How to Help Your Toddler use Automatic Flush Toilets

Posted October 13, 2017 by Milk and Hugs in Children, Hack, Parenting / 4 Comments

This post may contain affiliate links for your convenience. Any proceeds go to help this blog grow and function, at no extra cost to you. Please see my Disclosure for full details.


My girls have been potty trained for quite some time, yet we are still have trouble using Public Toilets… specifically the dreaded automatic flush toilets!

While these monstrosities may be intended to increase cleanliness by flushing waste away when the user doesn’t, they instead inspire terror in those just learning!

Automatic Flush Toilets…. why?!!

How many of you have had your kids run away from an automatic flush toilet, or worse, try to hold it till they get home? It’s horrible, traumatic and frankly, just a bit evil. Here your child is, proud of their potty use when WHAM! A tricky toilet sneaks up and slams a hurricane flush as they sit innocently doing their business! Because, of course, few of these contraptions decide to wait till the child is actually OFF the seat! UGH!


At 4 and 6, you would think that my girls would be beyond this fear, but no. They shake, shiver and refuse to go if their little eyes spy that evil sensor – and I can’t blame them. They’ve flushed on me before too, either while I am doing my business or if I shift even a hair to, oh, I don’t know… wipe?! Come on people – NO ONE WANTS WET HANDS! Or a wet bottom for that matter. I mean, seriously, those things flush with the power of a whirlpool, the kind that sends out the kraken.

Automatic Flush Toilets... every parent hates them. Luckily, there is an easy way to help your child deal with them.

For a year or so, I would attend my girls in the bathroom stahl and place my hand over the sensor. I would wait till they were completely done, wiped and fully redressed – and away from the toilet – before removing my hand. The toilet would flush with all the power of hell, and though the girls were still afraid, it was milder than the fear caused by actually SITTING on the automatic public toilet.

Now, I have a different solution, one that save my back from bending over and fits easily in my purse – or my husbands pocket if he takes the girls out. Post-it notes. Specifically the small, 2″x2″ ones.
Post-it Super Sticky Notes, 2 in x 2 in, Marrakesh Collection, 8 Pads/Pack (622-8SSAN)

Small easy and, when it comes to public bathrooms – Heaven sent!

These things have changed our Automatic Flush Toilet game! The girls are still scared, of course, but it is a subdued fear. They know that I am going to slap one of these post-it notes on the sensor, saving us all the angst of the random flush. The one time I didn’t? Well… you can read about that here.

It’s not exactly an eloquent solution, and it does little to solve their fear, but it is the bridge I needed to get us to the point where they grow out of this fear. Hopefully, that day will soon approach. Till then – I keep post-it notes in my purse!

And in closing, let me offer my deepest sympathies and solidarity to every parent out there who HATES AUTOMATIC FUSH TOILETS!

Automatic Flush Toilets are a nightmare for parents - luckily, there is an easy solution to the random 'flush'




Posted October 13, 2017 by Milk and Hugs in Children, Hack, Parenting / 4 Comments


4 responses to “How to Help Your Toddler use Automatic Flush Toilets

  1. nicoleday90

    Wow this is such a genius post that will probably help SO many Mom’s! My daughter would not use public bathrooms for almost a year for fear of it flushing. I had been standing there with my hand over the sensor and not moving until she was finished, had left the bathroom stall, and was standing by the door with her ears plugged. I will definitely be using this idea in the future!

    • Thank you! My youngest has had more of a difficult time with automatic flush toilets than my eldest – until those post-it notes found their way into my purse, it was a constant battle! Hope it helps!

  2. Kristi

    Genius! I have twin 10 year old girls and a 7 year old boy. Every single one of them still gets that look in their eye when we walk into a public restroom. They sit on the potty and go now…but to this day, they still have to hold their hands over their ears and sometimes ask me to put my hand over the sensor if I’m in there with them.

    • My soon to be 7 year old daughter does the same! Though now she normally asks me for a sticky note, lol! Truth moment, I’ve used them myself… those toilets are unpredictable!

Join the conversation!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.