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Potty Training and Day Care
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Laura Jana, MD posted:
Potty training a child who attends child care is a topic that gets a lot of attention -- and if you ask me, rightfully so. Not only because an estimated 60% of kids under the age of five attend out-of-home care, but also because potty training in child care situations presents different challenges than potty training at home with a parent.

I say this not only as the parent of three children who attended child care, but also as the owner of a child care center. Owning a child care center has given me additional insight into the child care rules and licensing requirements that must be followed by centers and their staff members.

Let's address the common proclamation, "Your child can't move up into the preschool classroom until he/she is potty trained." I'm willing to bet that many of you have been told this as you look for child care outside of your home.

Perhaps you've been frustrated by having limitations placed on your child's learning experiences by something as seemingly trivial as peeing and pooping in the potty. Did you know that this may be a matter that's out of your child care center's control?

Professional licensing requirements often state that children who aren't potty trained can't be in a classroom that doesn't have a changing table. Most preschool classrooms don't have a changing table.

Also, licensing requirements often clearly define staff-to-student ratios. These requirements take into account how many staff members are reasonably needed to supervise and look after the children in each classroom. It takes additional staff to care for children who are not potty trained. Preschoolers -- usually 3 years old and above -- are generally presumed to be potty trained when this ratio is defined in the regulations.

I firmly believe that child care can provide the perfect environment for potty training to take place. With teachers who consider potty training to be a valuable life skill rather than a chore, a child care situation can be a great place for your child's potty learning experience.

Potty training at child care can provide the opportunity for a consistent approach to potty training, and a healthy dose of positive peer pressure. Seeing friends on the potty can be a powerful learning incentive for a child who isn't potty trained.

Be sure to check with your child's care provider(s) to make sure they share your positive approach to potty training. Be sure they incorporate routine bathroom safety (children not left unattended) and hygiene (hand washing & clean toilet facilities) into their child care practices. Also, make sure that your child has enough changes of clothes on hand in case the clothing they're wearing that day gets soiled.

What do you think about extending potty training to child care situations? Share your child care potty training experiences and potty training tips with the community.

Your suggestions will be much appreciated by those yet to embark on the experience!
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kmcarnag responded:
If a child regularly attends daycare, parents and staff must work together to achieve potty training success. We had an overall great experince getting my now 33 month old trained. My son is very much a go-getter and as soon as he was able to understand the concept, wanted to be a big kid and use the toilet. It was kind of a slow go for pooping, but he had peeing in the toilet well in control by 25 or 26 months. He was closer to 29 months by the time he mastered pooping in the toilet. Overall, the instructors were with us on training (no diapers or pullups) but one teacher used to get mad when he pooped his pants (he usually has firm BM so it wasn't any harder to clean than a dirty diaper). I told her that we were working on training and the director of the center was OK with him in underwear so she would have to manage it. Turns out, he was afraid of her and would try to hold it so he wouldn't have to go when she was there. When her schedule was altered, he started using the toilet around the time she was usually there. We found that we just had to be consistent and not use diapers or pullups (they count as diapers to him).

The daycare now has a "young 3s" class where they work primarily on potty training because there are so many 3 year olds that aren't trained at the center. They pretty much take everyone potty every 45 min. I don't know how it is working and I plan for my son to skip that class.


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