Potty training a defiant toddler is one thing. Potty training a defiant toddler when he goes to daycare full time is a whole ‘nuther beast. It’s a team effort to potty-train. After all, the daycare teacher is probably not just potty training your kid, she’s potty training 5 other kids.

My son was in what they can “an early preschool” program” aka daycare with education thrown in. This means that (thankfully), the teachers were able to help potty train him.

Here are the steps we took to make sure daycare potty training would go successfully.

1- Go over the plan
Decide on when you will start and let your teachers know beforehand.
I told his teachers he would miss a day or two of school because we were potty training over the long weekend. She told me “Great!” and then we talked about the rules from their side, and what they can and cannot do. We were trying to figure out the best strategy so things would remain consistent at home and at school.

Our strategy was:

-bottoms off the first few days at home
-pull-ups the first day at school to see if he would go potty in a different environment
-then transition to underwear
-pull-ups would be used for nap time and bedtime still

2- Toilet or potty
It’s your preference. With a child potty, kids can go whenever they please with little to no help from the adult. However it’s another transition you have to make to the big toilet. Plus you have to clean it out every time.

His school has a fully functioning toddler-sized toilet, so we thought it would be best for him to potty train on a big toilet with a potty seat. This is the one we had and it comes with handles so he has something to hold on to. I think that put him at ease.That way, the little toilet at school was less intimidating. And we wouldn’t have to clean up another potty at home.

The introduction to potty training started at home. I wrote down a day by day play by play of the first week of potty training.

3- Schedule
Find out what the potty schedule is at school. Ours take the potty trained/potty training kids every hour, whether they go or not. Some do it less often. Also, make sure that your child can express to his teacher when he or she has to go potty.

4- Pull-ups or underwear
Decide on which route you want to take and what the rules are from daycare.
We went into thinking he would just use the toilet at school and pull-ups would just be for just-in case. Well, the first day, he decided to pee only in the pull-up. I told the teacher, we are quitting daytime pull-ups cold turkey because he is using them as a crutch. She compromised and said ok, but three accidents and then he has be in a pull-up.

5- Attire
Dress your kid appropriately for potty training. Pants with zippers, buttons, clasps are a no-go. Overalls are definitely out of the question. I went to Target and picked up some loose-fitting pants with an elastic waistband for easy pull up and pull down. Oh and bring back-up underwear and clothes AS WELL as some socks and shoes. Accidents can dribble all the way down there if you know what I mean.

6- Rewards
Our school doesn’t do rewards, just praise. Equal opportunity issue, I guess. If your daycare does the reward system, perhaps try stickers? They’re the most cost effective, and if you get stickers for your kid, I’ve heard of parents contributing stickers for everyone in the sticker drawer. Team effort, remember?

7- Report
At the end of the day, you should get a bathroom report if it’s an established daycare. A thorough report would include all of the times they sent him or her to the bathroom, if they went potty or didn’t they, if it was pee or poop, and of course any accidents. An anecdotal report would be nice too. For example, “Oh, Sally told me she had to go potty, but she didn’t quite make it, so that what the accident was about” or “Johnny told me had to go potty and went but he didn’t aim right and got half of it on his pants.”

How has your potty training at daycare journey been?


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