What should parents consider before letting their kids go to the bathroom alone?
Although there's no hard-and-fast rule outlining when kids can go to the bathroom alone, parents who are considering the option need to make sure their child is completely potty-trained and mature enough to handle being in the restroom by themselves.
Dr. Sileo believes that even though it might seem strange to take your 6-year-old son into the women's room, it's by far the safest option. He also added that toddlers should never be alone in a bathroom.
"First off, toddlers should never go into a public restroom by themselves," said Dr. Sileo. "They're too young to be by themselves. If you can't go into the bathroom with your child, it is advised that you stand in the doorway of the bathroom and talk with your child the entire time they are in the restroom."
Dr. Macchia believes that parents should gauge whether or not their kids are ready by evaluating the logistics of actually using the restroom.
"We don't want to leave them to use the bathroom on their own if they are not yet potty-trained or expect them to do something that they have not yet mastered," she said. "It's also important to consider if they know the logistics of bathroom expectations, like how to lock the door, how to wipe themselves, and how to undo and redo their buttons."