The daycare way
Persuading a toddler to first sit on the potty is no small task. Some are scared, some get mad and others are just not interested. “I will bring a friend of the child who is already toilet trained, and have that child go first,” says Barker. Then he suggests the untrained child give it a try. If the child refuses, Barker shrugs it off — and then offers again a few hours later. And the next day, and the day after that. “If they refuse, we don’t push it,” says Barker. “But we ask consistently.”
The potty-versus-toilet debate gets little airing at daycares — they have what they have and kids must adjust. “It’s a small obstacle, but we work around it,” says Barker. If all they have are full-sized toilets, daycare workers drag out stools to help kids climb up. Wonder why you don’t see many toilet inserts at preschool? They’re hard to keep clean, so most daycares avoid them.
“It’s an accident; it’s not premeditated,” says Turner. When a child who’s potty trained suddenly goes in her underwear, daycare staff see it as a natural part of the training process. They do a quick cleanup, put the child in fresh clothes and simply move on. At the same time, when accidents are ongoing, staff will try to figure out if they’re triggered by something. “Sometimes the child is not feeling well,” says Turner. Or sometimes a big change, such as a new baby in the family, a renovation or being on vacation, can cause a series of setbacks. “If they were dry at one point, they’ll be dry again,” Turner says.