Why does my daughter have so many accidents at school?

have a 3 year old daughter almost 4 that hasn’t been wanting to use the restroom since my son has been born . (He’s soon to be 9 months ) she’s been fully potty trained since she was 2 but I need advice to get her fully potty trained again . She started preschool a month ago and the teacher sets a timer every hour to ask her if she has to go potty . Now she changed It to 30 minutes due to my daughter having constantly accidents. The teacher gives her rewards if she uses the restroom throughout the whole day but there’s time that she wont make it . When we’re at home my daughter will use the restroom without a problem. It’s rare she’ll have an accident but at school she’ll constantly have them . Any advice?


Help a mama out and respond anonymously on our forum. Why does my daughter have so many accidents at school?

As a preschool teacher I can say this happens generally because the child is having so much fun that she doesn’t want to take the time to go. I hope the teacher makes sure you word it " it’s time to try" rather than asking her to try to go because she can just say no. I also try to find a time when the child is between activities to get them to try, I offer to save their place at whatever activity they were doing or hold the toy they were playing with.


Overstimulation In new environment making her forget. I’d do every 20 minutes.


She could just be so involved in what ever activity she is doing, that she forgets. Also I would try every 20 min. That really seemed to lessen the amount of accidents when I worked in a daycare.

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My daughter had the same problem found out the bathrooms were dirty and she didn’t want to sit on the toilet could be a similar situation!

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They need to have her go to the rest room…like physically walk there and try about every hour. I know when my 3 almost 4 year old gets busy and I ask her if she needs to go she will say no then literally 10 min later I will make her stop what she’s doing and go to the bathroom and she will let a full bladder go.

1: busy playing not paying attention to body/ tries to hold it to keep playing.
2: the new change. She has no control or the change.Going to the bathroom is the the one thing she can control.
I’m a preschool teacher and see it all the time. They are fully potty trained in the younger room then come to me and it’s accident after accident even though we follow the same potty system as the other room.

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Three possibilities:

  1. A medical issue

  2. She’s struggling with adjusting to school (shifting from 1:1 attention to group environment)

  3. She’s regressed because she now must share attention with a sibling, and that sibling requires a lot of attention.

Consult her pediatrician first. Even if it’s not medical, they likely have experience with this.

My sons teacher does the “hey friend, it’s time to go potty” he’s 3 almost 4 and recently been having accidents for other medical issues.

My daughter just started preschool also she’s 3 as well and has the same problem… She gets to excited about playing and doesn’t want to miss out on anything so she been having accidents also… I make sure she uses it before school and to always remind her it’s ok to ask the teacher to help when she needs to use the bathroom… teacher also reminds her every 20-30 minutes

She’s Overstimulated and doesn’t want to stop the fun activity’s she’s doing, once she realizes she has to go NOW it’s to late and she doesn’t make it. Give her a few more weeks to adjust and she’ll be fine.

My daughter was the same, she was constantly distracted and playing hence forgetting that she needs to go and then running when too late and not making it

I’d say she’s just too busy playing. Do you have to take her at home or does she go when she wants? Is it the same routine at school or does she go when she wants at home and school both? She’s probably just busy or maybe shy and doesn’t want to ask the teacher. My little boy was little boy was 4 before he got it down.

I know my daughter would have more accidents when her back or hips were out. Going to the chiropractor helped immensely.

Ask if the toilet has a automatic flusher. My son started having accidents bc he was afraid of it.

Either so much going on or she feels embarrassed to ask.

My daughter has recently started regressing. I think she has more trouble at school cuz when they go to the bathroom there’s a line of kids. When she has to go, she has to go immediately so it’s been a struggle. Maybe that’s why. I reward her too but we haven’t mastered it yet and she just turned 3 a couple months ago and was 3 months premature too! So I’m just enjoying her learning

Have them do a reward system? My youngest refused to use the bathroom at school but would go at home. He didn’t really say why. So the teacher has a chart just for him. He goes no problem and gets a bag of chips as a reward from the office.

She’s 3… In a new environment. New sibling. Lots of changes. This is very normal. Stop expecting so much for a 3 yr old.

They get busy and don’t often stop to realize they need to go till last minute most often.
I just give constant reminders to my littles in my class!

I had this issue then switched teachers and it was a teacher issue not the kid

There’s a problem at school that your daughter can’t handle You should meet with the teacher and principal and all envolved.

Nerves…also when they get busy they don’t want to miss anything with the other kids.

Is the toilet at preschool an automatic flush? I know a few kiddos who are scared of that and won’t use the bathroom because of that.

Preschool teacher here keep the 30 min timer. Use it home as well. Ask teacher as she checks the timer to send her atvthe 15 minute mark as well. I have up to 26 3yr olds in my room with a co-teacher it can be done. Just a quick “Nancy please go potty real quick.” Doesn’t matter if it’s circle time, Art, open centers. It happens unfortunately. Changes at home or even just in school like a new teacher being added to the class. I have a few who’s parents say they go at home but started having accidents at school. They’ve got to the point as soon as the timer goes off they for the most part stop what they are doing and go potty.

Have you considered she may have a serious health issue? Have you taken her to a doctor, are you a doctor? Don’t assume she can control or stop it. She’s a child!

Alot of kids age don’t want to stop what they are doing to go

Maybe she is having fun or is very interesting what they are doing when the teacher ask and she just doesn’t want to miss it, maybe she doesn’t like the bathroom ( maybe is darkness than yours or maybe the toilet is too loud when flushed)
Ask her teacher if she can worded differently, instead of asking her if she wants or has to go she can just tell her that is time to try .

    I will send her  with  pull ups until she gets used to get to the bathroom ( if that is a option )

This way she gets the teacher’s attention!!

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I was too busy. Lol. If I was playing, I hated being bothered to go so I’d have an accident.
I’d ask the teacher to take her every 20mins. I’m not saying go off on her but she should have a consequence for accidents that are 1,000% avoidable. When my son had this phase, we wouldn’t go to a toy store or section and no new Hot Wheels. Sounds weird but it worked. 2 or 3x of no new cars and he didn’t like that. :joy:
She’ll outgrow it but it can cause irritation and bumps if she’s in it too long. So, explaining the importance, regularly, is a good idea too. :hugs:

She’s too busy playing it’s very normal they don’t go when they feel it they wait until they can’t hold it then try to make it to the bathroom they’re worried about missing out on something