities.   Rhiannon
  • Parents room or disabled.   Peri
  • My hubby uses parents room or disabled toilet.   Donna
  • Disabled toilet or parenting room.   Michelle
  • Disabled toilet.   Sandra
  • Take her to men’s or parents room. My fiancé has been doing this snide my daughter was little when he had her by himself and it’s a non issue.   Bianca
  • No the disability access toilet is for people who have no other choice to use another toilet, and yes I know all the excuses, ‘I’ll only be a minute, the other one is busy, the other is dirty, this is closer’ You only use the access toilets if you CANT use the cubicals. And if I ever saw a parents room that didnt welcome fathers I would be just as vocal as I am about disability access. I am a mother and a disability advocate and I would never occupy the facility of person who had no other choice, that includes car parks.   Jessica
  • My hubby would use the parents room or disabled if no parents room. Never the mens room.   Anthea
  • Parents room?   Jo
  • Mothers and babies usually have toilets in there for this occasion or disabled toilets. Julia
  • Disabled if there’s one.. Otherwise men’s toilet.   Sarah
  • Disabled or parent rooms.   Sarah
  • I would not want my daughter going into a mens toilet at all.   Tamara
  • Mens disabled or baby change room. Definitely not the women’s.   Briana
  • This is an interesting question! I’d prefer my partner to use the womans for both our kids if parents or disabled was full. I should let him know for when the time comes.   Cass
  • We have 4 girls and my partner happily takes them to the toilet when he’s out and about with them, he always goes to the disabled or family room or baby room when he can but if they are packed he takes them into the men’s, my oldest 2 are 5 and they hate going in the men’s so he stands out the front of the women’s now and let’s them go in alone (he doesn’t feel comfortable in the women’s) if its just for a wee, they know to go into the closest cubicle to the door and to go in together so they are buddied up if something happens and say 1 needs to do a poo the other 1 is there to either come out and tell him or they are close enough to yell and him hear.   Amy
  • Parents room or disabled. Definitely not mens and no way is it appropriate for him to be in the ladies.   Marina
  • I think the men’s room isn’t suitable for little girls as opposed to little boys in the women’s is that men’s toilets have urinals with men flopping there private parts out in semi public remember kids are pretty much waist height so see things differently to us I remember as a kid having my dad take me into the men’s as I’m almost 40 lol there were no such thing as parent rooms and the smell of urine mixed with those yellow blocks in the bottom of the urinal still haunts me lol.   Mel
  • Personally, I think men’s toilets stink, I suggest going into the ladies and announcing you are entering with your daughter.   Kate
  • Parents or disabled but if not available, men’s and get them to a cubicle quick smart!!   Rosalie
  • Disabled as you will find they have change tables ex or most malls have parents rooms too.   Sophie
  • Always told my hubby disabled or parents room.   Krystal
  • Disabled.   Jessica
  • Parents room, if not womens.   Kate
  • If there is only men’s available then the mens! But the better option is disabled or a parents room if there is one.   Elizabeth
  • The reason I stress no men in women’s toilets is because it leads the way to sickos acting like they are with a child to get into the women’s. They may not be fathers at all. They may have kidnapped the child or may harm or peep at women in the stalls. So to clear any confusion no men in the women’s toilets. If a father was waiting in the restroom for his 4 yr old who was in the stall and women just saw a man standing there, they’d freak out a bit. I believe the same applies to women. No boys over 5 in the women’s stall. If no disabled potty is available then send them to the mens but stay near the door so if they are in trouble they can call out.   Melissa
  • I remember when I was probably about 8-10 and I was at work with dad (he’s a delivery driver) and we were at a place with only men’s toilets and he checked there was no-one in there first then sent me in and stood at the door outside the toilets incase anyone went to come in.   Kelly
  • Parents facilities. My husband would take our daughter into the mens while under 5. A single dad did thar with his 4 yr old daughter at Disneyland. Guys are not welcome in ladies toilets. Some tower over stalls so no! At the age of 5 our daughter will be sent into the ladies BY HERSELF WITH DADDY AT THE DOOR. He will be able to hear her if she needs him. If no parent or disabled toilets are available. Absolutely no grown men in the ladies restroom.   Melissa
  • Parents room and womens or disabled.   Jana
  • There’s no parents room were we live but we have boys but id say it shouldn’t matter which ones is used kids need to use the toilet people should understand.   Zoe
  • My husband takes our daughter to the parents room or the disabled rooms he says he finds that the mens toilets are not clean enough. I take my son when out to the parents room, disabled toilets or the womens toilets.   Leigh
  • Parents or disabled, mens as a last resort…   Peta
  • My hubby takes her into the parents room or disabled toilet.   Ally
  • Parents room or disabled.   Amy
  • Parents room or disabled if available.   Shantenei
  • Disabled. Ive done it many times. So long as there is no one waiting!   Mimina
  • Disabled/parents room or men’s. My 3 year old followed her Papa to the men’s toilets on Mother’s Day and decided she needed to go too, Haha needed to do number 2. Papa had no choice but to be on toilet duty!   Tania
  • Use the disabled.   Amanda
  • Parents room or disabled.   Laura
  • Obviously disabled or parents room but if neither are available, take her to the men’s room. I remember my dad doing that with me when I was too young to go into the women’s by myself and it was fine. More acceptable for a little girl to go with her father into the men’s room then for a father to take his daughter into the ladies room.   Tiarne
  •  Disabled or take them to the men’s… I would never let my son go to the males by himself just as my husband wouldn’t let my daughter go to the women’s by herself (I’d hope anyway).   Jacinta
  • Had this exact discussion yesterday. There are parent room, disabled toilets and if they’re both in use then they can go into the male toilets with dad.   Katrina
  • For peace of mind, I would go parent room or disabled toilets.   Katiee
  • Parents room or disabled.   Phee
  • Never heard of a parents room..I absolutely can’t stand to use the changing tables in public.even when I’ve put down a changing pad over the changing table.their nasty!! Most the time I will go out to the car and change my son!   Chloe
  • If possible the disabled toilet/parents room – otherwise mens.   Adelle
  • This is such a hard position to be in. Its totally acceptable for little boys to go to the ladies with their mum, but barely tolerated for dads to go to the parents room. I grew up with my father as sole parent. I can still remember being dragged into the men’s toilets and into a stinky cubicle, when I really thought I could handle going to the ladies on my own if he waited outside. I’d probably ask my hubby to take our daughter either to the parents room or the disabled toilet.   Tegan
  • Parents rooms usually have parent/child toilets or use the disabled.   Patrina
  • Parents room.   Ellice
  • My hubby takes our daughter to the one in the parent room.   Bettina
  • Not womens.    Samantha
  • Disabled and parents room, all big shopping centres have both now
  • Disabled or parents room if there was one.   Kirsten
  • When we are put in public I always take our daughters. At first I was a little annoyed at this but my husband asked me to go have a look at the men’s toilets at a shopping centre. They were filthy. Not just dirty, but totally filthy. From then on I take then to the ladies with me.   Krystal
  • Disabled and some shopping complexes have parenting rooms too for both mums and dads.   Kathryn
  • Use a disabled one if u can. Or a parents room.   Krystal
  • Disabled.   Jess
  • My dad always took my sister to the men’s toilet and covered her eyes if somebody was using the urinal. It’s not rocket science. My husband takes our daughters to the parents room and the older two (now 8 and 9) he waits outside the women’s toilets for them.   Sandra
  • Disabled toilet.   Lisa
  • Parent room or the disabled.   Diana

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