Potty Training

Potty Training, The Sunshine Way

     All children at Sunshine House are encouraged to toilet themselves.   Our policy is to provide much praise and encouragement to use the toilet.  We are staffed to take children to the toilet and change diapers every 1-1 ½ hours, and we assist any child when they indicate they need to go.  We are not staffed to take children to the toilet every ½ hour, or so, “to sit”.   More importantly, this procedure would not be consistent with our philosophy of providing experiences that are considered developmentally appropriate.

Children are never scolded when they have an accident.  Their clothes are changed, and they are reminded how good it feels to wear dry clothes.  When your child has an “accident” at school, their wet clothes are put in their cubby in a closed plastic bag.  Soiled clothes are also put in a closed plastic bag.  Health precautions prevent us from rinsing/soaking any soiled clothing.

Usually, children learn to use the toilet at home before they are able to do so at Sunshine House.  Sometimes they are very busy and don’t want to interrupt their play.  Sometimes the distance, especially from outside, is much further to the bathroom than at home.  We encourage each child to use the toilet at each diaper change.  We certainly want to see your child potty trained, too!

  When you feel your child is ready for underwear we will be glad to give it a try.  But, if there are many accidents for several days, we may need to go back to diapers for awhile.  We do this because of the staff time involved & because it is not appropriate (Your child is not quite ready.).

You will need to bring many changes of clothing, at first.  It makes training more difficult if your child is in underwear one day & the next in diapers (Oops!  Mom or Dad forgot to bring clean clothes!).  Please bring loose, easy for your child to use, clothing!  Remember you’re asking your child to learn to use the toilet and learn to dress themselves at the same time.  Successful potty training must include consistency!

We know that potty training is a very frustrating time for many parents.  Fortunately, it lasts for a relatively short period of time. We hope you will be able to support your child during this time of transition in positive ways. Keep in mind that no child has graduated from Sunshine House in diapers!  It will happen!!!

Clothing That Will Help Children Master Potty Training

As with everything, having the right tools are essential.  The following will make your child’s transition easier and therefore shorter and more successful:

Elastic-waist, loose-fitting pants

These are recommended over pants with buttons/snaps because they are easy for children to pull up and down themselves.  If your child has to struggle it just makes the job harder.

Several sets of extra clothes – underwear, pants, socks and one extra pair of shoes

We want to be able to clean children up as quickly and with as little fuss as possible.  Children should never be forced to stay in soiled clothing.  We cannot appropriate other children’s clothing.   Some adults think leaving a child in soiled clothing will influence them to be more attentive to using the toilet.  Clearly, this is adult logic and not the way children think.  It is counter-productive.

Clothing That Makes Potty Training Difficult for Children

Some of our favorite style clothing comes in the following form.  Remember, it’s just for awhile and you will need to put the following aside for the time being:

Bib overalls or pans with belts, buckles, snaps, or buttons

Tight-fitting pants

One-piece outfits and jumpsuits

Onesie-type undershirts or body suits

Dresses, skirts, and tights (It’s just not that easy to hold a shirt up with one hand and pull-up undies with the other!)