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About to start school and still not reliably toilet trained


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#1 laridae

Posted 11 January 2019 - 07:41 AM

So, my DD2 starts kinder in about a month (kinder = preschool = 3 days a week, but it is at an actual school, she's 4.5).
She's still not reliably toilet trained during they day. We've been trying for over a year now.  She wears undies, she won't wear nappies or pull-ups (except at night).
Out and about, she's great - asks to go to the toilet, holds on until we get there, uses it by herself (with help for wiping). At home she's ok. Will use the toilet, sometimes leaves it a little too long and will have an accident but mostly ok. At daycare she's terrible. She will wet herself 2-3 times a day, every day. Sometimes poo accidents too. I think I can count on one hand the amount of days she's not had at least one accident at daycare in the last year.
I've talked to the school and they've said it fine and they will remind them and help them change if necessary and that most kids get it pretty quick once they go. But we really haven't seen much improvement in a year, so I'm not holding out much hope.
I've asked her why she won't use the toilets at daycare and she says she doesn't want to use them and doesn't like them, but can't tell me why she doesn't. I don't think it's a matter of her not knowing she needs to as she does ok elsewhere. She's got a speech delay (she's also got hearing loss) and it's only really been in the last 6 months that she's been talking well enough to actually have a conversation though.
I'm just not sure what to do. Does this usually just resolve on its own?
I never had this problem with DD1, she toilet trained just after she turned 2 in 3 days. Super easy.



#2 ECsMum

Posted 11 January 2019 - 07:47 AM

Are the toilets at daycare in an open space - as in not in cubicles?

#3 Babetty

Posted 11 January 2019 - 07:47 AM

It sounds like it's not so much a toilet training problem as a daycare toilets problem! So hopefully it won't be a problem at kindy!

Most childcare toilets I've seen tend to be open - perhaps she prefers privacy? Do you know if the kindy toilets at school have cubicles?

#4 laridae

Posted 11 January 2019 - 10:12 AM

There have cubicles but no doors on them. They are in a separate room though (it does have windows).
There is one with a door but they use it to store stuff so it's usually locked. I've talked to the carers before about whether she can use that one (as I know she prefers to be in the toilet with the door closed by herself in public toilets) and they've said she can, but she doesn't ask to and doesn't seem to have an issue with using the other ones when she does manage to use the toilet.


I'm really hoping it won't be a problem at kinder, but I know the toilets there are going to be outside the classroom and she'll have to ask to go so it could potentially be worse. At the moment she can just walk into the toilet room whenever she likes.

I haven't seen the toilets at school for her classroom (orientation sessions were run in a different kinder classroom which had toilets inside) but the other ones had doors and seeing they are in the playground I'm assuming they will have doors.

Edited by laridae, 11 January 2019 - 10:18 AM.


#5 ECsMum

Posted 11 January 2019 - 11:05 AM

When DD started school they were reminded to go to the toilet.  Also they had to go to the loo with a buddy which was (apparently) fun .  Maybe make it into a fun thing with your DD - saying that when she starts school she will be able to pick a buddy to go to the loo with and how awesome that is etc.

#6 Rowenas Necklace

Posted 11 January 2019 - 11:39 AM

Laridae, what size are the toilets at daycare?

My daughter had issues at pre-kindy because they had the teeny kid-sized toilets, but she's very tall for her age (about the average height of a child two years older) and found them very difficult to use physically.

Because she found them hard to use she would avoid going until too late, which did cause some accidents.

Once we realised the issue the carers there would take her out to the adult-sized toilet when they could, or if they couldn't leave the room they'd come and help her manage the tiny ones.

She went to kindy at about the same age your daughter is now and was fine once she had bigger toilets to work with. I think she had maybe 2 accidents the entire year at kindy.

One of the big things the kindy pushed was getting them to go to the toilet at the start of the day after arriving, which helped to get them in the habit of using the toilets there and also helped by starting with an empty tank.

#7 Jamelex

Posted 11 January 2019 - 11:42 AM

My 5yo is about to start FYOS and has recently been diagnosed ASD. He has been in undies for a bit over two years but still has at least one wee accident most days. It's one of my biggest concerns about him starting school :( No advice beyond making sure to pack spare clothes, just saying I understand your concerns.

#8 ECsMum

Posted 11 January 2019 - 11:42 AM

Oh and remember to pack a spare pair of undies and socks.

#9 Nanns

Posted 11 January 2019 - 11:48 AM

Have you looked to check out that there is nothing medically wrong?

I have one child that had a similar issue. We tried alot of things. In the end it was just time. We did find that holding on for very long periods of time was potentially going to cause health problems.

I know a number of people in the same situation. I think it can be quite normal for some kids.

Are you worried that she will be teased? I had that fear but it never happened and he had a number of slip ups where he came home in different pants.

#10 Lallalla

Posted 11 January 2019 - 11:56 AM

When I was 4 I have a distinct memory of being scared of the toilets at kindy (why I cannot remember). My mother bribed me to use them. I can’t remember what the short term reward was but I do remember getting a doll I really wanted put on lay by and being given her at the end of it. I really wanted my doll so overcame the fear.

My current 4 year old (also starting the year before the first year of school at our local primary school this year), still occasionally leaves it too late because she was having too much fun. This has reduced over time, mainly through bribery.

#11 laridae

Posted 11 January 2019 - 12:02 PM

Daycare toilets are the little ones. Kinder toilet will be the same I think (the ones I've seen are). She 75% line not not huge for her age though, I don't think toilet size is a issue. I currently send 5 changes of pants to daycare, so I'll be sending the same to kinder.
I'd talked to the gp at her 4 year old vaccinations  about it but they weren't concerned, nor was the MCN at her 4 year old checks. But that was 6 months ago.
I'm more concerned that it's still going to happen multiple times a day every day than teasing by other kinder kids. I know her carers at daycare are getting very frustrated by it. She'll also have to go to ASC so it won't just be kinder aged kids so there is definitely potential for teasing.

#12 Lifesgood

Posted 11 January 2019 - 12:08 PM

In FYOS our school takes the whole class to the toilet several times a day - first thing in the morning, before returning to class at recess and lunch - and then whenever they need to go during class time as well.

There are still accidents but the teachers expect it a bit in FYOS. Pack a couple of spare undies and uniforms.

#13 BusbyWilkes

Posted 11 January 2019 - 12:13 PM

There will usually be a couple of kids in most Kindy classes that have occasional accidents initially, so if it happens then she won't be alone. As you mentioned, the staff are experienced with this and will help her to change with minimal fuss.
Most Kindy also have a regular toilet time (as well as go when you need to). Eg before break time, line up, go to the toilet, wash hands, have morning tea. If it is just part of the class routine, she may also be more comfortable with going.
You also mentioned a speech delay. Is she confident to talk to unfamiliar people eg teacher, EA? You could try having a laminated picture in her pocket that she can use to communicate that she wants to go to the toilet, if she is reluctant to speak to less familiar people.

#14 SynchronouslyIdle

Posted 11 January 2019 - 05:54 PM

When my boys were toilet trained everywhere but daycare I decided to take a day off work and spent the morning at day care with them. I found the carers wanted to line all the children up at certain times and wanted the children to go then. My boys resisted and everyone was getting frustrated. I just bribed my boys until they at least lined up and tried to wee. Then at every pick up and drop off I took them to the toilet. I didn't make a big deal if they didn't need to go, I just wanted them to get used to going to that space. I suggested they put some nice pictures up in the toilets and we sat there talking about the pictures making up stories. When they resisted going I said I had a new story about one of the pictures and that seemed to help. It was interesting spending the morning there. Some less than ideal personalities (impatient) were in charge of the toilet run. But I got a better sense of what was going on and it helped me to come up with a plan. Might be something to consider.

#15 ~LemonMyrtle~

Posted 11 January 2019 - 06:09 PM

DS1 was toilet trained, day and night, by 3ish. Never had an accident. But at Kinder he refused to use the toilets there and had a couple of accidents. And that was only a 4 hour session. He would hold on all day and go at home.

Eventually I put my name down as parent helper, and went to the toilet with him, then I went with him a couple of times at pick up time. After that he had the confidence to go himself. He just wasn’t sure about going in a very different environment.

Hopefully it’s the same for your daughter. She may just lack confidence in a different environment.




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