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Tips and resources for parents on successful potty training methods.

Guest Expert Photo

WebMD Expert Discussion: Potty Training and Day Care

About six out of every 10 children under the age of 5 in the U.S. attend some form of out-of-home care, says guest parenting expert Laura Jana, MD. For many families, the important issue of how their child’s caregivers handle potty training can make all the difference.

Positive peer pressure from seeing friends who are already potty trained use the potty, combined with supportive caregivers, can sometimes provide the incentive for a reluctant child to potty train when he hasn’t mastered that ability with parental efforts alone.

Jana owns a child care center herself, and she explains that many centers have licensing requirements they must follow. These requirements often mandate that kids who are not potty trained must be in classrooms that have a changing table. That, and mandatory staff-to-student ratios, often provide the background reasoning for why many centers don’t let kids move up to the “preschool room” until they are potty trained.

Ask your caregiver these questions:

  • How do you handle bathroom safety?
  • What are your hygiene practices?
  • How do you respond to a child who has a potty accident?

One mother recalls that her son, now almost 3 years old, had a tough time with a difficult teacher at his day care. Urinating in the toilet posed no problem by the time he was a little over 2 years old, but he was still having poop accidents until he was 29 months old. In order to encourage her son to potty train for bowel movements, they used no diapers or training pants. One teacher got angry with her son when he pooped his pants, leaving the boy so afraid of her that he would try to hold in his bowel movements whenever she was present.

She notes that her son’s center now has a “young 3s” class where they work on potty training with a substantial group of 3-year-olds who are not yet trained.

What have been your experiences with potty training in day care situations? Has day care potty training been helpful to your child or not?

Discussion led by Laura Jana, MD Guest Expert
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Guest Expert What is a guest expert?

Laura Jana, MD, is an accomplished parenting advisor and child health advocate, a proud mother of three, and an Omaha-based pediatrician. More

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