In this paper we study the effects of power in a bathroom, which is a rarely analysed space in preschools, using empirical examples from a semi-ethnographic study conducted in New South Wales, Australia. We demonstrate that educators' understanding and practices mostly consider their own positioning in discourses and come short in accounting for children's practices in and expressed views on the bathroom. Educators also remain distant from children's bodily experiences. The interplay of the open architectural design of the bathroom space and dominant discourses operating in the preschool constitute some children as 'problem bodies' apparently requiring (and justifying) direct intervention. Following this reasoning we argue that the surveillance, regularisation and normalisation in the bathroom is far from total, which leads us to question the adequacy of understanding the bathroom as forming a part of a modern (disciplinary) institution. © 2013 © 2013 Taylor & Francis.