Potty training, for so many parents, is a real nightmare. Whether it's because you have a reluctant kid or no time, it's a huge undertaking. And if you try to potty train under pressure, it's even more nerve wracking. But if you have a child of potty training age in school or daycare, you likely need to make sure they're potty trained before their first day. Cue panic. If your little one isn't quite there yet with potty training before they start school, fear not! There are things you can do.
Starting potty training is usually the hardest part. It's a completely new experience for your kid, so that's important to keep in mind. One of the best things to do is give yourself time. Very few kids are completely potty trained in a weekend. Sure, they're getting the concept quickly, but it takes time to build confidence.
Time is of the essence, but it's also hugely necessary for success. Weekends are great for intensive potty training because you have the time to focus on the task at hand. When it's time to introduce potty training, Allison Jandu, a potty training consultant suggests this:
"Let them know that there are no more diapers and from now on they are to try and put their pee/poop in the potty," she tells Romper. Allowing your kiddo to spend as much time naked from the waist down gets messy, but it's easier for them to feel oncoming needs for the bathroom. Jandu also notes that kids over the age of 3 are more likely to understand potty training in the first couple days.
Preparing them for the change ahead of time may ease a little of their reluctance. Knowing the classroom and school rules about potty training will give you a leg up. You can take that knowledge home and use it while you're potty training too. If you have opportunity to visit your kid's school before classes start, scope out the bathrooms. Point them out to the kids. If you're allowed access, take them in and on a little tour if necessary.
And there is one very important thing that Jandu warns against. Don't pretend your kid is further along in their potty training journey than they actually are. Make sure you're open and honest with your child's teacher about what their level of capability is. "Definitely don't put your kids in underwear and just hope for the best," she warns. Every school has different rules about how proficient a kid has to be with going to the bathroom on their own. Plus, they will have different rules on how a teacher can handle taking kids to the bathroom. So you need to give them all the details they'll need to help your kiddo not have accidents and build their confidence.
Going through the process of potty training is a learning curve for everyone. But if you want your little ones to be completely ready for going to the bathroom at school, you need to relax. If you have a game plan in place, you will get there faster than you may imagine.