Orienting your toddler for school

Is your kid ready for preschool? Here’s how to prepare your toddler for his time away and how to ease the adjustment.

Bathroom Skills 101

Going to the bathroom at school often takes the top spot on kids’ list of anxieties, and for good reason: Young children still don’t have total control of their bladder. At age 5, 15 percent of kids are still at risk of having daytime wetting accidents.. Your child may have bladder signals that come on suddenly (so he’ll have to dash to the bathroom ASAP), or he may not recognize the early warning signs that he has to go. Plus, kids this age tend to get so absorbed in an activity that they’ll wait until the last minute to pee.

Teachers will schedule bathroom breaks, but reassure your child that he can ask to go anytime. “By kindergarten, kids have the bladder capacity to last only three to five hours, so they should be going at least twice during the day,” says Dr. Cooper. It’s especially important to remind your child to go about an hour after lunch, since most accidents occur between 2 and 5 p.m. Explain that even if he does have an accident, the teacher will help — and that he shouldn’t worry, since it happens to lots of kids.

You can help make your child’s bathroom trips easier by ensuring that he can undo his buttons and snaps. Even though your child may look adorable in overalls, he probably can’t get them off very quickly. Tights are another big challenge for little girls, so try swapping them for leggings until she gets the hang of quick pull-downs.

Transport Basics

School transport can make any kid tremble, and it’s easy to see why. Take a walk with your child to her bus stop before school starts and go over the essential info she needs to know. Tell her that you’ll introduce her to the driver and that he’ll make sure everyone on the bus stays safe. You might suggest that she sit near the driver — she may feel more relaxed being close to an adult. If very possible take your child to school on the first day.

Intro to Dining

Your child’s fine motor skills are still developing, so opening plastic containers or sandwich bags can easily turn into a frustrating battle.Avoid mealtime meltdowns by running through a few “practice” school lunches at home. You’ll learn what she can’t open and have time to rethink your packing technique.

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