October Toddler Class Newsletter



We really enjoyed seeing everyone at Back to School Night.  It was nice to talk with many of you, and to share with you some of what your children have been doing in the classroom.  It was also wonderful to touch base with everyone through our six-week phone calls.  Please feel free to contact us at any time with any questions you may be having.  And just a reminder, now that the first six weeks of school are over, we would love to invite you to visit our classroom.  We welcome you to come in and do a project with your child’s class, have your child show you some of their favorite works, or just come to observe.  You can schedule these visits with your child’s teachers.


Birthday Celebrations in the Toddler Classroom

In the upcoming months we will be celebrating many birthdays for children in our class.  Birthdays are celebrated in a low key style at school.  We will give you more information about joining our celebration as your child’s birthday approaches.  We encourage you to donate a book in your child’s name to the classroom library.  The book will be inscribed with the child’s name and birth date on the book.




The toddler classroom offers very young children the unique     experience of self-development in a tender atmosphere of special     understanding, respect and support.      Teachers in the toddler program are professionals trained     specifically for this age group and are skilled in the “language” of     interacting with toddlers:  providing     the respect, tenderness, warmth and patience that allow the children to     blossom.  Being that toddlers are     precise imitators of both peers and adults, the teachers take on the role     of a MODEL.  For a toddler     environment, it is only appropriate to BE what we want them to be.


Here are the words to another song we’ve been singing at circle time.  Here’s a Ball for Baby

Here’s a Ball for Baby, big and soft and round; Here’s is Baby’s hammer, see how she can pound;

Here is Baby’s rhythm, clapping, clapping so; Here are Baby’s people, standing in a row.

Here is Baby’s trumpet, toot-te-toot-te-too; Here’s the way that Baby plays at peek-a-boo;

Here is Baby’s umbrella, to keep the baby dry; Here is Baby’s cradle, rock-a-baby-bye.

Bye, Bye, little baby, bye, bye, little baby, Hush, now go to sleep.




We are in need of plastic grocery bags.  If you have a stash somewhere around the     house, please bring them in!  We use     them to dispose of the children’s dirty diapers and we are almost     completely out!

It would be fun to do some fall or harvest related projects with the     children in the classroom.  If you     have ideas, please talk with one of us.      Things that have been done in the past include carving a pumpkin and     roasting the seeds, painting small individual sized pumpkins, or baking     pumpkin bread.








THANK      YOU:  Thank you to James Williams for the new      icepacks for our classroom.  Thank      you to Quinny Sherry for the zucchini bread.  Thank you to Glenn Shaw and Rebecca      Vandiver and all of the Toddler p.m. class for the beautiful hand-painted      mugs for Belle and Rose.  Thank you      to Bennett Buese’s nanny Whitney for making pumpkin ice cream with the      toddlers.  Thank you to Emily      Grunfield for doing the chalk pumpkin project with the children.  Thank you to Courtney Rutkowski for the      pumpkin seeds.  Thank you to Audrey      Williams for coming in for the Halloween project.





We often get questions from parents about how to support the toileting experience at home.  The following describes the approach we recommend you take, based on how we do it at school.


  • Find a few times each day      when you are already undressing your child – such as first thing in the      morning when they are getting dressed, or at night when they are      undressing for their bath.  Take a      few minutes to offer your child a chance to sit on the toilet while they      already have their diaper off.
  • Make it a choice – if they      choose not to sit, that’s okay.  The      first goal is simply to get them comfortable with the idea of sitting on      the toilet (or a potty chair, whichever you prefer).  Try to follow their level of      interest.  It is important to make      this a fun, enjoyable experience so that the toileting process does not      result in a power struggle.
  • Offer your child an      opportunity to observe other people in your family using the toilet.  At school, your child gets to see their      classmates sitting on and using the toilet.  At home, it is great if they can watch      you or their older siblings so that they can learn that this is a normal      part of everyone’s life.
  • Once they get comfortable      with sitting on the toilet, it is important to continue this as a part of      your daily routine, ideally multiple times a day.  This gives you an opportunity to observe      as they develop the awareness and control of their bodily functions.  At some point, something will happen      while they are sitting on the toilet.       This may take weeks or months.
  • When we reach the point at      school where your child is successfully urinating in the toilet most every      day, we will recommend that your child start wearing underwear to      school.  It makes it more exciting      for your child if you allow them to go with you to the store to select and      purchase this new clothing item.       That way, they can pick underwear that they will be excited to      wear.  Wearing underwear will give      your child the added opportunity to feel the sensation when they are      wet.  It also gives the teachers a      chance to observe how often they need to go to the bathroom.   We will ask them to come to the      bathroom to try to urinate in the toilet approximately every 45      minutes.  Usually, this results in      success, but we modify our reminders based on how frequently your child      needs to come in order to remain successful at school.
  • Once your child is      successful with wearing underwear at school, we suggest that you also      begin wearing underwear at home.  It      is important that your child is receiving a consistent message – that they      are capable of wearing underwear and being successful with it — both at      home and at school.  Remember,      however, that success still includes having accidents.  Accidents are part of the process.  There is nothing like wet underwear and      pants to help your child figure out how it all works!  When they do have an accident, don’t get      let them see you get frustrated or upset (even though you probably will      be!).  Respond calmly with something      like “I see you made pee in your underwear.  Let’s go get you some dry clothes”.  Take them to the bathroom, take off      their wet clothes, and let them sit on the toilet to see if there is      anything else that they can get out into the toilet.  Once they are done on the toilet, you      can allow them to redress themselves in dry clothes.  If you react in frustration or anger,      they will learn that accidents really get your attention, and they can      turn this into a very powerful attention getting activity.  This is not something you want to      encourage!
  • Once you make the decision      to start putting your child in underwear at home, it is important that you      stick with this decision.  It is      okay to establish “rules” about when they must wear a diaper – for      example:  wearing a diaper for nap      time, for night time, and for long rides in the car.  Once you have explained these rules to      them, then you need to stick with it and make sure they are wearing      underwear consistently at all other times.       It is incredibly confusing if you sometimes let them wear underwear      and other times put them in a diaper.       This sends a mixed message about what you expect of them.  They need to get the message from you      that you are confident in their ability to do it.
  • It will take additional time      before your child is able to alert you ahead of time that they need to use      the toilet.  Please continue to      remind your child to use the toilet even once it seems like they are      really getting it.  Sometimes it      takes weeks, or even months, for them to begin to tell you that they need      to use the toilet before they’ve already had an accident.  Over time, you will begin to develop a      sense for how often they need to use the toilet in order to remain dry in      between your reminders, and together you will be successful.  At some point, they will start coming to      tell you that they need to use the toilet, or they will just go use it on      their own.  Gradually, you can      eliminate your reminders once they get to this phase.
  • Learning to use the toilet      for bowel movements often takes much longer as well.  Bowel movements are more complicated      than urinating for many reasons.       Children often can tell that they are going to need to have a bowel      movement long before it is really ready to come out.  With urinating, they usually can just      sit on the toilet and “squeeze” and they are able to make it come out      right away.  Often, with a bowel      movement, they need to sit and wait for some time before they can make it      come out.  This can get boring.  It is helpful if you can sit with them      and read a story, sing songs, or have a conversation while they sit and      wait.  Other common issues we see      with using the toilet for bowel movements include:
    • Some children like to go to       a place of solitude to make a bowel movement.  They may hide in their room, or behind       the sofa to get some privacy.  Once       you notice this habit, you can begin to watch for them to go to their       “special place” and know that this is a signal that they need to make a       bowel movement.  At that point, you       can tell them it is time to come to the bathroom to try to make their       bowel movement in the toilet. 
    • Some children will ask you       for a diaper in order to make a bowel movement.  When they do this, you should tell them       that they need to come to the toilet to do it instead.  Offer to make the process fun.  Again, try reading a book, singing       songs or having a conversation about something fun. 
    • If they have a bowel       movement in their underwear, do not make a big deal of it.  Handle it in the same way as described       above for accidents when they urinate in their underwear.  It is helpful if you can put the poop       in the toilet and let them flush it down, so they get comfortable with       the idea that it goes in the toilet, and that you flush it when you are       done.  Some children have       additional anxiety about flushing their poop – the psychology behind this       is unclear, but allowing your child to flush their poop will help you       learn whether or not this is something that is comfortable for them. 
    • If you observe that your       child is holding their bowel movements instead of coming to the toilet,       we offer the following thoughts: 
      • It is better for them to        poop somewhere than to hold it, so if they are having accidents in their        underwear, that’s okay – don’t let them get stressed out about having to        do it in the toilet if this is uncomfortable to them in any way.  It is much more uncomfortable to be        constipated, so the first rule is encourage them to poop where ever they        can. 
      • If they get to the point        of constipation, and giving them a diaper to poop in will solve the        problem, then you can make an exception for this and give them the        diaper at this point.  Again, it        is most important for them to poop somewhere and not make themselves        constipated.  Then you can work on        transitioning to pooping in the toilet.         You can also allow them to flush the poop from their diaper into        the toilet to help them make the connection of where it should be        going. 


We hope that these tips give you some ideas of how to support the toileting experience at home.  If you have additional questions about how we handle things at school, or how you should be handling things at home, please let us know.  Your comments and questions can help us improve this article for future use by other parents.

Comments are closed here.