Help with Bathroom at Preschool — The Bump

Help with Bathroom at Preschool

Hi all,

I'm generally a lurker, but have been on these boards since my daughter was born.  I have a question for those of you with 3 year olds that are starting traditional preschool this year.  My DD will be starting a 2 day a week program.  The children have to be fully potty trained.  DD is fully potty trained and has been for a few months.  The director of the school mentioned at the open house that they are not allowed to help the children with wiping.  I fully understand the (sad, but true) implications that schools face now when dealing with children and private body parts.  However, in my heart I just feel that she is too young to be expected to wipe completely alone.  She practices here, and know what to do...but in general she is just getting the outside skin of both areas and not where you really need to get!  (She just turned 3 in July so she is a "young" 3.)  It is making me sad to think of her NEEDING help, and them not doing it.   A friend of mine has her child enrolled at a preschool that allows the teacher to help with toileting....and I'm starting to wonder if I should consider that.  Am I crazy and just overthinking things??  Or is this a legitimate concern?  I have typical preschool Mommy worry, but the thought of her asking for help and them telling her no is just making me sad.

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Re: Help with Bathroom at Preschool

  • My little (okay medium) guy, DS1, is turning 4 next month and still has trouble with this skill.   We had meet the teacher tonight and our preschool is similar to yours. Our teacher, 6 year veteran, said that she cannot for safety reasons help in the restroom however she can "talk" them through it.  She reports that sometimes the kids will just need a bath when they get home.  One mom got huffy but I had already know the expectation and have been practicing with DS (taking turns wiping) and also using flushable wipes.  Luckily, my guy is a one a dayer and generally its in the late afternoon when he is home.  Because of this, I am not as worried.  

    I would explain things to your DD:  "you really need to try hard to wipe your on booty in order to...Ms. XYZ at school is not allowed to help you because..."

    I don't know if I would switch or not.  How awesome is the school compared to others/ 


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  • A teacher shouldn't mind helping. I would talk to the director and let her know you will write a letter of consent for an adult to help. It is so young for a child. Just make sure your daughter understands to ask if she needs the help b/c they may not remember since its not routine.

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  • Both of my 2 oldest had this problem when they turned 3.  Let me just say their underwear was not the cleanest at night ;) but it all worked out.  We had a bath every night to be sure they were clean.  After some time, they figured it all out!
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  • I have this concern as well and have wondered what kids do. DS is going to preschool this fall, maybe next. He also still sits on the floor to put on his clothes. I shudder at the thought of him doing this in a public toilet.
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  • DD is in a FT daycare/preschool. They supervise them wiping, but will rarely help.  I've just tried coaching DD and telling her to count to 5 when she does it.  Its still not great, but I'm not overly concerned.

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  • I guess I don't get why they can't help.  That's stupid.  If there is a sicko working at a preschool, then unfortunately, they could assault a child at any time,not just in the restroom.  Additionally, if a state/city/county or whatever has a rule about kids being helped with wiping in the restroom, then how do they handle babies and toddlers with diaper changes? They certainly would not expect those children to wipe themselves!

    DD is an "ok" wiper, but she'll still be a bit damp after pee if I don't help her, and my biggest concern with poop would be her wiping in the wrong direction, which could give her a UTI.

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  • I could have typed this post verbatum.  My DD turned 3 in July as well, and she starts traditional preschool on Tuesday.  She is also going 2 days per week, and they will not be helping her with wiping.  I practice with her at home, but she definitely needs help.  Just the thought of my baby walking around with poop on her for hours makes me shiver.
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  • I have seen similar post recently and I think it is nuts to have rules like that for 3 YOs.  My son tries but like you described, doesn't quite get where he needs to get and then comes home with messy underwear.  Our teachers do help them (I think) but only when they ask.

  • Not only is it a safety issue, it's also a logistics issue.  Generally preschools have a 10/1or more ratio.  A teacher doesn't have time to help all of the kids in their care in the bathroom.  Honestly I think a 3 year old is plenty capable of wiping themselves adequately 90% of the time.
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  • At 3 my DD could not wipe on her own. Since she was starting preschool and needed to handle all her own bathroom skills, we spend the time teaching her. First we talked about what she needed to do. Then we watched and talked her through it. Then we showed her how the preschool has little potties that are just her size and how cool that was. She loved the idea of preschool with potty and sink made special for her to handle it all on her own. Once she was excited she did the rest. At 3.2 months when school started, it was no problem. She has not yet had an accident at school.
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  • My 3 yo DS still needs help in the bathroom (a late July birthday). He just mastered peeing on the potty a few weeks ago after a long, long battle with potty training.  Wipe - lol - no freaking way.  I'm lucky if he doesn't poop right in his pants.  He'll be starting preschool in a few weeks - same policy as your preschool.  I guess we'll see how it goes. 

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