My daughter (2 yrs 10.5 months old) is fully potty trained. She's advanced for her age and when her hunger for learning exceeded what I had the time/energy for at home I decided to enroll her in preschool. She just started last week and really likes the school, the kids, the playground, etc. (It's a Montessori and she's already taking pride in the independent activities of rolling out her own mat, choosing her own work and all of that good Montessori stuff.)
She's the youngest in her class but that's not my concern. She is refusing to use their toilet. The toilets flush automatically and the first time we were there meeting her teacher it caught her by surprise and she did NOT like that. Then a toilet in the stall next to her flushed loudly and she got spooked. She didn't know when the next loud sound was gonna come out of nowhere. She was too shy to go pee in that moment and I figured it was no big deal and so she just pulled up her pants and we went to go wash hands. She puts her hands in the sink and thought she was waiting for me to turn on the water but the water was automatic, too and again she was taken aback. I talked up how cool it was and showed her the sensor and everything but she just furrowed her brow and looked very offended that the water just turned on by itself.
Okay so fast forward a week and a half - they've tried to offer her potty breaks a few times in her 3 hour school day but she won't go. They showed her how you can lay a piece of toilet paper over the sensor in order to prevent it from flushing, but she's still too scared. She'll sit on it with her bottom barely touching but will not plant herself there and certainly will not relax to pee. Today when I was waiting in the car pickup line, they asked me to come in to get her because she was crying. I rushed in but by that time they'd coaxed her into the bathroom just in time for her to pee in her pants. She was really holding it and had to go THAT bad. She's never had an accident before. Not one accident since we potty trained. Not even at nighttime! So it's not a potty-training issue...it's a school bathroom issue.
She doesn't get that if she can't use their potty and if accidents become regular that she can't go to this special school any longer (because you have to be potty trained and pull-ups aren't allowed which I wouldn't want to do anyway). How do I ease her fear of the loud and unpredictable public restroom? At least they don't have one of those auto hand dryers that sound like an airplane is landing. Those are terrible for timid toddlers!! I can't imagine taking her out of this fun school just because of the toilets.
P.S. I would go in each morning and help her get used to it and also take my time picking her up to try once more before leaving but I have a 1 yr old who is ALL OVER THE PLACE and even today when I picked her up, the baby was pretty difficult to manage on the dirty bathroom floor while I changed dd into dry clothes.
What should I do?