North Carolina Early Learning and Development Progressions: Birth to Five

Domain: NC Foundations for Early Learning: Health and Physical Development (HPD)

Subdomain: Self-Care

Goal: Children develop independence in caring for themselves and their environment.

Skill Progression: Toileting

Age: 30-33 Months

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Boys and girls seat themselves on the toilet with steps and toilet seat

Situations for Observation of Skill

Interview the adult. Toileting is dependent on family expectations and background, and cultural differences. Type of diaper used also impacts feeling of wetness, so children who wear pull-ups may not feel wet.

Elicitation Strategy

Ask adults about the toileting set up (potty chair or toilet seat), what the child wears underneath clothing, and whether the child indicates they need to have a BM.

Behavior Observed

Most girls are bladder and bowel trained for daytime. Some boys are bladder and bowel trained for daytime. The average age of training for boys is 31 months.

Routines-based Intervention (Embedded Instruction)

Most children are getting too large for a potty chair. If knees are higher than the bottom, the organs are not in the best position for sphincter control. Encourage parents to have a child-sized toilet seat insert and steps, so the child can independently get up on the toilet and place feet on the steps for stability. Picking out “big boy” underwear with favorite characters on them is a big motivator for boys. Reassure parents who have friends with girls who are “already trained” that boys often take a few months longer.

 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015

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