Tips & Tricks for Potty Training at Daycare

Potty training can be difficult enough for a toddler. From learning how to recognize the signs of when they need to go all the way to figuring out how to use a toilet, there are so many new things for your toddler to learn.

And when you throw in potty training at daycare, the entire process can be pretty confusing. There can be one set of instructions you give them at home and then another set of instructions their teacher gives at daycare or school.

Luckily, there are a few simple things you can do to help ease the transition for your little one. Try these simple tips and tricks for potty training at daycare to help make potty training a little simpler for you and your toddler.

Three toddlers playing at daycare

Does Daycare Help with Potty Training?

Since your toddler is likely at daycare for several hours per day, potty training is an essential element of their daily routine. That’s why it’s important that you discuss how potty training is handled with your child’s daycare provider.

Some preschool daycare programs require you to potty train your child before enrolling them. And other daycares designed for toddlers and babies will assist you with potty training your little one.

Most daycare providers that are open to toddlers help with potty training while your child is in their care. But it’s important to understand that your daycare isn’t solely responsible for training your child.

Although the workers at your kid’s daycare will help train them while they’re caring for your child, it’s your responsibility to teach your child how to use the potty while they’re at home.

How Do You Potty Train a Child in Daycare?

Potty training a child who is in daycare requires teamwork between you and the daycare providers. That means you’ll all need to work together to coordinate a potty training plan and put that plan into action.

From deciding on the method you’ll use to train your toddler to keeping up with rewards, there are several different aspects of potty training you’ll need to coordinate with your child’s daycare.

Consistency is key to successfully potty training your toddler, so before you start potty training it can be helpful to schedule a meeting with your child’s daycare.

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During the meeting, discuss all the different aspects of potty training that you will be doing with your child at home and compare them with the daycare’s approach. This will help you come up with a plan for your child that works cohesively with their childcare facility.

As you’re speaking with your child’s daycare, ask about:

  • Potty training methods. Ask your child’s daycare provider what method they typically use to train the children in their care. Then, talk about other methods you have considered to see if they might be an option. Settling on the same method is a great starting point, allowing you to seamlessly train your child between daycare and home without causing confusion.
  • Rewards and encouragement. Offering rewards and encouragement are a big part of potty training. That’s why it’s a good idea to discuss reward and encouragement options for your toddler while they’re at daycare. The facility might not be able to offer certain rewards, like candy, to your child while they’re at daycare. Once you’re clear how your child will be rewarded while they’re away, you can work to incorporate those same rewards at home.
  • How setbacks are handled. In addition to rewards, also talk about how your daycare will handle potty training setbacks. Will they put a diaper or pull-up on your child if they refuse to use the potty or are having several accidents per day? Will they discuss potty training issues with you as the occur?
  • Their potty seat. Using the same type of potty seat at home and at daycare will help you avoid confusion for your child. Ask your child’s daycare if they use a kid-sized toilet, seat that sits on top of a full-sized toilet, or a moveable potty training chair. You can also ask if you can bring in your own potty seat for your child to use so you’re sure your toddler is using the same equipment at home and at daycare.
  • Nap training. If your child still takes a nap while they’re at daycare, discuss whether they will wear a diaper while they nap or if they will allow your toddler to sleep in their underwear and allow for the occasional accident.

Daycare Potty Training Tips

After you have a plan in place, it’s time to start the potty training process! With the help of these simple tips, you and your toddler can start potty training on the right foot.

Think about your toddler’s clothing

You might want your toddler to look cute every day at daycare, but while they’re potty training it’s better to think about the practicality of their outfit.

Your child will need to be able to take off their pants and underwear quickly each time they need to go.

And don’t forget that your toddler’s daycare provider is often watching (and possibly potty training) multiple kids at once. The easier your child’s clothing is to get on and off, the better!

Avoid one-piece outfits and overalls and instead dress your child in elastic-waste pants or dresses to make undressing easier for them.

Bring extra clothing

In addition to sending your toddler to daycare in hassle-free clothing, also provide your daycare with a change of clothes and several extra pairs of underwear each day.

It’s better to be overprepared in case of accidents than to not have enough extras for your child to make it through the day in clean clothing.

Don’t forget the diapers

If your child is having a bad day or just isn’t progressing with potty training at daycare, make sure your provider has some diapers or training pants on hand. And let them know if diapers are a viable option if potty training isn’t working out.

Offer plenty of fiber and liquids

Avoid constipation while you’re potty training by making sure your child has plenty of fibrous fruits and vegetables while they’re at home and at daycare.

Water and fruit juice are other essential elements to potty training because they help keep bowel movements looser.

The last thing you want is to have your child’s bowel movements be hard and uncomfortable at daycare, prompting them to become resistant.

Continue their daycare schedule at home

Ask your child’s daycare about their daily bathroom schedule so you can mimic the schedule at home.

Does your daycare provider make scheduled trips to the bathroom or do they ask the child if they need to go? Bring that same process home with you in the evenings and on the weekends.

When your child is home on the weekends, it’s especially important to keep their schedule consistent.

Enforce daycare rules at home.

It’s also important that you stay consistent with your daycare’s potty training rules and rewards at home.

If your child’s daycare requires that your toddler wears underwear all day, don’t allow them to wear their diaper at home, for example.

Don’t push it

Potty training doesn’t happen overnight, but if it seems like your child is struggling it may be a good idea to wait.

Frequent accidents or refusal to use the potty is often a sign that your child isn’t quite ready to start training yet.

Discuss the issues with your child’s daycare to see if they think it may be a good idea to put potty training on pause for a few weeks and pick it back up at a later date.

Keep communicating

After your initial meeting is over, don’t stop talking about potty training.

Ask about your child’s potty training progress at daycare each day when you pick them up and talk about their progress at home when you drop them off.

Keeping each other up-to-date every day will make the entire process easier on you, your daycare provider, and your child.

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