Toddler Toilet Paper

A toilet is a toilet is a toilet. Unless you’re a toddler.

“He never sits still”, the Mom said sounding exhausted. “ I’m constantly running after him.”

“And,” I said. “You never get to sit down.”

“Right” she said. “I thought it would get easier once he started walking. But I’m more exhausted than ever.”

A mom was in the store the other day running after her very excited 1 ½ year old.

Toddlers seem to instinctively know that Mountain Baby is “their store”. So they make themselves right at home. (Mountain Baby is one of those few stores on the planet that actually welcomes toddlers and is happy to see them when they come in.)

“Many developmental psychologists refer to toddlers as “little scientists” I said.


Toddlers. All of a sudden they have access to their world on their own two little feet. And they want to explore it and figure it out.

How does this work? How does that taste? What happens if I drop this? Can this go inside of that? What’s inside of this door? I better climb up and check that out…

And on and on…

To a toddler, everything is just so endlessly exciting and interesting. What seems boring and humdrum to us, is an endless Holy Grail to them.

Consider, for example, the toilet.

As an adult, we really don’t pay much attention to it unless it gets plugged up.

But to a toddler? Eureka!

The lid goes up and crashes down. There’s a big bowl full of water, and there’s this thing on the side that is shiny.

When I pull on it, it makes a big noise and all of the big bowl of water goes swirling and swirling and swirling….and then swish! It disappears.

Now how cool is that. Let’s do it again. And again!

Let’s see what I can put into the big water. What can I make disappear?

To a toddler, a toilet is not just a toilet.


The staff and I started talking with the mom about life with toddlers.

Jenn, our manager, talked about her son Teo, and his escapades with the toilet.

Teo had discovered, when he was two, that if he put the end of the toilet paper roll into the toilet just the right way, and then flushed, the roll would miraculously spin and spin and spin, and the paper would all disappear into the toilet.

What a great trick! … unless you’re the one who has to unplug the toilet and buy the toilet paper!

Jenn and her partner tried all kinds of ways to keep Teo (who was their second child) out of the toilet. They tried every toilet lock in existence. He found his way around all of them.

Finally Jenn decided to bungee cord the toilet shut. A little inconvenient when you’re in a hurry, but it worked.

Lauren, one our wonderful floor staff, chimed in about her little girl. Ember, who is 1 ½, is using a little potty and finds the toilet paper aspect of toilet learning absolutely fascinating.

Ember’s great joy is to tear off squares and then tear them into little pieces and leave little piles of them all over the house…or put them into the pee filled potty because, as she discovered, if you throw toilet paper squares into that ‘tinted liquid’, they seem to dissolve and change.

Magic! Again and again and again!

If Ember is quick enough she can get a substantial wad into the potty before someone notices. Lauren said they go through a ridiculous amount of toilet paper.


This is life with one and two year olds.

Though it can be frustrating at times, if you see it through their eyes, you can see that, to them, the world is full of wonder.

After we all spoke with the mom about life with busy toddlers, she relaxed and realized that her little toddler just had a good and healthy sense of curiosity and excitement about the world.

And curiosity is the root of learning. And that’s a good thing.

So if your toddler is driving you a little crazy, try to see the world through their eyes.

And while keeping them (and your breakables) safe, and the toilet somehow closed (good luck!) see if you too can see the glorious wonder in the world.



Judy Banfield

I’m Judy Banfield and I’m here to help you feel better about yourself as a person and more confident and secure as a parent.

In my 30+ years of working with babies, young children and parents, I have learned that valuing and treasuring and deeply knowing yourself gives you the foundation to more confidently and joyfully, love, treasure, teach and guide your children.

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