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6 Potty Training Rules Daycares Have That Every Parent Should Know

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As any parent who has potty trained a toddler can tell you, the process is not for the faint of heart. And if you send your kids to daycare, their teacher can make or break your child's success. Because they're with your child for hours each day, it’s super important for you and your child's daycare to be on the same page about when, and how, the process should go. In other words, when you’re ready to start potty training find out what potty training rules day cares have, so you can set your child up for success.

According to Oh Crap Potty Training, it's absolutely essential for parents to get familiar with — and come to terms with — their daycare's rules about potty training. Unfortunately, the same site notes that because daycare centers and providers often have to accommodate more than one toilet-training toddler, they can't always set the same rules or schedules you create at home. They also might have policies in place that you disagree with, like requiring pull-ups or asking that your child be potty trained by a certain age. I fact, Parenting notes that some daycares and preschools require your child to be potty trained before they start.

Other providers are totally willing to help you potty train your child at daycare, according to Today's Parent, and can often offer tips and tricks for parents to make the process go smoother at home, too. So if you're in the middle of figuring out how to navigate your daycare's potty training rules like a pro, read on:

Your Child Must Be Potty Trained Before They Start

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According to Parenting, some daycare centers and preschools require kids to be out of diapers and relatively accident-free before they can start attending. Others, like the Federally-funded Head Start program, don’t require your child to be potty trained and will even help you with the process, so it’s important to find out their expectations before you enroll your child.

According to Zero to Three, times of transition — like starting a new school — are actually pretty much the worst times to start potty training. So, if your daycare or preschool requires it, you should get started well in advance of their start date.

Pull-Ups, Diapers, Or Underwear

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Everyone seems to have a different opinion about whether a potty-training child should wear diapers, pull-ups, or underwear while they are in the process of learning. As Today's Parent reports, most daycare providers prefer that kids move straight from diapers to underwear when they are ready to begin potty training. However, the same site notes that other providers prefer that diapers or pull-ups be worn until a child has gotten used to going potty, to avoid embarrassing accidents and set-backs at school.

Which Potty Training Method They Will Use

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No matter what potty training method you choose to follow at home, Oh Crap Potty Training suggests you ask questions to get familiar with your daycare's potty training methods, too, so you can work together instead of against each other.

For instance, do they take the kids to the bathroom all at once several times a day, or let them go one-at-a-time on an as-needed basis? Do they remind kids frequently to use the potty, or do they expect kids to ask when they need to go? The same site encourages parents to help their child understand expectations at daycare, so they don’t have setbacks. Also, you should remember you probably aren't going to be able to change daycare rules about potty training, so it's best to make peace with them as soon as possible.

Rules About Rewards

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As Today's Parent reports, some daycare providers use rewards like sticker charts and special recognition to motivate kids to use the potty. Others prefer to be more matter-of-fact about the process, making it a regular part of the daily routine rather than a big deal.

How To Handle Accidents

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According to Oh Crap Potty Training, every parent should find out how their daycare will handle potty accidents, then plan accordingly. For example, most daycare providers prefer that you send extra clothes in case of accidents and have rules about how they will send the wet (or soiled) clothes back home when it happens. According to Today's Parent, the one thing your daycare provider should absolutely never do is punish your kid if they have an accident, as it's totally counterproductive and might lead to setbacks.

Your Child Must Be Potty Trained By A Certain Age

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According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), you should start potty training your child when they show signs of readiness, and not when they hit a specific age, to improve your chances of success. According to Oh Crap Potty Training, that can prove difficult when some day cares have rules about kids being potty trained by a certain age, or group toddlers — who need more hands-on assistance — with older kids.

According to Today's Parent, sometimes grouping younger and older children together can actually be good for potty training purposes. Because peer pressure can have a huge impact, seeing big kids use the potty by themselves at school might be just what your child needs to get motivated to ditch their diapers.

Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.