I honestly have no clue what kind of hits I’m going to get on this post based on random Google searches that correlate with my title results. But I bet I’d get a kick out of them if I bothered to look.

But here’s the deal: even though there’s no NOT ridiculous way to title this particular Mama Life Hack, it’s a legit concern, yo, so we’re going with it!

Last week, I posted this picture to Instagram…


…with a caption thanking Hobby Lobby for having old-school potties–AKA – the ones that don’t flush at random and literally scare the–ahem–you-know-what right out of you, while you’re sitting on them.

As an adult, I’m not a fan of them. But my little girls? They’re T-E-R-R-I-F-I-E-D.

And with the twins pretty much completely potty-trained at 2 1/2 (my earliest successful potty-trainees to date…HUZZAH for peer pressure), I have no interest in introducing anything that might trigger a regression (never mind that they decided to potty-train 1 day after I bought my first mountain of Sam’s Club size 4 diapers in ages. Because irony). (Not that I’m too worried about it at the rate Theo’s growing).

It seems that I’m not the only one with this problem. I got a slew of “AMENS” and also a fair number of suggestions for how to stop the potty monster from roaring while your little darling is astride her perilous perch.

The best one?

Stick a pad of Post-it notes in your purse, and every time you encounter a self-flushing potty, whip one of those bad boys out and place it over the flush-sensor.

Et voila!

no more scary flushes

{Side note: my husband saw this post-it lying around after I took the picture, and was like ?????}

If you’re anything like me, then remembering to put the Post-its in your purse in the first place is your biggest obstacle to executing this ingenious little trick. But never fear! If you forget the first time (or dozen), lots of people reported success with simply hanging a square of toilet paper over the sensor or–in a pinch–employing the somewhat less reliable sister/brother’s hand method.

So, what about y’all? Do you have a kiddo who is/was petrified by the curse of the auto-flush potty? I don’t know of too many kids who love it, but Della is definitely the most afraid of our bunch. Recently, an unfortunately-timed flush sent her flying off the potty mid-pee shrieking in terror. Poor thing (poor mama).

Did you use the Post-it trick? Or just suffer through like I’ve been doing?




  1. Thanks for the tip!
    My 5 year old daughter has always had more issues with the air hand dryers. Good thing we can bypass having to use those ourselves by just wiping our hands on our clothes!

  2. I’ve always trained my kids to touch public potties as little as possible (“flush with your shoe when you can,” I tell them….sometimes it’s a serious yoga pose to reach that handle with your foot, but hey, you do what you’ve gotta do), so I tried to teach them that the auto-flush potties were trying to be helpful. And they were loud because they were so excited about their jobs (just like my kids get so excited about helping me). So we turned it into a competition. We’d go potty at the same time (even if I didn’t have to go, I’d pretend). Then we’d see how many times we could set off the autoflush. It was silly, but it got them over the fear of both the idea that they would get sucked down (a serious fear for the little people), and the fear of the noise. It taught them to expect it. The world is not a quiet place. Unexpected noises happen. I just taught my kids that the noises have no power.

  3. This is the easiest thing ever and I feel dumb for not thinking of it, lol! I hate those stupid toilets. I don’t like get “splashed” when they go off too soon. Ew that’s gross, but you know what I mean.

  4. Oh. My. Word!! Why haven’t I heard this sooner! My now 4 yr old encountered the auto flush apparently for the first real scary time at the hospital while waiting to be seen in ER. When they needed a urine sample later she’d have no part of it until the nurse taped something over the sensor but honest to goodness I’m not sure if it would have ever crossed my mind to cover the sensor myself. I would always just try to prepare her if it were an automatic flush toilet… now if we can just do something about the monster hand dryers and the crazy ecko that makes them SO much louder!

  5. This is brilliant!! My daughter is terrified of the auto-flush potty! I will pass this on to everyone I know with kiddos!!

  6. When my daughter was little ANY public restroom scared her because the flush was so loud. Once, on a trip, we stopped at a rest area. I knew she had to pee, but she was so scared, she screamed bloody murder. I was starting to fear someone would call child services! Maybe I should have carried ear plugs for her!

  7. Genius!! My DD6 is terrified of them! I cover the sensor and then she covers it for me (trying to make them less scary).
    Wonder if the mini post-it notes would cover the sensor? Would be easier for her to stick a couple in her pocket.

I love hearing from you guys!