Is your child potty trained “enough” for preschool? What a crazy question! And yet one recently asked by a young mother at our preschool. The policy for our program is that all students in the 3 year old classes and older must be completely potty trained. We have come to learn that there is a wide variety in what one means by the phrase: “potty trained”. Here are some guidelines that illustrate what is enough for preschool:
What is NOT enough:
Your child is not potty trained if you are taking them every 20 minutes whether they need to go or not. Knowing what to do on the potty and being willing to go to the potty are great, but those steps are the beginning of the process. Children must learn, by their own bodies, when they need to go, and to be able to communicate that to others.
Your child is not yet potty trained if they will only go on the little training potty. Training potties are a wonderful tool but not one that is available at most preschools. If your child isn’t able to use a normal sized toilet, either through fear or inexperience, they will be at a disadvantage at most preschools.
Your child is not potty trained if they do not know how to wipe themselves. Some children come to our program having never wiped themselves before…Mommy always does it for me, they say.
Your child is not yet completely potty trained if they go to the potty, take off all their clothes, use the potty, and walk out stark naked. (Yes, it happens!)
What is enough:
Think about yourself. You have to go to the potty. You excuse yourself, go to the potty, do your business, wipe yourself, pull up your underwear and pants, flush the toilet, wash your hands, dry your hands, and leave. The same should hold true for your child.
They should be able to let their teacher know they have to go to the restroom…before they have wet their pants.
They should be able to unbuckle belts, undo pants, unzip zippers…as well as rebuckle, redo, and rezip! Teach them how to pull up their underwear and pants or tights. When choosing an outfit, think about ease of use concerning the potty. Overalls are cute…but not when you can’t get the straps undone in time!
Children should know, before going to preschool, how to wipe themselves until they are clean for #2 and dry for #1. Most programs do not allow teachers to help with wiping.
Encourage flushing…every time!
Teach your child correct hand washing procedure. Water, soap, rub, rinse, then dry with a hand towel or paper towel.
Preschool registration is just around the corner! Help your child succeed by being in control of taking care of their own potty needs.
Lenora Cooper has been the director of a local preschool for the last 6 years. She also taught in the classroom for 10 years. Lenora hopes to pass along helpful tips and information to parents about preschool. Lenora enjoys writing and sharing her ideas with mybabyclothes.com. Get your little ones ready for days out on the town in their super cute baby clothes with coordinating baby headbands, beautiful tutus and stylish baby hats.