Potty training is a dreaded task, but you’re lucky to be sharing the responsibility with your daycare center. Think about it: Unless you yourself have 20 children, your daycare providers undoubtedly know way more about potty training than you do. In fact, they’re experts! Trust in their methods, and before you know it you’ll have this milestone mastered. We’ve got 8 expert tips on making this a successful collaboration.
- Start with the mechanics. Climbing up onto the toilet, pulling down and pulling up underwear and pants are all tricky processes. There are a lot of skills at play here, so be patient. Be sure to dress her in easy-to-manage clothing, too. Start with having her climb on and off the toilet fully clothed, so she gets a feel for it.
- Get a clear plan of action from your daycare and follow it at home, too. Consistency is key, and you want to be on the same page. Use the same lingo, follow the same routine. Daycare centers are mostly governed by a schedule, including potty breaks. Follow this schedule as much as possible on the weekends.
- Maintain clear communication with your provider about the process. When you’re back to daycare on Mondays, provide them with a report on how potty training went over the weekend. If you’ve had a particularly accident-filled weekend, they will want to know. Consider using an app like Brightwheel to maintain communication throughout the school day. Your teacher can log potty successes at school and you can follow along with their daily progress.
- If she uses a full-sized toilet at daycare, consider foregoing the plastic toddler toilet at home, too. They might be easier to start out with, but the sooner she’s able to successfully use the “big girl” potty, the better. This will also make it so much easier to use public restrooms.
- Don’t push it if she’s not ready. When she sees other classmates or older siblings succeeding on the potty, she’ll probably come around, but turning the process into a power struggle won’t work. Most kids are ready some time after their second birthday, with most mastering the process fully by age 3 or so. Keep in mind that girls usually have an easier time with the process and are ready for it sooner than boys. Girls mature faster than boys, and they only have to master one position on the toilet. The mechanics are a bit more complicated for boys.
- Don’t use training diapers at home and undies at daycare. Don’t use training diapers at all, for that matter! Cold turkey is the best practice here, makes it less confusing for your tot. She really needs to feel how uncomfortable wet undies are for the process to sink in.
- Make sure her diet is fully loaded with fresh fruits, veggies, and plenty of fiber, since constipation can be a big hurdle in potty training. The “number two” part of the process can be hard for some kids, even scary. If she has a painful time pooping, she might start withholding her bowel movements, which is dangerous. If this happens, a visit to your pediatrician is in order.
- Stay cool. For some this process is painless, but for other kids it might take longer. Take it one day at a time, and know that there will be setbacks along the way. This is where your endless supply of parental patience will really come in handy!