It's a common parenting conundrum: What bathroom do you use when you're taking your different-sex young child to the bathroom?
If there's no family restroom available and the bathrooms are not gender-neutral, it can put parents in a tough spot. That's where Muhammed Nitoto found himself when he was out with his young daughters.
"I never thought the bathroom would become as big as a issue as it is," he wrote in a post on his Instagram, Chronicles of Daddy. "Usually we would go places and they have FAMILY bathroom which are meant for people with children but what I found was most places don't have them and dads are left to decide between taking their daughters to the men's bathroom or the women's."
At first, Nitoto wrote, he took his daughters to the men's bathroom. But he soon changed his mind, writing that he saw the men's bathroom in a completely different light once he was with his daughters.
"Men's bathrooms are DISGUSTING. They smell like pee and nothing is setup for a woman or a person with a child. The changing table was right next to the urinal which means my child literally would be next to where men pee [while] she's being [changed]," he wrote. "After doing that 1 time I decided I'd never take my daughter's to the men's bathroom again."
So what does the San Pedro, California, dad do? He uses the women's bathroom -- his daughters are too young to go alone -- and is armed with a plan for being respectful and making it work.
"I try to be as respectful to women as I can while doing so which consists of knocking on the door before entering and announcing myself," Nitoto wrote. "Making sure if someone is inside that they know I am a Dad coming in with his daughter and making sure they are comfortable with that. Now once inside our stall I still am aware of the door and whenever I hear it open and someone new is coming in I announce myself again and make sure they know I'm inside with my child so that they aren't surprised."
Nitoto told "Good Morning America" he posted about his experience to "spark the conversation for active fathers in the world." He wanted to "show support to other fathers who have been or will be in the same situation and offer them [my solution]."
Not everyone agrees with a dad using the women's restroom, though. Dr. Alice Domar told Parents.com it would be a "last-resort choice."
"First choice would be to find a family bathroom, which is becoming more common these days," she wrote. "Second choice, up to age 4 or 5 would be for the dad to take her into the men’s room but go straight to a stall. After that, hopefully she would be able to go to a woman’s room by herself, but if not, he can wait outside the woman’s room until a motherly-looking woman goes in and he can ask her to look out for his daughter."
Nitoto noted that in his experience, women's bathrooms are much cleaner and are "set up perfect just in case they have children."
Women with children have been the most supportive regarding his post, Nitoto said. "Being a girl dad, I find myself having to navigate things that I don't have a book I can read from to help me with solutions," he told "GMA." "It's almost like the parenting story isn't shared in-depth from a father's side. That's why I started my Daddy Chronicles. I wanted to tell the dad's side of stories -- some that have been heard from the mom's side and some that haven't even been talked about before."