Potty Training and Daycare

Is your child ready for potty training and daycare can help you? Take all the assistance you can get. Here are some potty-training tips from preschool pros.

So, I think O might be ready for a little potty training. He tells me when he pees and poops. The two times he’s had accidents while I was letting him run around diaperless, he ran to the bathroom and peed on the floor in front of the toilet. He yells “Pee Pee, Potty, Yellow!” whenever anybody disappears into the bathroom. (In his world, no one poops except him. Maybe it’s time I get the book.) Plus, he hates, hates, hates getting his diaper changed. I don’t know if that’s a good or bad sign, but I know I’d love to be done with the diaper-change struggle.

He’s 19 months. Maybe it’s a little early, but I figure it can’t hurt to try. Or can it?

See, I don’t even know what to do. Heck, I don’t even know where to start. (Note how I said “a little” potty training above. Can you even do “a little” potty training? See, this is how much I don’t know. I have stocked up on Swiffer Wet Jet pads after reading Sara’s post from awhile back. Go me!)

And there are more questions. If/when I do start, do I just hand my son off to daycare after a weekend of training, and say “Good luck! He’s wearing pull-ups today!”? How do I know for sure that they will follow through correctly, and he won’t have setbacks? (I can probably answer these: I won’t know, and he might.)

Maybe I should just leave it all up to daycare. I’ll simply walk in and proclaim one morning “I’d like O to start potty training. See you at 5:30!”

(Potty training and daycare could work. He only seems to eat well when he’s there. Maybe if once he sees everyone else going to the bathroom, he’ll start doing it, too.)

Yeah, but no. Unfortunately, I want to be able to say I taught him something. I mean, yeah, I know. I have taught him stuff. But there are all.these.things he learns at daycare. And while I love it, a big part of me feels really bad (dare I say: guilty?) that I don’t get to teach him some of these baby basics.

So, what if I took some time off of work and devoted myself to potty training O, could it happen during that time? Could we figure it out together and then I could say I potty trained him? Or should I do what I can and welcome the help I’ll get with daycare?

What do you ladies think?


Is your child ready for potty training and daycare can help you? Take all the assistance you can get. Here are some potty-training tips from preschool pros.

Potty-training tips from daycare pros

  • Break up the potty process into stages, starting with pulling pants up and down.
  • Get both a potty and seat insert, and use whatever the child prefers.
  • Accept that accidents happen, and are a natural part of the process.
  • Use rewards that are realistic and motivating for the child.
  • Schedule regular potty breaks around the child’s needs.
  • Switch to big-kid underwear quickly; training pants just delay the inevitable.
  • Know that number two can take longer, and be ready for it.

16 thoughts on “Potty Training and Daycare

  1. You might be one of the lucky ones who gets her child potty trained in a matter of days. Or more likely, you’ll be like we were, and find that potty training is one long process. We’re still working on some issues. She’s trained at home and when she’s out with Mommy and Daddy, but she doesn’t like using the potty if she’s in an unfamiliar place without us, and she’s still figuring out the poop thing (we had some bad constipation periods that caused some setbacks). I guess that’s the long way of saying it’s a great idea to start letting him experiment with sitting on the potty and responding to his cues that he’s ready to try. Daycare should be recognizing these cues, too. With luck, he’ll train quickly and easily. If not, you’ll be getting started at least. Just tell his daycare what you’re noticing and trying, and they should have no trouble following suit.

  2. I used potty training rewards. I sat my son down and showed him the button he could push after using his potty saying he is a Big Boy and that then he could open a door and find a surprise really did the trick. He would go in his potty and say where is Bobby. That is what we named the boy on the outside packaging. He loved pushing the button hearing he is a Big Boy and opening a door to find a chocolate treat. He was peeing and pooping in his potty within a week. Have a look and see if this would work for you. http://www.pottytrainingrewards.com

  3. Anonymous says:

    Keep in mind I have girls (ages a and almost 4)and have been told that they are easier, but with each one I bought a little potty chair (that they really rarely used, they preferred the big toilet with a ring on it) that they could sit on when they felt like it. I bought that when each of them turned 2. I never forced or asked them to sit on it, but I praised them like crazy when they did.

    As they started showing more interest, I encouraged them to try to go on the potty, usually before tub. I appealed to cleanliness (You don’t want to get potties in your tub water! Yucky!!) But I still never forced them, but provided lots of praise and encouragement when they did go.

    Both girls, by the age of 3 were wearing big girl panties and having no day time accidents. Both just decided one day that they were done with diapers and wanted to wear panties and we never looked back. Ny youngest actually decided last year when we were at Disney World.

    The key for me was always to follow their lead. You really can’t force a kid to potty train (not that you are trying to!)as a parent you will know when it is time for your child. It’s like a light switch flips in their little brains. If he is showing interest, encouragement from you will go a long way! Good luck!

  4. The Travel Diva says:

    After going through it with two boys, my advice would be to listen to O’s cues and go with them. A lot of times it’s about “control” at this age, so don’t worry if he has a relapse.

  5. I have a girl too, so it might be different. But I come down on the side of once you really start, you have to go all the way. Talk to daycare about how they generally do it, whether they think he’s ready, etc. Obviously, you know best about your kid, but presumably your daycare has potty trained a lot of kids! I assumed I had it easier than stay at home parents, because most of the “training” took place while I was at work!

    Also, I think (and my daycare director agreed) that Pull Ups are just diapers. So we used them for naps and nights, but never used them during the day.

    As my daughter says “Kids have accidents.” It’s not the end of the world. But after a few accidents, they learn what they have to do to avoid them.

    I also found and have heard that summer is a great time to potty train because you don’t have to worry about so many clothes to get on/off to go to the potty.

    Good luck!

  6. My mom raised five kids. Three boys, two girls and swore up and down the hall that there was a time around 18-20 months that the boys were interested, and if you didn’t capitalize on it then, they wouldn’t be interested again until they were three. I have a now-26-month-old boy who is potty trained. We started when he was about 18 months and used a sticker chart. If he filled the sticker chart, he got a surprise. It was a long process, but we just stayed consistent.

    As for the daycare vs. home training, I think you have to be consistent. Sometimes it seemed he did better at daycare than he did at home, because when his buddies were using the potty, he was using the potty too. At home, sometimes, he wouldn’t want to stop playing or eating or whatever long enough to go. We started at home, and were just in constant communication with our daycare provider so that we were being consistent with how we were going about it.

    It’s hard — and I’m sure what works for one kid, won’t work for every kid. Mostly, we just praised the heck out of him and rewarded him when he did it…

    Also, we kind of skipped the pullups stage, and just let him wear his big-boy pants…and cleaned up a lot of puddles, but he seemed to learn from his *accidents.*

    Good luck!

  7. lesliesloan says:

    We added Elmo’s Potty Video to the rotation on an extended road trip. It quickly became a favorite and in about a month my son was fully potty trained (not at night of course) but it definitely helped make him aware of things. I have no idea why that video was so seemingly magical, but it was!

    Also, we spent two days holed up in the house just giving my son juice and hitting the potty every 15 minutes. M&M’s are a great incentive and he caught on REALLY fast. We never did pull-ups, just went straight to underwear and he has had very few accidents!

  8. I’d talk to the Day Care to see if they are seeing the same cues. My boys were very easy to train…no reflection on my parenting skills, they were just always very interested in bathroom stuff. Try it on a weekend when you are planning to be at home most of the time. Take him every 15 minutes, then lengthen the time between until he figures out when he really needs to go. We used pull ups with my older son because he loved to show me that he still had “stars” at the end of the day. My younger son just really didn’t care for them.

  9. seems early to me, but he does sound like he is getting ready. I would definately let him sit on the potty and get him used to that. When it comes to potty training, I’m a BIG believer in teh weekend-cold turkey method. Keep in mind I have only done this with girls. But basically, once they have the idea, just do it. Get rid of the diapers (I don’t believe in training pants) and just do it. I also recommend using the actual toilet and not a potty – otherwise what do you do when you aren’t home? I outlined the method I have used here – http://threetimemommy.blogspot.com/2007/04/potty-train-success-plan.html. Good luck!

  10. We worked on potty training both at home and at daycare and he had more success there, seeing the other kids and actually sitting on the potty for the teachers. He didn’t train until shortly after his 3rd birthday though. The Bear in the Big Blue House potty video was a huge influence on him, but not until he was ready. We also read a few potty books that helped drive the point home.

  11. Mommy Bits says:

    Sm wasn’t fully potty trained until around age 3 1/2. His daycare was actually really helpful and we found that seeing the other little boys go on the potty (or at least trying to ) was very inspirational.

    I think 19 months might be a little early but if he’s ready I would just gradually work up to it.

    Good luck. I am envious as the Bman has NO interest in the potty and he will be 3 in June.

  12. Mang, we are nowhere near potty training Cassie. I can just tell. Anywho, I saw this expert Q&A on Modern Mom about the same topic. Check it out.

  13. Jennifer B says:

    I would stay away from Pull-Ups. They actually derailed our potty training efforts because my daughter decided she liked going in them and removing them herself. The most successful thing we did (and it may be too early for you to do this) is let her pick out several pairs of “big girl” underwear and wear them as long as she could use the potty and stay dry. Of course, we didn’t punish her if she had an accident, we just told her we had to wash them and got her a diaper. She was so excited about her special underwear that she potty trained pretty quickly.

  14. I’m still working with my youngest. And she turns 3 this month. I made the mistake of using Pull-Ups again. It just prolongs the potty-training. Now she’s only wearing Pull-Ups at night.

    So wait until you are sure he’s ready. I’d probably wait a little bit until he’s a little older. Then when he’s ready, go at it at full force. Resist the Pull-Ups!

  15. Well, I sure am glad I posted this. I thought Pull-Ups were where it was at. I would’ve prbly bought those, the potty, and went at it.

    Thanks for all your tips and suggestions. I’m glad to know there are lots of things to try. If I can get it together, I might get a potty this weekend and start introducing him to it.

  16. Anonymous says:

    It has been a long time since I potty trained…my son is now 11. However, I can say – I totally thought he was ready at about 19 months and decided to “go with it” hoping he would just be an early learner. It backfired… Just because he was going into the bathroom & actually did use the toilet a couple of times, he wasn’t truly ready…just curious. Of course every child is different…but don’t be disappointed if it isn’t time for “O” to actually wear big boy pants. 🙂

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