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Is this progress? Portable potties for toddlers turn city sidewalks into open-air toilets

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Free-range toilet training has become “a thing” in the city, according to the New York Post.

No, NYC is not yet San Francisco East. Of course on the left coast, the streets of San Francisco are where poop patrols are hard-pressed to keep up with an epidemic of vagabonds who are apparently not potty-trained.

Not everyone is excited about portable potties in New York. But if you’re a little one who suddenly has business to do, it’s pretty cool … and those whose opinions carry the most weight are the parents who tote the tot-sized portable potties. What they appreciate is being able to avoid frantic emergencies looking for an open public restroom.

Two of the most popular tot-pots in use are the OXO Go Potty and the Potette, collapsible stools that allow for parents to place plastic liners into in order to catch and dispose of the waste, much like doggie bags.

“I still carry a Potette around,” Anna Rascouët-Paz told The Post — even though her 4-year-old twins were potty trained two years ago. “I consider it an essential accessory in New York City, no matter how many eye rolls I get.”

Rascouët-Paz is just one of many parents taking potty training out into the concrete jungle. New Yorkers are taking tiny toilets into the wilds for use at the park, on subway platforms, and even in the middle of major sidewalk thoroughfares.

“My child has totally peed on Astoria Boulevard before,” actress Nora Gustuson said. “When they’re that little, it’s either they pee their pants, or they pee on the sidewalk, so it’s preferable to at least get it into a potty!”

Speaking of her oldest son who was potty-training five years ago, mom Galina Burdeniuc-Raileanu said, “He was afraid to go to the public restrooms because all the hand dryers made so much noise, and he would get scared.” She’s now using the OXO for her two-year old daughter.

Of course, such brazen acts in the public eye result in critics who are willing to sound off, though sometimes incognito. “It’s so gross,” said Gillian, a mom who declined to use her last name for privacy reasons. “I once saw a woman hold her kid between cars outside Greene Grape Provisions to poo (on a portable potty}. I don’t care what age you are — if you need to poop or pee, do it in the diaper or the restroom.”

“I’m not a big fan on cultivating instant gratification,” said Chantal Traub, a doula and childbirth educator. “If you observe your child, they tend to show some signs before they go, and I would act on that.”

Meanwhile, worthy of a headline all its own, there are more than a few parents who outsource the job of potty training their children. Samantha Allen, founder of NYC Potty Training, charges $2,000 to teach posh tots how to use the pot. Her expert opinion was that “Even kids like privacy. No one wants an audience to poop!”

Rascouët-Paz’s disagreed. “Potty or no potty, they don’t care when they’re too busy playing, they’ll just go.”

Victor Rantala

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