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Potty Training a Daycare Kid

Categories: Parenting

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I have dreaded potty training for a long time, now. In fact, I avoid writing and tweeting about the experience because every time I express some sort of frustration about the process, I’m met with disheartening responses that commiserate at best and discourage at worst. Moms hate potty training, it seems. (I realize this is a sentence that feels a little bit like saying the sky is blue or that water is wet.)

One of the reasons I’ve dreaded potty training is that Nate is a daycare kid, which means that for the majority of his waking hours, the task of encouraging him to use the potty falls on someone else’s shoulders. I’ve felt a lot of self-applied pressure to get him trained using some sort of miracle three-day method that would eliminate the need for Nate’s daycare provider to bear any responsibility for helping him learn to use the toilet (or, heaven forbid, for cleaning up the result of any accidents he might have in her care).

Over the weekend we took a real stab at getting Nate to use the toilet and with some success. I learned to watch for the telltale expression on his face and twice managed to whisk him onto the potty in time to get the job done. Stickers and sessions of Angry Birds were the reward.

Monday morning when I took Nate to daycare with tales of potty success to share, the woman who looks after him was excited. She had been telling me that he was ready for potty training for a little while. “Between the two of us, we’ll get it done!” she told me, with enthusiasm. I realized that morning that I wasn’t butting up against her or piling onto her responsibilities with this business of potty training; instead, I had an ally. She cheers Nate on with the same eagerness that we do. There’s a whole team of us encouraging him, making the experience of potty training nothing for me to dread, after all.

My three tips for potty training a child who goes to daycare include:

1. Keep your reward system consistent. We decided that stickers would be rewarded for using the potty, so Nate’s daycare provider tells him the same thing.

2. Dress your child in comfortable pants that are easy for your child and for your daycare provider to take up and down, too, multiple times a day, when necessary during training.

3. Share the joys and successes of the training experience with one another, and in front of your child. He or she will be excited to share the good news!

What advice can you provide when potty training a child who goes to daycare?

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