Toilet training: do children have to be toilet trained when they start school?

Toilet training: do children have to be toilet trained when they start school?

Toilet trainingChildren who regularly wet themselves at school may get embarrassed and very distressed. Over a long period of time this may affect their self-esteem. So ideally it’s better for everyone if children are toilet trained when they start school, but this is not always possible. The most important thing is not to get stressed about it.

Often, children who are toilet trained before starting school suddenly seem to regress and begin having accidents. This could be for a variety of reasons:

1. They get so engrossed in what they’re doing that they forget to go – playing with their new friends or a new toy is far more interesting and important than taking a toilet break.

2. Some may need help with clothing and are too shy or embarrassed to ask. Try to avoid clothes with lots of zips and buttons – elasticated waistbands are easy and instant!

3. Some children don’t want to use school toilets because they are dirty, smelly, the doors don’t lock or they are just unfamiliar. This is really not uncommon, especially with girls and they may well try to hold on until they get home and put up with the discomfort of a full bladder rather than use a school loo. This of course can lead to problems so it might be worth spending time talking to your child about this one. Also a chat with her teacher would be wise.

For children who do have little accidents a bag of spare clothes is a good idea. Most schools keep spare clothing, but some children can get upset about wearing things that are not theirs, especially underwear.

Although my children were already dry when they started school, I sent them with a spare set of clothes, just in case – and occasionally they were needed!

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